On January 17, 1867, a group of philanthropic Toledo women met at the home of Dr. S.H. Bergen to discuss the establishment of a home of destitute orphan children. Eight men were selected as advisors and 14 women as managers.
While the institution had been designated the Protestant Orphan's Home, it was conducted on a nonsectarian basis, all creeds and nationalities being welcome.
The Home was opened in January 1867 when three children were placed in a private residence provided by Mr. William Baker. The Home remained there until the following November when it was moved to a location on LaGrange St. near Bancroft St.
Within months, it was home to as many as 80 children at a time.
Funds were raised by the sale of annual and life memberships and through other financial donations.
Later, those seeking care for their children without permanently surrendering them were charged a monthly fee, typically $10 per month. If accounts fell into arrears by more than 30 days, permanent surrender of the child(ren) went into effect.
The Home served large numbers of orphans, half-orphans, and destitute children needing care and education for life's work. Most of the children were placed at the Home due to poverty or a serious illness in the family.
Emphasis was placed on providing for their physical needs and molding them into solid, productive citizens.