JEAN GORDON 2018-08-30T11:28:13-05:00

Project Description

THE ICON: Jean Gordon

THE LEGACY: Jean Gordon never married, and she never had children of her own. But the girls of the Milne Home for Destitute Orphan Girls called her “Mother Jean” anyway, which was entirely fitting. Although Gordon’s 40 years of civic activism in New Orleans saw her champion a litany of social reform causes — from women’s suffrage to the Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals to the establishment of a Traveler’s Aid Society — it was highlighted by her defense of, and care for, the city’s children. That included her work toward the establishment of Louisiana child labor laws in 1908 as well as the founding of the Milne home, which, in addition to housing, provided training for developmentally disabled children. “What Jean Gordon has done at Milne House,” wrote Times-Picayune columnist Dorothy Dix upon the 1931 death of her friend, ” … is a story of devotion, of courage, of heroism that is almost unbelievable.”

THE ARTIST: Maddie Stratton

THE INSPIRATION: “She inherited a Scotch desire to see things done the way one thinks they should be done, Scotch tenacity in the effort to get them done that way, Scotch insistence against odds in the way, Scotch courage, Scotch willingness to be disagreeable if necessary in the process, Scotch ingenuity in the adoption of means to ends.” — The New Orleans Item, in an editorial memorializing Jean Gordon