NASW Foundation National Programs
NASW Social Work Pioneers®
Ann Gordon Brigham was a native of Barron, Wisconsin. She graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1921, and then taught for two years at Tougaloo College in Mississippi. At the urging of a friend, she went to Chicago, where she received her social work training at Hull House under Jane Addams, a pioneer in the settlement house movement. At that time, settlement houses were the center of ethnic neighborhoods, and people received many social services there.
Ms. Brigham and her husband, Harold spent 25 years at Neighborhood House, a settlement house, in Louisville, Kentucky, before they retired in 1964. He was executive director and she was associate director. While at Neighborhood House, Ms. Brigham was instrumental in setting up Louisville, Kentuckys first senior citizens club, and during World War II, she helped organize the citys first day-care center to release mothers for work in defense plants.
At the time of her retirement, Neighborhood House had 500 members, mostly families, and it offered activities for everyone from small children to senior citizens. She was also instrumental in the founding of the Childrens Theatre in Louisville.
After her retirement, she became involved in a variety of community activities, from managing theatre productions, to serving as a hostess at the Arts Club, to working on the Senior House staff.
In 1985, the Jefferson County Council on Aging named her Senior Citizen of the Year.
Ms. Brigham had served has a member of the boards of directors of the Kentucky Association of Older Persons and First Unitarian Church.
Ms. Brigham died in 1994.
Social Work Pioneer 1994