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Boston Female Asylum 1901

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January 29, 1901

The day after Christmas Ann Prescott was taken with chickenpox and another case occurred two weeks later.

Mr. & Mrs. C.H. Welch of Georgetown, Mass. have applied for a girl. Two satisfactory references have been received. Voted To leave to com[mittee] of month with full power to send Florence Bowman.

Martha Crocker's eyesight seems to have improved.

Miss Bradlee has been corresponding with Victoria Neilson who is planning to leave the hospital on Feb. 1 and to take a room with another nurse in hopes of finding employment.

Fanny Burnside is still doing well at Waterbury.

Adelaide and Fredoline Robbins have come to the Asylum from Lexington and Fanny Weir has gone there. Sarah McColl is much better.

Edna Champagne has been examined by Dr. Jelly who thinks she will never be able to earn a living and recommends sending her to the Home for Feeble-Minded, but as that is just now very much crowded she has been taken temporarily to Mrs. Ellingwood. Voted To pay board for Edna one month longer and to notify Dr. Jelly that we shall depend upon her being admitted to the Home for Feeble-Minded at the end of that time.

Dr. Putnam has been looking at the children at the Asylum in Boston & suggests that Amy Downing who has a short leg and one of the Bakers who has some swelling on [the] legs shall both be taken to Children's Hospital for advice. He thinks Evelyn Johnson very delicate with tendency to lung trouble though he finds no tangible evidence of the latter and would like to have an examination of sputa made.

Margaret Cameron, aunt of Marjorie & Annie has written to Mrs. Lord that she wishes to take Annie at once in order to keep her from the influence of her other aunt. Mrs. Lord will see Miss Cameron & report at next meeting.

Annie Sturgis has gone to live with Mrs. Keniston where May Curran used to be. She earns $1.50 per week and is very happy there.

February 26, 1901

The committee went to Georgetown, Mass. to investigate concerning Mr. & Mrs. Welch whose application was referred to them. They found that Mrs. Welch is not physically very strong and as they felt that she might not be able to give adequate oversite[sic] and control to a girl, they refused to send one.

An application from Dr. Preston of Limerick, Me., for a girl was investigated and declined both on account of his former doubtful habits and because of the distance from Boston.

Mrs. LaBuer asks further application for a girl to take the place of Lilian Wishman who is to go to her sister upon coming of age in April. Voted To send Carrie Johnson to Mrs. LaBuer.

Mr. Lord having inquired concerning the ability of Miss Margaret Cameron to take proper care of Annie reports that Mrs. Rodman considers Miss Cameron entirely responsible and capable. Voted To give up Annie Cameron to her aunt Margaret Cameron.

G. F. Pruette, Asylum St., applies for admission of his child, Annie May, 7 yrs old. His wife is disreputable and has left but interferes with management of the girl who is now with her grandmother in So. Boston being badly cared for. As the man has work and might pay a part of the child's support, the com[mittee] is to try to have her put in charge of some other society, and it was Voted That if no other suitable way of providing for her can be secured we will take her and board her on trial.

Mrs. Brown, sister of Mrs. Sturgiss whose children are now under charge of the Asylum, has applied for admission of her little girl, 9 yrs old. Her husband is intemperate and has lately deserted her. They both work at tailoring and there is a boy to be taken care of also. Voted To refuse.

Sarah Baker has been taken to the Children's Hospital but no treatment is advised at present.

Amy Darling's ['Downing' written above] short leg would probably be helped by an operation which is recommended by Dr. Putnam and the surgeons at the Children's Hospital. Voted To follow the advice of Dr. Putnam in the case Amy Darling.

Mrs. A. L. Lowell reports that no transfer of Edna Champagne has yet been arranged but she has reminded Dr. Jelly that it is time to attend to the matter and he has promised to do so at once.

Ellen Carlson has gone to Lexington.

Mrs. Coolidge reports that not long ago Mrs. Garland notified her that Lizzie [Garland] had suddenly appeared, evidently on the point of confinement, with no previous notice. A temporary place was found for her and later she was taken to the Lying In Hosp. where a boy was born last Sunday morning. Mrs. Burke, with whom Lizzie lived, lost her husband some time ago and has since moved to North Cambridge. She has been doing work outside so Lizzie has been left a good deal to herself with the charge of the house and the Burke children. There is no definite knowledge as to the paternity of the child so no steps can be taken towards marriage. Mrs. Coolidge thinks it will be best to put Lizzie with the child in one of the houses provided for such cases and will enquire about them.

