Odd Fellow and Rebekah Children's Home
Historical Marker
Corsicana, Navarro County, Texas


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Odd Fellow and Rebekah Children's Home

In 1885 the Grand Lodge of Texas Independent Order of Odd Fellows, founded the I.O.O.F. Widows and Orphans Home. One of the first fraternal orphanages in the state. Corsicana Lodge No. 63 and other local citizens gave 200 acres as a site for facility. On April 26, 1886, the corner stone for the first permanent building was laid. Only one child was residing here in 1891 but enrollment and financial support soon increased.

The home became a self-contained community with its own independent school district, farm and dairy, power plant, and water supply. Abel Rice Auditorium built in 1911 when enrollment was over 300, contained a swimming pool and gym and housed the fine arts department sponsored by the Rebekah Lodges. This institution also served as a home for the aged from 1905 until a separate facility opened in Ennis in 1928.

After peaking at nearly 400 in the 1920's, enrollment dropped sharply in the 1930's and 1940's. The school closed in 1943 and students began attending Corsicana public schools. Campus buildings were modernized in a 1945 "reconversion program" renamed in 1948, The Odd Fellow and Rebekah Children's Home has provided care for over 5500 persons. (1977)

Location: 3400 West 2nd Ave, Corsicana, Texas

 

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


Navarro County TXGenWeb
Copyright March, 2009
Edward L. Williams & Barbara Knox