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Armour Home & Orphan's Home
Armour Home & Orphan's Home
TitleArmour Home & Orphan's Home
DescriptionPostcard of the The Gillis Orphans' Home and the Margaret Klock Armour Memorial Home for aged men and women.
Historical ArticleThe Gillis Orphans' Home, pictured at left on the old post card, was built through the efforts of a group of Protestant women, organized in 1870, whose early meeting place was the Christian Church at 12th and Main.

According to a newspaper story of that time the purpose of the Women's Christian Association was to relieve the needy and distressed in this new and struggling city.

Several different locations for homes were used for the needy women, girls and babies before the spacious, 3-story orphans' home was built in 1900 on a 3 1/2 acre tract at the northeast corner of 22nd and Tracy. Col. Thomas H. Swope deeded the association the plot and S. B. Armour donated $5,000 for the building.

Four years later the Margaret Klock Armour Memorial Home for aged men and women was built adjacent to the orphans' home. Mrs. S. B. Armour had given $25,000 toward the erection of the home and was president of the Women's Christian Association when dedication services were held.

Complying with the bequest in the will of Mary Troost, setting aside a part of the Gillis estate to be held in trust for orphans, the name Children's Home was changed to Gillis Orphans' Home. The old Gillis Theater in its heyday furnished a generous income to the home.

For nearly a quarter of a century the two institutions served Kansas Citians at the Tracy Avenue address. Then the need was felt for a much larger Armour home. There was a waiting list of more than 100.

With the need came the bequest from Joseph Schull Loose, with the First National Bank as trustee, and three pieces of downtown real estate. This gift, and the proceeds of the sale of the Tracy Avenue property, made it possible for the association to purchase 26 acres of land at 81st and Wornall and to construct the buildings that the Armour and Gillis homes now occupy.

In 1930 the Gillis Orphans' Home became the Gillis Home for Children and now focuses on emotionally disturbed boys 6 to 15 years old.

Kansas City Times
July 16, 1977

AuthorRay, Mrs. Sam (Mildred)
Item TypePostcard
CollectionMrs. Sam Ray Postcard Collection (SC58)
See finding aid: http://localhistory.kclibrary.org/u?/Local,36981
Local SubjectArmour Home
Margaret K. Armour Memorial Home
Armour Memorial Home
Gillis Home
Digital FormatJPEG
RepositoryMissouri Valley Special Collections, Kansas City Public Library, Kansas City, Missouri
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