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Mary Taussig Hall Papers

Identifier: MSN/MN 0511

Scope and Contents

This collection chiefly consists of the correspondence of Mary Taussig Hall. Early letters (circa 1920s) to and from Mary Taussig Hall frequently concern her family, travels, and studies. Later (1930s-) topics of note include her family and social life, travels, and growing interest in social work and political causes. Most correspondence is with family and friends though professional correspondence is also present. Mary’s time at Hull House is well-described, as is a Depression-era job search following the completion of her master’s degree, and her work on the Jane Addams Centennial. Correspondence of Mary’s parents, Florence Gottschalk Taussig and Dr. Frederick J. Taussig, her brother, Frederick Taussig Jr., her husbands Louis Benoist Tompkins, Thomas Steele Hall, and their families are also included. Notable correspondents include Nobel laureates Jane Addams and Emily Greene Balch.

Correspondence is present in the format of handwritten and typescript letters, greeting cards, holiday cards, invitations, postcards, and telegrams. Notes, pamphlets, newspaper clippings, drawings, advertisements, articles, black and white photographs, and a tintype are also present.


  • Creation: 1855 - 1998
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1928 - 1960


Language of Materials

Materials in English.

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright status for collection materials is unknown. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owners. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.

Biographical / Historical

Mary Taussig Hall (February 21, 1911-August 12, 2015) was a social worker, community organizer, and peace advocate. Born into an affluent St. Louis, Missouri household, she was the oldest child of physician and pioneering women’s health advocate, Dr. Frederick J. Taussig, and suffragist and peace advocate, Florence Gottschalk Taussig. Mary’s youth was notable for summer trips to Maine and a debutante’s entry into St. Louis society.

Mary attended Bryn Mawr college in 1929, following a year abroad living in France and travelling throughout Europe and the Mediterranean. After her college graduation in 1933, Mary worked at Hull House in Chicago as a volunteer and personal secretary to Jane Addams, a close friend of Florence Gottschalk Taussig. Through this experience Mary became interested in how to best serve through social action, and enrolled in Washington University where she earned a master’s degree in Social Work in 1938. After completing her degree, she went to work at the New England Home for Little Wanderers in Boston as a caseworker from 1938 to 1939.

Through the course of her career Mary Taussig Hall worked for many social causes including children’s literacy, re-employment of displaced miners, hunger relief, racial integration, and world peace. She worked for decades in support of libreral political candidates. From 1960-1961, Mary Hall chaired a joint committee of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom and the Jane Addams Peace Association Inc. organized to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the birth of Jane Addams.

Mary married L. (Louis) Benoist “Ben” Tompkins (1902-1950) in 1941. Following his death in 1950, she married Thomas Steele Hall (1909-1990), a professor of Biology and dean at Washington University, in 1952. She had two children, Frederick Tompkins and Mary “Mimi” (Tompkins) Houghton, and remained in St. Louis until her death at age 104.


6.417 Linear Feet (6 record storage boxes, 1 document box)


Correspondence has been arranged by correspondent and date, with the exception of postcards, greeting cards, telegrams, and letters relating to the Jane Addams Centennial which are from various senders and have been interfiled chronologically as received. Correspondence is followed by papers and photographs.

Related Materials

S0590, Taussig, Florence (1878-1954) Papers, 1891-1954, State Historical Society of Missouri.

Processing Information

The initials of Mary Taussig Hall (MTH) and an abbreviation for ‘correspondence’ (corr.) have been utilized on physical folder titles within the collection.

Jennifer Brcka
June 12, 2019
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the University of Notre Dame Rare Books & Special Collections Repository

102 Hesburgh Library
Notre Dame IN 46556