Highlights with Heidi: Research Archivist at Utah State Archives & Records Service

Highlights with Heidi: Children’s Aid Society of Ogden

Heidi Stringham History, Research

A few months ago, Heidi received a patron request for an adoption record. Within this adoption was a clue leading her to the records of the Children’s Aid Society. Let’s see what she found!

In 1909, the Utah Legislature passed a law to protect “Dependent, Neglected, and Ill-treated Children” (Laws of Utah 1909.) By creating the Children’s Aid Society (Society), the women of Ogden answered this call. Before this time, Ogden did not have a way to care for the “unfortunate children” within its limits. The Society worked with the juvenile court system to help take care of children that had been abandoned or neglected in Ogden and later expanded its reach to include Weber County. (Neglected Children of Ogden, The Ogden Standard, 20 Jan 1910.)  

The Society immediately started work on fundraising and locating a suitable building on behalf of the children of Ogden and Weber County. In October 1910, Mrs. Gosling and Mrs. Barrows of the Society appeared before the Weber County Commission, asking for an “appropriation for the good of the organization.” (Aid Society Asks for Aid, The Ogden Standard, 10 October 1910.) One member of the Society suggested a “public subscription,” and Samuel Dye, the Weber County Clerk, remarked, “Let us go down in our pockets and substantially aid the members of the Society.” (Children’s Aid Society Meets, The Ogden Standard, 29 October 1910.) The Society was successful in its quest for a permanent location and was found at 652 East 26th St in Ogden.

It is unknown how many children and families were helped in the 100 years the Children’s Aid Society existed. What can be said is that the women of Ogden and Weber County did their best to aid those most vulnerable and in need of assistance. The first volume of the Society’s board minutes is now public (Series 29841).

As for the adoption request, one sentence mentioned a “tiny baby” going to the adoptive family, but the records included no mention of the birth location or birth parents.