Historic Pelham

Presenting the rich history of Pelham, NY in Westchester County: current historical research, descriptions of how to research Pelham history online and genealogy discussions of Pelham families.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

More About the Wartburg Orphans' Farm School on the Border of Pelhamville

Yesterday I posted to the Historic Pelham Blog an item about the Wartburg Orphans' Farm School founded in 1866. The school began on a 200-acre tract along the border of the tiny settlement known as Pelhamville. See Wednesday, August 29, 2007: Construction of Main Building on Grounds of The Wartburt Orphans' Farm School Near Pelhamville in 1869.

Today's posting transcribes an article about the School that appeared in the May 30, 1874 issue of the New York Times. The article details the institution and its mission in the first decade after its founding.


The anniversary celebration of the Wartburg Orphans' Farm School of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, located near Mount Vernon, Westchester County, took place yesterday. The institution differs materially from all others, inasmuch as it never abandons its care and protection of those once admitted as inmates. The boys are retained until they are able to learn respectable trades and take care of themselves, and the girls until they are fully capable of performing all the domestic duties of a household. But in case any who may leave the institution should become sick or disabled, or get out of employment, they are again received with the same welcome as would be worthy sons or daughters into the home of their parents. They eat at the same table and otherwise fare as well as the family of the Director of the institution. It has now been established eight years, during which period seventy-five orphans and half orphans have been admitted and cared for; of these, sixty are at present in the institution, fourteen have gone forth to learn trades, and one death has occurred since its organization. It is supported entirely by donations and contributions from friends and Evangelical Lutheran churches. No City or State aid has ever been received or asked for. No distinction is made in the reception of orphans in regard to their nationality or religion of their deceased parents. All the branches of education taught in our public schools are taught in this institution in both the English and German languages. In addition to their intellectual training, all the children are taught to work. The boys are thoroughly drilled in the cultivation of the farm and garden, and the girls in all the duties of the household, including baking, washing, sewing, &c. The inmates are not kept constantly at work, however, being allowed ample opportunities for play and recreation. The result of eight years' experience, under the direction of Rev. G. C. Holls, is deemed very satisfactory. The intellectual education of the children and their training in habits of industry, it is believed, will compare favorably with any other institution, while the cost of thus providing them with all the comforts of a home and the advantages of a good education presents a favorable contrast with other institutions."

Source: The Wartburg Orphans' Farm School, N.Y. Times, May 30, 1874, p. 2, col. 6.

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