The Resource Weaver Orphan Home (Hampton, Va.) records

Weaver Orphan Home (Hampton, Va.) records

Weaver Orphan Home (Hampton, Va.) records, 1847-1978
Weaver Orphan Home (Hampton, Va.) records
Inclusive dates
  • Records, 1847-1978, of the Weaver Orphan Home in Hampton, Virginia, which was operated from 1904 to 1965 by Rev. William B. Weaver (1852-1929) and his wife Anna (Bolden) Weaver (1859-1943), and later by their daughter Ruth (Weaver) Fagan (1898-1978) and her husband Spillman Fagan (1890-1973). In additon, there are records of the Gloucester Agricultural and Industrial School which Rev. Weaver co-founded, and papers of the Weaver, Bolden, and Fagan families
  • The Weaver Orphan Home records include administrative records and resident files. The administrative records contain accounts and receipts, annual reports, applications for admission, bank statements and check registers, budgets, calendars, circulars, clippings, correspondence, donation records, inspection records, lists of residents, licenses, minutes of the Board of Trustees, newsletters, photographs and negatives, placement records, programs, records of charitable organizations, including the Community Chest and Peninsula United Fund, religious tracts, report cards and other school records, telephone logs, and visitor registers
  • The resident files contain information relating to the children who were placed in the Home, either by a parent or guardian or welfare agency. There are not files for every child who was a resident. The files that are extant include any or all of the following materials: applications, case information, discharge and placement records, correspondence from parents or guardians, relatives, courts, social service organizations, or the resident themself, birth certificates, photographs, health records, award certificates and receipts from social service agencies, announcements and invitations to graduations and weddings, and school records, including transcripts, exercises, report cards, disciplinary notices, certificates, and graduation programs. The files are arranged alphabetically by surname of the resident
  • There is a small group of records of the Gloucester Agricultural and Industrial School that was co-founded by Weaver in 1888. Included are articles on the school, catalogues, circulars and forms, correspondence, deeds, programs, and teacher licenses. Of note is a minute and record book containing minutes from the school's formation, as well as invitations and flyers, including to programs where Frederick Douglass was the speaker. There is also a set of the school's monthly newsletter entitled "The Gloucester Messenger," and "The Gloucester Letter," which was written for a short time by Weaver after he severed his ties with the school
  • The Weaver-Bolden-Fagan family papers include calendars, condolences sent upon the death of Rev. Weaver, correspondence, deeds, diaries, ephemera, Hampton Institute Alumni Association materials, newsletters, newspapers, and programs. The diaries cover the period when Weaver left Gloucester County and moved to Hampton and founded the orphan home. Topics of the correspondence include courtship and wedding plans, and letters from Archer W. Bolden, Jr. (1860-1938) while he was stationed in the western United States with the 10th U.S. Cavalry and later with the 2nd New York Volunteer Infantry enroute to Cuba and Puerto Rico. There are also letters written by Ruth Weaver to her parents while she was attending Hampton Institute, and from Anna Fagan (1932-2002) to her parents while she was enrolled at Adrian College in Michigan
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Biographical or historical data
  • William B. Weaver was born in Winton, Hertford County, North Carolina on 7 April 1852. He was the son of Willis Weaver (ca. 1814-1893) and Sally Weaver (ca. 1824-1894). Weaver attended Hampton Institute from 1872 to 1875. He then taught at various schools in North Carolina, Virginia, and Pennsylvania. In 1879, Weaver went to Gloucester County, Virginia, where he taught in the public schools for six years, including at Bethel School. On 1 September 1884, Weaver married Anna Bolden. She was born into slavery in 1859 in Cumberland County, Virginia. Following the Civil War, she and other family members moved North and settled in New York between Albany and Troy. She graduated from Albany High School in 1880. Bolden then went back to Virginia and taught at Bethel School where she met Weaver.
  • In 1888, Weaver and Thomas C. Walker (an 1883 graduate of Hampton) co-founded the Gloucester Agricultural and Industrial School in Cappahosic. Weaver left the school in 1900. The Weaver family then moved to Hampton, and in 1902 purchased 25 acres of land, and built a home the following year for the care of African-American orphans. The first children arrived on 12 August 1904. They also operated a school at the home until 1958. The Weaver Orphan Home was not state-supported. It operated through contributions from parents, social service organizations, welfare agencies, and private donations. In the early years, there were as many as 35 residents, but later attendance was around 20 children. The Home closed in 1965.
  • Rev. William B. Weaver died on 17 January 1929. Following his death, Anna B. Weaver continued to operate the Home with the assistance of her daughter Ruth Weaver Fagan (1898-1978) and her husband Spillman Fagan (1890-1973). The Fagans continued to run the Home for another 22 years following Anna B. Weaver's death on 16 September 1943.
Cataloging source
Weaver Orphan Home (Hampton, Va.) records
  • The Library of Virginia
  • 23.5
  • 13
Governing access note
There are access restrictions
Immediate source of acquisition
Price, Reuben
Organization method
Organized into the following series: I. Weaver Orphan Home Records. II Gloucester Agricultural and Industrial School Records. III. Weaver-Bolden-Fagan Family Papers.
Reproduction note
Type of unit
  • cu. ft. (56 boxes)
  • v.



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Library Locations

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