Mrs. Collins, of Amesbury, has written to Mrs. Clarke that she cannot keep Martha McKenzie any longer.

Alice O'Brien, Miss Bradlee's ward, who gave up the $50 to be due upon coming of age in order to go to the High School, is getting on well. Her address is care [of] Mrs. F. G. Walker, 335 Belmont St. Manchester, N.H.

March 26, 1901

Mrs. Geo. A Davis has applied in behalf of her sister for a girl. Referred to com[mittee] of the month.

Mrs. G. A. Armstrong, 11 Maynard St. Pawtucket, applies for a girl. She lives opposite Mrs. Minard who has Beatrice Dowler but the two women have quarrelled, so it was Voted To refuse.

Amy Downing was operated upon three weeks ago. Is doing well and seems happy.

Mrs. A. L. Lowell reports that Dr. Jelly find[s] it impossible to give a place to Edna Champagne in the Home for Feeble-Minded at present. Miss Mixter having applied for advice to the Children's Aid Society, Mr. Birtwell has suggested trying for public aid.

Meanwhile Miss L. A. Benson, 6 Evelyn St, Mattapan, has asked for a grown girl to be a companion to her mother and help in housework. There are several daughters in the family who work away from home during the day, also one son. It is thought that Edna might answer for this place and it was Voted That Edna be sent to the Bensons if, after investigation, the com[mittee] think it desirable.

In the case of the Purette child the S.P.C.C. have been asked to investigate and have taken steps in the matter.

Miss Cameron is not yet ready to take Margery and will notify Mrs. Lord when she is.

Mrs. LaBrue is to take Carrie Johnson and will pay in proportion for her time until she is eighteen. There is a discrepancy regarding date of her birth between the records of Asylum and the statement of Evelyn on this point. Miss Mixter will look up the question.

Voted To send thanks to the Lying-In Hosp. for care of Lizzie Garland. Voted To thank Institute for Destitute Mothers and Children for assistance in the case of Lizzie Garland.

April 30, 1901

The application of Mrs. Lewis A. Scott, sister of Mrs. G. A. Davis, has been investigated and favorable replies from references received. As it is considered desirable to separate Rose Sturgess from her family whose influence is not good it was Voted To send Rosa to Mrs. Scott. Mrs. Lord will be her guardian.

Carrie Johnson went on Saturday to Mrs. LaBrue. Her birth having been recorded at the City Hall as on Dec. 14, 1884, this is to be considered correct.

Grace Smith, now with Mrs. Gould at Manchester, is still troubled by her eyes but is nevertheless anxious to continue at school so as to fit herself for a good situation, and in order to do this is willing to forfeit the $50 due her from Mrs. Gould when of age. Left to guardian to decide.

Mary Scott's grandmother writes to ask for advice regarding Mary, whom she find[s] hard to control as she will not mind and thinks only of boys. Advised to consult Miss Jacobs of the Minor Ward Dep't as to turning her over to charge of the State, or to go to Children's Aid Society.

Helen Brunell has had tonsillitis and Ethel Coffell, who has erysipelas was sent to the hospital. Amy Downing has been transferred from Children's Hosp. to Wellesley. Her leg is improved but she will always limp.

Annie Cameron has gone to her aunt.

May 28, 1901

Mrs. Stephen D. Smith, So. Woodstock, Conn., has written to ask for a girl about fourteen years old, to help in her work. She takes some boarders in summer; has no children, no hired man at present but may keep one later. Very satisfactory replies have been received from references, and it was Voted To send Kathleen Austin to Mrs. Smith. Mrs. Coolidge will be guardian.

Mrs. Gardiner wants to put in a girl of about four years whom she is unable to support as an accident has partly disabled her wrist. Mrs. G's father, Mr. Hall?, who is a butcher in Washington Market, has been interviewed and would be willing to pay something towards support of child. Voted To leave to com[mittee] of month with full powers.

