Julia Strudwick Tutwiler, 1841-1916

Tutwiler, Julia.jpg


Julia Strudwick Tutwiler, 1841-1916


Civic leaders


Julia Tutwiler was an Alabama advocate for education and prison reform and a poet. Graduating in the first class of Vassar College, she served as co-principal of the Livingston Female Academy, and in 1891 became the first woman president of Livingston Normal College (later the University of West Alabama). She supported the first female student to the college. A firm believer in education for women, she introduced progressive methods to teach her students.

She was an active member of the Women's Christian Temperance Union, battling alcoholism.

Known as the "angel of the prisons" or "angel of the stockades", she pushed for many prison reforms. She fought to separate female prisoners from male ones and to separate juveniles from adult criminals. As a result, the first Boys' Industrial School was opened. She also demanded better prison sanitation, education, and religious opportunities for prisoners. She lobbied to end the convict-lease system.

The Julia S. Tutwiler Prison for Women in Alabama is named after her. Tutwiler Hall at the University of Alabama and a library at University of West Alabama also bear her name.

She died from cancer, leaving $15,000 for a scholarship fund at Livingston Normal College. She was inducted into the Alabama Hall of Fame in 1953. When Judson College established the Alabama Women's Hall of Fame in 1970, she was among the first group of inductees. As a poet, she wrote some of the lyrics to the state song, "Alabama", which was adopted in 1931.

In 2001, she was inducted posthumously into the Tuscaloosa County Civic Hall of Fame by the Chamber of Commerce of West Alabama, the first year of the award that was designed to honor citizens who had made long-term, significant contributions to the development of the county while at the same time celebrating the community's history and heritage.


Brenda Harris (Description)






Tuscaloosa County (AL)

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