Jump to Content

Collection Guide
Collection Title:
Collection Number:
Get Items:
Guide to the Home for Aged and Infirm Colored People of California Records
MS 122  
View entire collection guide What's This?
PDF (82.62 Kb) HTML
Search this collection
Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Access
  • Access Restrictions
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Processing Information
  • Biography / Administrative History
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Arrangement
  • Indexing Terms
  • Bibliography

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Home for Aged and Infirm Colored People of California records
    Dates: 1892-1940
    Collection number: MS 122
    Creator: Home for Aged and Infirm Colored People of California (Oakland, Calif.).
    Collection Size: 1.25 linear feet (2 boxes)
    Repository: African American Museum & Library at Oakland (Oakland, Calif.)
    Oakland, CA 94612
    Abstract: The Home for Aged and Infirm Colored People of California was established on September 26, 1892 in Oakland, California and was the first institution to provide elderly care and housing for African Americans in California. The organization was created by Mary E.A. Cole, Ann S. Purnell, Elenora Amos, Areminto Stanford, Mary Goodman, Rosa H. Lockett, Mary C. Washington, Ellen Whiting, Harriet E. Smith, Mary J. Humphrey, and Anna Williams to “sustain a home for the aged and infirm who may be from any cause, incapacitated from taking care of themselves, and such others as the Board of Directors or trustees may think entitled to its benefits.” The Home for the Aged and Infirm Colored People of California Records consists of articles of incorporation, constitution and by-laws, correspondence, meeting minutes, reports, programs, and newspaper clippings documenting the history of the home from its creation in 1892 through its dissolution in 1940.
    Languages: Languages represented in the collection: English

    Access

    No access restrictions. Collection is open to the public.

    Access Restrictions

    Materials are for use in-library only, non-circulating.

    Publication Rights

    Permission to publish Home for Aged and Infirm Colored People of California Records from the must be obtained from the African American Museum & Library at Oakland.

    Preferred Citation

    Home for Aged and Infirm Colored People of California records, MS 122, African American Museum & Library at Oakland, Oakland Public Library. Oakland, California.

    Processing Information

    Processed by Sean Heyliger, 01/29/2014.

    Biography / Administrative History

    The Home for Aged and Infirm Colored People of California was established on September 26, 1892 in Oakland, California and was the first institution to provide elderly care and housing for African Americans in California. The organization was created by Mary E.A. Cole, Ann S. Purnell, Elenora Amos, Areminto Stanford, Mary Goodman, Rosa H. Lockett, Mary C. Washington, Ellen Whiting, Harriet E. Smith, Mary J. Humphrey, and Anna Williams to “sustain a home for the aged and infirm who may be from any cause, incapacitated from taking care of themselves, and such others as the Board of Directors or trustees may think entitled to its benefits.” The association was directed by a Board of Directors consisting of thirty women and advisory board of ten men, and the home was managed by a matron, nursing assistants, and a resident physician.
    On August 22, 1897, five years after the association was established, a 16 room home was erected on Underwood Ave. in Beulah Heights on what is now the campus of Mills College. The association raised $4,000 for the building’s construction while Oakland philanthropists George and Carrie Montgomery donated a plot of land. An eight room annex was added to the building in 1905 allowing the home to accommodate a total of 19 residents. The home’s first resident was California pioneer Alvin A. Coffee and charged residents a $500 lifetime membership fee, prohibited the use of alcohol and opiates, and maintained separate living quarters for male and female residents. The association maintained a steady stream of private donations and residents until the 1930s, when the Depression prevented many from donating to charitable organizations. The home’s declining revenues combined with the passage of the Social Security Act in 1935 that provided a stipend for the elderly to seek housing elsewhere led to the home’s decline and eventual close in December 1938. Mills College purchased the home on June 15, 1938 and razed the building in January 1939.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    The Home for Aged and Infirm Colored People of California Records consists of articles of incorporation, constitution and by-laws, correspondence, meeting minutes, reports, programs, and newspaper clippings documenting the history of the home from its creation in 1892 through its dissolution in 1940. The records are organized into three series: administrative records, programs, and newspaper clippings. The bulk of the records are meeting minutes of the home and includes a 296 pp. ledger of meeting minutes of the home’s board of directors and committees between 1925-1938. The minutes include reports from various committees discussing the home’s financial, legal, and day-to-day operations. Reports include annual reports of the president and board of directors, Elizabeth Brown, ‘Materon’ monthly reports documenting the home’s day-to-day operations, and reports of the budget committee. Correspondence includes letters with the Community Chest of Oakland, California regarding the home’s financial difficulties, solicitation letters to members asking for financial contributions, and the renewal of the home’s license with the California Department of Social Welfare. The program series consists of two photocopied programs of Florence Cole-Talbert's grand recital at the Civic Auditorium Opera House and a turkey dinner fundraiser for the home held at Foresters' Hall.

    Arrangement

    Series I. Administrative records Series II. Programs Series III. Newspaper clippings

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
    Home for Aged and Infirm Colored People of California (Oakland, Calif.).
    Oakland (Calif.)--History.
    Older people--Institutional care--California.
    Older people--California--San Francisco Bay Area.
    Older African Americans--History.

    Bibliography

    "Old folks' home Oakland Heritage Alliance News vol. 5 no. 2, Spring 1985.