The Childrens" Home of York, c. 1865.
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Credit: Gibson, John, History of York County, 1886

"The Childrens" Home of York was incorporated by the legislature, February 2, 1865, for the purpose of educating and providing for friendless and destitute children distinct from the State provision for soldiers" orphans; though it was proposed to send to it those belonging to the county. A house was rented on the 1st of May, 1865, and on the 18th of the same month, the first soldiers" orphans were admitted. During the first two years, on account of limited accommodations, but thirty-one wards of the State were admitted- all very young. The large and commodious building was first occupied April, 1867. It was erected on ground donated by Samuel Small, Sr., and under his direction, and principally at his expense, aided also by contributions from the late Charles A. Morris. It cost $40,000. Soldiers" children have been assigned to the home from York, Adams, Dauphin and Cumberland Counties. Since its organization to 1885, there have been ninety soldiers" orphans trained in this school. They are kept in it until the age of ten years, when they are transferred to White Hall or other State orphan schools. There are now but three orphans of this class in the institution. In all, there have been 207 destitute children admitted and trained, making a total of about 300 of both classes. There are now fifty children enjoying its hospitable care. They are taught by Miss Nettie Stair. The girls who are admitted, of either class, are either kept in the home until they are sixteen years old, or bound out in good families, but still under the protecting care of the managers, until they are sixteen. During the past year, 1884, Samuel Small built a large play-house and school-room in connection with the home at a cost of $8,000. In addition to the State appropriation, the school is largely sustained by subscriptions and donations from a number of ladies and gentlemen in the community, and from the interest; arising from the bequest of $5,000, made by the late Charles A. Morris– who, together with his noble wife, also deceased, was untiring in his devotion to all the interests of the 'Home.' "

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