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 Lola <I>Greene</I> Baldwin

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Lola Greene Baldwin

  • Birth 1860 Elmira, Chemung County, New York, USA
  • Death 22 Jun 1957 Portland, Multnomah County, Oregon, USA
  • Burial Portland, Multnomah County, Oregon, USA
  • Plot Sec 04, Lot 569, Grave 4
  • Memorial ID 6254137

First Policewoman of the United States. Born Aurora "Lola" Greene in Elmira, New York. Her father died in 1877, causing Lola to quit high school to earn money. She taught school for a number of years in New York and Nebraska before marrying LeGrand Baldwin in 1884. During her remaining years in Lincoln, she found paid clerical work, and she volunteered as a social worker focused on helping "wayward" girls. She also gave birth to two sons, Myron and Pierre. Leaving Lincoln in 1893, the Baldwins over the next 10 years lived variously in Boston, Yonkers, Norfolk, and Providence, while LeGrand pursued his dry goods career. He eventually joined the E.P. Charleton Company, which had a chain of more than 50 stores across the United States. In each city the family moved to, Lola continued her volunteer work, including serving on the boards of two Florence Crittenton Homes. They were part of a national network of rescue homes for "unfortunate lost girls." which at the time meant rescued prostitutes and unwed mothers. In 1904, the Charleton Company sent LeGrand to Portland to open its first store in the Pacific Northwest. She worked in the store's business office and joined the board of the city's Florence Crittenton Home. She soon gained a reputation as a competent investigator and a compassionate and effective agent. Her investigations included conducting detailed interviews of young delinquents and often visiting their homes or workplaces. Her objective was to learn as much as possible about the girls and their situations in order to provide rehabilitation and guidance. Lola had recently served on the committee that organized Portland’s Juvenile Court, and its head, Judge Arthur Frazer, had appointed her to be an unpaid probation officer for girls. The YWCA now hired her to supervise its Travelers' Aid program. Lola resorted to law enforcement and the courts judiciously; she preferred to use a pointed lecture, provide safe housing or employment, or devise other alternatives to help offenders avoid a police record. On April 1, 1908 she was sworn into Police Service for the City of Portland, becoming the first Policewoman in the United States. Detective Lola Baldwin supervised the officers of the Portland Police Department Women’s Protective Division from 1908 to 1922. She had a major impact on state and federal law enforcement and penology. She advised the Portland Vice Commission, championed the city’s Domestic Relations Court, and served as Oregon State Special Agent for vice control. She was the subject of the book "A Municipal Mother" by Gloria Myers. One hundred years after Lola became a policewoman, Portland Mayor Tom Potter proclaimed April 1, 2008, to be Lola Greene Baldwin Centennial Day in honor of her achievements. She died at the age of 97.

Bio by: Shock


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: RB
  • Added: 12 Mar 2002
  • Find A Grave Memorial 6254137
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Lola Greene Baldwin (1860–22 Jun 1957), Find A Grave Memorial no. 6254137, citing River View Cemetery, Portland, Multnomah County, Oregon, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .