Elon Homes for Children Collection
This collection includes materials related to the Elon Homes and Schools for Children, formerly known as the Christian Orphanage. The collection is arranged chronologically and then alphabetically by type of material. For additional information about what is included please refer to the section below titled "Detailed Description of the Collection."
- 1900 - ongoing
Conditions Governing Access
Collection is open for research.
The nature of the Archives and Special Collections of Belk Library means that copyright or other information about restrictions may be difficult or even impossible to determine despite reasonable efforts. The Archives and Special Collections of Belk Library claims only physical ownership of most materials. The materials from our collections are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study, pursuant to the U.S. Copyright Law. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials. Any materials used for academic research of otherwise should be fully credited with the source.
Biographical / Historical
In 1892 the Southern Christian Convention began raising funds to build an orphanage, and in 1905 The Christian Orphanage was established in Elon College, North Carolina. The first building on the grounds was referred to as the Main Building and it opened in January 1907. The building was a two story brick structure that was 116 feet long and included nine bedrooms, five larger bedrooms, two large rooms for the smaller children, a chapel, a dining room, closets, a sitting room with a double office area, a kitchen, and pantries. Facilities in the early 1900s included the Main Building with the capacity to care for 50 children on 111.6 acres of land; in the upcoming years a small barn with a silo, granary, crib, milk house, and gear house were added. The Christian Orphanage changed names twice in its history; the first change occurred in 1956 to the Congregational Christian Home for Children, and then in 1964 changed to Elon Home for Children (an 's' was added to Home when satellite campuses were created). The Main Building was leveled in 1969 to make way for the new McFarland Activities Center. The historic relationship between the university and Elon Homes and Schools for Children began with leaders of the Christian Church, the predecessor of today's United Church of Christ, who founded Elon College in 1889 and the Christian Orphanage in 1905. Charles D. Johnston, superintendent of the orphanage from 1916-1949, was treasurer of the Elon College Board of Trustees. Many of the children who were raised at the orphanage went on to graduate from Elon College. Johnston's successor as superintendent was John G. Truitt, Sr., a 1917 Elon graduate and father of the Rev. John G. Truitt, Jr. The Rev. Walstein Snyder, a 1945 Elon graduate, was president of the orphanage from 1960-1990. The five buildings purchased by the university include a large central facility formerly known as the Barringer Building and later used for The Elon School, a private high school that opened in 2007. There is also a residential building, gymnasium, two additional classroom/office buildings and a soccer field. Elon University also owns Johnston Hall and Holt Chapel that were once part of the Elon Homes for Children.
0.80 Linear Feet (2 archival boxes)
Language of Materials
The collection is arranged chronologically and then alphabetically by type of material
The collection is located in the Carol Grotnes Belk Library Archives and Special Collections at Elon University. Please contact the Archivist and Special Collections Librarian for further details about the location.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Unknown. Materials collected and assembled over many years to form collection.
Processed by Katie Nash, August, 2012
- Children--Institutional care. Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Church work with orphans. Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Elon College--Buildings.
- Elon College--History.
- Elon Homes for Children.
- Elon University--Buildings.
- Elon University--History.
- General Convention of the Christian Church--History.
- General Council of the Congregational Christian Churches of the United States--History.
- Orphanages--North Carolina--History. Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Orphans. Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Encoded by Katie Nash, August, 2012
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Code for undetermined script