Carrie Dill Hageman
Carrie Dill Hageman was a woman with strong opinions on the big social issues of her day, including temperance and women's suffrage. Her life in Muncie was characterized by extensive volunteerism that began with church-based work and blossomed into local branches of national organizations. Her privileged position as the wife of the Ball brothers' accountant enabled her to speak her mind publicly, when other people feared to do so. Learn more about her in the video below.
The videos below were researched and created by Sean Harnett, Brenner Romine, and Catelin Weaver.
Part of what made Carrie Dill Hageman so notable was her dedication to a broad range of social organizations, beginning with Muncie's First Presbyterian Church on Riverside Avenue. Click the video below to learn more about the church's history and her involvement with it.
The connection between religion and morality, as experienced in a rapidly expanding city with many saloons, motivated Carrie Dill Hageman to join the temperance movement. In the early 1900s a vocal campaign against liquor was led by white, Protestant women as a way of highlighting women's vulnerability and preventing domestic abuse. This was one strand in a complex campaign of social reforms encouraged by diverse racial, religious, and political groups that gave this period the name of the Progressive Era.
Women's grassroots organization to ban alcohol led to permanent social changes, and to more female-led social organization and political activism. The Young Women's Christian Association, or the YWCA, grew out of this work and played an important role in Muncie's white and black neighborhoods. Learn more about the history of the organization and Carrie's involvement in it in the video below, and then see how Josephine Jones Pierson played a similar role in the Phyllis Wheatley branch across town.
Through the 1910s, the YWCA became an essential meeting place, where women talked about one of the most pressing issues of the day: the vote. White and Black women gathered in these segregated, but female-dominated, spaces, which gave more power to the suffrage movement and to individual women
Carrie Dill Hageman's life in Muncie coincided with a period of expansion of industrial, social, and reform activity. Just as factories and saloons multiplied, so did opportunities for volunteerism. Encouraged by church groups and the growing club movement, women like Carrie Dill Hageman took on greater social responsibility in an era before they were considered full voting citizens. The video below recaps her broad volunteerism.
Carrie Dill Hageman's commitment to social change is admirable, but she was not alone. Although separated by the racial and economic divide, Josephine Jones Pierson's voluntary work follows a very similar trajectory. While it is tempting to place these Notable Women on a narrative pedestal, there was no single Great Woman, but great achievements built out of diligence and cooperation in seeking a brighter future.
To hear more about the historian's process and the methodologies used to research and create historical narratives, check out the conversation between Harnett, Romine, and Weaver below.
All history is local and understood as it relates to the observer. Power and privilege function the same way. In comparison to President Woodrow Wilson, Carrie Dill Hageman had little social or political power. However, as the respected wife of an important professional, in Muncie she made a significant impact. To learn about how African-American women accomplished similar goals from a position of less power, click on Josephine Jones Pierson