Terre Haute Day Nursery Collection
Dates: 1892-1989
Accession Number: 910601C
Description: One file folder and two envelopes in a document case


The Terre Haute Day Nursery Association was organized October 5, 1892. According to the Association's Constitution, the primary objective was "to establish and maintain a Day Nursery which shall undertake the care of young children of wage-earning women during working hours." The first officers of the organization were: Mrs. M. H. Waters, president; Mrs. R. S. Tennant, vice-president; Mrs. W. W. Parsons, secretary; and Mrs. W. S. Rea, treasurer.

The group's objective became a reality when the Nursery opened on April 27, 1893 in a small cottage at 314 North Fourth Street. Mrs. Mary E. Rumbly was the first matron at a salary of $10.00 per month and with permission to have her own two children at the Nursery without charge.

The Nursery was largely supported by donations by members of the community. Before opening, 400 patrons had been identified, each of whom had agreed to donate $100 per year to maintain the organization. Additional support came from the $.05 per day fee for each child attending the nursery.

In its first year of operation, the Nursery cared for over 400 children. Many of the mothers of these families were employed in homes in the area near the Nursery; others were employed by hotels, restaurants, and other local businesses, such as Sage's Dry Goods and Wabash Lace. The Nursery also cared for the children of a single father who was employed by a rolling mill.

On June 26, 1895, the Nursery moved to 410 North Fourth Street. In 1917, the Association was able to open a branch nursery at 2115 Beech Street with money from Judge and Mrs. E. H. Pierce. Later the branch moved to 1928 Eighth Avenue where it remained until its closing on September 1, 1947.

The Nursery itself was forced to move to its present location at 8th and Elm streets in 1960, when the Indiana State Teachers College expanded.

Content and Scope of Collection

This collection was generated from miscellaneous material in the Archives and Community Affairs File. It consists primarily of early annual reports of the Terre Haute Day Nursery Association spanning the years 1892-1909. These reports include lists of members, officers, and the board of directors, the constitution and by-laws, and the president's, secretary's, and treasurer's reports. Also, included in this collection is a brief history of the Day Nursery published in 1989.

For related material, see the Terre Haute Day Nursery Association (Accession Number 900312; SM D.C. 17; SM D.C. 18) in the Community Archives.

Document Case





Folder 1

Booklet: "History of the Terre Haute Day Nursery, 1888-1889" by Frances E. Hughes





Envelope 1

"Report of the Terre Haute Day Nursery Association from October 5, 1892 to October 5, 1894" (3 copies)





Envelope 2

Annual report (2 copies)




Annual report




Annual report




Annual report