Wednesday, July 29, 2015

The Children's Home

The Marietta Register, August 19, 1864

It being necessary to appeal to the public for aid in behalf of the "Children's Home," under Miss Fay, the following statement of facts is submitted, showing its history and condition.

The institution was founded in the spring of 1858 and has been in successful operation for six years.  The plan was conceived and carried into execution by the wisdom, energy, faith and means of a woman, to stand to her lasting honor.  She purchased a farm of 32 acres, and erected the buildings by her own resources, at a cost of $2272, receiving some small assistance from personal friends who sympathized in her unusual undertaking.  Her faith had conceived the enterprise of rescuing the children of poverty, in this county, from their degradation, and she consecrated her life and property sublimely to the task.  The first offering was all her pecuniary resources, made by her own labor in teaching, and the portion received of her father's estate, amounting, as already stated, to $2272.

The more difficult task was then the carrying out of her plans in the erection of buildings, the management of the farm, and the conduct of the institution, commencing at once in an old log house with the care of four children, increased during the year to 13; all of which she superintended and carried forward by her own indomitable energy and courage.

The improvements since made, and the stocking of the farm, have cost the additional sum of $1311, making a total of $3583; while the expenses for the six years of conducting the institution have been $5451, being an average of $908 per year.  The appropriations from the county for the same period have been $4528, being an average of about $755 per year.

Miss Fay makes no account of the interest on her capital invested, nor of her own services.  Both these are gratuitously thrown in, beside the income of her farm.  This is the noble offering she makes for the support and education of these children of want.

The total number of these children in six years is 66, of which 18 have found good homes, 12 have died, and 10 been removed by their parents.  The number at the close of last year was 27, of whom three only were over nine years of age, and eight were under four years of age.  This fact will serve to show what the care and labor must be, connected with such an enterprise.

Miss Fay employs a teacher six months of the year, and during three other months the children attend the common school of the district, so that they have schooling during nine months of the year.

She also provides half the necessary medical attendance, and the labors of a nurse; and these cannot be small, when the children with but few exceptions are subject to disease or some physical defect, when first brought under her care.  Their health, however, has in nearly every instance improved, while their moral condition more deplorable at the beginning than their physical, has been marked by the most wonderful improvement.  From almost utter ignorance of God and the Bible, and all laws of truth and honesty, they have been made to know the blessedness of religious instruction, and rendered happy under the same, becoming uniformly attached to the "Home."

The county has heretofore allowed $1 per week to a child.  During the present year they appropriate $1.25.  But owing to the increased expenses of living, this falls short of meeting the necessary expenditures from $4 to $5 per week, for which no means are provided - or, say, from $200 to $250 per year.

An effort was begun, last year, to secure legislative action, which would enable the County Commissioners to make ample provision for such an institution, and it is hoped that the next winter will see this effort consummated.  In the meantime it is necessary for the people of the county to come to the aid of this noble philanthropic enterprise.  It is an honor to old Washington County that one should have been found among her daughters, who had the genius to conceive, and the benevolence and courage to execute such a scheme as now stands a monument to her praise.  She has believed that the work was of God.  In all her straits she has gone to him for help, and her testimony is, that she has never failed to receive the assistance which she needed.  She believes that He will now provide for her, and not suffer her charge to fail; but will put it into the hearts of those who care for the suffering and poor to supply that which is lacking.

After consultation had with some friends of this cause, it is proposed and requested that this statement of facts be read on the next Sabbath in the churches of the county, with a view to obtaining donations.  And it is hoped that the towns through the county will interest themselves in this object.  Donations may be made in money, produce, clothing, or whatever else may be found useful in such an institution.

Donations may be sent to William F. Curtis or Buell & Bro., Marietta.

Thomas Wickes

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