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Boston Female Asylum 1883

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Partial transcript of Boston Female Asylum, Board of Managers: Proceedings and Annual Reports [1], 1883


January 30, 1883

The Committee reported that Mrs. Briscoe had made other arrangements for her little girl.

Mary Moan had been very ill but was now more comfortable. The children had enjoyed their Twelfth Night festival and also another festival at Mr. Hale's Church.

Mr. Augustus Sylvester applied for the admission of his little girl whom he was now boarding in Maine. He had two other children and found it very difficult to get work, so that he could no longer afford to be at this expense. The child's mother was dead. Voted That Elsie May Sylvester be admitted.

Mr. Hooker had applied for the admission of his little girl. The child's mother was dead and the step-mother a great invalid. The Committee felt that the child was no receiving proper care. It was therefore Voted That Ida May Hooker be admitted. Mrs. Storer reported that Sadie Whiton was improving.

The Managers were much gratified at the receipt of a crayon portrait of Miss Elizabeth B. Inches, a gift from Mr. Henderson Inches and his two brothers Mr. Martin and Dr. Herman Inches. It was Voted That the thanks of the Board of Managers of the Boston Female Asylum be presented to Mr. Inches and his brothers for their very beautiful and acceptable gift of the portait of their sister.

February 27, 1883 The Committee reported that Ida Hooker had been brought by her father and had much improved since her arrival; the child had evidently suffered from want of proper care and food. Elsie Sylvester had also been received. Alice Broad had gone again to the Hospital for treatment.

One child, Mary Frances Coggeswell, had been admitted. The case was a pressing one; the father had got a divorce from the mother and had not been heard from for two years. The mother was a woman of bad habits and seemed to be growing steadily worse; the little girl had already suffered much from neglect. Voted That the act of the Committee in admitting Mary Frances Coggeswell is approved by the Board.

Mrs. Allen, a widow with five children, applied for the admission of two little girls, eight and ten years old. Her husband had lost his life in Chicago while trying to save others. Since his death she had been obliged to work beyond her strength and was much run down. Voted That Genevieve and Ellen Allen be admitted.

Mr. Crosby of the Children's Mission applied for the admission of two children who had been taken by a gentleman from an almshouse in New Hampshire. As these children to have no claim on the Asylum the application was refused.

It was reported that Ida Matthews was eighteen, her fifty dollars had been paid and she had gone to another place.

The habits of Katy Kirby were reported to be such as to make her stay in the Asylum very demoralizing to the other children. It was therefore Voted That her mother, Mrs. Conroy, be requested to remove her immediately.

Frances Whittington was so troublesome that the Committee for the month were requested to see what could be done with her.

Sadie Whiton was reported to be improving. It was Voted That she remain with Mrs. Peabody for six months after the expiration of the present six months.

March 27, 1883

The Committee reported that the two Allens had come and seemed to be very nice children. The case of some Dickey children who were proposed for admission last summer was mentioned. The circumstances of the family were now somewhat different and the matter was referred to the Committee for the month.

The mother of Katy Kirby had come and taken her from the Asylum, seeming very ready to do so. Mrs. Robbins offered to try to find a place for Frances Whittington; this kind offer was accepted with thanks.

Mrs. Pierce was going to move to Reading; she would like to have Almina Bowdoin continue with her if the Managers approved. Voted That Almina Bowdoin continue with Mrs. Pierce.

An application to adopt Edith Gibson was made but, as it came from Haverhill, N.H., the distance was considered too great, and it was not thought best to give the proposal further consideration.

April 24, 1883

There had been more than twenty cases of measles but nearly all the children were now in school again. The Dr. recommended that Mary Moan who was in a very critical condition should be removed to the country. It was thought that Mrs. Folsom would be willing to take Mary and it was accordingly Voted That this arrangement be made if possible.

The Dickeys had not come.

Frances Whittington had been taken by Mrs. Badger of Everett on trial for three months and the prospect thus far seemed encouraging.

Alice Broad had returned from the Hospital and seemed nicely; she had been for three weeks at the Temporary Home on account of the measles at the Asylum.

Mrs. Johnson of Auburndale, who had formerly applied to adopt Clara Svenson, now thought that she might like Edith Gibson and wished her to come for a week's visit; her little sister would perhaps be invited with her. Voted That Mrs. Johnson's request be granted.

