“What’s the Matter with Dayton” – Cincinnati Post, 1909

In What they are saying by Brian Forschner0 Comments


Dayton Woman’s Club


I had the honor of speaking at the Dayton Woman’s Club during the year-long celebration of its 100th anniversary. As it turns out, the foundress of the Dayton Woman’s Club, Mrs. Marie Kumler was an outspoken advocate for the protection and education of young women working in factories in Dayton during the time the Jack the Strangler Murders occurred, 1900-1910. She cites 25,000 girls who came to Dayton to work but needed housing. She would advocate hostels that would begin to spring up.

She was interviewed in what was purportedly a “yellow journalistic” article critical of Dayton for not handling its crime problem, not protecting its girls, and fostering “Goodfellow” girls, girls who just wanted to be like “one-of-the-guys. The interview is posted below as it appeared in the Scripps-McCrae owned Cincinnati Post in 1909. Mrs. E. F. Kimmell of the YWCA also weighed in. The YWCA had created rooms for some of the 25,000 young women looking for work and shelter in Dayton. The Dayton YWCA would go on to create the first African American YWCA in the United States in Dayton, Ohio. The title of the lengthy piece of “investigative journalism” was “Dayton’s Crimes Lead to Question: What’s the Cause?” The subtitle goes on to give a hint as to the Post’s bias. “Post’s Men and Women Reporters Tell of Condition Which Make Crime Wave Possible. Scenes on the Streets are Appalling.” Some of the appalling scenes, as seen in the photos below, were “…wearing bangs on the forehead and wearing the latest New York fashions, with hats tilted back.” More to follow in another blog on this shameful behavior!


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