Mary Bartelme

Name: Mary Bartelme (Bartelme)
Birth Date: July 24, 1866
Birth Place: Chicago Illinois, USA
Death Date: July 25, 1954
Death Location: Carmel California, USA


Mary Bartelme (1866-1954) lived in Evanston from 1912 until 1918. Best known for her work in establishing the Cook County Juvenile Court, the first of its kind in the U.S., Bartelme was an outspoken advocate for youth services and legal rights. Starting her career as a school teacher, Bartelme received her law degree from Northwestern University and went on to have a distinguished career as a jurist. She was the first Illinois woman to be elected to the Circuit Court and later served as a Cook County Judge from 1927-1933. Bartelme was active in the women’s suffrage movement and with promoting women’s rights. She formed the Mary Clubs to provide transitional housing and training to girls who passed through her court.

Quotes: "Women have no bigger place than the place that makes family life right and normal. Some of us are not in those places. So we do other things that help family life. And perhaps we 'mother' some children even though we may be the judge of a court."
Father: Balthazar Bartelme
Mother: Jeannette Hoff
Education: Northwestern University School of Law: Law Degree, 1892-1894. West Division High School: Honors. Cook County Normal School.
Years in Evanston: 1912-1918

Sources: Articles and Collections: "Evanston Women." Subject Files. Evanston History Center. Genevieve Forbes, 1923, Article, Mary Bartleme Papers, Box 8, Folder 126, University of Illinois-Chicago, Special Collections. Evanston City Directory 1912-1913 Evanston City Directory 1914-1915 Newspapers: ProQuest Historical Papers "Women, The Devoted Ones" The Illinois Intelligencer, No27, 13 Dec 1968. Newspaper Clippings. Evanston History Center. Secondary Sources: Schultz, Rima Lunin, and Adele Hast, eds. Women Building Chicago, 1790-1990: A Biographical Dictionary. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2001.