Mrs. Harvey, grandmother of Rosina Sturgess, applies for admission of her son's daughter, 8 yrs old. His wife is dead & he has other children some of whom he wishes to place in an institution in Providence. He lives now in Pawtucket. Voted To leave with full powers to com[mittee] of month.

Mrs. Holmes took Rosina Sturgess to her place, which seemed a good one except for the fact that her room is on the same floor with that of the hired men, the rest of the family being below. Voted That unless some other arrangement can be made, this being against the rules, Rosina must be taken away.

Evelyn Johnson lent $100 to Mr. Ellingwood, who has lately failed, without security or even a note but she is acknowledged as a creditor.

Amy Downing is still at Wellesley doing well and very happy.

Carrie Johnson was at first homesick but now is contented and Mrs. LaBrue speaks well of her.

Miss Gordon, who took Ethel Hudson some time ago has given up her home and gone to board in Providence. Ethel has gone for a year to Mr. Hall, principal of the Academy at Woodstock, and likes the place. Miss Gordon hopes to take her later.

June 25, 1901

Kathleen Austin has gone to Mrs. Stephen D. Smith, in South Woodstock.

Mrs. Scott having been told of the objections to the arrangement for a bed-room for Rosa Sturgess, has made a change and Rosa will remain.

Mrs. Dickinson, a friend of Mrs. Scott, applied for a girl, and as her references were satisfactory, it was Voted That Florence Bowman shall go to Mrs. Dickinson. Miss M. Paine will be guardian.

Miss Tutem has an uncle in Mount Vernon who may like to take Luella Newton. Voted To leave to com[mittee] of month with full powers.

A place has been found for Edna Champagne with Mrs. Brown, Summer St., W. Somerville, Edna to receive 50 cents per week and the Asylum to clothe her. Papers for her admission to the School for Feeble-Minded were received just after she had gone to this place, so she will not be sent to the school at present.

It has been found that Lilian Austin is two years older than was understood on her admission, being eleven in 1894.

Mrs. Harvey has been visited by her grand-daughter Madeline Harvey, admitted on trial for three months.

Mr. Ellingwood, having failed owing $100 to Evelyn Johnson, it was Voted That the secretary shall write a strong letter to Mr. Ellingwood, expressing the displeasure of the Managers at his borrowing money of Evelyn and saying that they expect him to repay her.

The com[mittee] of the month are asked to find another place for wards to board instead of Mrs. Ellingwood's.

July 30, 1901

Amy Downing has returned from the hospital, helped but not cured. A further examination was made and a shoe fitted to take the place of the crutches she has been using.

Lilian Borgesen had acute rheumatism and was sent to Mass. Gen. Hosp. where she is said to be improving.

Lilian Austin, whose age was wrongly stated when admitted, will remain another year as house-girl, if desired. Voted That Lilian Austin shall remain.

Helen Brunell, who is not very strong, is to stay six weeks in all at Lexington.

Edna Champagne is doing well. Martha McKenzie, who behaved so badly that Mrs. Collins could no longer get on with her, has been brought back by Mrs. Ross and taken to Mrs. Ellingwood's.

Mrs. Scott of Whately applies for a girl for her neighbor, Mrs. Seth B. Crafts. Mrs. Coolidge wrote to Mrs. Crafts and has received a satisfactory answer with good references. If the sleeping accommodations can be properly arranged it is Voted That the com[mittee] of the month have full powers to send Luella Newton to Mrs. Crafts.

Mrs. Coolidge and Miss M. Paine have investigated three places were girls might be boarded instead of at Mrs. Ellingwood's. Of these the most promising is at the house of Mrs. C. G. Gowen, 52 Norfolk St. Cambridge. Voted To engage a room from Mrs. Gowen at $1 per week with $3 per week more when in use.

In answer to the letter from the secretary Mr. Ellingwood writes that he has explained to Evelyn Johnson that he will pay her in full with interest but cannot do anything until he is through bankruptcy.

The children had a pleasant time on July 4th, both in Boston and in Lexington. Mrs. Coolidge gave torpedoes, flags, strawberries and candy; Mr. Coolidge a Punch & Judy show.

Leila Johnson and Abby Varnum have spent a day with Mrs. Fortescue.

