Guide to the San Diego Center for Children Records MS 227

Finding aid prepared by Aimee Santos
Collection processed as part of grant project supported by the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) with generous funding from The Andrew Mellon Foundation.
San Diego History Center Document Collection
1649 El Prado, Suite 3
San Diego, CA, 92101
December 19, 2011

Title: San Diego Center for Children Records
Identifier/Call Number: MS 227
Contributing Institution: San Diego History Center Document Collection
Language of Material: English
Physical Description: 10.75 Linear feet (20 boxes)
Date (inclusive): 1887-2000
Abstract: This collection contains the records of the San Diego Center for Children of which includes details of registered children, scrapbooks, photographs, and documents regarding internal operations.
creator: San Diego Center for Children.

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

The San Diego History Center (SDHC) holds the copyright to any unpublished materials. SDHC Library regulations do apply.

Processing Information

Collection processed by Aimee Santos on December 19, 2011.
Collection processed as part of grant project supported by the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) with generous funding from The Andrew Mellon Foundation.

Preferred Citation

San Diego Center for Children Records, MS 227, San Diego History Center Document Collection, San Diego, CA.


Collection is arranged into six series:
Series I: Administration
Series II: Reports
Series III: Finances
Series IV: Correspondence
Series V: Membership, Development, and Publicity
Series VI: The Children
The items in each series are arranged by subject.

Biographical / Historical Notes

In 1887, the Women’s Christian Temperance Union, San Diego Chapter, invested $1000 in a “home for indigent gentlewomen.” On February 17, 1887, the Center, located at 1365 16th Street, began as the Women’s Home Association for poor, aged and destitute women. In 1888, the Women’s Home Association created a Day Care Nursery as a service for working mothers and widowed fathers. The County began placing more and more children in the Day Nursery due to a surge of disadvantaged people. San Diego businessman and philanthropist, Byrant Howard, proposed a union of the Woman’s Home and Day Nursery and his Children’s Industrial Home which was an organization to serve the needs of homeless, abused, and delinquent children in San Diego. The Home and Day Nursery accepted the proposal which qualified the establishment for state aid. The San Diego Children’s Industrial Home, relocated to the present site of the Naval Hospital. In 1898, the name was changed to the Women’s and Children’s Home of San Diego and then the name was changed once again in 1904 to the San Diego Children’s Home Association. Finally, in 1975, the San Diego Children’s Home Association changed its name to the San Diego Center for Children. In an agreement with the City in the 1950s, the Home received an eight-acre building site in Kearny Mesa and $160,500 in cash in exchange for its 16th Street property which would be bisected by freeway construciton in 1957. An additional amount of $130,000 was raised through a fundraising campaign for the new Home, and on January 9, 1959, construction began of the Home at its present location on 3002 Armstrong Street in Kearny Mesa. The new Home consisted of three child care cottages, a classroom, a utility building, and a treatment building, which housed administration offices. The classroom, called the Cosgrove School, was the Home’s first on-grounds classroom with a capacity for nine children at a time.
Many women were involved in the prosperity of the Center beginning with founders Mrs. George Marston, Mrs. E.S. Babcock, Mrs. W.W. Stewart, Mrs. Carl S. Murray, and Miss E.M. Chapin. Women who served as presidents included Mrs. H.P. Davison, Mrs. M.H. Lesem, Mrs. Julius Wangenheim, Mrs. B.J. O’Neill, and Bernice Cosgrove. Another woman, Mrs. Winifred Lee Percival, served as Superintendent. It is also noted that George Horne served as Superintendent and Executive Director for some time.
The Center is San Diego’s oldest accredited non-profit organization and depends largely on the support from organizations and the San Diego public for funding. Promotional events such as the first Charity Ball in 1905, held under Mrs. Lena Sefton Wakefield, also contributed to the Center’s financial needs. Much later, a Gala party was thrown at the Hotel del Coronado on April 16, 1977 to celebrate 90 years of the Center’s success in San Diego. In 70 years, the Center took in approximately 6,000 homeless and neglected children.
The Center was known to provide care, affection, and understanding for children and it was never a disciplinary institution. According to the circumstances, the Center provided temporary or permanent housing for orphans, half-orphans, and abandoned children. Children were also taken in, in the case of sickness or an emergency in the family. Ages of children ranged from a few weeks to 14 years old.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession number 911024.

