Miami County, Ohio Genealogical Researchers -- Sponsored by the Computerized Heritage Association


    Perhaps no institution in Miami county reflects more credit upon the citizens of the locality than does the Knoop Children's Home, at Troy, wherein many little homeless boys and girls are each year provided with tender care and given not only the necessities but also many of the comforts of life. Under the able superintendence of two men, who have had the place in charge, it has indeed been made a home, and the kindness and attention denied children by their parents or as the result of an adverse fate is here accorded them. The institution had its beginning on the 4th of June, 1877, when John K. Knoop deeded to Isaac Clyne, W. H. Northcutt and D. E. Branson, commissioners of the county, and their successors, the place known as the John Statler farm, comprising one hundred and sixty acres of valuable land in Elizabeth township, the condition attaching thereto being that the commissioners erect a building and maintain it as a children's home. The question of accepting the gift and providing funds to build and maintain the place was voted upon in October of that year, with the following result: five thousand eight hundred and ninety-one votes for and one hundred and seventy-five against its establishment. D. W. Gibbs, of Toledo, was selected as the architect, and on the 8th of May, 1878, contracts were awarded to various builders, the home being erected at a cost of sixteen thousand two hundred and seventy dollars and twenty-five cents. The total cost of the main building, including the gas fixtures, was twenty-four thousand one hundred and seventy- one dollars and fifty-nine cents and the entire improvements up to date have been made at a cost of forty-eight thousand dollars. The first trustees selected were William Scott, of Piqua; Jacob Rohrer, of Tippecanoe City, and S. K. Harter, of Troy. Mr. Scott, however, declined to serve and R. P. Spiker was selected in his place. W. Barnes was chosen superintendent and his wife, Mrs. Martha Barnes, was made matron. On the 10th of March, 1878, he assumed control, and when the institution was opened fifty-two children were placed in its care. Throughout the intervening years it has had a prosperous existence. The idea was put forth that the home would be overcrowded and that the expense would be too heavy for the tax payers, but in 1899, twenty-one years after the establishment of the home, there were only forty-five children therein. However, during the intervening years it has afforded shelter and secured homes for seven hundred and seventy children. Mr. Barnes, the first superintendent, remained in charge for twelve years, or until 1890, when he was succeeded by Henry Jay. Instructions equal to the regular ten-months schooling is given to the children in the home, who are under the care of two competent teachers. The terms of admission to the home are very liberal, the institution furnishing shelter and protection to such children, who by reason of abandonment by parents or orphanage or neglect or inability of parents to provide for them, become dependent on others. They must have resided at least one year in Miami county, or may be residents of other counties if the trustees wish to admit them to the school. All kinds of small products and fruits and grain are raised in sufficient quantities to provide the table and also for stock-feeding purposes, and thus the institution contributes largely to its own support. The majority of the children who have entered the home have been placed with private families, and in a greater number cases have received good care and attention and have grown to be a credit to those who have kindly sheltered them.

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