Children's Home, Jan. 7, 1865.
Messrs. Commissioners - Sirs: As another year has closed, I forward to you, at your request, as correct an account as I can of our proceedings here. I feel the need of some more systematic way of doing the work before me. We need some wise and patriotic system of benevolence, planned and established, not only for the poor and unfortunate, but also more specially for our soldiers' children, who are left destitute and suddenly deprived of a father's care and protection. How many such fathers in our noble State have fallen and will fall, in this great struggle for freedom and the saving of the life of our nation! And, in view of the great and urgent call for the aid and sympathies of every kind and patriotic soul, I feel a desire to consecrate myself and property, with the exception of such amount as I may need through life, to this cause.
A home for such destitute children is now called for - one that will, in every way, be a home, guided by a christian principle, adorned with all that will ennoble the character and cultivate the mind, not only in our own county, but in every county in this State. What more noble act of gratitude can we bestow upon the fallen, patriotic fathers of Ohio, than to care for their beloved and destitute children, and so arrange such an institution, that the children may be trained for usefulness in the world, and an honor to the grave of their fathers? I hope, ere the year we have now just entered is closed, we shall be such an institution, with officers efficient and competent to carry out all their plans, to the honor of our noble State and county. A bill of this kind is now before the Legislature, through the kindness of Hon. Wm. F. Curtis.
We closed the past year with 29 children. All but three of these are ten and under. Three are not a county charge. I have had 13 additions this year. Five have found good homes. Five were taken away by their parents. Two have died (both infants). Our health as a family has been remarkably good. To be sure, we were afflicted by disease brought in the family, during the summer months, by children sent here. But, aside from this, we have had little or not sickness. For the last three months, we have not been obliged to call a physician once. In all this, we see the kind hand of our God. To Him be all the praise.
The school has been kept up six months at the Home the past year. During the summer, the children that were large enough were sent to the district school three months. Their improvement has been quite rapid. As a general thing, I think it will be found that they stand on a line with other children of their age, in regard to education. Arithmetic, Geography, Grammar, also History, are studied. One is in Ray's Arithmetic, 3d part; another studies Thomson's higher Arithmetic and Algebra. Miss Mary L. Shepard is still our teacher. Miss Emma Tilton has charge of the children out of school. Mr. A. T. Ewing, farmer and assistant. As to our financial affairs, we have been blessed beyond my most sanguine expectations. When I began the year, every thing looked dark. But faith in God alone kept me up. He has been, and still is, our guide; and, thanks be to His great name, we closed the year with far brighter prospects that ever before.
My expenses were - $2,655.82.
I received from the county - $1,809.24.
Donations in money - 276.36
Donations in books - 68.60
Donations in clothing - 87.50
Income from farm, &c. - 200.00
Dr. Wm. L. McCowin kindly gave one-half his salary - 40.00
Traveling expenses of myself - 43.88
An acknowledgement is here due to you and the kind ladies of Marietta, for furnishing me the means of visiting some of the public institutions of our State, thus giving me time to rest, and also opportunity to gain useful knowledge in laying plans for the future.
Very few improvements have been made on the Home the past year; yet I find my expenses have exceeded last year, and at the present rate of things, it must increase during this present year; for some additions will have to be made to our buildings to make us comfortable and healthy. Many thanks are due to the kind friends of our county for their noble efforts to assist in this grand work. Much more is needed to be done. While almost every month new additions are made of soldiers' children to our number, "let us not be weary in well doing," but "work while it is called to-day," praying always that the kind Father may direct us in all our labor, so that we may at least honor and glorify Him.
C. A. Fay