The fifty-third annual meeting of the Elizabeth Orphan Asylum finds the trustees of that institution facing not only great and increasing responsibilities, but business problems requiring much time, thought and wise judgment.
The sale of our Home on Cherry Street, the investment of funds, the buying and caring for our new property, the careful planning of the new building, that the generous gift which has come to us may be expended to the best advantage, have all been matters for deep and serious consideration.
The Advisory Board has been to us a very tower of strength, and has spared neither time nor thought in our behalf. Every step we have taken has been guided by their long legal experience and keen business judgment.
Our committees have found themselves confronted with unusual conditions during the year just passed. The long-continued siege of scarlet fever, though in a light form, interefered very materially with our usual routine. Many of our monthly meetings were held in the homes of the trustees, and though in constant touch with the Asylum, the members of the housekeeping committee were at times unable to make their regular weekly inspection. Too much cannot be said in praise of our matron, Mrs. Savidge, and her helpers, during this strenuous time. The trustees are glad to express in this report their great appreciation of her constant watchfulness and faithful care.
During the year twenty-two children have been admitted and thirteen have been taken by relatives, or placed in comfortable homes. There are now seventy in the Asylum.
The school is once more, under the care of a competent teacher, progressing in its usual orderly manner. The work of the wardrobe committee has been accomplished under difficulties, all their cutting and planning having to be done at the home of their chairman. A large donation of garments and household linens from the Needlework Guild was most thankfully received.
The annual excursion in August, under the usual capable management, added a goodly sum to our treasury, and was a day long to be remembered by the children. They were also delighted with an entertainment and treat given them by the Elks, in their new home on Westfield Avenue, early in September. The many gifts of money, toys, clothing and provisions sent by schools, churches, merchants and individuals all through the year, but especially on Donation Day and holidays, were gratefully received and added much to the pleasure of the children. A children’s fair, given for the benefit of the orphans by Miss Helen Townley and her friends, is worthy of special mention. It was most successful and netted nearly $300. One friend never fails to send us each year fifteen tons of coal. Though by name unknown, we hope he has heard how much we appreciate his generous gift.
Often the years slip by with little or no apparent change to mark their passing. This year, for us, has been full of change. For the irst time in eight years death claimed one of our little ones. On February 15th , Carrie Voll succumbed to a combination of diseases induced by an attack of inflammatory rheumatism. During the winter Dr. Conover resigned from our medical staff and Dr. Bunting was appointed in his place. Dr. Conover and Mr. Richards, of the Board of Health, were most kind and helpful during our long siege with fever, Mr. Richards personally superintending the fumigating of the building, and making all arrangements for the transportation of the little patients to the Isolation Hospital, where they were cared for "without money and without price."
We note with regret the resignation from our board of Mrs. J. Mortimer Townley; Mrs. W. H. Gulick was elected to fill the vacancy. The year has brought other changes also in our official board. Mrs. Joseph Cross was elected First Directress to fill the place left vacant by the death of Mrs. Sarah H. Clark, and Mrs. Sidney S. Thompson, Second Directress in place of Miss Nuttman, who preferred to serve in the ranks. Several small legacies and sums of money which have come to us during the year, gives unusual evidence of the loving thought of our friends. One was a gift of $1,000 from the Female Humane Society on its one hundredth anniversary, when feeling that its work was finished, the society disbanded. By special request of Mrs. Sarah H. Clark, who for so many years was our First Directress, five hundred dollars was sent to us by her children in memory of the late Rev. Samuel A. Clark. Another legacy of one hundred and fifty dollars was left to us by Mr. Wm. P. Thompson, and a gift of one hundred dollars was received from Mr. Francis Collingwood, on the fiftieth anniversary of his marriage. We feel that our friends have been very good to us, and those who have passed into the life beyond have shown that our Orphan Asylum was very dear to their hearts.
It has indeed been a year of history making. Our old home of over forty years, the scene of many hopes and fears, and much earnest work, has been sold; then, to our unspeakable joy, a blessed relief to anxious care, came the munificent gift of Mrs. John Stewart Kennedy, first of land for our home, then of money for the new building, which we hope will be a blessing and an ornament to our city.
We close our fifty-third report in the same spirit in which we began, with hearts full of gratitude for the blessings which have been ours, and the confident hope that the public will help us to meet the increasing expenses and responsibilities which the coming year will bring.
1. "FIFTY-THIRD ANNUAL REPORT", Fifty-Third Annual Report of the Elizabeth Orphan Asylum Association, Elizabeth, New Jersey, 1911, Pages 5-7.