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Women's History Month - We Honor our Founder, Cordelia Harmon

Women's History Month - We Honor our Founder, Cordelia Harmon

In honor of Women’s History Month, we remember Cordelia Harmon, who founded The Boston Home in 1881. Cordelia Harmon was born in Maine in 1822, and died in Boston on May 25, 1883. She dedicated her life to helping those suffering from illness and poverty. Upon her death Phillips Brooks, rector of Trinity Church and co-founder of The Boston Home wrote, “She was a good true woman, and the amount of help that she has given to the poor and comfort to the suffering is incalculable. I have been in the habit of trusting so much to her of that part of the work for which I have not the time and am not well fitted to do, that I shall miss her more than I can say. Her place can never be filled, and how we can manage to get along without her, I do not see at once. It was a hard life, but I do not know where one could see a more useful one.”

The stained glass window shown here was established at Trinity Church in memory of Cordelia Harmon, but sadly did not survive renovations to the church. The window was designed by artist Frederick Crowninshield and carried this dedication to Cordelia Harmon: “Almoner of Trinity Church for many years, and through her good deeds was well known by all the poor connected in any way with the Parish."  Through recent research, we are continuing to learn more about Cordelia Harmon's life. Her father, John Harmon, was a deacon of Old South Meeting House.  Cordelia's mother, Mary Harmon, suffered from paralysis in later life, a condition which may have fueled Cordelia's inspiration to found The Boston Home.