The Resource Memorial Foundation for Children records

Memorial Foundation for Children records

Memorial Foundation for Children records, 1811-2006
Memorial Foundation for Children records
Inclusive dates
  • Records, 1811-2006, of the Memorial Foundation for Children of Richmond, Virginia. Includes admittance books, annual reports, case files, charters, clippings, constitutions and bylaws, contracts, correspondence, grant files, histories, minutes, photographs, reports, and scrapbooks documenting the history of the organization. The papers are organized into three series. Series have been designated for: Series I. Grant files; Series II. Administrative records; and Series III. Case files. The records document the organizations role in supporting and helping needy children in Richmond for over 200 years
  • SERIES I: GRANT FILES, 1993-1999. The Grant files are housed in 21 boxes and arranged chronologically by year and then alphabetically by the organization's name. Included are annual reports, board rosters, clippings, correspondence, financial statements, grant forms, newsletters, notes, reports, and tax information. This series includes information on grants extended by the Memorial Foundation for Children Grants Committee to local non-profit charitable organizations focusing on children and teen programs, mainly in the Richmond area
  • SERIES II: ADMINISTRATIVE RECORDS, 1811-2006. The Administrative records are housed in 20 boxes and arranged alphabetically by folder title. Included are accounts, admittance books, budgets, charters, clippings, constitutions and bylaws, contracts, correspondence, histories, insurance policies, minutes, photographs, reports, and scrapbooks documenting the history of the Memorial Foundation for Children
  • SERIES III: CASE FILES, 1891-1957 The Case files are housed in 34 boxes and are arranged chronologically by the year the file becomes available to the public and then alphabetically by last name. All of the files are restricted for 75 years after the case closing date. As the cases are opened, the names of the children will be made available. Included are admission applications, medical records, family histories, psychological evaluations, photographs, birth certificates, school records, correspondence, and case worker notes. The case files include very detailed personal information on the childs family, mental abilities, and physical health, and should be treated in a confidential manner
  • For a more detailed Scope and Content Note view the online Finding Aid
Member of
  • Accessioned
  • Accessioned
  • Described
Biographical or historical data
  • According to several written histories, the story of the Memorial Foundation for Children of Richmond began in 1805 when a young homeless girl presented herself at the door of Mrs. Jean Moncure Wood, wife of Governor James E. Wood. Realizing the lack of shelter for homeless children in the city, Mrs. Wood decided to find a way to create a refuge for homeless girls. With the help of Mrs. Philip Norborne Nicholas, Mrs. Edward J. Carrington, and Mrs John Bell, among others, the Female Humane Association was formed in 1807 for "...the relief and comfort of distressed females, and for the maintenance and instruction of destitute white female children residing in the City of Richmond." Initially the society was formed to care for adult women and children, but soon decided to focus all of its efforts on aiding needy children.
  • In 1810 Major William Duval offered the Association two lots to build a home and the Female Humane Association of the City of Richmond was incorporated by Act of the General Assembly of Virginia on 8 January 1811. In 1813 the first home was built on the corner of St. John's and Charity Streets in Richmond. The organization solicited members and money to expand their organization and housed a number of full time and day boarders. In 1841 the Association received large bequests from the Amicable Society and the estate of Edmund Walls. The Amicable Society, which had been founded in 1788 to relieve strangers in distress, donated more than half its investment to the Association. The estate of Edmund Walls also gave a generous bequest to construct a new building. A new house was built on the corner of Seventh and Leigh Streets and opened May 1843. The Association prospered and had fifty girls living there. Some of the girls were bound out or indentured and some of the younger ones were adopted. The home continued operations during the Civil War and by 1878 the building was enlarged and held seventy-three girls.
