Woman of the Century/Caroline Hughes
CAROLINE HUGHES. HUGHES, Mrs. Caroline, business woman and philanthropist, was born in Phelps, Ontario county, N. Y. Her ancestors were of English descent and were among the early settlers of New England. Her grandfather was in the War of 1812, and her great-grandfather was a soldier in the Revolutionary War. From both sides she is descended from families of good birth. She naturally inherited a taste for advanced education. She was graduated from several schools in the East and West When her education was completed, she took a position as teacher of mathematics and other branches in the Mississippi State Female College. Afterward she had charge of the collegiate department of the Huntsville Female College, Alabama, as the colleague of its president After several years passed in the South, she returned to Chicago and engaged on her own account in the real estate business, for which she had shown an aptitude from childhood. She was the first woman who began to operate in real estate in Chicago, buying and selling for herself and for others. Her record in public life is notable in connection with her exposition work, having represented the woman's department for the State of Illinois, in the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia, in 1876, and the World's Exposition in New Orleans, in 1884 and 1885. She was married in 1878 and was left a widow in 1888. As an active philanthropist, she stands among the first women of Chicago. She was one of the incorporators of the Illinois Industrial School for Girls and its first secretary. Afterward she held the same office on the executive committee for some time, has been a member of that committee up to the present, and is now one of the trustees of the institution. In real estate Mrs. Hughes transacts a large business, and her office is a great rendezvous for women investors. Her commercial experience and trained discrimination have enabled her to inspire other women with confidence to undertake the very business for which they are fitted, and she does all that lies in her power to forward their ventures. Her offices have become headquarters for progressive women engaged in various public enterprises. Though Mrs. Hughes has become a conspicuous figure in the world of business and has achieved marked success in an occupation unusual for her sex, she is thoroughly gentle and feminine, always keeping herself in the background as much as possible, while pushing her ventures in the most enterprising manner.