Mary Agnes Rafferty Trainor - Chicago 1870-1930 - bio
Mrs. CHARLES J. TRAINOR. Death took from Chicago's charitable and social life a very beautiful figure when Mrs. Charles J. Trainor passed away in August, 1930. For thirty-five years she had been prominent in woman's club circles throughout Illinois. She was regarded as an authority on political, civic and parliamentary questions and was outstanding in the numerous organizations with which she was affiliated. She was a past president of the Chicago Federation of Women's Organization, founder and president of both the Native Daughters of Illinois and the South Side Catholic Woman's Club, treasurer of the Illinois Federation of Women's Clubs, chair man of American Citizenship for Illinois, Chicago chairman of immigration of the National Council of Catholic Women, immigration chair man of the Ambrose Club and a member of Big Sisters and the Illinois Club. The best part of her work was done in deeds of practical charity, but she was also greatly admired for her intellect and culture. She was a writer and lecturer and an authority on Illinois history. Above all, she was a devout and militant Catholic, and her personal life was a constant expression of her faith.
Her maiden name was Mary Agnes Rafferty and she was born in Chicago, August 23, 1870, member of the well known Rafferty family that has contributed a number of prominent characters to Chicago's public life. Mrs. Trainor was survived by her husband, Charles J. Trainor, Chicago attorney and master in chancery, and a son, James J. Trainor. For years Mrs. Trainor gave liberally of her own means and of her individual labors to the charitable work carried on by the church in connection with foreign groups. In many instances that work went forward and prospered because of her individual participation, and after her death parish priests and monsignors have declared they hardly knew how they could get along without her. In recent years a large population of Mexicans of the working class, most of them poor, have congregated in the steel mill district of South Chicago. Here they came under the spiritual care of the parish of Our Lady of Guadaloupe. In connection with this church Mrs. Trainor extended a great deal of her time and energy, and so endeared herself to these humble people that she was spoken of as an angel of mercy. At her funeral a great group of them came to her home and overwhelmed it with flowers. She had done similar work among the Italians in the southwest section of the city. Her influence as a writer and lecturer extended, as has been noted, to a wide field of activities and organizations. She made addresses to hundreds of clubs in Chicago and throughout Illinois and the Middle West. She spoke in all the leading cities of Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, Ohio, Missouri and other states. On the lecture platform she was known for her addresses on a wide range of topics, among them being the following: "American Citizenship," "Responsibility of American Citizenship," "The Struggle for Individual Freedom," "We, the People," "Growth and Development of Political Parties," "Current Events," "The Foundation of Good Government," "Why the Woman's Club," "Illinois Under Three Flags," "Club Ethics," "Parliamentary Procedure." "The French in Illinois," "The Power of Organization," "Why be a Club Woman," "The Declaration of Independence," "The Constitutions of the United States and of Illinois," "Great Charters of Liberty," "Early History of Illinois." ("ILLINOIS, The Heart of the Nation" by Hon. Edward F. Dunne, Volume IV, 1933, Transcribed by Kim Torp)