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Taylor Orphan Asylum

As published in "The History of Racine and Kenosha Counties" (Chicago: 1879)

Taylor Orphan Asylum, Racine (Submitted Photo)

This institution is located three miles southeast of the city. It was founded by Mrs. Emeline A. Taylor, widow of Isaac Taylor, late of Racine, and in pursuance of his wishes. The third item of Mrs. Taylor's will reads as follows:

Third.-I give and devise unto Mrs. C. E. Dyer, Mrs. Margaret Perine, Mrs. George Murray, Mrs. John F. Goold, Mrs. John Tapley, of the county of Racine, State of Wisconsin, the sum of $30,000, to hold in trust to erect an orphan asylum, in or near the city of Racine, in the county of Racine, Wisconsin, and to support the same. Said asylum to be open to the reception of all orphan children in said county, and such other poor, neglected and destitute children as the managers, by law, or their rules, may agree to receive. Said trust fund to be paid to such asylum as soon as one shall be duly incorporated and legally empowered to receive and use said fund for ihe purposes specified. This bequest is made as a memorial to the memory of my late husband, Isaac Taylor, and in fulfillment of his wishes.

The thirty-eighth item of the will gave and devised all the residue and remainder of the estate of Mrs. Taylor to the Taylor Orphan Asylum. The will also provides that the ladies should elect annually four male members to act with the Trustees as a Board of Directors. On the 8th day of June, 1867, the Trustees organized the corporation. The Directors then purchased a farm of about fort acres of land, and erected a magnificent brick asylum building thereon, which was open for the reception of children in July, 1872. On June 2, 1875, the corporation held funds on interest, secured by notes and mortgages on real estate, and municipal bonds, to the amount of $132,854.70. The institution has not only been self-supporting, but, by the economical management of the present Matron, interest money has been added to the principal, increasing, the sum to $140,000. The Board is required to render an account to the Circuit Court on the first day of the March term in each year. The institution is under the efficient management of Mrs. Hobson, as Matron, late of the Half-Orphan Asylum of Chicago, Ill. She is assisted in her duties by Miss Emelia Piper, and Miss Edith Piper has charge of the school. The institution provides a cheerful and comfortable school-room, also a chapel, in which Rev. Converse, of Racine College, holds service ever Sunday afternoon. There are at present fifty-eight children in the institution. Orphans of the county are admitted regardless of age up to ten years. There are constantly employed, six female servants in the Asylum., and one farm laborer, who, with the aid of the older boys, cultivates the garden and farm. It is the wish of the managers of this Asylum to give the children under their care such instruction as shall make them self-reliant and industrious; to surround them bv influences which shall develop their moral character and make them useful members of society to give them such a home that they will always remember with gratitude and affection the names of Mr. and Mrs. Taylor. With but two exceptions, the inmates up to present date have been foreigners, or of foreign descent. The Trustees are appointed for life, and are now the same as originally, with the exception that Mrs. James Weed takes the place of Mrs. Goold, who resigned. Mrs. John Tapley is President of the Board, of Directors. The male members of the Board are- M. B. Erskine, Treasurer; W. K. May, Secretary; H. Beebe and B. Bone. The institution has not escaped its full share of litigation in courts, but it is believed that all questions are now settled in favor of the Asylum.

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