Fowler Orphanage Association Records
Held at: Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College [Contact Us]500 College Avenue, Swarthmore, Pennsylvania 19081
This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.
Overview and metadata sections
Fowler Orphanage (later Fowler Home for Girls) in Cairo, Egypt was founded in 1906 with money collected by John and Esther Fowler, both members of the Society of Friends. Esther was a minister, and John had previously opened a children's home in Athens, Ohio. The Fowler institution housed a fluctuating number of girls - approximately 40 - during the time that the Fowler Orphanage Association was active. For a time, the Home also ran a school for the younger girls, with the young women being sent to secondary schools in the area, and then sometimes to more specialized training in areas such as nursing. Later, it served solely as a home, with all school-aged children being sent to the nearby mission school. The Home was administered by the United Presbyterian Board for Foreign Missions. Jane C. Smith, Miss Barnes, Lucy Lightower, and Elizabeth Wilson served as matron-superintendents. In 1962 the administration of the Home was transferred to the Faggala Evangelical Church (Coptic), and when Elizabeth Wilson retired in 1967, the Church supplied its own staff.
The Fowler Orphanage Association first met the Ninth Month of 1927, with Clarkson S. French as president. Associated with the Ohio Yearly Meeting (Conservative), the Association met yearly until it was laid down in 1987, collecting donations for the Fowler Orphanage (later the Fowler Home for Girls). Many in the original group had personally known the Fowlers, and hence felt moved to continue their legacy. Though the Association did often discuss the efforts of other orphanages, donations went only to the Fowler Orphanage. Communication flowed smoothly until 1967, after which money continued to be sent, but follow up letters were rare and information about the orphanage had to be obtained from the local Presbyterian missionaries to Egypt, Willis and Anne McGill.
The collection primarily consists of minutes of the Fowler Orphanage Association, 1926-1987. It also includes related correspondence, financial records, and photographs.
Organized in five series:
- Ser.1 Minutes
- Ser.2 Correspondence
- Ser.3 Financial Records
- Ser.4 Miscellaneous
- Ser.5 Photographs
Gift of William Taber (Accession 2001-021)
- Fowler Orphanage Association
- Ohio Yearly Meeting of Friends (Conservative : 1854- )
- United Presbyterian Church of North America. Egypt Mission
- Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College
- Finding Aid Author
- FHL staff
- Finding Aid Date
- Access Restrictions
Open for research.
- Use Restrictions
Permission to reuse, publish, or reproduce items in this collection beyond the bounds of Fair Use or other exemptions to copyright law must be obtained from the copyright holder or their heirs/assigns. See http://rightsstatements.org/vocab/InC-RUU/1.0/.
Minutes of the Fowler Orphanage Association taken by Martha B. Hoyle, Laura J. Hoyle, and Blanche E. Schofield. Mostly concerns donations. Mentions Matron of the Orphanage Ella M. Barnes and Lucy Lightower.Physical Description
Noted that during the meeting there was a report concerning life at the Orphanage; also includes discussion of Native American education. Lucy Lightower becomes Superintendent of Fowler, and then Jane Smith after Lightower's retirement in 1951; Elizabeth Wilson finally becomes Matron two years later. Of interest is a visit by Elizabeth Wilson and a letter from Emily Sidwell. In 1962 the Home transferred from the care of the Presbyterian Mission Board to a local Christian school; after that, reports come from Willis McGill. Note "YM Made decision to drop this project. 8/1987."Physical Description
Reports on life at the Home and the changes in the institution over time. Other topics include a discussion of the founding of Israel, a cholera epidemic, the life of a young woman named Faiza and her path to and through Bible College, the death of one girl while lighting a stove, Billy Graham's visit to Cairo, and the end of Elizabeth Wilson's tenure in 1967.Physical Description
Ohio Yearly Meeting Contribution, received through Mildred Cooper/Mr. and Mrs. Sheldon W. Smith, a list of donors for 1946 from the Ohio YM and a number of thank-yous from the (Presbyterian) Board of Foreign Missions, Lists of contributors to the Ohio YM Fowler Orphanage Association.Physical Description
Pamphlet on the Fowler Children's home in both English and Arabic, Brochure: Evangelical Church at Faggala, Cairo, Egypt, Beneficial Society, report of the activities of the Society (including the Fowler Children's Home).Physical Description
Regarding the 100th anniversary of Childrens' Services in Athens County, as started by John Fowler, notice of the visit of Willis and Anne McGill (as missionaries in Cairo).Physical Description
Sent to Mr. And Mrs. Sheldon Smith. Descriptions and often names are written on the back. Includes other photographs of the girls at the orphanage.Physical Description