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Frances Wisebart Jacobs Clothing and Papers

 Collection
Identifier: B148

Frances Wisebart Jacobs, born in 1843, earned the nickname "Mother of Charities" because of her many efforts to assist the poor, the homeless, and the disenfranchised. She joined or helped to found charitable organizations and events in Denver, Colorado, and at the national level, and she was instrumental in raising support for the construction of Jewish Hospital in 1892. The collection consists of clothing that belonged to Jacobs and to a relative and contemporary of hers. Also included in the collection are papers about Frances Wisebart Jacobs and her husband, Abraham Jacobs, as well as two framed photographs.

Dates

  • 1882-1994
  • Majority of material found in 1882-1924

Creator

Extent

12 Linear Feet (4 flat boxes, 1 half legal document box, and 2 framed photographs)

Scope and Contents

The collection consists of clothing that belonged to Frances Wisebart Jacobs and to a relative and contemporary of hers. Also included in the collection are articles and papers about Abraham and Frances Wisebart Jacobs as well as two framed photographs (1887) of Frances Jacobs. The clothing comprises a two-piece satin and lace dress (ca. 1885), a silk underlay (ca. 1890), an ivory and black cotton overlay (ca. 1909-1913), and a velvet jacket (ca. 1924).

Biographical / Historical

Frances Wisebart Jacobs earned the nickname ''Mother of Charities'' because of her many efforts to assist the poor, the homeless, and the disenfranchised. She was born March 29, 1843, in Harrodsburg, Kentucky. Her family moved to Cincinnati, Ohio, when she was a child, and there she was educated and became a teacher. She married Abraham Jacobs in 1863, and they moved to Colorado one year later, first residing in Central City and then settling in Denver. Jacobs joined the Hebrew Ladies' Benevolent Society and became its president, founded the nonsectarian Denver Ladies' Relief Society and served as its first vice president, worked with community leaders of varying religious backgrounds to found the Charity Organization Society in 1887, and was involved in the National Conference of Charities and Correction.

Jacobs was one of the first people to conceive of a free hospital for indigent tuberculosis victims in Denver. She started a campaign to increase public awareness on behalf of indigent consumptives, seeking the support of businessmen and political leaders in raising funds for a new hospital. The fruit of her efforts was the construction of Jewish Hospital in 1892. Jacobs died of peritonitis this same year. Her memory was honored in 1900, when she became the only woman of 16 Colorado pioneers whose stained glass portraits were placed in the rotunda of Denver's capitol building.

Arrangement

The collection is arranged into three series: 1. Clothing, circa 1885-1924. 2. Biographical Materials, 1882-1994. 3. Photographs, circa 1885-1994.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Jean and Milton Morris, March 15, 1990, and from the estate of Milton Morris, February 15, 2007.

Accruals

No further accruals expected.

General

Donors requested that the Mizel Museum have use of the dress for characterizations of Frances Wisebart Jacobs, but the clothing is now too fragile to be loaned out.

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections and Archives Repository

Contact:
2150 East Evans Avenue
Denver CO 80208
(303) 871-3428