An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church

Dudley, Helena Stuart

(Aug. 31, 1858-Sept. 29, 1932). Peace and labor activist. She was born in Nebraska, probably in Florence. Dudley graduated with the first class of Bryn Mawr College in 1889. She was acquainted with the founders of the settlement house movement. She participated in the establishment of the College Settlements Association in 1890. She became head worker at the College Settlement House in Philadelphia. Dudley moved to Boston where she held a similar post at Denison House. She arrived in the middle of the financial crisis of 1893 and reorganized the settlement house as a relief agency. Dudley thought that the greatest need of the neighborhood residents was a living wage. This cause led her to become very active in organized labor. Dudley repudiated violence, but she was very supportive of the strikes and protests of the early twentieth century in New England. She resigned as head resident of Denison House in 1912 to avoid jeopardizing the fund-raising efforts. Dudley devoted herself next to the world peace movement. She joined other prominent Americans in maintaining a pacifist stance as the United States entered World War I in 1917. An active Episcopalian, Dudley was a member of the Society of the Companions of the Holy Cross. She spent many years working for Adelynrood, the Society's home in South Byfield, Massachusetts. She lived the last years of her life with fellow Companion Vida Scudder in Wellesley, Massachusetts. She died in Geneva, Switzerland, after attending the Congress of the Women's International League at Grenoble, France, in 1932.

Glossary definitions provided courtesy of Church Publishing Incorporated, New York, NY,(All Rights reserved) from “An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church, A User Friendly Reference for Episcopalians,” Don S. Armentrout and Robert Boak Slocum, editors.