Helping the Children

It’s nice when different  projects we work on at the Library Commission come together in some way.   In this case some biennial reports that we have scanned from our state documents collection are related to a new Nebraska Memories participant.

The Nebraska Children’s Home Society  has a long history of caring for children who have been orphaned or  become wards of the state.  The Society  recently contributed images of some of their historical photographs to Nebraska Memories.  Dr. Elmer P. Quivey  founded the Nebraska Children’s Home Society in 1893 and was the State Superintendent from 1893 to 1920.   The Society  offered support and assistance to parents committed to keeping their family together, and provided foster and adoptive homes for children who could not stay with their families.  It also worked to  find homes for children  admitted to the state Home for the Friendless.    The 1904 Biennial Report of the Home for the Friendless  provides a wealth of information about the education, nutrition, health and placement of children who lived there.

Badminton game In 1923 the Nebraska Children’s Home Society constructed a building at 3549 Fontenelle Boulevard in Omaha.  It was a residence  for children awaiting adoption as well  as the Society headquarters.    In this photo a  badminton game   is being played on the lawn by two boys, while other children watch.  I love the bloomer style pants one of the players is wearing! Additions were made to the building in 1948 and 1965.


Toy makers in training Toy makers in training These fellows are obviously having a great time as toymakers in training.   Were the toys being made for younger children at the home,  for them to play with, or perhaps to sell to support the  Home?  They were gaining skills in the shop that would have been helpful for future employment.

Baking a cakeThese girls were gaining other skills – in the domestic arts – while baking a cake.    Do you think the boys ever got to help with the cooking or the girls ever got to work in the shop?

Visit Nebraska Memories to search for or browse through many more historical images digitized from photographs, negatives, postcards, maps, lantern slides, books and other materials.

Nebraska Memories is a cooperative project to digitize Nebraska-related historical and cultural heritage materials and make them available to researchers of all ages via the Internet. Nebraska Memories is brought to you by the Nebraska Library Commission. If your institution is interested in participating in Nebraska Memories, see for more information, or contact Beth Goble, Government Information Services Director, or Devra Dragos, Technology & Access Services Director.

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