The CHILDREN'S AID SOCIETY, established in 1857 and incorporated on 22 Sept. 1865, was Cleveland's first organization dedicated to the care and education of poor children and the second children's aid society in the U.S. It organized to support the CLEVELAND INDUSTRIAL SCHOOL. Robert Waterton served as superintendent of the school and the society from 1857-76; TRUMAN P. HANDY served as president of the trustees from 1857-98. Children's Aid Society trustees included SAMUEL MATHER, JOHN D. ROCKEFELLER, AMASA STONE, JEPTHA H. WADE, and George Garretson Wade, among others. The society published The Advocate monthly during the 1860s. In 1876, when the city closed the Cleveland Industrial School, the Children's Aid Society modified its focus to house the children who formerly resided at the schools. It used the Industrial School facility on Detroit Rd. as its Cleveland Industrial School and Home.

In 1877 the society revised its constitution and by-laws, resolving to serve destitute and homeless children aged 4-16. Stone and Jeptha Wade provided funds for a new 4-story building on the Detroit Rd. grounds, dedicated 26 Jan. 1881. Following the resignation of Waterton in 1876, Rev. William Sampson served as superintendant and chaplain for over 19 years, travelling thousands of miles both in placing children and visiting them to confirm the quality of their care. Between July 7, 1876, and December 31, 1993, the society received and cared for 2,109 children. In 1898 DAN P. EELLS became president of the trustees; he served for the next 19 years. In 1921 a Welfare Federation study recommended another modification of services. Under trustees including LEONARD C. HANNA, JR., and Dr. ROBERT H. BISHOP, JR., the society became a mental-health center for retarded, neurotic, and psychopathic children in 1923. It established a demonstration clinic in 1924, which became the Child Guidance Center of Greater Cleveland (see GUIDANCE CENTERS). After various changes over the next 35 years, including a brief consolidation with the Children's Bureau (1927), the Children's Aid Society converted to a full treatment program and developed into an accredited residential treatment center for emotionally disturbed children. In 2001, the Children's Aid Society completed its first full year as an affiliate of Applewood Centers, Inc., and in 2002, still located on Detroit Rd., continued to offer residential and outpatient treatment to emotionally disturbed children and their families.


Black, white and red text reading Western Reserve Historical Society

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Finding aid for the Children's Aid Society Records, WRHS.

Memorial Record of the County of Cuyahoga and City of Cleveland, Ohio (Chicago: Lewis Pub. Co., 1894), pps. 806-9.

See also CHILD CARE.

Finding aid for the Children's Aid Society Records. WRHS.

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