Scope and Content

The collection contains records from the San Diego Center for Children since its inception in 1887, including admission and medical records on the children admitted to the Center as well as general administrative and operational documents. Administrative documents include Articles of Incorporation and By-Laws, reports, internal and external correspondence, and financial records. There are also newsletters, brochures and pamphlets regarding community outreach. Documents pertaining to the central focus of the Center, the children, include admission registers and medical history cards of children admitted as early as October 6, 1888, as well as a visitor’s book dated from 1911 to 1991 and scrapbooks containing photographs and newspaper clippings. Also included are photographs of the children, the Center’s buildings and grounds, and events.

Subjects and Indexing Terms

Babcock, E. S., Mrs.
California. Dept. of Social Welfare.
California. State Relief Administration.
Chapin, E. M., Mrs.
Child Welfare League of America.
Chojnacki, Frank
Community Chest.
Cosgrove, Bernice
Crosby, Bing, 1903-1977
Daugherty, Charles
Davison, H. P., Mrs.
Day, Horace B., Mrs.
First Women's Christian Temperance Union of San Diego.
Fischer, Adam, 1888-1968
Gary, Cary, Ames and Driscoll.
Gill, Irving, 1870-1936
Holly Sefton Memorial Hospital.
Howard, Bryant
Jennings, F.S.
Kelcher, Louis
Lesem, M. H., Mrs.
Marston, George White, 1850-1946
Marston, George, Mrs.
Murray, Carl S., Mrs.
Neyes, Charles
O'Neill, B. J., Mrs.
Percival, Winifred Lee
San Diego (Calif.). Dept. of Public Health.
San Diego Center for Children.
San Diego Chargers (Football team).
San Diego Trust & Savings Bank (Calif.).
Sefton, Joseph W., 1882-1966
Sefton, Joseph, Mrs.
Stewart, W. W., Mrs.
Stewart, W. W.
United States. Food and Drug Administration.
Wakefield, Lena Sefton
Wangenheim, Julius, Mrs.
Wangenheim, Julius
White, Ed
Whitney, W. W., Mrs.
Zarelli, George
Abandoned children
Child mental health
Child welfare
Children -- Institutional care
Day care centers
Mental health
Non-profit organizations
San Diego (Calif.)
Social service


Series I: Administration

Box-folder 1:1

Articles of Incorporation, 1887-1907

Box-folder 1:2

Articles of Incorporation, 1930-1946

Box-folder 1:3

Articles of Incorporation, 1947-1975

Box-folder 1:4

Application to change name to San Diego Children’s Home Association (SDCHA), 1904-1915

Box-folder 1:5

Health Officer’s License of Women and Children’s Home, 1903

Box-folder 1:6

By-laws, 1954-1975 and undated

Box-folder 1:7

Rules and regulations, 1909-1948

Box-folder 1:8

Accreditations, 1996-1999

Box-folder 1:9

Proposal to the Board of Directors – governing board, staff, and institution descriptions, 1941

