Florence Crittenton Home of Norfolk Records, 1894-1977 | Special Collections and University Archives
Collection is divided into eighteen series: History, General; History, Financial; History, Payroll; Admissions and Procedures; Studies and Reports; State Licensing Procedure; Office Procedures; Records of the President; Records of the Treasurer; Records of the Board; Committees and Supporting Agencies; Grants and Consultant Services; Memorials and Testimonials; Closing of the Home; Correspondence; Miscellaneous; Scrapbooks and Photographs; and Memorabilia.
Series I: History, General (boxes 1-2)
This series is further divided into eleven subseries. They are:
A. Copy of Charter and Articles of Incorporation
B. History of National Crittenton
C. History of the Norfolk Home
D. Influenza Epidemic in Norfolk
F. Visit of National Superintendent
G. Clara Marshall
H. Guest Book
J. Board Member's Manual
K. Florence Crittenton Association of America
Series II: History, Financial (Boxes 3-4)
This series is further six subseries. They are:
A. Cash Books
B. Debts owed by Florence Crittenton Home
C. Debts owed to Florence Crittenton Home
E. Annual Financial Reports to FCAA
F. FCAA Memoranda
Series III: History, Payroll (Boxes 4-11)
This series is further divided up into eleven subseries. Box 4 (Subseries A-C) is open to the researcher. Boxes 5-11 (Subseries D-J) are closed to the researcher because they contain sensitive employee and personnel records. Any questions concerning this series should be directed to the University Archivist. The subseries are:
A. Personnel Practices Statement
B. Explanation of Job Description Format
C. Job Descriptions
D. Personnel Records Prior to 1973 Closing
E. Personnel Records Circa 1973 Closing
F. Yearly Payroll Records
G. Internal Revenue Service
H. Virginia Department of Taxation
I. Workmen's Compensation
J. National Health and Welfare Retirement Association
Series IV: Admissions and Procedures (Boxes 12-14)
This series is further divided into nineteen subseries. They are:
A. Delivery Room Registers
B. Standards for FCAA Maternity Home Service
C. Statement of Policies and Procedures
D. Statement of Intake Process
E. Fee Policy
F. House Rules
G. Things to Bring and Resident’s Handbook
H. Citizenship Code
I. Instructions during Pregnancy
K. Admission and Discharge Procedures
L. Post-Partum Instructions
M. Referral to other Agencies
O. Population Records
P. FCAA Reports
Q. FCAA Study
R. Reports to Medical Staff
S. Blank Forms
Series V: Studies and Reports (Boxes 15-16)
This series consists of forty-eight folders of documents regarding the Florence Crittenton Home and topics relating to out of wedlock childbirth and child care.
Series VI: State Licensing Procedure (Box 16)
This series is further divided into five subseries. They are:
A. Title VI Compliance Review
C. Staff Background Information and Room Measurements
D. FCH Child Caring License
E. The Maternity Hospital Law
Series VII: Office Procedures (Box 17)
This series consists of thirty-two folders, regarding various administrative procedures of the Florence Crittenton Home.
Series VIII: Records of the President (Boxes 17-18)
This series is further divided into five subseries. They are:
A. Annual Reports, Printed
B. Annual Reports, Oral
C. Superintendent Reports
D. Reports of the Executive Director
E. Executive Committee Minutes
Series IX: Records of the Treasurer (Box 19)
This series is further subdivided into seventeen subseries. They are:
B. Accounts Payable
C. Blair Note
D. Certification of Corporate Authorization
E. Desk Fund
G. Invested and Special Funds
H. Investment Accounts
K. Nonbudgetary Funds
L. Pass Books
M. Savings Accounts
N. Special Accounts
Series X: Records of the Board (Boxes 20-24)
This series is further subdivided into five subseries. They are:
C. Orientations of New Members
D. Junior Board
E. Auxiliary Board
Series XI: Committees and Supporting Agencies (Boxes 24-30)
The series is further subdivided into twenty-six subseries. They are:
A. Old Building Committee
B. New Building Committee
C. Christmas Decorating Committee
D. Corresponding Secretary
E. Education Committee
F. Finance and Insurance Committee
G. Hospitality Committee
H. House Committee
I. Long Range Study Committee
J. Medical Health Committee
K. Nominating Committee
L. Personal Needs Committee
M. Personnel Committee
N. Policy-Case Committee
O. Publicity Committee
P. Religious Education Committee
Q. Ways and Means Committee
R. Men's Advisory Board
S. Sustaining Board
T. Cooperating Agencies
U. Planning Agencies
V. Volunteer Agencies
W. United Communities Fund - Norfolk
X. United Communities Fund - Portsmouth
Y. United Communities Fund - Suffolk-Nansemond
Z. Tidewater Children's Foundation
Series XII: Grants and Consultant Services (Box 31)
This series is further subdivided into two subseries. They are:
A. Law Enforcement Administration (Virginia)
B. Group Child Care
Series XIII: Memorials and Testimonials (Box 31)
This series consists of seven folders describing those who were greatly involved with the Florence Crittenden Home.
