History of Scranton, Pennsylvania

With Full Outline of the Natural Advantages, Accounts of the Indian Tribes, Early Settlements, Connecticut’s Claim to the Wyoming Valley, the Trenton Decree, Manufacturing, Mining, and Transportation Interests, the Press, Churches, Societies, etc,, Etc., Down to the Present Time.

David Craft, William A. Wilcox, Alfred Hand, J. Wooldridge. Published for H. W. Crew by the United Brethren Publishing House, Dayton, Ohio. 1891.

Chapter XVIII, Public Institutions

Home for the Friendless

Page 493 to 494

The Home for the Friendless was established in 1871. The immediate reason for its establishment was that the city missionary found a sick and helpless woman on the street at night, and the necessity for her protection and care led to the establishing of an institution which has ever since been a noble charity in the city. C. R. Mossman was the city missionary at the time, and those most intimately connected with the establishment of this charity besides him were Dr. S. C. Logan, Col. H. M. Boies, and Theodore Roe. A call was soon issued by members of the Young Men’s Christian Association which resulted in a meeting of ladies at the rooms of the association on September 27th of that year. The object was to inaugurate a movement in behalf of friendless women and children in the city. At this meeting a board of directors was elected, and at a second meeting held on the 29th of the same month, a constitution and by-laws were read and the board of managers increased from ten to twenty. The following named ladies were chosen a board of managers: Mrs. O. P. Clark, and Mrs. C. H. Wells, of Hyde Park; Mrs. H. S. Pierce,, Mrs. J. J. Wright, Mrs. I. L. Post, Mrs. J. C. Platt, Mrs. C. F. Mattes, Mrs. W. J. Crane, Mrs. O. B. Powell, Mrs. Horace Ladd, Mrs. R. A. Squire, Mrs. Kate Barnard, Mrs. O. McKune, Mrs. E. Phinney, and Mrs. Sivelly Reed. A house containing eight rooms, situated at the corner of Franklin Avenue and Linden Street, had already been temporarily leased and partially furnished, with money provided by the directors of the city poor, and seven women and nine children were admitted. A committee of ten ladies was chosen to take steps for the complete organization of the society, which now has the name of "The Society of the Home for the Friendless Women and Children of the City of Scranton." Mrs. W. G. Ward then contributed $50.00 toward the objects of the Home, which entitled her to life membership.

A meeting was held October 6, 1871, at which the constitution approved by the committee on organization was sanctioned. At this meeting fifty ladies became members, three of them for life, by the payment of $50.00 each. Annual members were required to pay $3.00 each. The society then selected the following officers: Mrs. C. H. Doud, president; Mrs. Thomas Moore and Mrs. C. F. Mattes, vice presidents; Mrs. William Breck, corresponding secretary; Mrs. L. B. Powell, recording secretary, and Mrs. H. B. Rockwell, treasurer. Boards of managers were then chosen – eight ladies for three years, eight for two years, and eight for one year. According to the first annual report of the treasurer, the income for that year was $1,787.24, and the expenses, $834.79.

In April, 1872, the Home was removed to a house near the corner of Jefferson Avenue and Linden Street, and on October 26, 1873, the society was incorporated under the name given above. Afterward some lots were secured on Adams Avenue and in 1874 a substantial and conveniently arranged building was erected at a cost of somewhat more than $8,000.

In 1884 the building was enlarged by the addition of a wing, the rooms in the three stories of which were thereafter devoted to the aged and sick. The officers of the society, since the expiration of the terms of those mentioned above, have been as follows:

The work of the Home is greatly beneficial to the poor and friendless women and children. If it were the design to praise it, too much could not be said in its favor. It is thoroughly organized and in the hands of numerous committees, such as the advisory committee, the executive committee, the finance committee, the committee on fuel, the committee on repairs and improvements, the committee on grounds, the committee on burials, and the committee on desserts.

The expenses of the Home for the years for which reports could be obtained, have been as follows: Year ending October 11, 1873, $1,873.13; year (fifteen months,) ending January 4, 1875, $1,295.65. During this time $4,688.18 was paid out on account of real estate. Year ending January 10, 1878, $2,971.89; ending January 9, 1879, $2,896.97; ending January 9, 1880, $2,962.07; ending January 12, 1882, $2,537.50; ending January 11, 1883, $2,294.13; ending January 11, 1884, $2,826.58; ending January 9, 1885, $3,770.09; ending January 7, 1886, $2,672.77; ending January 13, 1887, $2,927.90; ending January 11, 1888, $3,215.88; ending January 10, 1889, $3,621.61; ending January 9, 1890, $4,019.22; year ending January 8, 1891, $2,737.73.

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