Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Two new article reprints

Two more news articles in our Hope Cottage History month. Interestingly, both are dated July 14, 1921, but unfortunately, neither article indicates the name of the paper.

The first talks about overcrowding at Hope Cottage. It appears in the early 20th century, you didn't have to be a licensed agency to care for foundlings. That all changed in 1921. The second article asks the question how much is it worth to take care of babies. I think you will find the response of one county commissioner interesting. Which brings up a fundraiser's question - how much do you think it is worth to make sure a child has a good home and a great start in life?

New Law Cause of Overcrowding Hope Cottage
(July 14, 1921) Enforcement of the recently enacted State maternity bill is responsible for the present overcrowded condition of Hope Cottage, Mrs. Emma Wylie Ballard, director of child welfare department of the Dallas County Humane Society, declared yesterday.

The provision of the bill prohibiting the keeping of institutions for the care of babies, or maternity hospitals, without license resulted in the population of Hope Cottage doubling within a comparatively short time, Mrs. Ballard said.

Prior to the enactment of the State law foundlings were kept in the handiest place. The city ordinance was in effect, and babies at Hope Cottage then were largely from Dallas. Since its enactment babies from Dallas County have been sent to Hope Cottage, and although the capacity was only twenty-five, there are now fifty being cared for, Mrs. Ballard said. Nine maternity homes and hospitals in Dallas county are sending babies to Hope Cottage for care at this time, according to Dr. W.T. Davidson, Director of Public Health.

Saving Babies
(July 14, 1921) How much is a baby worth? Representative of Hope Cottage, foundlings' home, asked the County Commissioners Court the other day for an appropriation to help carry on the work of saving abandoned waifs.

County Commissioner C.D. Smith wanted to know how much it cost to keep each baby at the cottage each month. The records show it cost $29 per month for each baby.

"That's too much," thought Smith.

And so Smith and his brother commissioners re going to figure out first, some way of keeping a baby on less than $29 a month, and then consider the propositon of apropriating from the county treasury a small sum to help salvage for humanity Dallas county's greatest tragedy - her unwanted babies.

Dallas-co (sic) appropriates each year a rather large sum toward maintenance of the Dallas-co agricultural agen'ts office, which helps to save the cotton, and the corn, and the cows and hogs of our county. They have figured how much it costs to sae a fine Holstein heifer from tick fever, or a cotton filed from the boll weevil.

But babies - they're different. The commissioners claim to be members of that sterling class of men sometimes called "old fashioned". It is rather surprising to see them subscribing to the doctrine that "babies cost too much", which is the questionable product of modernist thought.

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