1877: Middlesex County Orphans’ Home Established

On this day, a meeting called by Mrs. E.W.N Starr and attended by the leading ladies of Middletown was held at the Russell Library to organize the Middlesex County Orphans’ Home.  The move toward a home was instigated by the death of a nine month old child due to neglect and starvation.  Money was raised and the institution was incorporated by the legislature.  As was the procedure in those days, men were listed as the incorporators and the associate incorporators were the women who were actually behind the home.  Forty ladies were elected as the board of managers and the home was formally opened on July 15, 1878.  The home was supported through donations.  In 1883, the legislature passed an act establishing orphans’ homes in every county in the state.

Story contributed by Deborah Shapiro.

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