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Indiana Soldiers' & Sailors' Home

1865 - 1909

   Early in the summer of 1865, a meeting was called in the office of Governor Oliver P. Morton to devise ways and means to establish a State Soldiers' Home. About fifty gentlemen responded to the call. A board of directors was appointed and incorporated with this end in view.
   At first the city hospital building at Indianapolis was used, but early in 1866 the "Knightstown Springs" with 54 acres of ground, including the old springs hotel and several other buildings, was purchased as a "Soldiers' Home" for the sum of $8,500.00 of which was raised through private gifts and donations of the patriotic Indiana citizens.
   Soon finding that the institution could not rely upon donations to meet all operating expenses and keep the home open, they turned to the state for help.
   On the first day of March 1867, the Home for Disabled Soldiers became one of the institutions of the State of Indiana for the maintenance of the sick and disabled soldiers and seamen, but also for their widows and orphans. It was formally opened on 15 Jun 1867.
   One of the concerned patriots was a George Merritt who requested that if the legislature was to pledge to include provision for the surviving orphans of the dead veterans, that he would give $5,000.00 to their benefit. He suggested that the orphans be divided up into groups of ten with each group to be in the care of one woman, using widows of the fallen soldiers as foster mothers for the orphans and be paid a fixed monthly amount for their upkeep.
   In a short time the full number of ten was gathered from different parts of the State. In April of 1866, Miss Susan Fussell moved to the 'Knightstown Springs" and with her little family of ten orphans, occupied a little cottage on the hill on the east side of the road and here we have the first Soldiers' Orphans' Home at this place**
   *The first orphans under the care of and supported by George Merritt of Indianapolis. The following are the names of the first children admitted to the Knightstown Soldiers' and Sailor's Orphans' Home in April of 1866:
   Ben Burris, John Burris, Albert Clark, Charles Clark, Emma Gray, Harriet Gray, Henry Gray, Will Gray, Kate Lewis, Josie Phenis.
   In 1879 the feeble-minded Asylum was established in connection with Soldiers' Orphans' Home and continued thus until 1887, when the Feeble-minded children were transferred to Fort Wayne and this institution became the Soldiers' and Sailors' Orphans' Home.
*Note: I have came into possession of a booklet called "The Home Journal" that was published by the Knightstown Soldiers' and Sailors' Children's home in 1909 listing all of the home employees and pupils that have been in the home from 1885 up to and including 1909. In 1885 all records of the home were destroyed in a fire.
**The history of the home was taken from Hazzard's History of Henry County Vol. #2.
Also see: Knightstown Soldier's and Sailor's Orphans' Home

Boyd, Laura E.   Matron 1883 - 1884 
Brandt, Alice   Matron 1884 - 1885 
Brewington, R. F. NG Superintendant1877  
Brewington, R. F.   Steward 1873 - 1879 
Cole, John A. MD Salem, IN Physician 1883 - 1884 
Conde, Norman   CFO 1887  
Daggett, Angelis   Matron 1880 - 1881 
David, William C.   CFO 1887 - 1888 
Dillon, J. C. MD Knightstown, IN Physician 1884 - 1885 
Ewing, W. M. MD Ottowa, KS Physician 1880 - 1882 
Fuller, W. F. MD Greenfield, IN Physician 1885  
Graham, A. H.   Superintendant1891 - 1908 
Graham, Nina T. Columbus, IN Matron 1896 - 1906 
Green, A. W. MD   Physician 1882 - 1883 
Hamilton, Mrs. S. D.   Matron 1881 - 1883 
Harris, J. W.   Superintendant1890 - 1891 
Holloway, Emma J. Knightstown, IN Matron 1887 - 1888 
Holloway, O. E. MD Knightstown, IN Physician 1885 1890  
Hunt, John   Superintendant1879  
Ibach, R. F. Hammond, IN Superintendant1879 - 1880 
Kelsey, S. H. Leavenworth, KS Sreward 1869  
Lester, William C. Indianapolis, INCFO 1888 - 1891 
McCrea, John   Steward 1869 - 1872 
McGavern, W. B. Knightstown, IN Superintendant1877 - 1879 
Morris, Aaron H.   Superintendant1885 - 1890 
Morris, Anna Greencastle, IN Matron 1888  
Nixon, Charles O. Indianapolis, INCFO 1896 - 1902 
Sargent, J. A. Indianapolis, INSteward 1872 - 1873 
Smith, Mrs. M. A. Bloomfield, IN Matron 1885  
Smith, Thomas M.   Superintendant1885  
Stott, (LLD) W. T.   Superintendant1908  
Stott, Arabella R.   Matron 1906  
Stowhig, Mary   Matron 1885 - 1887 
White, J. W. Knightstown, IN Superintendant1880 - 1885 
Wishard, M. M. NG Superintendant1867 - 18771st Supt.
Wishard, Mrs. L. B. J.  Matron 1870 - 1880 
Wood, Aaron   Steward 1879 - 1882 
Woods, Henry H. Knightstown, IN CFO 1891 - 1902 
Woods, Henry H. Knightstown CFO 1902 2nd term
Woods, Juliet R. Knightstown, IN Matron 1890 - 1896 
2006 UEB


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