St. Aemilian’s Orphan Asylum/Home

Title: St. Aemilian’s Orphan Asylum/Home

Reference Code: Mss-2664

Inclusive Dates: 1914-1916, 1921, 1967

Quantity: 0.03 cu. ft.

Location: Sm Mss

Creator: Donated by Robert Boivin, February 1999

Abstract: Milwaukee bishop John Martin Henni established St. Aemilian’s Orphan Asylum on Jackson Street in 1849 to care for children orphaned during a cholera epidemic.  In 1854, a new building was erected in St. Francis and was operated by the Sisters of St. Francis of Assisi.  The orphanage accepted boys only.  A fire destroyed St. Aemilian’s in 1930; thus the orphanage moved to a temporary location in a former Lutheran seminary at N. 60th and W. Lloyd Streets. A 37-acre site at 8901 W. Capitol Drive was acquired in 1937, but a permanent facility was not built there until the 1950s.  The number of traditional orphans at the orphanage declined steadily, so that by the 1960s, the institution’s focus shifted to treating emotionally disturbed children. The Milwaukee Archdiocese ran St. Aemilian’s until 1969, when it was re-incorporated as St. Aemilian Child Care Center, a non-profit, non-sectarian residential and day treatment center.  In 1989, St. Aemilian’s merged with Lakeside Children’s Center to enhance their respective treatment programs and to become more sustainable financially.

Scope and Content: The collection consists of 1914 and 1916 annual reports, 1921 and 1967 Christmas solicitations, and photocopies of documents from Circuit Court Case #16245, which contains lists of children who were at St. Aemilian’s in 1896.

Access and Use: No restrictions

Language: English