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Julia A. Baker Home for Children
Julia A. Baker Home for Children
TitleJulia A. Baker Home for Children
DescriptionPostcard of the Julia A. Baker Home for Children
Historical ArticleThe Home of Julia A.W. Baker and Her Children, 3500 E. 9th, Kansas City, Mo. is the caption on what evidently is a promotional postcard. The home catered to the children of worthy widows who contributed money each week for their children's care and which was supposedly kept individually in savings accounts for later use, notes a writer of the day. A large barn in the rear was used as a club house and at night the girls slept on the first floor and the boys on the second.

But all was not well, nor as pleasant as the scene on the postcard might indicate. Trouble and a closing lay ahead.

Charges were made in 1915 by Dr. E.L. Mathias, probation oficer, that the children were delinquent and not attending school because of treatment by those in charge.

Judge E. E. Porterfield, known for his concern and work with young children, conducted an investigation of the home.

The entire court proceedings which followed were covered in detail by Kansas City newspapers. Witnesses from Wisconsin told of the Baker home being banned from that state. Witnesses from Joplin, Mo., testified that the Baker home there had been closed. Neighbors of the Kansas City home told of the children being underfed and said they were often seen eating from garbage cans.

The Mother's Appeal pennant shown on an automobile in the postcard background advertised a magazine published by the Baker Corporation of which Mrs. Baker was president. The children of the home sold the magazines on the streets and some begged, according to a story in The Kansas City Star of December 14, 1915.

Friends of Mrs. Baker contended she was being wrongfully accused. But Judge Porterfield ordered the home closed December 24, 1915.

Recently on a visit to a neighborhood, on a bitter cold day, the scene had greatly changed. The house and barn were still standing. The barren lawn boasted no trees. Walks and drive were worn. The years had taken their toll.

In the blast of cold winds howling about the old barn, we wondered what it might have been like in 1915, with 65 sleeping children.

Kansas City Times
February 28, 1986
AuthorRay, Mrs. Sam (Mildred)
Item TypePostcard
CollectionMrs. Sam Ray Postcard Collection (SC58)
See finding aid: http://localhistory.kclibrary.org/u?/Local,36981
Local SubjectResidences
Julia A. Baker Home
Digital FormatJPEG
RepositoryMissouri Valley Special Collections, Kansas City Public Library, Kansas City, Missouri
RightsReproduction (printing, downloading, or copying) of images from Kansas City Public Library requires permission and payment for the following uses, whether digital or print: publication; reproduction of multiple copies; personal, non-educational purposes; and advertising or commercial purposes. Please order prints or digital files and pay use fees through this website. All images must be properly credited to: "Missouri Valley Special Collections, Kansas City Public Library, Kansas City, Missouri." Images and texts may be reproduced without prior permission only for purposes of temporary, private study, scholarship, or research. Those using these images and texts assume all responsibility for questions of copyright and privacy that may arise.
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