May 29, 1883

Mary Moan was at Mrs. Folsom's and had improved a little. She required a great deal of care both night and day from Mrs. Folsom, who was devoted to her. It was not thought that under these circumstances $3 a week for board was sufficient and it was Voted That five dollars a week be offered to Mrs. Folsom.

Lillian McFee had died during the month of rheumatism of the heart.

Mrs. McCormick, a respectable Scotch woman, a widow, applied for the admission of two little girls. She had three children and could not provide for them. She might go to service if her little girls could be taken into the Asylum. Voted That these two children be admitted.

Ella Mines applied for the admission of her daughter Alice. She was poor, in delicate health and very forlorn. Dr. Cutler hoped the child would prove a suitable subject for the Asylum but could not decide at present. Voted That Alice Mines be admitted with the understanding that she cannot be retained without Dr. Cutler's approval.

Mrs. Ida Braconger, a widow, applied for the admission of her little girl. The child was now on its way from Sweden and it was not considered a suitable case. The application was therefore refused.

Another application on behalf of a woman who had had three illegitimate children and was now at the Home for Dis-charged Female Prisoners was rejected.

Miss Lilian Clarke applied for the admission of a little girl whose mother was dying. The child was however well cared for by a woman who was willing to keep her for the present & the application was set aside until the little girl should actually need a home.

Frances Whittington had been returned. There were however two applications for her. One from Mrs. Newell of Duxbury was preferred and it was Voted That Frances go to this place on trial.

An application for the admission of children in East Cambridge was received and referred to the Committee of the month.

Miss Very reported that Clara Colon was too dull to learn anything in school. It was thought that with proper training she might be made useful in housework. The matter was left to the Committee with full powers.

Ella Dodge had received an invitation to spend a few days at Newington. Voted That the invitation be accepted.

Voted That headstones be provided for the graves in the Asylum lot at Cedar Grove and that the Committee for the month make the necessary arrangement.

Clara Svenson was invited by the Miss Rutters of Wayland to make them a visit in the summer. This invitation was accepted with thanks.

Dr. Cutler suggested that Ida Hooker who was very delicate would be benefited by going out of town in the summer. Voted That the Committee for the month provide a boarding place for Ida in according with Dr. Cutler's suggestion.

June 26, 1883

The two children, Lizzie and Maggie McCormick, admitted last month, had come.

Mrs. Newhall of Duxbury had changed her mind with regard to taking Frances Whittington, and another application had been received for her, but as this did not prove satisfactory, she is still in the Asylum.

Clara Colon was applied for by Mrs. Holloway's daughter, who did not want her till the autumn. An application for her in the meantime had fallen through.

Ida Hooker went out of town with Mr. Folsom, June 9. Mr. F. reports Mary Moan no better.

Alice Mines, having recovered from her skin disease, was admitted.

Mrs. Pickering of Newington, to whom Amy Fogel had been apprenticed applied for another girl. Although Mrs. Pickering had done well by the two girls who had been bound to her, it was thought not advisable to let another go there, on account of the number of men employed on the farm. It was therefore Voted That the application of Mrs. Pickering be refused, and that the Secretary inform her of the same.

Lizzie Goldthwaite was reported as having very much improved in her talking, to the great surprise and interest of Dr. Blake, whom she had been taken to visit during the month.

Annie Martin's eyes had been very much inflamed, and she had been taken to the Eye and Ear Infirmary, where the doctor thought the trouble would not prove serious.

Edith Gibson had gone to Mrs. Johnson's for her promised visit.

Mrs. Coolidge had been to see Cynthia Hadley, and spent the night. She reported Cynthia as better off than she deserved, having found a home with a capable woman, who takes great pains with her, clothes her well, and with whom Cynthia is very happy.

Mary Proctor is much disappointed at losing the place at Miss Louds'(?), to which she had looked forward. A Miss Bemis of Waltham applied for her, and came to see her, but has not since been heard from.

A letter was received from a Mr. Fay, requesting that the Davis children might be returned to their mother, and guaranteeing that they should receive sufficient food, shelter, and clothing. Miss Paine had been to see Mrs. Davis, and was not favorably impressed by the appearance of things. She also saw Mr. Fay, who said the mother was much grieved that the younger child was beginning to forget her, and he thought it best the children should be returned to her. He agreed to see that they were well cared for. At Miss Paine's recommendation it was Voted That Lillian and Katie Davis be returned to their mother at the end of the summer vacation, provided the mother be then living in suitable rooms, and provided that a proper person - adult - be procured to take care of the children, when the mother is absent at work.

