Joseph Meder

Joseph Meder

Stories about Joseph Meder

Angel Guardian Orphanage

  • Chicago, Cook County, Illinois

"Established in 1865 by the five German Roman Catholic parishes of the city to safeguard the German cultural heritage of their dependent children, Angel Guardian Orphanage was one of the largest residential child care homes in Chicago. Initially, the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ were recruited from Germany to take charge of the facility, located on a 40-acre site at 2001 Devon Avenue.

Affected by the wider social welfare debate between institutionalization and home placement, the orphanage changed after 1916 to a “cottage system” in which a small group of children shared a single living quarters and dining facility. In 1973 the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services took a stance in favor of home placement and cut Angel Guardian's subsidies. The orphanage ended its program of child care in 1974 and in 1975 the Misericordia Home for Special Children took over the site, subsequently renamed Misericordia Home North."

Single working mothers weren't allowed to keep children at home; there was no daycare. Children were placed in orphanages. Such was the case with siblings Edward, Joseph and Eleanore. Their older sister, Helen, was placed in foster care.

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