Box-folder 1:10

Board of Directors and Committee members, 1933-1977 and undated

Box-folder 1:11

“Book of Minutes 1900-1905” - meeting minutes, 1900 May-1905 May

Box-folder 1:12

“Record – Minutes 1905” - meeting minutes, 1905 May-1911 May

Box-folder 1:13

“Record – Minutes 1911” - meeting minutes, 1911 June-1914 April

Box-folder 1:14

“Record – Minutes 1914-1916” - meeting minutes, 1914 May-1917 January

Box-folder 2:1

“1917 Minutes” - meeting minutes, 1917 January-1920 December

Box-folder 2:2

“Record – Minutes 1921-1924” - meeting minutes, 1921 January-1924 December

Box-folder 2:3

“Record – Minutes 1925” - meeting minutes, 1925 January-1929 October

Box-folder 2:4

“Minutes 1930” - meeting minutes, 1929 November-1935 July

Box-folder 2:5

Minutes of Directors' meetings, 1930 July-November

Box-folder 2:6

Minutes of Directors' meetings, 1938

Box-folder 2:7

Minutes of Directors' meetings, 1939

Box-folder 2:8

Minutes of Directors' meetings, 1940

Box-folder 2:9

Minutes of Directors' meetings, 1941

Box-folder 2:10

Minutes of Directors' meetings, 1942

Box-folder 3:1

Minutes of Directors' meetings, 1943

Box-folder 3:2

Minutes of Directors' meetings, 1944

Box-folder 3:3

Minutes of Directors' meetings, 1945

Box-folder 3:4

Minutes of Directors' meetings, 1946

Box-folder 3:5

Minutes of Directors' meetings, 1947

Box-folder 3:6

Minutes of Directors' meetings, 1948

Box-folder 3:7

Minutes of Directors' meetings, 1949

Box-folder 3:8

Minutes of Directors' meetings, 1950

Box-folder 3:9

Minutes of Directors' meetings, 1951

Box-folder 3:10

Minutes of Directors' meetings, 1952

Box-folder 3:11

Minutes of Directors' meetings, 1953

Box-folder 3:12

Waiver of Notice of Special Meeting of Board of Directors, 1930-1934

Box-folder 3:13

Strategic Planning Committee meeting minutes, 1986

Box-folder 3:14

Minutes of SDCHA members annual meetings, 1930-1944

Box-folder 3:15

Statement of personnel practices, 1954

Box-folder 3:16

Personnel payroll lists, 1946-1953

Box-folder 3:17

Summary of Services and Charges (draft), 1986

Box-folder 3:18

Property documents, 1903-1961


Grant Deed
Building Agreement
List of Contractors
Box-folder 3:21

Miscellanea, 1930-1986


Notes on food consumption
Girls Institutions

Series II: Reports

Box-folder 3:20

Annual Reports, 1985-1999

Box-folder 4:1

Annual Reports by the President, 1939-1942

Box-folder 4:2

Annual Reports by the Superintendent, 1944-1947

Box-folder 4:3

Annual Reports by the Personnel Committee, 1941

Box-folder 4:4

Annual Reports by the Secretary, 1938-1945

Box-folder 4:5

Annual Reports by the Hospital, 1932-1949

Box-folder 4:6

Annual Reports by the Maintenance Committee, 1941

Box-folder 4:7

Annual Regular Enrollment Admission and Discharge Reports, 1930-1951

Box-folder 4:8

Annual Receiving Home Admission and Discharge Reports, 1950-1952

Box-folder 4:9

Social Statistics Reporting for Children’s Institutions, 1915-1919

Box-folder 4:10

Junior League Child Welfare Project Reports, 1938-1939

Box-folder 4:11

Study Salaries in Child Welfare Agencies, 1947

Box-folder 4:12

State Department of Social Welfare Reports, 1942-1943 and undated

Box-folder 4:13

Department of Public Health – City of San Diego Reports, 1936 and undated

Box-folder 4:14

"Challenge in Eduation Through Creativity" - report, 1965

Box-folder 4:15

Public Health Informational Brochures, 1935 and undated


Series III: Finances

Box-folder 4:16

Monthly Treasurer's Reports, 1926 July-1929 June

Box-folder 4:17

Monthly Treasurer's Reports, 1929 July-1933 June

Box-folder 4:18

Annual Financial Reports, 1932-1952

Box-folder 4:19

Annual Financial Comparative Reports, 1950-1951

Box-folder 4:20

U.S. Treasury Department documents, 1940-1955

Box-folder 4:21

State of California – Office of Franchise Tax Board documents, 1955, 1976

Box-folder 4:22

State of California – Board of Control: claim for aid, 1917, 1919

Box-folder 4:23

