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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.

Last Name

First Name

County

Admit Date

BADGLEYBILLY DALERUSH1958
BADGLEYRICKEY CARLRUSH1958
BADGLEYSUE ELLENRUSH1958
BALDRIDGEGEORGIARUSH1909
BALDRIDGEJOHNRUSH1909
BALRIDGEGEORGIARUSH1909
BALRIDGEJOHNRUSH1909
BARTHOLICRICHARD EUGENERUSH1943, 1945
BARTHOLICVIOLA LUCILLERUSH1943, 1946, 1948
BRECKENRIDGEGLENN ALFREDRUSH1943
BRECKENRIDGEJOANRUSH1973
BRECKENRIDGEJANERUSH1973
BRECKINRIDGEGLENN ALFREDRUSH1943
BRECKINRIDGEJOANRUSH1973
BRECKINRIDGEJANERUSH1973
BRYANTVIRGELRUSH1912
BRYANTOLA MAYRUSH1912
BRYANTJOSEPHINERUSH1912
BRYANTFLOYDRUSH1912
BUCKLEREUGENERUSH1911
BUCKLERRICHARD B.RUSH1911
CARTERDAVID MICHAELRUSH1970
COLSHEARNOAH JAMESRUSH1892
COLSHIERNOAH JAMESRUSH1892
COONINGJULIA VERONICARUSH1962
COONINGKEVIN JOHNRUSH1962
COONINGTIMOTHY JAMESRUSH1962
COONINGLUCY JANERUSH1962
COONINGTERRANCE MICHAELRUSH1962
COONING IIIEDWARD MARTINRUSH1962
CRODDYRUTH JEANNETTERUSH1937
EATONMATTIE (HATTIE) MAYRUSH1889
ENGLISHPEARLRUSH1902
ENGLISHETHEL E.RUSH1902
FAUROTECAROL JEANRUSH1950
FOSTEREFFIE MAYRUSH1890
GABBARDRONNIERUSH1979
GABBARDTAMMY MARIERUSH1979
GLASSKATERUSH1892
GOODWINSARAH FRANCESRUSH1943, 1946
GRIFFINJEFFERSON ROBERTRUSH1959
GRIGSBYCLIFFORD EARLRUSH1927
GRIGSBYJAMES LOWELLRUSH1927
HAYNESJERRY EVERETTRUSH1956
HAYNESJACQUELINE FAYERUSH1956
HENDRICKSHARRYRUSH1901
HENDRICKSOMER L.RUSH1901
HORRALLLILLIAN BELLERUSH1903
JONESCLARENCE ROYRUSH1892
KASTERJAMES HARLEYRUSH1968
KEEMERCHARLES SUMNERRUSH1888
KEEMEREDWARD BLAINERUSH1888
KEEMERHORACERUSH1888
KEEMERMARINARUSH1888
KELLEYELMERRUSH1885
KELLEYMARY ALICERUSH1885
KELLYELMERRUSH1885
KEMPEUGENE DEBSRUSH1925
KETCHUMCHARLES EDWARDRUSH1948
KETCHUMEVELYN JOANRUSH1948
KETCHUMROSEMARYRUSH1948
LEERUBY M.RUSH1902
MARTINSTEVEN EUGENERUSH1968
MEANSJOHN FREDRUSH1890
MILLEREMMARUSH1885, 1886
MILLERMINNIERUSH1885, 1886
MILLERROSARUSH1885, 1886, 1887
MILLERJOHNRUSH1887, 1888
MILLIGANMARY ELVARUSH1947
MILLIGAN, JR.RAYRUSH1947
MYERSGEORGE RICHARDRUSH1940
MYERSMARTHA JAY (JOY)RUSH1959
NICKELDANIEL EMMETTRUSH1929
NICKELRALPH EUGENERUSH1929
NICKELALVIN PETERRUSH1930
NICKELELLA MAERUSH1930
NICKELLAURA EVELYNRUSH1930
NICKEL, JR.CLARENCE DONALDRUSH1929
O'DONNELLCHARLES MASONRUSH1917
OCHILTREEEVARUSH1887, 1892
OCHILTREEERMARUSH1887, 1892
OREARDAVIDRUSH1892
PARKERCATHERINERUSH1882
PRIDDYCHESTER CLINTONRUSH1935
PULLIAMDOROTHY MAERUSH1921
RANDALLMAUD M.RUSH1890
RANDALLNELLIE (DELLIE) E.RUSH1890
ROBINSONPATRICIA ANNRUSH1949
ROBINSONROBERT EUGENERUSH1949
ROBINSONSALLY ARLENERUSH1949
ROBINSON, JR.JAMES RICHARDRUSH1949
ROUSELINDA SUERUSH1963
ROUSEMARTHA MARIERUSH1963
ROUSEPAUL EDWINRUSH1963
SANDERSMARY EVELYNRUSH1948
SANDERSJERRY LEWISRUSH1948
SANDERSBUDDY EARLRUSH1948
SANDERSREITZ LUCIANRUSH1948
SANDERSDONNA CAROLRUSH1948
SINGLETONCHARLES EPSONRUSH1926
SINGLETONBETTY ANNRUSH1926
SINGLETONROBT. HAROLDRUSH1926
SMITHJAMES T.RUSH1882
SMITHJANE ELIZABETHRUSH1974
SMITHJANELLE ANNRUSH1974
THOMASEUGENE FREDRUSH1934
THOMASFREDA LOUISERUSH1934, 1942
THURSTONGARY WAYNERUSH1967
TWEEDYPHILIP WOOSTERRUSH1885
VANNATTERTRACY LYNNRUSH1891
WAGGONEROLIVERRUSH1892
WAGGONERSARAHRUSH1892
WAGGONERROBT. SAMUELRUSH1928
WAGGONER, JR.RALPH EUGENERUSH1928
WAGNERSARAHRUSH1892
WAGONEROLIVERRUSH1892
WAGONERSARAHRUSH1892
WAGONERGEORGERUSH1892
WAGONERJOHNRUSH1903
WENNICKELBERT J.RUSH1890
WENNICKZELLARUSH1890
WERTZGERALD M.RUSH1915
WERTZHARRY S.HRUSH1915
WERTZRAYMOND E.RUSH1915
WERTZKENNETH O.RUSH1915
WERTZHARRYRUSH1938
WESTJOAN BOWNERUSH1945
WHITFIELDNINA MAXINERUSH1973
WRENNICKZELLARUSH1890
WRENNICKELBERT J.RUSH1890

(List of resident names transcribed from the  ICPR Archives)

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