|Prior to 1889, the indigent of Madison County were kept in children’s homes in other counties. In May of that year, the county contracted with Mrs. Auburn Smith to care for the children placed in her care. She kept them at her house that is still standing on North Main Street.
In the spring of 1897, the Ohio legislature authorized the issuance of bonds for the purpose of building the Madison County Children’s Home. The building was accepted by the county commissioners on Feb. 22, 1898. The first children were transferred from Logan County to the new home in London. That home stood until it was torn down in 1974.
Every year, individuals who once lived in the children’s home hold a reunion. This year’s event is set for Sept. 6 at Cedar Lodge at Battelle-Darby Creek Metro Park outside of West Jefferson. For details, call Jean Jester at 614-878-0428.
Earl Ballenger is a resident of London. To share old photos, call the Madison Messenger at 740-852-0809.