Julia Strudwick Tutwiler, 1841-1916, was the daughter of Henry and Julia Ashe Tutwiler of Greene Springs, in what is now Hale County. Henry was headmaster of the celebrated Greene Springs School, a boarding school for the children of the planter class.
The Tutwilers gave Julia a most unusual education for the time. She attended the Greene Springs School, and afterwards she attended a private school in Philadelphia (late 1850's), Vassar College (1866), and the Institute of Deaconesses in Kaiserworth, Germany (1873-1874).
Julia Tutwiler's career as a teacher, administrator, and educational reformer:
- She was head of the highly successful Alabama Normal School at Livingston (1883-1910).
- She persuaded the trustees of the University of Alabama to admit women (1892-1893), and then saw to it that women at the university had adequate housing.
- She was an advocate of vocational education, and in 1895-1896 was instrumental in founding what is now the University of Montevallo.
Julia Tutwiler's career as a prison reformer:
- She undertook jail visitations as early as 1880. In that year she secured passage of an act mandating humane treatment of prisoners in county jails.
She worked from 1883 as head of the Prison Department of the Alabama Women's Christian Temperance Union.
- From 1883 until her death, she lobbied for better, healthier treatment of the prisoners in the mining camps of Alabama's convict lease system.
- She founded night schools for convicts (1887).
- She worked for better conditions for women prisoners; the state's prison for women is named for her.
- She worked (with Booker T. Washington) for separate facilities for juvenile prisoners; by 1910 the state had constructed separate facilities for white and black juveniles.