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Corsicana, Navarro County, Texas


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Corsicana State Home

Created by the 20th legislature in 1887, The State Orphan Asylum originally provided care for orphans under age 14. State officials located the institution in Corsicana after local citizens donated over 200 acres at this site. The first students arrived in 1889. By 1897, the institution had an independent school district.

Renamed State Orphan Home before 1899, the facility housed about 400 students in 1900. Here they received academic and vocational instruction. The campus once had extensive farmlands to supply food and provide agricultural training for students. Physical facilities were enlarged as enrollment increased. During the depression of the 1930's, residents numbered over 800.

The campus school was phased out at the end of the 1955-56 academic year and students transferred to Corsicana public schools. In 1957 the home was placed under jurisdiction of the Texas Youth Council and was renamed Corsicana State Home.

Thousands of children have benefited from the care and schooling provided by the home. Prominent former students include Robert E. Calvert, Supreme Court Associate Justice 1950-61, and Chef Justice 1961-72). (1977)

Location: 3500 block of W. 2nd Avenue, Admin. Bldg., Corsicana, Texas


Historical marker recently dedicated at State Home

A Texas HistoricaL Marker was dedicated at the Corsicana State Home Saturday honoring the home’s 90 years of service to Texas youth.

Welcomed by Assistant Supt. Dann Barger, a large crowd including a number of ex-students heard ex-student Moyne Kelly, who later returned to Corsicana to become superintendent of the home grow and change for more than 60 years. He added that the home had served and still is serving its essential purpose, to provide for the physical, emotional and educational needs of its students.

“What was once just one big family,” he said, “was now a group of smaller families all living on the same campus.”

SUPT. JACK Anderson responded to Kelly’s remarks by adding that he hopes the Corsicana State Home will continue to be instrumental in enabling many young people to develop to their full potential as active, positive members of this society. He declared that the historical marker is dedicated to all the students the home has served as well as to all who have worked to help meet those student’s needs.

Mrs. Wyvonne Putman, executive secretary of the Navarro County Historical Society, and Mrs. Melba Barger, who conducted the research that provided the historic background of the home, unveiled the marker. District Judge Kenneth Douglas accepted the marker in behalf of the citizens of Navarro County.

The ceremony was closed with the benediction delivered by ex-student Wesley Haefs, who is chaplain for the ex-students association and presently serves as a houseparent at the home.

THE HISTORICAL marker, located at the entrance to the home reads:

“Created by the 20th Legislature in 1887, the State Orphan Asylum originally provided care for orphans under the age 14. State officials located the institution in Corsicana after local citizens donated over 200 acres at this site. The first students arrived in 1889, and by 1890 enrollment totaled 54 Classes met in the chapel before a school building was erected in 1889. By 1897 the institution had an independent school district.

“Renamed State Orphan Home before 1899, the facility housed about 400 students in 1900. Here they received academic and vocational instruction. The campus once had extensive farmlands to supply food and provide agricultural training for students. Physical facilities were enlarged as enrollment increased. During the depression of the 1930’s, residents numbered over 800.

“The campus school was phased out at the end of the 1955-56 academic year, and students transferred to Corsicana Public Schools. In 1957 the home was placed under jurisdiction of the Texas Youth Council and was renamed Corsicana State Home.

“Thousands of children have benefited from the care and schooling provided by the home. Prominent former students include Robert W. Calvert, Texas Supreme Court Associate Justice, 1950-61, and Chief Justice, 1961-72.”


The Corsicana Daily Sun - Thursday, June 16, 1977
Submitted by Diane Richards

The text of the historical markers have been posted here with the permission of the Texas Historical Commission


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Edward L. Williams & Barbara Knox