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Boston Female Asylum 1887

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Partial transcript of Boston Female Asylum, Board of Managers: Proceedings and Annual Reports [1] - 1887


January 25, 1887

The Committee reported that Adelaide Anderson had gone to her place. That Alice Hanson had been recovered and sent to Mrs. Folsom. The case had been tried before the Supreme Court and the Judge had decided in favor of returning the girl to the Asylum. She had been again with Mrs. Folsom but had now gone to Springfield to live with Mrs. Fairfield. Mrs. Theodore Lyman agreed to be the guardian of Alice Hanson. Mary Rich had been admitted but it was feared that her father did not understand the precise agreement into which he had entered. It was therefore Voted That measures be taken to put an end to all possible misapprehension on his part.

Application for the admission of a little girl now at the Children's Mission was made. The mother was death, the father was a shiftless man who could do nothing more than take charge of his little boy. There was now no one to take care of the little girl, as her aunt with whom she had once lived worked out from morning to night and was now moreover on bad terms with the father. These circumstances having been heard it was Voted That Bella J. Reid be admitted.

There was some difference of opinion in the house as to the proper arrangements for bringing Miss Wilson's little children to their school room. It was Voted That Ella Dodge continue to conduct them thither.

February 22, 1887

Mary King's defective eyesight was spoken of and the Kindergarten for the Blind was spoken of as an appropriate place for her when it should be opened.

Annie Cameron had gone to Boston where her brother was living and was at service in an apparently good place.

Mrs. Gildden, who was well known to the Managers as the lady with whom Sophia Horst had once lived and who now had a girl from the Asylum doing very well in her family, made application for another, younger girl. She expected to come to Boston in April and it was Voted That she at that time be offered her choice between one or two girls of suitable age.

March 29, 1887

Mrs. Glidden had been at the Asylum and had chosen Addie Locke. Ella Dodge would be 18 yrs old early in April and it woudl be necessary to decide whether she should be engaged permanently to take the place of Assistant Nurse. Voted That Ella Dodge be engaged for this position at wages of $3 a week.

Application to take Minnie Hudson was made by Mrs. Warner, the lady with whom Mrs. Hudson had lived for a long time, who had placed Minnie in the Asylum with the hope of taking her when she should be able to work. Voted That if the Com[mit]tee find Mrs. Warner's references satisfactory Minnie be allowed to go.

Mrs. Touse who had taken her older daughter now applied for Bertha. Voted That Bertha Touse be allowed to go to her mother.

Voted That a request from Mrs. Bowman to take her daughter Grace Lowell be refused.

Ellen Allen's aunt was very desirous that she should be kept in the Asylum.

A half-sister of Ada Adams wrote desiring to take her. Voted That Ada's guardian write and say that the Managers consider Ada in a very good place, in which they have contracted to keep her.

Alice Broad had returned to Boston & Mrs. Robbins hoped to get her a good place at low wages in Wayland.

Letty McElroy's guardian asked the opinion of the Board in regard to changing Letty's place owing to certain circumstances that had arisen. She herself recommended no change. Voted That this matter be left to Letty's guardian.

Mr. Nixon Hazelitt the great uncle of Florence Macomber expressed his willingness to take his niece. Voted That Annie Florence Macomber be bound to Mr. Hazelitt.

April 26, 1887

The Committee reported that Margaret Reilly's mother was not willing to sign the books giving up her child into the care of the Asylum. Voted That a note be written to Miss Hersey who had put the child in, asking her to take her away as soon as possible.

It was said that respectable relations of Mr. Reilly living in Springfield would take charge of Margaret.

Mr. & Mrs. Pond made application to take their children. Mrs. Pond was no longer in the Insane Asylum and Mr. Pond proposed removing to his native place Nashua, N.H. where he hoped to get some work. He also hoped for a pension. Voted That these children be given into the charge of their parents, with the understanding that they cannot be readmitted into the Asylum.

Mrs. Mary Barton, a widow, earned $2 a week at service and said she could not get higher wages, not being very capable. Her looks verified her statement and it was Voted That her daughter Elsie Lilian Barton, for whose admission she applied, be taken in. The child was now at the Children's Mission.

As Minnie Hudson's mother was unwilling to have her living at such a distance from herself it had been decided that she should not go to Mrs. Warren.

It seemed necessary to remove Letty McElroy from Mrs. Hoyt's & it was Voted To put her at Mrs. Guething's till another place be found for her.

May 31, 1887

The two Ponds had gone according to the vote passed at the last meeting.

A little girl named Vaughn was offered for admission by her grandmother who had been ill all winter with rheumatism and was not able to work for her support. The child's father was dead and the mother a bad woman. Voted That this child be admitted.