A. Mrs. G. M. Thomson, 1923
B. Clara E. Marshall, June 12, 1940
C. Dr. Robert South Barrett, February 24, 1959
D. Bertram S. Nusbaum, May 8, 1963
E. Ernest Springer Merrill, December 15, 1965
F. Irving F. Truitt, December 15, 1965
G. Odessa L. Frazier, September 25, 1968
Series XIV: Closing of the Home
This series consists of eight folders detailing the closing of the home and its sale to Old Dominion University.
Series XV: Correspondence (Boxes 32-36)
This series is further subdivided into twenty-four subseries. They are:
A. Agencies, Cooperating
B. Agencies, Planning
C. Agencies, Volunteers
D. Appeal Letters
H. Nursery Closing
J. Education and Library Committee
K. Florence Crittenton Association
L. Florence Crittenton Mission
N. Former Clients
O. Friends of Florence Crittenton
Q. History, Financing
R. House and Grounds
V. Special Funds
X. Transfer to ODU
Series XVI: Miscellaneous (Box 37a-37b)
This series contains two subseries. They are:
A. Newspaper Articles
B. Addendum, Pearl E. “Bea” Steinhilber
Series XVII: Scrapbooks and Photographs (Oversized box 43)
This series consists of scrapbooks and photographs relating to the Florence Crittenton Home.
Series XVIII: Memorabilia (Map Case A4)
This series consists of oversized material srelating to the Florence Crittenton Home, which includes a poster-sized cover page of the November 1926 Community Fund Pictorial News.
The Florence Crittenton Association of America began in New York City in 1883. Mr. Charles Nelson Crittenton was a wealthy wholesale druggist whose four-year-old daughter, Florence, died in 1882. Six months later, on April 19, 1883, he opened the Florence Night Mission at 29 Bleeker Street as a memorial to her. Intended initially to help the prostitutes of that city escape from that lifestyle, its scope was gradually enlarged to include other women needing help. The name was changed to The Florence Crittenton Mission, and Congress gave its approval when, by a special act in 1893, it passed its articles of incorporation.
The Florence Crittenton Home of Norfolk was certainly among the earliest ones found in this country. In 1891, Mrs. R. H. Jones, the president of the Virginia Women's Christian Temperance Union befriended one unwed mother in Norfolk. This action, in turn, was followed by the establishment of a little two-room house in the Huntersville area, which was later closed when a five-room area was located in the Brambleton area of the city. These two homes were both known as "The White Anchorage."
At the 1893 National W.C.T.U. Conference in Denver, the Norfolk Chapter gave a report of its work and Mr. Crittenton was so impressed that he contributed one thousand dollars to aid their effort. As a result, the name of the Home was changed to Florence Crittenton and it was incorporated as such in Virginia in 1894.
Largely because of Mr. Crittenton’s strenuous efforts in support of this new service, many Crittenton Homes were soon opened throughout the country. At first, these homes were also designed as “Rescue Homes” but the scope of services, particularly after World War I, gradually shifted to caring for unwed mothers and their children. The only exception to this was the Barrett Home in New York City, which was a residential treatment center for adolescent girls.
The highwater mark of the National Crittenton Program came during the 1960’s when there were more than seventy maternity homes, the Barrett Home, and a non-residential service for unwed mothers in Lowell, Massachusetts. Though changing social patterns, customs, and laws led to a gradual decline in the total number of homes during the 1970’s, thirty-five homes, including one in Lynchburg, Virginia, remained in operation as late as 1978.
For various reasons, the National Crittenton organization found it necessary to operate as two separate but cooperative agencies. The first, known as The National Florence Crittenton Mission, is primarily concerned with all financial matters affecting the individual homes and the national organization. The Mission coordinates the various levels of its work through “The Central Extension Committee” which derives its members from the Mission’s ranks and from each of the participating homes. This committee had as its initial task the establishment of the Florence Crittenton Association of America, an agency with the tasks of consultation, setting of standards, doing research for the member agencies, and developing relationships with similar organizations.
In this structure, the member homes operated as cooperative but autonomous entities who, apart from certain qualification standards and financial matters, generally charted their own direction.
While the National Association is staffed by professional social workers and is responsible for coordinating the activities of the various homes, the Mission administers an endowment left by Mr. Crittenton and expanded by Dr. Robert South Barrett, long time president of the Mission. This Mission also pays the largest share of the Association's expenses and keeps in reserve an amount to help the individual homes in building and alteration projects. Any requests for such funds, which were received by the Association, were passed directly to the Mission, whose president is a member of the Association's Executive Board.
Mr. Crittenton died in 1911 and was succeeded as President of the Mission by Dr. Kate Waller Barrett; upon her death in 1925, her son, Dr. Robert South Barrett became president; and he, in turn, was succeeded by his son, Rear Admiral (Ret) John P. Barrett.
In a brief ceremony on June 1, 1977, Mrs. John A. Byrd, President of the Florence Crittenton Board, turned over the deed to the Crittenton property to Old Dominion University. A resolution from that Board was read by Board member Mrs. Irving Salsbury, and a plaque recognizing the gift was unveiled by Mrs. James A. Howard; Mrs. Byrd; Dr. Charles O. Burgess, Vice President for Academic Affairs at ODU; and Mercer Davis, President of the ODU Educational Foundation.
