Hutchins Library
Special Collections & Archives
Guide to the Buckhorn Children's Center Collection, Part A, Overview
 

Accession Number: 45
Buckhorn Children's Center Collection
Selected Records, 1874-1979
Selected Photographs, 1900-1980
Online Catalog Record (BANC)


Overview
History
Part A - Selected Records
        Series I - Presbyterian Orphan Home Society of Louisville  (Presbyterian Synod Home for Children) 1874-1956
        Series II - Buckhorn Association, 1902-1960
        Series III - Presbyterian Child Welfare Agency, 1954-1979
Part B - Selected Photographs

Part A: Description of the Selected Records 1874-1979

The Buckhorn Children's Center Collection (1874-1979) consists of records of the Presbyterian Child Welfare Agency of Buckhorn, Kentucky (PCWA), incorporated in 1956. This collection also includes records describing the program and facilities at Buckhorn from 1902-1956, as well as the extant files of the Presbyterian Orphan's Home Society of Louisville. The Society, established in 1870, was reorganized and re-named the Presbyterian Synod Home for Children in 1946. It was later merged with the Presbyterian Child Welfare Agency at Buckhorn (Buckhorn Children's Center.) The PCWA is the legal successor of the Louisville Orphan's Home Society; thus the minutes of the governing board (1908-1956) and admission / release ledgers (1874-1936) are part of the collection.

Documentation of Buckhorn's history is sparse for the years 1902-1956, specifically for the administrations of Harvey Murdoch (1902-1936) and Elmer Gabbard (1936-1956). All that has survived are the yearly reports given by the directors to the Buckhorn Association, a New York City-based group that served as the governing body of the school beginning in 1916. Thus, the Board of Directors and Association membership annual meetings and reports (2 vols. 1916-1960) are the primary sources describing the program at Buckhorn during those years.

In 1953-54, The Buckhorn Association signed over the administration of the child welfare program and facilities to the E.O. Robinson Mountain Fund. The Robinson Fund administered Buckhorn until the 1956 merger with the Presbyterian Synod Home for Children. While the record of the Buckhorn Association is substantive, the lack of correspondence and other administrative files from 1902-1956 is unfortunate. As a result, all records found at the Center for this period have been microfilmed. (Berea's E.O. Robinson Mountain Fund Collection SAA 20, contains additional information on the Buckhorn Children's Center for the period 1953-1956.)

The collection is divided into three series: I. Presbyterian Orphan's Home Society of Louisville (Presbyterian Synod Home for Children), 1874-1956; II. Buckhorn Association, 1902-1960; III. Presbyterian Child Welfare Agency, 1954-1979.

Series Description of Selected Records

Series I Presbyterian Orphan Home Society of Louisville
(Presbyterian Synod Home for Children) 1874-1956
Microfilm Reels 1, 8

The most significant and prevalent records, the meeting minutes and reports to the Board of Managers / Trustees (1908-1956), detail the policies and activities of the Society’s central governing body and the overall administration and daily operations of the home. There is however, a sizable record gap; there being no files for the period 1925-1936.

Series II Buckhorn Association, 1902-1960 Microfilm Reel 1

This series details the activities and policies of the governing body responsible for the work done by Harvey Murdock and Elmer Gabbard.

Series III Presbyterian Child Welfare Agency, 1954-1979 Microfilm Reels 1-7

This series consists of correspondence, minutes of and reports to the Managers / Directors; yearly financial audits, deeds, bequests and leases; and publications generated by the Presbyterian Child Welfare Agency—all of which detail the philosophy, policies, operations, program, and staff at the Buckhorn Children’s Center.

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