A very satisfactory account was received of Mary Parker from Mrs. Warren Lamprey, and the Secretary was requested to reply to the letter.

July 31, 1883

Mary Ellick applied for the admission of her child Lilian Goodwin. It seemed a good case, but as the woman had not appeared again, no vote could be taken.

Aunty Gwynne applied for the admission of two children now in the Temporary Home, Ida Frances, 9 yrs. old, and Mabel Florence Russell, 6 yrs. old. The mother is in consumption, and the father a ne'er-do-well. They are Americans, and the father will have to take care of two boys, if the girls are provided for. It was Voted To admit Ida Frances and Mabel Florence Russell.

Miss Linus applied for the admission of a child two years of age. As this was her only child, and it appeared that she was out at service, it was Voted That the application of Miss Linus be refused.

Ms. Whitney, corner Windsor & Washington Sts. Cambridge applied for the admission of two children of Alonzo Hitchcock, who works in Walworth's Iron Works, South Boston. The mother has just died and the father is almost insane, and is unfit to take care of his children. The girls are nine and three years of age, the older is now in the Cambridge Alms-house, and the younger with a very hard woman, who only proposed to keep her for a year. Mrs. A. Lyman had thoroughly investigated the case, and it was Voted That the two children of Alonzo Hitchcock be admitted.

Mrs. Sherman applied for her daughter, Letty McElroy. Her recommendations were the same as when she took her other daughter and it was Voted That Letitia McElroy be given up to her mother.

Three applications had been received for Frances Whittington. The objection to the first was the distance - it being way down in Maine. The second did not seem to be a good place, but the third, - from Rev. J. P. Smith, Worcester, Mass - being supported by good recommendations, it was Voted That Frances Whittington go to Rev. Mr. Smith.

A Mrs. Nichols of Brookline was reported as having applied for Mattie Palmer, for adoption; but there evidently some mistake about the name, as unwearied effort on the part of Mrs. T. Lyman to find her, had resulted in nothing.

Application for Mary Proctor had been received from Mrs. Sillas(?) of Newton Highlands, but as Mrs. S. did not want Mary till the last of September and the place did not seem more than fairly good, Mary did not wish to wait.

A place had been found for Clara Colon, in which she remained two days, when she was returned, Miss Williams saying that she could do nothing with her. It was thought best to make no further attempt to place Clara, till Mrs. Holloway's daughter is ready for her.

John Emra of Allston, having applied for a girl from thirteen or fourteen to seventeen or eighteen years of age, it was Voted That the secretary write to Mr. Emra, and let him know that we had no girls old enough to suit him.

Mrs. Charles S. Tower of South Abington applied for a girl. Her references proving satisfactory it was Voted That Fanny S. E. Byers be bound to Mr. & Mrs. Charles S. Tower.

Mrs. T. Lyman had received a letter from Mrs. Latta, the lady who had taken such an interest in Carrie Franen, asking for further aid from the Asylum, in order that Carrie may still further pursue her studies, and saying that two more years in the school at Northfield would be a great advantage to her. It was Voted That fifth dollars ($50.00) be sent to Mrs. Latta for the benefit of Carrie Franen, with the express understanding that no more could be given her from the funds of the Asylum.

Mr. Folsom had reported with regard to Mary Moan, and Mrs. Goodwin had been to see her. She looks very ill, and at times suffers severely.

Ida Hooker, who has been two months with Mrs. Folsom, was reported as looking very well, and as Dr. Cutler recommended that Alice Mines be sent into the country, it was Voted That Alice Mines take the place of Ida Hooker at Mrs. Folsom's.

Miss Storer reported that Annie Matthews, at the Refuge, was in a singular condition. A physician had been consulted for her, who did not regard her as a wholly responsible person, and the Matron of the Refuge felt that she should be removed. Some conversation was help about placing Annie at the Nervine Asylum, but is was finally Voted That the case of Annie Matthews be left to Miss Storer, with liberty to incur all necessary expenses.

Miss Brown reported a visit to her ward, Mary Rounds, who has had a good place, and is doing well.

