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Orphanage in Andrew, IA


Orphanage, Andrew, Iowa
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The following is from Lutheran Social Services' 2013 Annual Report: "LSI's story begins with an anct of compassion in 1864 when a German Lutheran congregation from Andrew, Iowa, founded one of Iowa's first orphanages for orphans of the Civil War....May 27, 1864 the Iowa Evangelical Lutheran Orphans Society was incorporated.  These Lutherans then purchased 160 acres of farmland for $1,360 and dedicated a stone building that could house up to 75 children and staff, a bold beginning for pioneer times.  This orphanage would later become the Bremwood Children's Home in Waverly."


The first Lutheran Orphan's Home in Iowa was located at Andrew 75 years ago. It was later moved to Waverly where it is now located. Salem's Lutheran church observed its Diamond Jubilee on Sunday, June 19, 1938. First services were held in the orphanage and it was used for regular services until the first church was built in 1875. First services were conducted by the Rev. J. M. Scheuller. First members of the church were T. Janssen, Simeon Tebben, John Tebben, H. Defries, A. Defris, M. Linemann, Charles Speith, William Peter, Henry Schmidt and D. H. Daudel. Present pastor is the Rev. H. H. Diers. (SOURCE: Maquoketa Jackson Sentinel, 01 Jan 1938)


Orpahange Paper Published in Andrew
A publication printer in German at Andrew in 1890 was the "Blatter Aus Den Waifenhaufern." A copy dated Jan 21, 1890, was found recently by Mr. and Mrs. Roy Wagener, who live east of Andrew, in the wall of their home during a remodeling operation.
The title and pictures indicate that it was published in behalf of the Lutheran orphange located at Andrew at that time. It contains numerous verses of Scripture. (Newspaper article, no date.)


The following is from the section on Religion in "The Story of Iowa", Vol. II (1952):  "The Evangelical Lutheran Synod also maintains an Orphans' Home at Waverly.  This began at St. Donatus, Jackson County, when the congregation there made provision for a few war orphans in 1863.  In 1864 an Orphans' Home was opened at Andrew and in 1899 it was moved to Waverly.  In 1895 an orphans' home was opened at Muscatine, where Miss Myra Hershey offered her new home to the society.  In 1896 the orphans were moved into the Hershey mansion and the institution was named "The Elizabeth Hershey Children's Home."  In 1905 a separate home for the aged was opened and a 400-acre farm acquired ten years later."


We are working to transcribe census records for the orphanage.  If you have any additional information, photos, etc., we hope you will let us know.