State Soldier's And Sailor's Orphan's Home
(Transcribed from the Book Centennial History of Rush County,
Indiana by A.L. Gary & E.B. Thomas 1921)
A permanent outgrowth of the admirable relief work done by the sanitary commission during the war was the eventual erection in this county of the magnificent Soldiers' and Sailors' Orphans' Home in section 10, of Center township, two miles south of Knightstown. Soldier's relief stations or "homes" were established for the temporary comfort of returning disabled soldiers and sailors of the Civil war, and on March 4, 1865, by direction of Governor Morton the legislature passed a bill assessing a tax of thirty cents on the $100 of property in the state, the proceeds to be applied to the relief of soldiers' families. This tax in Rush county amounted to $10,148.48.
As the ''Soldiers' Home and Rest" had grown out of temporary needs the time was nearing when thoughts of a home more permanent were agitated. On May 15, 1865, Governor Morton published an address to the people of the state, suggesting the outline and plan of action for this purpose. On May 25, he issued a circular letter to the clergy of the state, urging them to move their congregations to cooperate in the work. On the same day a meeting was held at Indianapolis, which selected Governor Morton president of the board of directors; James M. Ray, treasurer; William Hannaman, secretary, and Rev. J. H. Lozier, financial agent. One director was chosen from each congressional district. The announcement of the formation of such a society was immediately followed by applications for admission from many disabled soldiers. The city council of Indianapolis gave the association the use of the city hospital buildings, and there on August 10,1865, the home was opened, under the superintendence of Dr. M. M. Wishard. This was followed by Governor Morton's message to the legislature in extra session November, 1865, in which was shown the necessity of such permanent home. The people had been heavily burdened with the war and the appeal produced small results, only $4,994.55 being paid in, with $20,000 out-standing subscriptions. The government gave consent to use the military hospital at Jeffersonville, but the location and other objections made it undesirable and it was never used. The board of directors memorialized the legislature for an appropriation to purchase a tract of land where could be raised vegetables for use by the home.
Finally, from private donations, a tract of fifty-four acres was purchased for $8,500, known as the "Knightstown Springs," on which was one large building used as a hotel, and several small cottages, which afforded room for one hundred patients. On March 11, 1867, the legislature adopted the governor's suggestion and made the home of disabled soldiers a state institution, and appropriated $50,000 to erect buildings and for maintenance and appointed a board of trustees, consisting of Capt. H. B. Hill, of Carthage; Charles S. Hubbard, of Knightstown, and William Hannaman, of Indianapolis. A substantial brick building, three stories and an attic high, 153 feet long and 63 feet wide, was erected and dedicated with imposing ceremonies on June 15, 1867. The superintendent's report for 1868, showed 400 admissions, 221 discharged, and as thirty-one had died there were 148 at the home. Under the legislative act creating the Indiana Soldiers' and Seamen's Home (then so called) admission thereto was granted to, totally disabled soldiers and seamen, partially disabled soldiers and seamen, orphans of same, under fifteen years, without father or mother; orphans, under fifteen years, with mothers living, and widows of deceased soldiers and seamen. On the morning of December 25,1871, fire destroyed that part of the institution occupied by the soldiers, and they were moved to the National Military Home at Dayton, Ohio. The orphans were left in full possession of the home until. the legislature of 1879 provided for the care therein of feeble-minded children. The two classes of inmates were maintained in the home until 1887, when the institution was reorganized as the Soldiers' and Sailors' Orphans' Home, and the feeble-minded children were removed to new quarters. The home has twice been destroyed by fire, September 8,1877, and July 21,1886, but in each case promptly rebuilt. Educational, religious and industrial training is given.
The law provides for the admission of children in the following order:
(1) Orphan children of Union soldiers or sailors of the army or navy of the United States of the Civil war, the war with Spain, the war in the Philippine Islands, the war with Germany, Austria-Hungary, and their allies, or in the regular service of the United States;
(2) children of such soldiers or sailors, whose mother is living;
(3) children of permanently disabled or indigent soldiers or sailors of such service residing in this state or in any national military home having been admitted thereto from the state. Such children must be residents of Indiana, under sixteen years of age and destitute of the means of support and education. They may remain in the home until sixteen years of age unless sooner discharged for cause, and until eighteen years of age, if, in the judgment of the board of trustees, they are unable to earn a livelihood. Blank application papers may be obtained by addressing the superintendent. If transportation is not otherwise provided, it can be obtained from the township trustee. It will be paid by the county if the child is a county ward. All the expense of maintaining the institution is borne by the state. The annual report on this institution carried in the current Indiana "Year Book" shows an enrollment of four hundred; received during the year ending September 30, 1919, 44; discharged, died or withdrawn during same period, 70; daily average attendance during same period, males 205. females, 122; average number of officers, 10; teachers, literary, 12; industrial, 12; attendants, 13; domestics, laborers and other employees, 28; ordinary expenses, $119,579.27; extraordinary expenses, new buildings and furnishings and permanent improvements, $11,447.76; receipts and earnings, $210.68.
|BARTHOLIC||RICHARD EUGENE||RUSH||1943, 1945|
|BARTHOLIC||VIOLA LUCILLE||RUSH||1943, 1946, 1948|
|COONING III||EDWARD MARTIN||RUSH||1962|
|EATON||MATTIE (HATTIE) MAY||RUSH||1889|
|GOODWIN||SARAH FRANCES||RUSH||1943, 1946|
|MILLER||ROSA||RUSH||1885, 1886, 1887|
|MYERS||MARTHA JAY (JOY)||RUSH||1959|
|NICKEL, JR.||CLARENCE DONALD||RUSH||1929|
|RANDALL||NELLIE (DELLIE) E.||RUSH||1890|
|ROBINSON, JR.||JAMES RICHARD||RUSH||1949|
|THOMAS||FREDA LOUISE||RUSH||1934, 1942|
|WAGGONER, JR.||RALPH EUGENE||RUSH||1928|
(List of resident names transcribed from the ICPR Archives)