Masks required in Abakanowicz Research Center; optional for rest of Museum MORE

4.8 | An Advocate for Educators

We are grateful to schoolteachers for adapting their plans so quickly to ensure that their students are learning while social distancing. Thank you all for caring about our kids, even as you may also be caring for your own families. Today, we celebrate teachers by featuring Margaret Haley, who was a teacher, suffragist, and activist for women’s and workers’ rights, going up against powerful opposition to change the education system in Chicago and the state of Illinois.

Born in Joliet in 1861, Haley began teaching at age 16 in a one-room school near Morris. Twenty-four years later, she became vice president of the Chicago Teachers’ Federation (CTF). In 1902, the CTF allied itself with the Chicago Federation of Labor—affirming that teachers, too, were workers and could benefit from progressive labor policies. Learn more about her life and work in our latest blog post.Read more about Haley.

Haley, in the plumed hat, in a women’s suffrage parade, c. 1911. ICHi-010601, CHM

The Museum’s blog is a space where we give you a look behind-the-scenes, highlight items in our collection, and share Chicago stories that you won’t see elsewhere. This post is part of a series in which we share the stories of local women who made history in anticipation of an exhibition about Chicago women and the vote.


The Chicago History Museum is situated on ancestral homelands of the Potawatomi people, who cared for the land until forced out by non-Native settlers. Established in 1856, the Museum is now at 1601 N. Clark Street in Lincoln Park, its third location. As a major museum and research center for Chicago and U.S. history, the Chicago History Museum strives to be a destination for learning, inspiration and civic engagement. Through dynamic exhibitions, tours, publications, special events and programming, the Museum connects people to Chicago’s history and to each other. To share Chicago stories, the Museum collects and preserves millions of artifacts, documents, images and other items that are relevant to the city’s history. The Museum gratefully acknowledges the support of the Chicago Park District on behalf of the people of Chicago. 

Chicago History Museum Sharing Chicago Stories