Elizabeth Orphan Asylum, 1907, Annual Report

The trustees of the Elizabeth Orphan Asylum present the forty-ninth annual report with satisfaction, as they feel that it will show that the trust committed to them has been faithfully performed. It will be seen from the report of the Treasurer that the expenditures' have been kept within our income, due to the careful management of those who have the direct charge of the home and the supervision of the members of the several committees.

In providing the supplies for the Institution generous aid has been received from our many friends, among whom we always have reason to remember the children of the Public Schools. This year not only the donations of provisions, which came to the home from them at Christmas and Thanksgiving, were most liberal, but sums of money were sent by several amounting in all to about thirty-seven dollars. With this, in March, was bought a quantity of supplies and through the generosity of the gentleman who secured them for us at wholesale, our pantries were again well filled. The Prince Street School, at Christmas, also sent three dollars and fifty-seven cents. This bought the Christmas tree for the children, which, of course was thoroughly enjoyed.

We would also gratefully acknowledge the receipt of fifteen tons of coal from the unknown friend who has remembered us in this way for so many years, and the generous gift of one hundred dollars from the Elizabeth Elks Charitable Association.

The Wardrobe Committee, at their frequent meetings, cut. and prepare the garments necessary for the children, and in the making of these they have had the assistance of Societies, Circles of King’s Daughters and private individuals. Five hundred and six garments from the Elizabeth Branch Needlework Guild and forty-five from the Cranford Branch were again received. The donations from these sources every year help very materially to lighten the work of the Committee.

The Sunday School of the Asylum has met from week to week under the superintendence of Mr. William A. Clarke, succeeding Mr. Furber, who resigned in October, after several years’ of service in the school There are five teachers, Mrs. Lester, Miss Denman, Miss Johnston, Miss Walker and Mr. Howard, who with Miss Read and her assistants help Mr. Clarke in the work.

Christmas and Children’s Day have been observed with special programs. The school is in good condition and we are grateful to those who so faithfully keep up this part of the work.

The success of the Annual Excursion was again due to the untiring efforts of the gentlemen who constitute the committee in charge, from year to year. We would take this opportunity to assure them of our deep appreciation, and also thank those who generously provided cake and good things for the lunches taken by the orphans on the excursion and amusements for them at the beach.

A generous response came from the special appeal made through the Journal in September, for fruit and vegetables. The managers felt obliged to make this appeal because of the small amount of these things that the children had had during the Summer. It is most earnestly hoped that our friends will remember the children during the coming year and send them fruit and vegetables from time to time, feeling assured that if they did but realize how much pleasure they were giving, they would feel fully repaid.

Dr. Mravlag has again kindly attended to all cases of illness and to the examining of those applying for admission, while Drs. Wilson and Adelberg have given their services whenever necessary.

There have been changes in both the family at the Asylum and in the Board of Trustees during the past year. In November Mrs. Williamson, who had been the teacher in the school for six years was obliged to ask for a leave of absence on account of ill health, hoping that after a rest she might be able to return to her work. This was not to be, for after three months of illness she died, on February 16th, at Orange, where she had gone on leaving the Asylum. Kind to the children, thorough and painstaking in her daily work, in her death the Institution lost one who had been true to its interests.

In January occurred the death of Mrs. Daniel Denham, who had been a member of the Board of Trustees for over thirty-eight years, and for thirty-six years had served on the Wardrobe Committee. Giving of her time from week to week, through this long period, to care for the needs of the children must have meant much self-denial on her part and she will be especially missed in this department of the work. One new member, Mrs. Arthur Stevens, has been added to the Board during the year, and one member, Mrs. C. Addison Swift, has been obliged to resign. The school is now under the charge of Miss Ellen R. Benedict, who came to us in January.

It would be impossible to mention without adding very much to the length of this report, all who have contributed special pleasures to the orphans during the past year, for they have been remembered by so many of their friends, young and old, with donations of ice cream and cake, fire crackers, etc., on the Fourth, graphophone and other entertainments, picnics and trolley rides, but we feel that we must refer to two treats that were particularly enjoyed.

The birthday party given at his home by Master Joseph Gray, when the children of the Asylum enjoyed the pleasure of a really truly birthday party, was an unusual event and one long to be remembered, as everything was done that could add to the pleasure and comfort of all.

Then, on August twenty-eighth came the automobile ride, when thirteen autos, under the management of Mr. Bayard Craig, of the Sterling Garage, took all the inmates to Boynton Beach, where they found Mr. Boynton waiting to receive them, and through his generosity they were given the free use of the amusements, ice cream, etc., for all. Cake, whistles and flags had also been provided by some of our generous Elizabeth friends to add to the pleasure of the ride, and all who took part agreed they would never forget the afternoon of August twenty-eighth.

We would close the report, trusting that the same kind interest in the work may be shown by our friends during the coming year.

1. "Forty-ninth Annual Report", Forty-Ninth Annual Report of the Elizabeth Orphan Asylum Association, Elizabeth, New Jersey, 1907, Pages 5-7.

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