The Story of US Orphanages



US Orphanages

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The orphanages are listed by state and include, where known, the organisation which founded the home (in brackets), and the date the home was established.

Alabama   Arkansas   California   Colorado   Connecticut   Delaware   District of Columbia   Florida   Georgia  Illinois   Indiana




Allen County Orphans’ Home, Fort Wayne (Allen County). Est. 1891


Boone County Orphans’ Home, Lebanon (Boone County) Est 1896


Case County Orphans’ Home, Logansport (private corporation) Est. 1875


Clay County Orphans’ Home, Knightsville (Clay County) Est. 1896


Cornelia Memorial Orphan Home, Ekin avenue, New Albany (private corporation) Est. 1877


Daviess County Orphans’ Home, Washington (Daviess county) Est. 1893


Decatur County Orphans’ Home, Greensburg (Decatur county) Est. 1882


Delaware County Children's Home, Minnetrisita boulevard, Muncie (Delaware County) Est. 1882


Fort Wayne Orphan Home, Fort Wayne (Reformed Church). Est. 1883


Frances Comfort Thomas Orphans’ Home, Columbus (Bartholomew county). Est 1892


Franklin County Children’s Home, Brookville (Franklin County). Est. 1889




French Orphans’ Home, Patoka (Gibson county) Est. 1895


German Evangelical Lutheran Orphans’ Home, East Washington street, Indianapolis (German Evangelical Lutheran Orphans’ Home Society) Est. 1883


German General Protestant Orphan Home, State avenue and Nebraska street, Indianapolis (German General Protestant Association) Est. 1867


Gordon Children’s Home, Shelbyville (Shelby County) Est. 1891


Grant County Children’s Home, Marion (Grant county) Est. 1887


Guardians’ Home, Indianapolis (Marion County) Est. 1889


Hadley Industrial School for Girls, Hadley (Indiana Women’s Christian Temperance Union) Est. 1895 What is an industrial school?


Home for Friendless Colored Children, West Twenty first street, Indianapolis (Friends Church) Est. 1871


Indiana Children’s Receiving Home, Westfield (Indiana Children’s Home Society) Est. 1883


Indiana Soldiers and Sailors Orphans Home, Knightstown (State of Indiana) Est. 1867


Indianapolis Orphan Asylum, College avenue and Thirteenth street, Indianapolis (private association) Est. 1850


James Moorman Orphans’ Home, Winchester (private corporation) Est. 1889


Jefferson County Children’s Home, Madison (Jefferson county) Est. 1882


Jefferson Orphans’ Home, Jefferson (Jefferson Orphans’ Home Society) Est. 1877


Johnson County Orphans’ Home, Franklin (Johnson County). Est. 1884


Julia E Work Training School, Plymouth (private corporation) Est 1891 A training school was very much like an industrial school


Knox County Orphan Asylum, Vincennes (Knox County). Est. 1893


Madison County Orphans’ Home, Anderson (Children’s Home Association) Est. 1885


Mishawaka Orphans’ Home, Mishawaka (Children's Aid Society of Indiana) Est. 1882


Montgomery County Orphans’ Home, Crawfordsville (Montgomery county) Est. 1884


Pentecost Band Faith Orphanage, Indianapolis (Pentecost Bands) Est. 1903


Putnam County Orphans’ Home, Greencastle (Putnam county). Est. 1898


Rogers Orphans’ Home, Lagrange (Lagrange County) Est. 1886


Rose Orphan Home, Twenty fifth Street, Terre Haute (private corporation) Est. 1884


St Ann’s Providence Orphan Asylum, North Thirteenth Street, Terre haute (Sisters of Providence) Girls only Est.1870


St Joseph's Industrial School, South Alabama street, Indianapolis (Sisters of Providence) Boys only. Est. 1888 What is an industrial school?


St Joseph's Orphan Asylum and Manual Labor School, Lafayette (Catholic Diocese of Fort Wayne) Boys only. 1875



St Vincent’s Male Orphan Asylum, Vincennes (Catholic Diocese of Indianapolis) Boys only. Est. 1860


St Vincent’s Orphan Home, Wells Street, Fort Wayne (Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ). Girls only. Est. 1887


Thornton Orphans’ Home, Petersburg (Pike County) Est. 1892


Tippecanoe County Orphans’ Home, Lafayette (private corporation) Est 1886


Vanderburg County orphans’ Home, Evansville (Vanderburg County) Est. 1870


Veatch Orphans’ Home, Rockport (Spencer County) Est 1899


Vigo County Home for Dependent Children, Terre Haute (Vigo County) Est. 1903


Warrick County Orphans’ Home, Boonville (Warrick county). Est. 1896


Wells County Orphans’ Home, Bluffton (Wells County) Est. 1889


Wernle Orphans’ Home, Richmond (Evangelical Lutheran Church) Est. 1879


White County Orphans’ Home, Monticello (White County) Est. 1883


White’s Indiana Manual Labor Institute, Treaty (Society of Friends) Est. 1850


NEWSBOYS Newsboys were the children who sold newspapers on the streets, bootblacks were the children who polished people's shoes, again on the street. These boys would earn a few cents for each job and would live, quite literally, from hand to mouth. The Association aimed to give them a bed for the night.



The Independent Order of Odd Fellows was founded in America in 1819 as a benevolent fraternal organisation. It became the first fraternity in the US to include both men and women when it was joined by the Rebekahs in 1851. The Odd Fellows and Rebekahs were the first US fraternal organisation to set up orphanages.