In consequence of the noise of trains on the Elevated Ry, great complaint is made throughout the house. The exercises in the school-room are interfered with and sleep at night is so disturbed that the matron and other employees feel that they cannot stand the strain very long. It is therefore considered imperative that a change of location shall be made as soon as practicable.

August 27, 1901

Mrs. Brown, with whom Edna Champaigne has been living, went away for a short time leaving her husband & baby with Edna, at home. On returning suddenly Mrs. Brown found things in confusion. Edna was arrested by the police at two o'clock at night for vagrancy, and taken back to Mrs. Brown's where she tried to take poison. Was finally persuaded to come here and again tried to destroy herself by turning on the gas. Mrs. Ross went to Dr. Jelly's where Edna was examined and considered too insane to be taken in at the Home for Feeble-Minded so she has been sent to Danvers.

As the sleeping arrangements were found unsatisfactory Luella Newton is not to go to Mrs. Crafts.

Mrs. Gowen is to take the returned wards in place of Mrs. Ellingwood who has been notified that the room is to be given up the last of this month.

Martha McKenzie has been taken to Mrs. Patterns, 158 W. Concord St.

L[ilian] Bogesen came back on Aug. 9th from Mass. Gen. Hosp. much improved.

Dr. W. M. Babbitt of Randolph would like a girl. His daughter has seen Luella Newton. If the father likes her they will furnish references.

Lizzie Orcutt is to be married and Mrs. Lyman writes that she thinks Mrs. Jones should be asked to give her a suitable outfit, since Lizzie is not of age to receive the money which would be due her later. The secretary is to write to Mrs. Jones to this effect and to suggest that Mrs. Jones should pay also a portion of the money.

Mrs. Fortescue asks that Leila Johnson may spend a day with her. Voted To accept the invitation.

September 24, 1901

References regarding Dr. Babbitt were on the whole satisfactory though his daughter is said to have had some mental trouble several years ago, and Luella [Newton] was sent to Randolph Aug. 7. Mrs. M. Paine will be guardian.

Mrs. L. A. Jones, in reply to the note from the secretary, writes that she cannot pay any money from the estate of her late husband which is not yet settled. Moreover she was only too glad to have Lizzie [Orcutt] leave as she has been most abusive during the past six months. Mrs. Jones says nothing as to supply of clothing and it seems impossible to press this point as it is not stipulated in the agreement except when the girl is of age.

The question as to the present status of Edna Champagne seems unsettled. The com[mittee] of the month is to investigate as to whether she is now altogether in the custody of the state.

Mrs. Patten reports that Martha McKenzie gives some trouble and is stubborn. She is making some underclothing for herself.

Mrs. Holmes was sent to see Ella Sturgiss. Miss Brown does not wish to part with her as she is capable and a good cook but would like some assistance in managing her. Mrs. Holmes says Ella does not look well: she had no chance to speak with her alone.

Madeleine Harvey who was taken on trial for a month has proved to be a good child and it was Voted To admit her.

Lilian Borgesen and Helen Brunell both look pale and puny.

Mrs. Mendum, who has Jennie Clary, has moved from Tufts College to 727 Main St. Woburn, Mass.

Mr. W. B. Hammond, 1010 Mass. Ave. Cambridge, executor of estate of a Mr. Turnbull applies for admission of May Turnbull, 8 yrs old. Mr. T, a mining engineer born in the United States, came to Boston for operation and died under it. His wife and four children are now in Nova Scotia but their money being exhausted Mrs. T. would like to return to Boston to secure work, boarding the three boys and putting the girl in the Asylum. The com[mittee] of the month will investigate & are given full power to admit.

October 18, 1901 - special meeting

Before the special subject was brought a note was read from Mrs. Dow renewing her application to put in her children, asking however that she be allowed to have them again when twelve years old if she then has a good home. Voted That these children shall be admitted, the mother signing the paper and that she shall have them when twelve yrs old provided the managers are satisfied that her home is a good one for them.

October 29, 1901 - Annual Meeting

Dr. E. E. Hale christened Madeleine Harvey.

