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Elon Homes for Children Collection

Identifier: EUA065


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.

Copyright Notice

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

Physical Location

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.

Related Materials

Please consult the following publications for more information about the Elon Homes for Children: Elon Homes for Children: A Centennial History 1907-2007, call number 362.732 B637eL; Building for the Future with Pride in our Past: A History of Elon Homes for Children, call number 362.732 K269bu; Caring for 75 years: A Diamond Anniversary History of the Elon Home for Children, call number 362.732 B637ca; Biennial Report of the Board of Trustees of the Christian Orphanage to the Southern Christian Convention, call number 362.732 EL68bi; Town of Elon College: A Brief History, call number 975.658 M189to. Please consult with the Archivist and Special Collections Librarian for additional information about related materials to this collection.

Processing Information

Processed by Katie Nash, August, 2012

Encoded by Katie Nash, August, 2012
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the Belk Library Archives & Special Collections Repository

100 Campus Drive
2550 Campus Box
Elon North Carolina 27244 USA