Mrs. Draper also offered her granddaughter for admission, but this application was refused, as the father was simply unwilling & not unable to do for his child and if he should persist in not supporting her it was thought that the adoption of the child from the Children's Mission would be a more suitable arrangement.

Another application for Minnie Hudson was received from Framingham, the town in which Mrs. Hudson lived. As Minnie was thought too young to leave the Asylum it was not thought worth while to inquire further in regard to this place.

Ada Adams had not been satisfactory in her place and it had been deemed best to allow her to go to her sister in Penn. who wished her to be with her.

Mr. & Mrs. Stratton with whom Ada had been wished another child and it was Voted That they be offered their choice between Theresa Murray and Bessie Leach.

It had been decided that Letty McElroy should stay in her place.

June 28, 1887

It was necessary that Letty McElroy should leave her place.

July 26, 1887

The uncle and aunt of Florence Macomber found her utterly unmanageable, and applied at the asylum to know what was best to do with her. They were recommended to apply to the Refuge, where the matron consented to take Florence.

Letty McElroy had left her place, and another had been found for her by Miss Paine.

Nellie Allan's brother, having married, had applied for her, but as the place did not seem desirable it was Voted That this application be refused.

It having been ascertained that a pupil cannot enter the Boston Normal School without going through the advanced class at the High School, it was therefore Voted That Mary Leach shall remain here two [underlined] years longer instead of one, in order to complete her education as teacher.

Mrs. Glidden, having found that two girls did not work well together, proposed to return Addie Locke, but would keep her until a good place could be found for her.

Accounts had been received of Lavinia Crockett from Mr. & Mrs. Keith, who were unwilling to keep her any longer. The chief ground of complaint was her unkindness to their children. Miss Storer, her guardian, undertook to find her a place.

August 30, 1887

Application had been made for the admission of a child named Gerry, living in Dover by a sister, a little girl, who stated that her father was death, and her mother dying in consumption. As the case seemed urgent it was Voted That if the girl returns, the case be investigated by the committee of the month, and the child admitted if the committee think proper.

Mrs. Champagne, a woman born in Roxbury, and married to a man of French descent, who had been dead two years, applied for the admission of two little girls of eight and five years. The recommendations and statements seemed such as to warrant the admission of the children. It was therefore Voted That Bertha Elsien and Mary Ann Champagne be admitted to the Asylum.

The case of the Clark twins came up. As their mother would like to take them herself, but wants us to keep them as long as possible, it was Voted That these girls remain until they are fourteen.

Mrs. Gould of Woolrich, Maine, renewed her application for Theresa Murray. This application had been thoroughly investigated in June by Mrs. Bullard, and Mrs. Gould, having remedied the only obstacle to the child's going, it was Voted That Theresa Murray be bound to Mrs. Gould.

Mrs. Ripley of Waltham applied for a girl. Voted That Mrs. Ripley's application be refused because we prefer to send our girls into the country.

Mrs. C. Odlin of Andover applied for a girl. It was thought a good place for Addie Locke, who is to be returned by Mrs. Glidden, but there was a vagueness in Mrs. Odlin's letter, with regard to some "boys whom she had at table," and it was Voted That Miss Brown, the present guardian of Addie Locke make the requisite inquiries and settle the matter according to the instructions of the Board.

September 27, 1887

Mrs. Robbins had bought some games for the children, and Miss Orcutt had given them a croquet set, which had been placed in the yard.

Two little girls, Bertha and Mary Ann Champagne, had come to the Asylum, and seemed to be nice little girls.

Miss Paine reported that Elsie Sylvester had run away from her place, with her father. It was Voted That the Secretary write to Mr. Sylvester, informing him of the unlawfulness of his proceedings, and setting before him the responsibility he is incurring, and the need of watchfulness over Elsie, if she is to be kept from vice.

Miss Paine had thought that Lillie Beck, who is boarded with Mrs. Lovell at Oakham might be sent to Miss Mitchell in Elsie's place. She wrote to Mrs. Lovell and the letter of the latter having been read to the board it was Voted That Lillie Beck remain with Mrs. Lovell until spring.

Miss Paine also reported that Letty McElroy had left her place, and was rather hard to manage. She was at present at Mrs. Goethings'.

Miss Brown had found Mrs. Collin's an unsuitable place for Addie Locke, but a Mrs. Davis of Maplewood having applied for a girl, Miss Brown had found her recommendations satisfactory, and Addie had been transferred from Mrs. Glidden to Mrs. Davis. Mrs. Davis had written to Miss Brown giving a very satisfactory account of the girl.

October 25, 1887: Annual meeting

Rev. Dr. Hale...baptized three children: Elsie Lilian Barton, Sarah Jane Ross Vaughn and Mary Ann Champagne.

