Clock Tower

Out of the Clock Tower

Hello and welcome to the Greene County Archives' blog, "Out of the Clock Tower".  Please join us as we share information on archival issues, news, special events, and highlights from our collection.

Before the archives program began in Greene County in 1996, permanent records were stored in every conceivable space, in basements, garages, and closets. Usually they were in boxes of various shapes and sizes, although seldom adequately labeled, but occasionally they were just in loose piles of books and papers. Most notable were the old records stuffed into the clock tower of the County Courthouse, where they shared their home with pigeon droppings.

Now, there is a clean, environmentally controlled, well appointed location for the county archives, where our historical records are housed in standard sized boxes on steel shelves. We have taken note of their journey in the name for our blog.

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May 02

A Stay at the Greene County Children's Home

Posted on May 2, 2016 at 1:59 PM by Elise Kelly

When visitors come to the Archives they often ask, where did you get those beautiful stain-glass windows?

The vibrant, front-piece stain-glass window had been a centerpiece to the Greene County Children's Home.
      Greene County Archives' Reading Room 
Tearing Down the Children's Home - Xenia Daily Gazette, Nov. 28, 2012
In November of 2012, the stately and historic Children's Home was torn down. This building had been a fixture in Xenia for 100 years and was home to numerous indigent children.

In more recent years, the offices of the Greene County Board of Elections and Greene County's Parks and Trails were located in the home.
Since the early 1980s, the building's third floor stopped being used.  By 2012, the house had become structurally unsound and was too costly to maintain.

The Greene County Commissioners decided to give the go-ahead for demolition.

yellow house
Greene County Home in 2012

Another question that visitors often pose is where was the Children's Home located?

Back in 1910, the Greene County Commissioners approved a request to construct a new Children's Home, after the former one burnt down.

$25,000 was appropriated to build the home. A contract to excavate and build the foundation was awarded to the Dice Brothers of Xenia (See Below).

                      Greene County Commissioners' Meeting Minutes, Vol. 19

By the early months of 1912, construction was completed. The building had a school room, kitchen, living room, two dining rooms and dormitories. The boys and girls dormitories were located separately and in 1947, there were twenty boys and twenty-nine girls, ranging in ages from six to eighteen years of age. The building was also home to several pets for the children.

There were numerous reasons why the children came to the home. Many of them did not stay for long extended periods. Here at the Archives, we have two volumes of admission records. Let's take a look at some of the reasons why these children were being admitted  (See Below).
Present condition of child, and reason for commitment to the Home, etc. "Bad condition, Father and Mother in work-house. Mother found dead on street in Dayton. Father died."

Present condition of child, and reason for commitment to the Home, etc. "Mother ran away and Father had no one to care for them[.]

A Typical Day
Starting at 5:30 AM, the children's day began with household tasks and chores. The chores entailed helping in the kitchen, making one's bed and working in the garden. The children attended Xenia City Schools and church on Sundays. Some weekend outings included day trips to LeSourdsville Lake and the Greene County Fair.

                 Young boy who lived at the Children's Home - Circa 1950s

Many of the children who grew up in the home played in its expansive hallways, slept soundly in the dormitories and gardened in the backyard. Time change however, and by 1971, the children were placed in foster care and the services provided at the Greene County Children's Home ended.

Today we tell the children of Greene County about the history of the Children's Home.

One of the stories we relay is how this small child's crutch was found up in the Home's Attic. We explain to the children that it most likely was used by a child at the Home.

Although the Greene County Children's Home is gone, we still have pieces and memories to hold on to.
Until Next Time!

This Week's Trivia Question: Name the architect who designed the Greene County Children's Home.

Answer to Last Week's Trivia Question: When was the Women's Army Corps established? Answer: 1942

Sources: Baxter, Joan. "Indigent children had a home." Xenia Daily Gazette. Thursday, March 20, 2003.


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