In expressing the University's appreciation for the Crittenton Board's generosity, Dr. Burgess said "Like the Crittenton Home, Old Dominion University is committed to serving the needs of the area - of this region. ODU's School of Continuing Studies will be located here, allowing continued growth in its programs that are already serving more than 20,000 persons each year in noncredit and off-campus credit programs."
The subsequent 80-year history of the Norfolk Home was a rich and varied effort to meet the needs of unwed mothers and their children. The following is a brief chronology of the home:
1891: Founding of "The White Anchorage"
1893: The National Convention of W.C.T.U where Mr. Crittenton donated $1,000.00 to the Norfolk effort. Name changed to the "Florence Crittenton Home"
1894: Charter obtained in April
1897: Mr. Crittenton visited Norfolk Home
1899: Obstetrical ward added
1909: Clara E. Marshall began working at the Norfolk Home
1911: Day Nursery for working class children established
1920: Norfolk Home moved to 52nd Street ("Beth—Haven”) and Norfolk Day Nursery began to operate independently
1923: Became member agency of Norfolk Community Fund
May 31, 1940: Clara E. Marshall died
August 1941: Velma Mauk employed as new Superintendent (Here after designated Executive Director)
1945-59: Home consisted of two older houses connected by arcade. There were living facilities for 24 residents and all babies were delivered on the premises.
1950-54: West building condemned; a new and larger house built for residents; staff continued to use remaining old house. The obstetrical ward at the home was closed and new arrangements made with Norfolk General Hospital.
1954: Velma Mauk retired; Genrose Gehri employed as new Executive Director
1955-59: Staff increased and professionalized; new dietary program established; new fee schedule introduced
1960-64: Nursery Closed; accredited school established in June 1963; registered nurse employed full-time
February 26, 1964: Mrs. Chesley Lamb employed as Executive Director
March 1, 1964: Miss Genrose Gehri retired as Executive Director
October 10, 1965: Mrs. Chesley Lamb resigned, for personal reasons, as Executive Director; Miss Genrose Gehri returned as Temporary Executive Director.
February 1, 1966: Mrs. Elizabeth Collins, ACSW, employed as Executive Director
August 1, 1970: Mrs. Elizabeth Collins, ACSW, retired as Executive Director; Mr. Joseph Charon employed as Executive Director
March 24, 1971: Name of Home changed to Florence Crittenton Services, Inc.
October 1, 1971: Mr. Joseph Charon resigned, for personal reasons, as Executive Director
October 19, 1971: Mr. Gerald Rosenmeier employed as temporary Executive Director
December 15, 1971: New aspect of program initiated as limited intake of non-pregnant girls begun
March 1, 1972: Mr. Milton Susco employed as Executive Director
July 3, 1973: On the eve of closing, Mr. Milton Susco left as Executive Director
December 31, 1973: Florence Crittenton Services, Inc. ceased operation
January 1, 1974: Property rented to Tidewater Regional Detention Facilities to be used as Group Home for Girls
January 22, 1975: Florence Crittenton Board of Directors placed on inactive status
March 19, 1975: Florence Crittenton Services resigned from FCAA
September 17, 1975: Florence Crittenton Services merged with Tidewater Children’s Foundation
November 17, 1976: Florence Crittenton Services rescinded merger with Tidewater Children’s Foundation
January 6, 1977: Security of the Norfolk Crittenton Home transferred to ODU Records of the Florence Crittenton Services partially transferred to ODU Archives.
September 2007: Norfolk Crittenton Home which housed the Center for Coastal Physical Oceanography-Old Dominion University, was demolished to make way for waterfront homes.Author: Doug Wright; Sonia Yaco (Revised 2010); Kathleen Smith (Revised 2013); Mel Frizzell (Revised 2013)
Collection is open to researchers with two exceptions. Boxes 5-11 are permanently closed to the researcher because they contain personnel records. Secondly, delivery room registers are closed to all patrons except those mentioned in the records because they are health records.* Please note that the last names of all mothers and children born at Florence Crittenton Home have been redacted from the records.
*Va. Stat. § 2.2-3705.5. Virginia Freedom of Information Act, Exclusions to application of chapter; health and social services records: 1. Health records, except that such records may be personally reviewed by the individual who is the subject of such records, as provided in subsection F of § 32.1-127.1:03 Health records privacy.
For more information please see http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?000+cod+32.1-127.1C03.
Series I: History, General
Series II: History, Financial
Series III: History, Payroll
Series IV: Admissions and Procedures
Series V: Studies and Reports
Series VI: State Licensing Procedure
Series VII: Office Procedures
Series VIII: Records of the President
Series IX: Records of the Treasurer
Series X: Records of the Board
Series XI: Committees and Supporting Agencies
Series XII: Grants and Consultant Services
Series XIII: Memorials and Testimonials
Series XIV: Closing of the Home
Series XV: Correspondence
Series XVI: Miscellaneous
Series XVII: Scrapbooks and Photographs
Series XVIII: Memorabilia