The Children's Home: Woman's Easter Herald Article
-from "Woman’s Easter Herald," published by the King’s Daughters of Wheeling, April 1899.
The Children's Home
- Mrs. John C. Hupp
From the great heart of our religion comes the inspiring sentiment of this work, “Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me, for such is the kingdom of Heaven.” The subject assigned to me is an oft-repeated one. The old story of friendless, homeless, unfortunate and orphan children. A home to gather them in, to feed, to clothe, and to educate until a satisfactory home is secured. Then papers are signed, and if not satisfactory the child is recalled.
A certificate of incorporation of the Children’s Home was given on the 14th day of February, 1870, to twenty-five citizens, of whom five only are living. The names of all these worthy ones should be given, but cannot, owing to the brief space allotted.
At a meeting of the incorporators, held March 8, 1870, a constitution was framed and name given, “The Children’s Home of the City of Wheeling.” Chester D. Hubbard was elected president; John L. Hobbs, First Vice President; James Paull, Second Vice President; Samuel P. Hildreth, Secretary; Thomas Hornbrook, Treasurer. All are now dead. Directors were elected, and a Board of Managers of fifteen ladies were appointed, the majority of whom have also passed away.
Mrs. L. M. Hagans was the first President. Mrs. Jane Oldham the first Matron. The location of the Home was on Market street, near the creek bridge, the present site of the German Church. Here it remained for about two years, struggling through severe ordeals of sickness, poverty and debt, until the purchase of the present Home was made by fifteen citizens. It was occupied on the 1st of May, 1872, furnished and fitted by a few churches of the city. Here the Home has been doing a quiet, but great work, going steadily on, without anything unusual to record, for the past twenty-seven years, the sympathy peculiar to the work keeping alive the interest. It has been sustained by a generous public, the good work fostering a warm feeling in the hearts of many desiring to assist. Many children from this Home date their start in life of usefulness. Many rescued from the homes of vice and sin, afterwards reared in homes of sunshine and love. Who can estimate the protecting care given children who knew not the comforts of life, coming as many of the children do from neglected homes with little knowledge as to right and wrong, without food or clothing or a bed, to a home where the influences are all for good, creating for the child a new atmosphere where careful attention is given to the practical matters of food, cleanliness, and health. To appreciate the good results growing out of this blessed work one must be in close touch with it. For the past nineteen years a voluntary thank offering has been solicited. A paper sack is left at the door of those who are supposed to feel kindly to the Home. This in its silent way appeals, and is returned bearing something towards the needed support of its inmates. This institution is a temporary home conducted in a strictly charitable way, furnishing the children with everything to make them comfortable until adopted into a permanent home.
A watchful and efficient Board of Lady Managers, who are ever faithful to all the work called upon to perform, is annually appointed by the directors. The actual number of admissions and homes found for children cannot be estimated, owing to the early records having been burned. Over one hundred and sixty homes have been found for children during the last ten years (1889-1899). The health of the children has been equal, if not superior to that of children in more fortunate circumstances. The medical part of the work, has by under the direction of Dr. J. C. Hupp for the past twenty-five years.
This sketch would be incomplete without mentioning the name of Rev. S. B. Barnitz. In its organization his valuable service, courageous and untiring labor, wise in counsel and a sympathetic friend did much towards its prosperity and success.
There is one other whose name I feel should be mentioned in this connection, Mr. Henry K. List, who has been among its most active workers, unceasing in his earnest labor and beneficence. There are others who should be made mention of here, but limited space forbids.
The Endowment Fund of the Home has accumulated from time to time, by bequests of those who knew in life of its worthy work. This fund has been judiciously cared for, and invested to advantage. The principal and accrued interest remain untouched, expecting to be used in the building and endowment of a more commodious Home in the near future.
The present officers of the Board of Managers are: Mrs. John C. Hupp, President; Mrs. George Kurner, First Vice President; Mrs. John J. Jones, Corresponding Secretary; Miss Laura Lawson, Recording Secretary; Mrs. John C Lynch, Assistant Secretary.