County of San Diego – Office of Assessor documents, 1939-1953

Box-folder 4:24

San Diego County Tax Collector: tax bills, 1948-1953

Box-folder 4:25

County of San Diego – Office of County Auditor, 1947

Box-folder 4:26

San Diego Trust and Savings Bank documents, 1954-1963

Box-folder 5:1

Community Chest of San Diego documents, 1926-1951 and undated

Box-folder 5:2

Community Chest of San Diego documents, 1954-1956

Box-folder 5:3

Child Welfare League of America, Inc. documents, 1937-1957

Box-folder 5:4

Stocks and Bonds lists, undated

Box-folder 5:5

Stocks and Bonds (A-B), 1932-1957

Box-folder 5:6

Stock and Bonds (C-K), 1931-1957

Box-folder 5:7

Stocks and Bonds (L-P), 1929-1957

Box-folder 5:8

Stocks and Bonds (R-W), 1928-1956

Box-folder 5:9

Record of Shares: Stocks and Bonds - standard bound notebook, 1943-1961

Box-folder 5:10

Property insurance, 1935-1953

Box-folder 5:11

Treasurer’s list of members of Association, undated

Box-folder 5:12

Auditor’s Report: Estate of W.W. Whitney, 1925-1926

Box-folder 17

"Cash Book" receipts and disbursements, 1906-1916

Box-folder 5:13

Receipts and expenditures, 1907-1950 and undated

Box-folder 5:14

Expenses - ledger, 1914 January 1-1918 July 31

Box-folder 5:15

“S.E. Ledger” – Building Fund, 1926 March 17-1928 December 21

Box-folder 5:16

Expenses - ledger, 1927 July 1-1935 June 30

Box-folder 6:1

"Ledger" - expenses, 1930 December-1937 July

Box-folder 6:2

“Cash Book” – financial records, 1930 July 30-1935 July 15

Box-folder 6:3

“D.E. Ledger” – expenses, 1937 August-1948 December

Box-folder 6:4

“Double Entry Ledger” – expenses, 1949 January-1957 December

Box-folder 6:5

"General Ledger," 1945 June 30-1954 December 31

Box-folder 18

"Cash Receipts, Cash Disbursements, Claims Payable Register," 1955 January 7-1958 December 30

Box-folder 20:1

"Record of Journal Entries" (1 of 2), 1958-1963


“Cash on Hand”
Accounts Receivable
Designated gifts
Foster Home income
Box-folder 20:2

"Record of Journal Entries" (2 of 2), 1958-1963

Box-folder 7:1

"General Ledger: Accounting," 1958 January 17-1963 March 31


Box-folder 7:2

Miscellaneous checks and receipts, 1943 January 13-1962 August 1


Checks payable to the Standard Oil of California and United Community Services
Box-folder 7:3

Miscellaneous financial correspondence, 1940-1959

Box-folder 7:4

Financial miscellanea, 1941-1962 and undated


“Designations” and “Checks Received”
Financial suggestions report

Series IV: Correspondence

Box-folder 7:5

Superintendent, 1905-1950

Box-folder 7:6

President, 1938-1946

Box-folder 7:7

Assistant Director, 1953

Box-folder 7:8

Secretary, 1942-1948

Box-folder 7:9

County of San Diego Department of Public Welfare and Office of City Clerk, 1938

Box-folder 7:10

Family Service Association of San Diego, 1941-1944

Box-folder 7:11

Department of Social Welfare, 1945

Box-folder 7:12

California State Relief Administration, 1939-1940

Box-folder 7:13

Junior League of San Diego, 1937-1939

Box-folder 7:14

Works Progress Administration, 1937-1939 and undated

Box-folder 7:15

U.S. Department of Agriculture – Food and Drug Administration, 1947

Box-folder 7:16

Affiliations and publicity, 1907-1982

Box-folder 7:17

Internal, 1909-1953 and undated


Thank You Cards

Series V: Membership, Development, and Publicity

Box-folder 7:18

Lists of SDCHA members, 1908

Box-folder 7:19

Designated “Direct” pledges to agencies, 1926

Box-folder 7:20

Pledges to "Building Fund," 1958 and undated

Box-folder 7:21

Newsletters, 1964-2000

Box-folder 7:22

Center's flyers and pamphlets, undated


Outreach for Donations and Membership
Box-folder 8:1

Charity events flyers and pamphlets, 1938-2000

Box-folder 8:2

Newspaper clippings, 1939-2000

Box-folder 8:3

"San Diego Center for Children 'Bring Back the Children'" (VHS tape), undated

Box-folder 8:4

"San Diego Center for Children 'A Better Day Down the Road' Annual Dinner 1999" (VHS tape), undated