The Prizes were distributed by the First Directress as follows

  • To Charlotte E. Hovenden as The Most Deserving Girl $6
  • To Katharine Davis as The Best Little Girl $5
  • To Laurie H. Martin for Helpfulness $5
  • To Ellen Allan for Helpfulness & Patience in the Care of the Younger Children
  • To Alice Nichols for Thoroughness in housework & Industry and Improvement in School
  • To Caroline Johnstone for General Improvement & Good Scholarship
  • To Minnie Hudson for Obedience & Industry
  • To Maud Clark for Industry, Faithfulness & Excellence in Needlework

The girls whose names follow had done nearly as well as those receiving prizes and were thought worthy of honorable mention:

  • Margaret Bradley for General Improvement
  • Edith Gibson for Improvement in Study
  • Mary Ellen Bradley for Excellence in Conduct
  • Margaret D. Curren for Obedience & Industry
  • Helene A. Gibson for Good Scholarship
  • Katie Rice for Industry & Faithfulness
  • Maud Susan Johnson for Obedience
  • Jessie Hampstead for Faithfulness & Good Temper
  • Grace Johnson for Industry & Good Temper
  • Melinda Agnes O'Shea for Improvement
  • May Cogswell [Copwell?] for Faithfulness
  • Clara Svenson for Industry & Good Conduct
  • Bella Jane Reid for Good Conduct

Voted That the Managers are authorized to appoint a Committee who shall take the measures necessary to petition the Legislature & give to the managers of the Asylum legal guardianship of the children placed under their care.

Managers Meeting: October 1887

Mrs. Fairfield, a lady well known to the Managers with whom Annie Hanson was now living, made application for a good girl for her brother, who was Connected with the Indian Orchard Mills. She recommended the place as an excellent one. Voted That the Com[mit]tee are empowered to allow any suitable girl to go to this place.

Annie Cameron was reported ill. Letty McElroy must change her place on account of dissatisfaction, which her guardian did not thing strange, as the place was more than commonly paid. Almina Bowdoin's place had also changed. Good accounts were received of Theresa Murray, Grace Rhoades & Addie Anderson.

November 29, 1887

The Committee reported that Mrs. Randolph, a widow with one little girl whose relatives could not aid her had presented the child for admission. The Com[mit]tee had made inquiries about Mrs. Randolph and had not received a favorable impression of her, though nothing very definite was known against her. She seemed a peculiar person and they hardly expected to see her again. It was however Voted That if the application is renewed Joan Isabel Randolph be admitted.

Mrs. Balser of Cambridgeport who was now well married wished to take her two sisters, Elizabeth & Mary Hazelitt. Voted That her request be granted.

Mrs. Fairfield's brother had decided not to take a girl at present, but her friend, Mr. & Mrs. Albert Somes of S. Berwick Maine, had made application for Elizabeth Hiscock. Mr. Somes was principal of Berwick Academy and both he and his wife were so warmly recommended by Mrs. Fairfield, that as it was much more convenient to them to take Elizabeth home with them when they were in Boston, the Committee had allowed her to go. Voted That this act of the Committee is approved by the Board.

Miss Landers had visited Addie Anderson in Saccarappa, Alice Hanson in Springfield, & Annie Kirby in Ludlow; she brought good reports of all the girls and their places. Excellent accounts were also received of Almina Bowdoin and Lizzy Broad.

There had been some trouble from boys' throwing stones against the windows of the Asylum, but the Police Commissioners had been seen by the First Directress and the annoyance since then had ceased.

Mrs. Gould wrote to say that her husband refused to sign Theresa Murray's Indentures; she would like to sign them in his stead. Voted That this arrangement be made.

It was stated that Mary Moan would be eighteen years old on Jan. 1, 1888 and it had been hoped that at that time she might be received into the Hospital for Incurables. Voted that Miss Storer write to the proper persons and ascertain whether her reception at that time will be possible.

December 27, 1887

The Clarke and Hazelitt sisters had both gone to their relations according to votes passed at previous meetings.

Mrs. Somes who had taken Elizabeth Hiscock and which whom the girl appeared to have a good and happy hope had no understood that she was to sign Indentures to keep the girl until she should know from trial more about her. It was Voted That Mrs. Somes have three months' trial of Elizabeth Hiscock.

Miss Storer reported having heard from the Hospital for Incurables that Mary Moan was second on their list.

List of Girls who completed their apprenticeship in 1886 & 1887

  • Alice V. Butler - 1886 - Doing well - At Abington
  • Ellen M. Avery '86
  • Annie Salmon - '86 With her relations
  • Mary Byrne - '87
  • Mary R. Barker '87 - In Laconia

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