Fairmount Children’s Home
In 1847 an act was passed by the state legislature authorizing counties to joint together for the formation of children’s home districts. Following the Civil War, hundreds of Ohio children were left homeless.
The commissioners of Stark, Carroll, Columbiana, Jefferson and Mahoning Counties met in Salem on June 25, 1874, for preliminary discussion. Out of this grew the Stark-Columbiana Children’s Home District which was authorized February 18, 1875, to issue bonds for the 153 acres of land 3 ˝ miles south of Alliance. This farmland was owned by Thomas and Susan Rakestraw whose son Captain William Rakestraw had died in the Civil War.
In the Alliance Review of February 26, 1876, the following article was published: "The Children’s Home is now enclosed, floors laid and ready for the inside work. The cottages will be finished and the institution formally opened about the first week of September. Dr. Buck and his wife of the Ohio Reform Farm will take charge."
The Alliance Review stated on September 1, 1876, "The Fairmount Children’s Home in Washington Township, this county, is now being furnished and will be ready for occupancy probably somewhere near the first of November. Dr.Buck, the Superintendent, is already at his post, overseeing the work of getting the buildings and ground into proper shape. The contract for the furniture for the institution has been awarded to J.B. McCrea, of this city, as the lowest responding bidder. This makes two institutions of this kind for Stark Co., the other being located near Massillon."
The Alliance Review of September 23, 1876, reported: "The formal opening of the Fairmount Children’s Home will take place October 20th. A general invitation is extended to the citizens of this Children’s Home District, comprising Columbiana and Stark counties, as well as to all friends of the cause, to meet at the "Home" on that occasion, and enjoy a basket picnic and participate in the exercises. The board of state charities will be present, as also eminent speakers from abroad. Let every friend of benevolent institutions, contrive to be present on that occasion. Bring with you baskets of provision and enjoy the day in one of the most delightful spots in the country. Come and see what Christian benevolence can devise and execute for the benefit of the poor and helpless among us."
On October 28, 1876, the Alliance Review reported: "This new Institution for the homeless children of Stark and Columbiana counties, four miles south of Alliance, is destined to much prominence as it is the first of the kind in Ohio where two or more counties have combined under State law.
The Board of Trustees is composed of the following gentlemen: Wm. Barber, Canton, Pres.: George Stover, Fulton: Cyrus Greiner, Alliance; James Davis, Salem; Joshua Lee, Homeworth.
This Board has selected and appointed Dr. Buck as Superintendent. He has for many years been an assistant and teacher at the State Reform Farm, near Lancaster, Ohio, and comes with the highest recommendations from Dr. Howe, the very able Superintendent of the important institution.
Of course it will take some time to put the Fairmount Home in working order, as everything is new, and untried, but we are sure it has the good will of our people and with proper management it will be a splendid success."
Fairmont Children's Home Employees
Supt. M. Southworth
Matron A. Southworth
Fairmount Children's Home Photographs