Box-folder 8:5

"Centennial Charity Ball" photo album, 1987

Box-folder 8:6

"SDCC Campaign '89 – Community Outreach" - photos and pamphlets, 1989

Box 20:3

"San Diego Humane Society 'We Help the Helpless'" parade photograph, 1914

Box 20:4

"The Escalera's" family photograph, undated

Box-folder 8:7

Membership, development, and publicity miscellanea, 1950-1980 and undated


"The Solar Blast" p. 16: Children of the Home are to receive a Christmas tree and gifts from the Tool Shop’s sixth annual Christmas celebration
"Where Do You take Your Troubles?" from the Family Service Association
Essay and articles on the Center

Series VI: The Children

Box-folder 8:8

"Register of Children Book #1" (Book #1), 1888 October 6-1906 September 24

Box 19

"Record - San Diego Children's Home #2" (Book #2), 1890 October 15-1913 June 30

Box 19

"Record of Orphans #3" (Book #3), 1915 September 30-1936 July 22

Box-folder 9:1

"State Children and County Children" - monthly payments ledger, 1914 January 1-1929 April 4

Box-folder 9:2

"Ledger" - monthly payments ledger, 1922 August 25-1937 January 16

Box 17

"Visitor's Book - Children's Home San Diego, Calif.," 1911 August 15-1991 May 30

Box-folder 9:3

"Register 36-41” - monthly register of children, 1936 January-1941 May

Box-folder 9:4

"Register 41-45” - monthly register of children, 1941 June-1945 June

Box-folder 10:1

"Register 46-51” - monthly register of children, 1946 July-1951 July

Box-folder 10:2

“Single Entry Ledger” - monthly register, 1951 August-1954 September

Box-folder 10:3

"Single Entry Ledger" - monthly register, 1954 October-1962 April

Box-folder 10:4

“S.E. Ledger – Register 1938-42” - daily record of children’s illnesses, 1938 January 1-1942 September 12

Box 18

"Record of Orphans – State Record Book” - record kept by the corresponding Secretary of “Whole Orphans, Half Orphans, and Abandoned Children," 1908 January-1914 May 16

Box-folder 10:5

"S.D.C.H. July 1931- " - chronological list of admitted children, 1923 October 23-1932 July 17