Miss Brown also reported the death of another ward, Sophia Horst, who had been with Mr. & Mrs. Glidden of Wadley Falls, N.H. Sophy had died of water on the brain, produced probably by an affection [sic] of the spine. Mrs. Glidden seemed to be a sincere mourner for her loss, and had had her remains placed in the family burying place. In view of the kindness shown to Sophy it was Voted That the secretary write a suitable note from the Managers of the Asylum, and offer to place at Sophy's grave a stone similar to those in the Asylum lot at Cedar Grove Cemetery.

The children had all visited the dentist, who found their teeth in uncommon good order.

Mary Leach, having been invited to spend a week in South Boston, with a friend of Miss Wilson, it was Voted that this invitation be accepted.

Mrs. T. Lyman reported that Lillie Rowan, her former ward, having come of age, had found a good place, and had written to her for advice, as to a friend.

Mabel Frances Myers had been brought into the Asylum during the month.

August 28, 1883

It was reported that Letty McElroy had gone to her mother, and that the children of Alonzo Hitchcock had come. The children of Mr. Russell had not come, as the father had refused to sign the book.

Mrs. Tower, to whom Fanny Dyers was voted[?], had taken another girl, and did not want Fanny; but another application had been made for her by Mr. Francis B., and Mrs. Laura H. Ripley of Weston. Mrs. Robbins knew Mr. & Mrs. Ripley, and felt that it would be a good place; it was therefore Voted That Fanny Byers be bound to Mr. & Mrs. Ripley.

Mrs. Glidden, where Sophy Horst had lived, thought she should like another girl in the early autumn, and it was Voted That Mrs. Glidden may take Ida Brenton, if she wishes her.

Mary Proctor had gone to live with a Mrs. Tolman of Newton, and was pleased with the place.

Miss Paine had heard that the mother of Lillie and Katie Davis was intemperate, and thought she (Miss P.) had been see Mr. Kay, the person who was to assist Mrs. D., if the children were returned to her. It was Voted That this case be left to the Committee of the month.

It was also Voted That Ella Dodge and Annie Cameron be bound to the house.

Mrs. Holloway thought it best that the girls who are bound to the house should do their own washing, and the ladies approved highly of this arrangement.

Ruth Graves had been to visit her father, as usual, in the summer.

Mrs. Sears sent a letter which she had received from Mrs. Turnbull, with whom Sophy Barker lives. Sophy's time of indenture had expired, and Mr. Turnbull had paid the fifty dollars to the Asylum. But as Sophy was very childish for a girl of her age, her brother had agreed with Mrs. Turnbull, that Sophy had better remain there a year longer, if she would promise to do better, and Mrs. Turnbull was glad to report a decided improvement. Mrs. Sears had also received a very good account of Amy Bourne.

Miss Storer reported by letter that Annie Matthews had been sent to the Nervine Asylum, and was improving. There was also a slight improvement reported in Sadie Whiton.

The children had been to Allandale Springs on a picnic. Some of them had been to Charlestown, had visited Bunker Hill Monument, and had been on board the U.S. ship Wabash. Ten of the older girls were also attending the Old South Lectures.

September 1883

Mrs. Robbins for the Committee reported that Ida Brenton's sore throat had not proved to be a case of diptheria.

Mary Moan had somewhat improved and might live for several years. Voted That the Committee for the month made inquiries and report whether Mary would better remain at Mrs. Folsom's or whether some less expensive arrangement should be made.

Mary Proctor had no done well at her place and had been dismissed. She was now staying with Miss Loud.

Mrs. Davis was not thought by Mr. Fay to be a suitable person to have the care of her children & it was Voted That they remain in the Asylum.

Frances Whittington had gone on trial to Mr. J. C. Smith of Worcester. She had proved untruthful and disobedient & had been returned. She was now at the Children's Mission but Mrs. Robbins had found a place for her with Mrs. Wilson who lived on the border of Sudbury on a farm & who was known by Mrs. Robbins and Mrs. Sears. Voted That Frances go on trial to Mrs. Wilson.

Fanny Byers had gone to Mrs. Ripley in Weston & thus far the arrangement had proved satisfactory.

Annie Matthews had recovered at the Nervine Asylum & was now ready for a place. Voted That Annie be boarded with Miss Ayres or with some other suitable person until a place can be found.

