Julia Strudwick Tutwiler

*

1841-1916
Educator


She opened doors of higher learning to women at the University of Alabama and in schools for teachers. She brought light into prisons and led the way to far-reaching social reforms.


Julia Strudwick Tutwiler is said to have been born fifty years ahead of her time. She succeeded in her lifetime in bringing the educational and penal practices of the state into step with her own advanced ideas.

At a time when women were not educated beyond the level of "finishing school," "Miss Julia" forced the entry into the University of Alabama of ten female students; overriding protests that the university would lose prestige. The ten students were products of an experiment of Miss Julia's, a training school for women teachers. She later established the first technical school for girls, now known as the University of Montevallo.

The state prison system underwent a complete upheaval under the forceful persuasion of Julia Tutwiler, who became as well-known to the legislators of that period as the governor. She won separate prisons for male and female prisoners, the state women's prison being named in her honor. She succeeded in getting juveniles separated from hardened criminals and placed in the Alabama Boys Industrial School. She won the establishment of a prison board and program for sanitation and inspection of all prisons. She instituted schools and religious services in prisons, going to the prisons herself on Sunday mornings to deliver sermons and to read from the Bible. Known also as a poet and an author, her poem "Alabama", was adopted as the state song in 1931.

Elected 1953


Sources:
Alabama Hall of Fame, 1968


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http://www.archives.state.al.us/famous/j_tutwil.html
Updated: December 16, 2004