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Association for Children of New Jersey: Records of Various Newark Children's Aid Organizations (1847 - 1965)
RepositoryNew Jersey Historical Society
Collection IDMG 1087
Size10 linear feet (29 boxes, including 5 oversize)
Collection Description
This collection includes records of a number of organizations devoted to assistance to orphans and other needy children in Newark. Included are records of the Newark Orphan Asylum; the Protestant Foster Home Society; the Foster Home Auxiliary Society; the Children's Aid Society and Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children; the Home for the Friendless; the Newark Home for Foster Care; and the Child Service Association; as well as one item from the Boys' Lodging House. The records were donated to the New Jersey Historical Society by the Association for Children of New Jersey.

The Newark Orphan Asylum, founded in Newark in 1847 by a group of Protestant women, was granted its charter in 1848. Elizabeth Ricord (nee Stryker) was among the Asylum's founders and was Directress of the Board of Managers until her death in 1865. In 1857 a building, equipped with gas lights, steam heat, hot and cold running water, and a fire extinguishing system was erected at 323 High Street (now Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd); a south wing was added to the building in 1874. The building could house 110 children. Most children were between the ages of 2 and 10 when they entered the Asylum; they generally were released by the age of 12. The asylum also maintained a country home in Westfield, NJ where children lived and learned farming during the summer.

In the 1900 census, 84 orphans between the ages of 4 and 11 were living at the Asylum; they were supervised and cared for by Matron Susan Van Vleck, two caretakers, and a staff of seven that included a "kindergartener," seamstress, nurse, cook, waitress, laundress, and janitor. By 1912, Mrs. F. S. Douglas was Directress of the Board of Managers; Mrs. N. A. Merritt was Secretary and Chair of the Admissions Committee; and Mrs. C. A. Woodhull was Treasurer.

The Protestant Foster Home Society, located at 284 Belleville Ave., was founded in 1849. Originally the Society was governed by an all-male Board of Trustees who handled the its legal and financial affairs, and an all-female Board of Managers who oversaw the day-to-day operations of the Home maintained by the Society. In 1912 officers included Mrs. J. Fewsmith, Chair of the Admissions Committee; Mrs. Charles Borcherling, Directress of the Board of Managers; Mrs. Robert Stanwood, Corresponding Secretary; Mrs. James Higbie, Recording Secretary; and Mrs. Robert F. Ballantine, Treasurer.

In 1948 the Newark Orphan Asylum and the Protestant Foster Home merged, becoming the Newark Home for Foster Care. At the time of the merger, the Asylum's building was sold to the New Jersey Institute of Technology (now NJIT) and renamed Eberhardt Hall.

The Children's Aid and Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, organized in 1868 and incorporated in 1869, was a "non-sectarian society for the protection and help of children." The Society, at 249 Mulberry Street, provided legal aid, adoption, and other services for children. Officers in 1912 included Oscar B. Mockridge, President; Matthias Price, Secretary; Clarence Alling, Treasurer; and Jared W. Kimball, who had long been Superintendent.

The Association to Provide and Maintain a Home for the Friendless, at South Orange Avenue and Bergen Street, accepted children between the ages of 2 and 12 and could house up to 100 children. Officers in 1912 included Miss E. M. Baker, President of the Board of Managers; Mrs. A. O. Fitzgerald, Recording Secretary; Mrs. Benjamin Atha, Treasurer; and Mrs. Anna Lehlbach, Chair of the Admissions Committee.
Collection Contents
Boxes 1-5: Newark Orphan Asylum Records (1847-1948) include board minutes (1847-1932, 1942-1948); a membership roster (1939-1948); casebooks (1855-1909); a register book (1848-1885); adoption contracts and articles of indenture (1890-1908); birth records (1892-1908); surrender papers (1896-1910); minutes of the Merger Committee regarding the merger between the Newark Orphan Asylum Association and the Protestant Foster Home (1947-1948); correspondence regarding legacies to the Asylum, children to be admitted, an adoption, child labor, and other matters, including letters from Mrs. A. Martin of the Newark Female Charitable Society and John A. Miller, lawyer for the Asylum (1893-1903, NOT 1897-1908); and assorted financial, legal, and maintenance records, and general correspondence

Boxes 6-8: Protestant Foster Home Records (1848-1954), including lists of officers (1848-1898); minutes and financial records (1896-1948, with gaps); correspondence (1936-1946); casework reports (1940-1947); events material (1930-1942); and assorted financial and legal records and documents (1882, 1911-1954, with gaps)

Boxes 9-15 and Box 29: Children's Aid Society and Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children Records (1890-1960), including individual surrender and indenture documents arranged alphabetically (1895-1913); an administrative manual (1945); board minutes (1899-1958, with gaps); publicity files (1918-1948); a casebook with index and documents (1895-1913); a register (1888-1913); and correspondence to and from Jared W. Kimball (1893-1909)

Box 16: Foster Home Auxiliary Society Records (1892-1925), including board minutes (1892-1925, with gaps) and an annual report

Boxes 17-19: Newark Home for Foster Care Records (1940-1960), including board minutes (1948-1960); correspondence (1948-1959); legal and financial records (1948-1960); and personnel records (1940-1960)

Box 20: Child Service Association Records (1940-1963) include material on adoption (1940-1960); assorted documents and financial records (1960-1963); and incomplete drafts of "Wednesday's Children"

Box 21: Unidentified Records and Photographs (1850-1958), including photographs (1948-1958); a caseworker's log (1945); record books (1850-1869); a children's money book (1924-1929); and other financial documents (1924-1948)

Boxes 22-27: Home for the Friendless Records (1886-1965), including bylaws and minutes (1886-1912, with gaps); register records (1903-1931); case committee records; and financial records (1920-1965)

Box 28: Boys' Lodging House Cash Book (1895)
FormatTextual materials
SubjectsGenealogy; Poverty / Philanthropy / Charities; Women's History
Time Periods19th Century; 20th Century
LanguageEnglish
Access policyOpen for research, with restrictions
Access Policy NoteRestriction: All material that is less than 100 years old in this collection is closed to research; items that are over 100 years old are conditionally available. Consult archives staff.
ProcessedYes
Finding AidYes
Finging Aid URLhttps://jerseyhistory.org/manuscript-group-1087-newark-orphan-asylum/
Finding Aid NoteInventory