Box 20:5

Register of children admitted, 1888 October 2-1975 January 1

Box-folder 10:6

"Record" - list of admitted children (A-K), 1888 October 16-1974 December 20

Box-folder 11:1

Medical examinations (A), 1923-1938 and undated

Box-folder 11:2

Medical examinations (B), 1919-1934 and undated

Box-folder 11:3

Medical examinations (C), 1919-1934 and undated

Box-folder 11:4

Medical examinations (D), 1922-1938 and undated

Box-folder 11:5

Medical examinations (E), 1920-1933 and undated

Box-folder 11:6

Medical examinations (F), 1921-1933 and undated

Box-folder 11:7

Medical examinations (G), 1919-1929 and undated

Box-folder 11:8

Medical examinations (H), 1913-1934 and undated

Box-folder 11:9

Medical examinations (J), 1920-1934 and undated

Box-folder 11:10

Medical examinations (K), 1914-1933 and undated

Box-folder 11:11

Medical examinations (L), 1919-1932 and undated

Box-folder 11:12

Medical examinations (Ma-McI), 1920-1930 and undated

Box-folder 11:13

Medical examinations (McK-My), 1919-1933 and undated

Box-folder 11:14

Medical examinations (N), 1922-1932 and undated

Box-folder 11:15

Medical examinations (O), 1921-1930 and undated

Box-folder 11:16

Medical examinations (P-Q), 1919-1933 and undated

Box-folder 12:1

Medical examinations (Ra-Rod), 1921-1934 and undated

Box-folder 12:2

Medical examinations (Ron-Ru), 1922-1933 and undated

Box-folder 12:3

Medical examinations (Sa-Sp), 1919-1935 and undated

Box-folder 12:4

Medical examinations (St-Sy), 1923-1934 and undated

Box-folder 12:5

Medical examinations (T), 1919-1932 and undated

Box-folder 12:6

Medical examinations (U-V), 1920-1932 and undated

Box-folder 12:7

Medical examinations (Wa-Wh), 1922-1935 and undated

Box-folder 12:8

Medical examinations (Wilc-Wils), 1920-1934 and undated

Box-folder 12:9

Medical examinations (Y-Z), 1924-1932 and undated

Box-folder 12:10

History card (A), 1917-1928

Box-folder 12:11

History card (Badger-Bigler), 1913-1929

Box-folder 12:12

History cards (Billingster-Brown, Frank), 1912-1926

Box-folder 12:13

History cards (Brown, Herman-Butler), 1914-1931

Box-folder 12:14

History cards (Caletrino-Christensen), 1910-1929

Box-folder 12:15

History cards (Church-Correll), 1914-1929

Box-folder 12:16

History cards (Cosper-Cuccia), 1917-1928

Box-folder 12:17

History cards (Dalton-Dehr), 1909-1929

Box-folder 12:18

History cards (Demangos-Domintz), 1911-1929

Box-folder 13:1

History cards (Dowdy-Dursley), 1914-1926

Box-folder 13:2

History cards (E), 1917-1926

Box-folder 13:3

History cards (Fee-Ford), 1915-1927

Box-folder 13:4

History cards (Forester-Funkhouser), 1914-1927

Box-folder 13:5

History cards (Gaian-Gershon), 1915-1923

Box-folder 13:6

History cards (Gibbs-Goldie), 1913-1930

Box-folder 13:7

History cards (Gonzales-Guinan), 1915-1929

Box-folder 13:8

History cards (Habeshc-Harrison), 1914-1928

Box-folder 13:9

History cards (Hartley-Hirch), 1915-1929

Box-folder 13:10

History cards (Hodges-Hume), 1913-1928

Box-folder 13:11

History cards (I), 1918-1920

Box-folder 13:12

History cards (J), 1915-1929

Box-folder 13:13

History cards (K), 1913-1928

Box-folder 13:14

History cards (Laidlow-Lingren), 1909-1929

Box-folder 13:15

History cards (Logston-Lyons), 1915-1929

Box-folder 13:16

History cards (MacDougall-McIntyre), 1912-1926

Box-folder 13:17

History cards (McKagne-Mills), 1911-1929

Box-folder 13:18

History cards (Mitchell-Mustain), 1913-1929

Box-folder 14:1

History cards (N), 1916-1929

Box-folder 14:2

History cards (O), 1910-1929

Box-folder 14:3

History cards (Page-Phelps), 1916-1928

Box-folder 14:4

History cards (Philip-Quintana), 1913-1924

Box-folder 14:5

History cards (Randall-Robinson), 1913-1928

Box-folder 14:6

History cards (Roche-Rykde), 1908-1929

Box-folder 14:7

History cards (Sanchez-Sloane), 1913-1926

Box-folder 14:8

History cards (Smith-Steadman), 1913-1929

Box-folder 14:9

History cards (Steffan-Sykes), 1916-1929

Box-folder 14:10

History cards (T), 1890-1929

Box-folder 14:11

History cards (U), 1918-1920

Box-folder 14:12

History cards (V), 1915-1928

Box-folder 14:13

History cards (Waago-Weissman), 1916-1930

Box-folder 14:14

History cards (Wells-Whyte), 1918-1930

Box-folder 14:15

History cards (Wilcox-Wouten), 1906-1929

Box-folder 14:16

History cards (Y-Z), 1915-1927

Box-folder 14:17

Scrapbook, 1891-1909

Box-folder 14:18

Scrapbook, 1904-1930

Box-folder 14:19

Scrapbook, 1909-1916

Box-folder 15:1

Scrapbook, 1923-1940

Box 20:6

Scrapbook, 1935-1980

Box-folder 15:2

Scrapbook, 1940-1952

Box-folder 15:3

Scrapbook (1 of 2), 1953-1960

Box-folder 15:4

Scrapbook (2 of 2), 1953-1960

Box-folder 15:5

Scrapbook, 1955-1962

Box-folder 20:7

Scrapbook (1 of 2), 1963-1965

Box-folder 20:8

Scrapbook (2 of 2), 1963-1965

Box-folder 15:6

Scrapbook, 1967-1970

Box-folder 16:1

Scrapbook, 1971-1974

Box-folder 16:2

Scrapbook, loose items, 1973-1977

Box-folder 16:3

Scrapbook, loose items, 1976-1986

Box-folder 16:4

Illustration, undated


Pencil drawing of unidentified boy with bicycle, by "Schneider, '87."
Box-folder 16:5

Book of Common Prayer - Bible from St. Mark’s Church, undated