Excerpts from earliest board meetings…starting 1888 About admissions, dismissals, conduct, staffing, etc. “Notes of rules and regulations to govern the Lutheran Orphan Home: Who are to be received, and the forms of application Illegitimate children not to be received into the Home”
More notes concerning the first board meeting…“Children not allowed to work out in the communityexcept in serving an apprenticeship…Maximum age 10 years except in special cases…”
Superintendent’s report…“On September 11, 1888, Ollie Lee Repassand Effie Ophelia Repass, two little sisterssix and eight years old, from nearWytheville, entered our Home. They havehad good health and are right promisinglittle girls.Another youth came later, and remained afew months, but was returned as not anappropriate inmate of an orphan home. Ihave received a number of applicationsduring the year, but all only half orphans.Two are now seeking admittance fromWaynesboro.”
Selection of children“I think I began fully to realize the responsibility resting upon me inthe selection of children. I have had several trials of this kind duringthe year. Some I can give you verbally if you wish. If the Board willbe pleased to give me a little latitude in this particular, it may aid me.Some other things of interest may be brought before you outside ofthis report.” (Wm. McClanahan)
Cost per orphan…“…That one hundred Dollars be deemed an appropriate amountfor the annual expenses of an orphan in the Home.”
Letter to be sent to all the churches… “1st …That the officers of the Board be instructed as soon as provision for necessary support is guaranteed, to issue a circular letter to all Lutheran pastors in the state of Virginia and to all ministers in Roanoke County. Notifying them of our arrangement to support twenty five orphans and writing them to send all orphans under their influence after consultation with the Superintendent.”
First teacher…salary“#4. That the Supt. be allowed Onehundred Dollars for the support of ateacher in the Home.”
Request to purchase a home“What we most need today is permanent property owned by the Board orChurch. You can readily see how embarrassing it is to me to ask aid for awork in my home or inmate property. Please relieve me of myembarrassment so that I may work to better advantage.
Problems with “half-orphans”We learn in all business from experience, and so it is in this orphan work,and my experience teaches me that half orphans give far more troublethan full orphans, and here the trouble comes more by far, fromthe living parent than from the child.
Reorganization - 1892“4. That the management of the Home for the present be placedin the hands of an Executive Committee of three members, ofwhich Mr. Terry shall be chairman.5. That the immediate supervision of the Home be placed in thehands of a matron with proper assistants.”
1893 – McClanahan to keep older children in his home…“Of the above five children only one, Hugh Atkins, will be suitable on accountof age etc. to place here in the new Home. If therefore the Board will assignthese four older children to me, I will continue to care for them in the futurejust as in the past without money or price. They have been with us now forseveral years and we have studied from year to year their dispositions and aredeeply attached to them, and will try to do our duty by them.”
Resignation of Wm. S. McClanahan“…to you with this report, may resignation. Thanking you for yourconfidence, trust, and co-operation for the past four or laborious years, I nowstep out of the way, that you may select a woman to preside over the littlefatherless ones, which may knock at our door for admission.”
Terms of admission - 1893“In discussing the terms of admission it was…Resolved… That no child born out of wedlock be received into the Home.”
List of children admitted 1894Hugh Atkins – Vinton, Va.Arthur Walton – Roanoke, Va.Harry Walton – Roanoke, Va.William W. Bently – Pulaski, Va.Randal K. Bently – Pulaski, Va.Lorenzo Clarence Brown – Burke’s Garden, Va.Harry Estes Waddle – Wytheville, Va.Shelton Warner – Roanoke, Va.Susie B. Repass – Wythe Co., Va.Villa Repass – Wythe Co., Va.Dora Lentz – Craven, N.C.Lula Belle Brown – Burke’s Garden, Va.
1894 – About arrangements for Susie Repass• Since the last meeting three children have been received into the Home. Negotiations are pending in regard to five others. There are now eleven children in the Home. The oldest, Susie Repass, has been placed at Mrs. Gilmore’s, in Roanoke, where she has excellent school advantages. She pays for her board and schooling by her work, the Home providing her only with clothing. She is preparing herself to be a teacher.
About the depression… 1894“The income of the Home for the past ten months has just beensufficient to meet the current expenses. Considering theextraordinary financial depression through which the countryhas been passing, this is, perhaps, as well as could beexpected…”
1895 – List of GirlsGirlsSusie Belle Repass 17 yearsVilla Repass 8 yearsFannie B. Hagy 8 yearsAnnie Florence Hale 9 yearsLula Brown 9 yearsDora Lentz 11 yearsFannie Elizabeth Jones 12 yearsWillie Fleetwood Watts 10 yearsBeulah Saffell 10 yearsAlice Saffell 12 years
1895 - List of BoysBoysHarry Walton 10 yearsArthur Walton 8 yearsLorenzo C. Brown 11 yearsWilliam A. Hale 7 yearsLeslie Zepp 11 yearsMarvin Hagy 5 yearsHenry Hagy 6 yearsJames M. Jones 9 yearsHugh Atkins 9 years
Exception to the rules for admission – children whose parents are both “dissipated”“…. are in the Home by special arrangement. Their father and mother areboth dissipated, and they were placed in the Home by their uncle andgrandfather who pay $10 ($110?) towards their support. The application fortheir admission was made by the Rev. L. L. Smith of the Virginia Synod, andthe Executive Committee believed it consistent with the charitable principlesof the institution, under all the circumstances to receive them.”
Changing policies… to accept children with infirmities“One of the conditions of admission at present requires that the childrenshould be healthy, sound in body and mind, and free from all physicaldeformity. It seems to be the wish of the Church that this condition bemodified. It is therefore recommended that the Home be opened to infirmchildren when their reception will not necessitate the employment ofadditional help in the way of nurses.”
About the Lutheran Church“In this country today the Lutheran Church is maintaining nofewer than forty orphanages, in which hundreds of children arecared for…”
Hiring Rev. Cronk - 1897“The item referring to the call of the Rev. B. W. Cronk as residentsuperintendent, and Mrs. Cronk as matron, was adopted. Mr.Cronk was invited before the Board. His salary, including that ofmatron, was fixed at $400 a year.”