Women Helping Women

A glimpse into the history of the Poydras Home from a century ago.

“Poydras Asylum Photograph Collection.” Louisiana Division/City Archives Digital Collections. http://cdm16880.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/landingpage/collection/p16880coll12.

Three sets of girl twins: Shirley and Hope Loper (10 years old) were identical with their cute freckles and Buster Brown haircuts that are now known as a bowl cut. The young girls lost their father and only had a mother living but still managed to attend school at McDonogh 14. Leicoster and Lucille Fuller (16 years old) were another set of twins with blonde hair and matching outfits. Despite losing both of their parents the girls optimistically planned to go to business college in a few years. The last set of twins were 8 year old Alice and Agnos Borison, who were slightly different in size also attended McDonogh 14. All three pairs of girls sat at the Thanksgiving table in the Poydras Asylum, the one thing they had in common was the life in the orphanage.

The Poydras Asylum was originally established by a group of women, as the Female Orphan Society. This program worked in providing aid to destitute mothers and aided their children with the provisions of religion, occupations, and educational training. It quickly became the only private, Protestant female refuge for newcomer families and their children in New Orleans. The Female Orphan Society was based off of good morals and good behavior, even though their goal was to help indigent mothers and widows in hardship take care of their children; the society had the right to accept or reject the child if they felt the child did not have the same morals and beliefs. The orphanage’s main goal was to demonstrate proper motives and goals to help the community of the Female Orphan Society and regular society.

For further reading:

Bibliography

Duvall, Mark, ” The New Orleans Female Orphan Society: Labor, Education, and Americanization, 1817-1833″ (2009). University of New Orleans Theses and Dissertations. 997.

“Mission & History.” Poydras Home. https://www.poydrashome.com/about-us/mission-history/.

“Poydras Asylum Photograph Collection.” Louisiana Division/City Archives Digital Collections. http://cdm16880.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/landingpage/collection/p16880coll12.

“Three Sets Of Twins In Poydras Asylum Youngsters Give Thanks for Shelter from the World.” Times-Picayune. December 7, 1919. Access World News – Historical and Current.