The Grand Rapids Orphan Asylum
(Grand Rapids Daily Eagle - 29 January 1857)

For a number of years past, there has been in this city a society of ladies - members of various denominations - known as the "Union". The society has accumulated some money, and owns, we believe, a very eligible lot near the Fulton street cemetery, whereon they hope, at some future day, to erect an Asylum. The society has kept up its regular weekly meetings, and has ministered to the wants of a great number of poor and sick families in the city, both summer and winter, ever since its first organization. A sermon by some one of the city clergyman, has been annually preached before it, and collections taken up in aid of the funds on such occasions. On the 17th inst., measures were taken to become an Incorporated Institution under the provisions of Act 23, of the laws of 1855, for the incorporation of charitable associations, by the name appearing at the head of this article.
The object state in the articles is "to provide support and maintain a home for the orphan and destitute children, and to extend relief to sick necessitous persons". The number of Trustees is nine, and its officers a President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer. The annual meeting is to be held on the first Tuesday in January of each year. Any person who shall pay to the Treasurer the sum of ten dollars in money, in one year, shall become a member. The following named persons and their associates and successors, are constituted a body politic, to-wit:

Sarrell Wood

John M. Fox

George Kendall

W. G. Henry

G. S. Dean

H. J. Hollister

Albert H. Hovey

George Young

N. L. Avery

Charles Shepard

Cicero Potter

H. Bremer

J. H. McKee

William Hoven

J. P. Richardson

Charles C. Perkins

Mrs. J. M. Williams

Mrs. W. G. Henry

Mrs. E. S. Eggleston

Mrs. Gaius Dean

Mrs. Judge Morrison

Mrs. S. L. Withey

Mrs. Cicero Potter

Mrs. S. M. Hovey

Mrs. R. V. Hovey

Miss S. W. McIntyre


Among the ladies above named, we are pleased to see the names of Mrs. Williams, Mrs. Henry, Mrs. Eggleston, Mrs. Withey, Mrs. Dean and Mrs. Potter, who have long been identified with the society, and given it credit before the community by their zeal, intelligence, sound judgment and good counsel; and if the female department of the asylum never falls into more skilful hands, or shall be directed by them and such associate ladies as are above connected with them we shall entertain little doubt of its future success. We believe, (although the articles are silent upon the subject) that it is intended to embrace all denominations in the corporation, and the names above, represent some of the active, benevolent and leading members of the Episcopal, Congregational, Methodist, Baptist, Swedenborgian, Presbyterian and Lutheran Churches in our city.
We are not, of course, called upon to express any opinion as to the necessity for such an institution as is proposed. Our own opinion would be that of dissent, from what we know; believing that the very few orphans which will necessarily be thrown upon this city for a number of years, can be better and more economically cared for, brought up, and educated, by families adopting them, than by the very great annual outlay, (to say nothing of the expense of a building) which such an institution will call for, added to the troubles and constant care incident thereto. However, the ladies have willed it, and we have long since concluded their will - if not too wilful - was law; and so we are bound to support them all we can. The names of the officers elected for the present year we have not learned.

Transcriber: ES
Created: 25 Jul 2009