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"History of Eau Claire County Wisconsin, 1914, Past and Present"


Chapter  28

The Children's Home

By Miss A. E. Kidder

(-as transcribed from pages 441 - 442)


In 1872 it was agreed by the Christian women of Eau Claire that the various bands of workers engaged in charitable labors throughout the city should unite and form an aid society for uplifting and aiding the needy.  This was done and most efficient work was accomplished for sixteen years.  The reorganization of city officers and the apportionment of poor commissioners in time made it advisable to change plans, and an "industrial school" was opened, which met with success and gained approval until January, 1889, when it was decided to close the school and establish a "children's home" for the care of children needing protection, employment and assistance until permanent homes could be secured for them.  A brick building on Dodge street was rented and the home was supported by voluntary contributions.  On March 1, 1890, the home was incorporated and the house and lot were deeded to the association by the generous owner, the late Sigvald Qvale.  The incorporators were Mrs. Daniel Shaw, Mrs. D. W. Day and Mrs. J. E. Cass.  The first officers were:  President, Mrs. Daniel Shaw; vice-presidents, Mrs. D. R. Moon and Mrs. Jane Rust; secretary, Mrs. J. E. Cass; treasurer, Mrs. C. M. Buffington.  The president felt the need of a larger building, and in June, 1891, she donated for that purpose a tract of five acres of land in the rear of her own residence and beautifully situated, but it has not yet seemed best to build thereon.

The management, conducted by a board of directors composed of twenty-four of the representative women of Eau Claire, is based on business principles and has proved its right to an honorable place by the practical work of its teaching and care of the children.  The community has been most liberal with work, gifts and interests.  In the twenty-five years of its existence this association has furnished three hundred and seventy-two destitute children with a happy, healthful, well equipped home and an opportunity to develop in such manner as to be fitted for the places open to them in due season.  Twenty-seven of these have been adopted into permanent homes; a number have been kept, educated in the public schools, tactfully guided and enabled to find places where they could earn their own living and gain a worthy position in the world, but the greater number have been returned to parents when improved conditions in the home have admitted of this, or in many cases have been taken by other relatives who were able to care for them.  The directors of the board, and the warm hearted supporters of the work have abundant reward in the saying of the King:  "Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these, My brethren, ye have done it unto Me."

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