Her social activism began around 1900 after she went to visit Evansville's tenement housing slums, which were located along the Ohio River at the time. Appalled by the poor living conditions she witnessed, Bacon found a new purpose in her life, coming to believe that substandard housing was the source of all social problems. As a result, she established a number of local organizations including the Men’s Circle of Friendly Visitors, the Flower Mission for poor working girls, a Working Girls’ Association, an Anti-Tuberculosis League, and the Monday Night Club.
After failing to get tenement regulation included in the Evansville's building code, Bacon decided to take her efforts a step further in 1908 when drafted a model state housing law. She spent a year lobbying for it to the state legislature and, as stated in the overview, the legislature passed the housing legislation in 1909. Amendments to the law, however, reduced housing regulations in Evansville and Indianapolis. In response, she organized the Indiana Housing Association 1911, which lobbied the legislature to pass another bill in 1913. Bacon's efforts were also instrumental in getting the 1917 law passed, which authorized local officials to condemn unsafe or unsanitary housing.
Bacon passed away on December 10, 1933 of heart failure. She is buried in Oak Hill Cemetery.