Prizes were given to:

  • Leila B. Johnson
  • Abbie Varnum
  • Mildred Starnett
  • Elizabeth Hudson
  • Mary Thomas
  • Clara B. Boden
  • Annie S. Kennedy
  • Fanny B. Weir
  • Lilian C. Austin
  • Ethel H. Robbins
  • Alfreda Robbins
  • Florence J. Dowler
  • Alberta C. Coffill
  • Julia E. Tatro
  • Mary Edith Clarke

Honorable mention was made of

  • Elsie H. Austin
  • Sarah McColl
  • Lydia Nelson [Neilson]
  • Jennie Clarke
  • Adelaide Robbins
  • Hilda Borgeson
  • Ella Tucker
  • Winnie Sears

October 29, 1901 - Managers' Meeting

Edna Champagne has been definitely given over to the State.

Mrs. Fortescue invited Leila Johnson to spend a day with her and this was allowed.

Mrs. Charles A. Daly, Beethoven St. Eggleston Sq. applies for a girl. Two good references have been received. Voted To send Adelaide Robbins. Miss Robinson to be guardian.

Martha McKenzie has gone to J. M. Pierce, 88 Royal St. Norfolk Downs. Miss M. Paine will be guardian.

Madeleine Harvey has been admitted; also two Dows. The Trumbull child has been admitted but has not yet come.

Lilian Borgesen has been ill.

Kathleen Austin became dissatisfied at her place in the country and has been brought back and is now with Mrs. Gowan.

Gertrude Davis, Fanny Blumenthal and Gertrude Schreiter took some money from Miss Tuteen's[?] room. They are small and very repentant. The older girls were much shocked.

November 26, 1901

Mary Turnbull came to the Asylum Nov. 10. Was vaccinated. The papers have been sent to her mother in Nova Scotia for signature.

Mrs. Dowler who has two children already in the Asylum wishes to enter two more. Miss Johnson and others have been consulted and a detailed statement of the case was presented and will be placed on file. Voted Not to admit the children.

Edith Dow developed a mild case of diphtheria and was sent to the City Hosp[ital]. Is reported to be doing well.

Lilian Borgeson is improving in health.

Mrs. Lyman reports that Mrs. Damon will try to be appointed guardian of Grace Shaw who is morally unbalanced and will probably be eventually sent to a suitable institution.

December 31, 1901

Mrs. R. B. Johnson of Waltham applies for a girl. She has four children of her own. References are good but the work may be too hard. Voted That Jennie Clark shall go to Mrs. Johnson for one month on trial if Mrs. J. would like her.

Abby Varnum's father wishes to take her home to live. Voted That Abby Varnum shall go to her parents.

Application to take a girl has been received from Mrs. Chas. H. Woodworth of Allston. The place will be investigated.

Mr. & Mrs. Mitchell, the former the station-master of Cordaville, Mass., [apply for] a girl. They have a grown-up son who sleeps on the same floor as the girl's room, the parents being down-stairs. Voted That Mrs. Holmes shall investigate the place.

Mrs. Carrie E. Patey wishes to put in two girls: Louisa Elizabeth 6 yrs old and Adelaide Frances four. She is a cook & gives references from employers. Voted To leave to com[mittee] of month with full powers.

Edith Dow, after coming from the hospital, boarded for two weeks at Mrs. Patten's. Mrs. P. promised that she should have a separate room from Luella Newton but she shared the same room & slept on the floor.

Mrs. Ross...asks that Leila Johnson shall have a second woolen dress for doing errands. It was decided that she shall make for herself a woolen skirt.

Mrs. Holmes suggests that Evelyn Johnson's school, now reduced to four children, shall be merged in the older one & that Evelyn shall sew & help in other ways. Voted That this shall be done.

The special com[mittee] reported that Mrs. Holmes...will take to places these girls: the two Borgesens to Miss Green at Fayville; the two Tatros to Miss Davis at Templeton; Lydia Neilson to Mrs. Robinson at Meredith; Winnie Sears & Gertrude Davis to Miss Leavitt at Meredith, N.H.

Mrs. Coolidge reports that Lizzie Garland is 18 yrs old. She has gone to another place.

Mrs. Daly is much dissatisfied with the clothing provided for Adelaide Robbins.

Luella Newton has left her place & is now with Mrs. W. K. Martin, Pierce St. E. Milton.

* For more information, see Boston Female Asylum

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