Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Licking County Children's Home

The Licking County Children's Home on East Main Street in Newark was built between 1886 and 1888.  Orphans and other children from homes that suffered major difficulties were sent to live there from 1888 to 1975.  Thousands of children lived there during that period--some for a few days, and others for their entire childhood.  The Home also hosted events such as "lawn socials" which were attended by many people of the community.  An adjacent farm provided much of the food that was consumed at the Home.  Boys from the Home worked on the farm, and girls worked indoors.  Individuals, businesses, churches and organizations donated large amounts of money and gifts to help support and brighten the lives of the children.

This year the building must be demolished because it is not salvageable.  To add to the historic record of the Children's Home, the Licking County Commissioners are asking that anyone who lived or worked there be interviewed.  Recordings of these interviews will be housed at the Records & Archives Department.  If you lived or worked at the Children's Home or know someone else who did, please call us at 740-670-5121 to set up an interview.

Currently the Records & Archives Department has some Children's Home records which might be of interest.  These include the Registers of Admittance & Indentures, which provide basic information about each child who lived at the Home.  The Registers indicate the name of the child, sex, race, age when admitted, birthplace, names of parents, whether parents were living or dead upon admittance, admittance and departure dates, indenture information if applicable, and sometimes other remarks (indentured children were sent to work in a household or on a farm, to help pay for their upkeep).  Adoption information is included in some records, and the Licking County Probate Court has ruled that any such information must be kept confidential.  Therefore, adoption information will be redacted from Register information that is provided.

Reports by the Board of County Visitors describe conditions at the Children's Home and other county institutions.  The Department has these reports from 1892-1895, 1906, 1908, 1909, 1911, 1913-1917, 1920 and 1924.  Also, financial records of the Home are available from 1917-1977.

If you would like to get information from these records, please call us or send us a message at our contact form page.  Copies of some records can be sent electronically or via regular mail.