News From Terre Haute, Indiana


September 1, 2007

Genealogy: Orphanages play important role in history



The Glenn Home, which was located in the Lost Creek Township town of East Glenn, was also known as the Vigo County Home for Dependent Children. It operated from 1903 to 1979. It was built on the “cottage plan,” in which different buildings serving different ages were scattered across a campus. In 1915 it was said of the institution that “nothing of this class is superior in the state.” The home was partially self-supporting, with the girls making the residents’ clothing, as well as participating in other domestic activities, and the boys working on the farm that was part of the property. Glenn Home was the only one of the institutions that took infants. Its census ranged from around 175 to 60 children, but it averaged 100 residents at any one time. During certain years, the institution practiced racial segregation, and there are two buildings on the premises that once served as cottages for black children.

For genealogists, finding an ancestor or relative who was placed in an orphanage can be a challenge. A local woman, herself an adoptee, has spent the past three years building some impressive Web sites to honor Vigo County’s three orphanages and their past residents. Jennifer Krockenberger has built sites that tell the history of each institution, feature a variety of pictures and photos, offer a place for former residents to post queries or reminisce, and provide links to the federal censuses for each institution. Visit these fascinating sites at stannsorphanshome., roseorphans, and

Krockenberger also has a site at Homes/index.php?act=idx, which serves as a message board for the orphanage Web sites.

Next week will continue with more information on the orphanages and will feature information on the upcoming tribute to the Glenn Home children’s cemetery.

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    March 12, 2010