BEECH BROOK, INC., which cares for emotionally disturbed children and their families, evolved from the Cleveland Protestant Orphan Asylum (est. 1852, inc. 1853) by the MARTHA WASHINGTON AND DORCAS SOCIETY. The asylum, proposed by REBECCA ROUSE, was created to care for children orphaned by a recent cholera epidemic. The first chairman of the Board of Trustees was SHERLOCK J. ANDREWS (served 1853-69). With the help of charter member Eliza (Mrs. STILLMAN) WITT, who paid the rent on the first facility on Erie (E. 9th) St., the asylum acquired enough money by 1855 to build a permanent residence at Willson (E. 55th St.) and Woodland aves., its location for 23 years. In the 1870s LEONARD CASE donated the land and JEPTHA WADE the money for a new building at 1460 (5000) St. Clair St. The asylum opened 17 Nov. 1880, to locate, feed, clothe, and educate homeless children of both sexes and all races and creeds, "sound of mind and body," and, if possible, to find homes for them.
The Cleveland Protestant Orphan's Asylum again moved to new quarters, at 3737 Lander Rd. in PEPPER PIKE, designed on the cottage plan, in 1926. The new facility was built on land donated by JEPTHA WADE II in 1916. By 1935, as more orphans were placed in foster homes, the asylum began admitting "troubled youngsters from disrupted homes." In 1958 the institution stopped accepting orphans altogether. It became a treatment center for emotionally disturbed children and their families in 1960, and in 1971 changed its name and charter to Beech Brook, Inc. By the 1990s the facility housed an average of 35 residents. In 1995 Beech Brook accepted children ages 5-12 referred by local health facilities and schools. Mario Tonti served as executive director.