Mary Neil had run away from her place and her friends considered that she had been ill-treated. Her uncle wished to take her and the matter was left in the hands of the Committee.

The mother of Lillian Goodwin had now decided that she must give up her child. She had an intemperate husband, step-father to the children, and was obliged herself to be out of the house at work. Her place would be to go to service with her younger child. Voted That Lilian Goodwin be admitted.

It was thought that Mrs. Glidden might prefer Lizzy Broad to Ida Brenton and it was therefore Voted That she may take either girl according to her preference.

October 30, 1883 - Annual Meeting

...Rev. Edw. E. Hale...baptized the children whose names follow: Harriet Launice Crockett, Susan May Davis, Lillie A. Beck, Julia May Towse, Bertha B. Lowse, Elsie May Sylvester, Mary Frances Cogswell, Alice Mines, Ann Elizabeth Hiscock, Mary Janet Hiscock, Mabel Frances Myers.

The Prizes were given by the First Directress to the following girls.

Ruth A. Graves received a prize of six Dollars as the most deserving girl. Annie Marston received a prize of five dollars for Helpfulness. Frances S. Scannel the same for Faithfulness; Mary E. Leach for Improvement in Household Duties; Ella E. Dodge for Continued Improvement; Laura H. Martin for Kindness to the Little Children; Mary J. Anderson for General Improvement; Margaret Delory for being the Best Little Girl; Ida S. Brenton for Good Behavior.

Managers Meeting - October 1883

The Committee reported that Dr. Cutler thought it very important for Mary Moan to remain in her present place. It was accordingly Voted That this be done. Miss Storer reported that a place had been found for Annie Matthews but she did well in it but a very short time; a boarding place had been found for her temporarily. Now a married brother who lived in Blossom St. and sent very good recommendations was desirous to have his siter live with him. Voted That Annie Matthews be placed in charge of her brother Mr. Geo. L. Matthews.

Mary Neil had gone to live with her uncle and aunt. Mrs. Glidden had preferred Lizzy Broan and Miss Brown agreed to be her guardian.

Application had been made for two children of Mrs. Nelson who was represented as a very deserving woman deserted by her husband. Mrs. Nelson had gone to N. Jersey to live at service, leaving four children. Two of these had been taken by people in Quincy and the place was to place the remaining two in some Institution. As application had also been made for them at the Children's Friend Society it was Voted To await the decision of this Society before considering the matter further.

November 27, 1883

The Com[mit]tee reported an application from Mrs. Houston for the admission of two children. The woman stated that her husband drank and that she had been obliged to leave him on that account; the Com[mit]tee however found that the neighbors did not give Mrs. Houston a very good character. The case did not seem a good one & it was Voted To refuse the application.

Addie Anderson was reported to be very backward and Miss Very thought that more might be done for her at the School for Feeble Minded Youth. The Managers however felt so sure that the child was not sufficiently deficient to be taken there that they decided not to fill out any application for her.

Dr. Cutler had recommended eyeglasses for several of the children.

December 26, 1883

Mary Leach too was now to read and correct some of the children's exercises.

Mr. Lambecht wished to take his two children; he was a baker and well able to support them; he said that he had been discouraged after his wife's death but was now remarried and in good work. Voted That Mr. Lambrecht's request be granted.

An application to adopt Alice Broad was received but was refused.

Some relations of Sadie Whiton named Boston, living in Rochester, N.H., expressed a willingness to take charge of her. The matter was left to the Com[mittee] with Miss Storer to decide, with the understanding that Sadie should go if they were satisfied with the references.

Miss Parkman applied for the admission of a child a year and a half old. Some of the Managers did not think it right to take a child to board as the expenses had last year exceeded the income. After some discussion it was Voted That if Miss Parkman can arrange for the child till she is two years old the Asylum will then assume the charge of her.

A stereopticon had been obtained for the children's Christmas entertainment and the children had been much pleased with the news.

At the end of the meeting Annie Marston, who had expressed a desire to see the Managers, came in and thanked them for all that had been done for her at the Asylum.

List of Girls who completed their apprenticeship during the year 1883.

  • Ida M. Matthews. At service in Boston. Doing well.
  • Lily Rowen. At service. Doing well.
  • Sophia Barker. In the Country with her married sister.

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