  • On 3 September 1892 a fire broke out at the building and temporary shelter was found for the children at the Eustace-Grant house on Twelfth street. In 1916 Mr. and Mrs. Frederick Nolting loaned the Association money to purchase a farmhouse and several adjoining acres at the north side of the city. The organization soon outgrew the farmhouse and in 1923 a new building was constructed, a gift of Mr. and Mrs. Frederic William Scott, as a memorial to Mrs. Scott's mother, Mary Cameron Buford. In 1921 the name, Female Humane Association, was changed to Memorial Home for Girls. In 1922 the school received the first license issued in Virginia to a child-care institution by the Department of Welfare and Institutions. The Memorial Home continued to provide a home for children, along with an education and training to find positions in the outside world.
  • During the 1920's and 1930's the trend of welfare work was to do away with private homes, substituting state-run institutions, and placing children in private boarding homes. There was a decline in the number of applicants for the Memorial Home for Girls and yet an increase in serious behavioral problems of the children in the home. After a study of the Memorial Home and the needs of society by Dr. Esther Loring Richards of the Phipps Clinic of John Hopkins University, the organization made some radical changes. The Memorial Home for Girls began specializing in the treatment of emotionally disturbed girls and boys in a residential unit and day-care treatment center. The home also worked closely with the Children's Memorial Clinic, an organization founded by Richmond residents and funded by the Community Fund of New York. The Memorial Home provided residence for the children, while the Clinic provided clinical services.
  • In 1946 the Children's Memorial Clinic expanded to accept adults and changed its name to the Memorial Guidance Clinic. Also in 1946 the Memorial Home for Girls was renamed the Memorial Foundation. The two organizations worked closely together to provide guidance and psychological services to the maladjusted children (admitting boys in 1946). The children at the Foundation came to the home because they needed treatment for the various problems, anxieites, and emotional injuries. Both the Clinic and the Foundation resided on the same land given by the Scotts. In 1961 the Foundation built a home for children needing day care.
  • In 1962 the Memorial Foundation changed its name to Memorial Foundation for Children to mark a clearer distinction between the Clinic and the Foundation. Again, the organization decided to redefine the roles of the Foundation and Clinic programs. A recommendation was made by Dr. Reginald Lourie, Director of the Department of Psychiatry at the Children's Hospital in Washington, D.C., that the residential program be closed and the Foundation focus on the Day Care Center and psychiatric care. In 1967 the residential program was closed and the Day Care Center was made available to the Richmond Public Schools for special programming. The Foundation funded the cost of special education programs held by the Richmond Public Schools at the Day Care Center until 1970, when it was decided that the City of Richmond should finance its own special education programs.
  • In 1970 new tax laws were established which made the Foundation no longer a tax exempt orgainzation. Instead of becoming a public institution, the Foundation chose to remain private and make yet another radical operating change. In 1972 the Foundation decided to change from an operating organization to one providing financial aid to other charitable groups. Since 1972 the Memorial Foundation for Children has increased the number of tax-exempt organizations it has been able to help. Financial assistance continues to be given to projects appropriate to the Foundation's interest for the well being of children in the Richmond area. Members of the Grants Committee are changed each year and in 1998 the Board voted to employ a grants coordinator. The Memorial Foundation for Children recently celebrated its 201st Anniversary and continues to provide grants and financial aid to local charitable groups.
Cataloging source
Memorial Foundation for Children records
  • The case files, 1891-1957 (Series III) are restricted for 75 years from the date when the file was closed. Annually case files will become unrestricted as the 75-year time period passes. Names of the children contained within the case files will not be made available until their files are open. The only exception to the 75-year date restriction is for individuals whose files are contained in the collection. Proper identification must be presented in those cases by the individual seeking to view their files
  • Oversized photographs located in PP OVERSIZE BOX 59
  • The Library of Virginia
Cumulative index finding aids
  • Inventory
  • Inventory
Immediate source of acquisition
  • Memorial Foundation for Children
  • Memorial Foundation for Children
Type of unit
cu. ft.



Member of

Library Locations

    • Library of VirginiaBorrow it
      800 East Broad Street, Richmond, VA, 23219, US
      37.5415632 -77.4360805
Processing Feedback ...