Savannah Widows' Society records
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Savannah Widows' Society records

Descriptive Summary

Repository: Georgia Historical Society
Creator: Savannah Widows' Society (Ga)
Title: Savannah Widows' Society records
Dates: 1822-2001
Extent: 5.5 cubic feet (10 boxes)
Identification: MS 1651

Biographical/Historical Note

The Savannah Widows' Society was organized in 1822 by a group of women from Savannah who wished to provide housing and other care for widows and unmarried female residents of Savannah and Chatham County. The constitution and by-laws stipulated that the Society be governed by a Board composed of four officers and twenty-eight directresses who met monthly. The Society was incorporated in December of 1837.

From 1834 to 1985, the Savannah Widows Society owned and supported various charity residences. The first residences were located on two lots on South Broad Street (Oglethorpe Avenue) that were given to the Society by the City of Savannah. Several small wooden houses were erected on this property as housing for elderly women. These residences were used until 1859, when construction was completed on the Abrahams Home (sometimes misspelled as the Abrams Home). This dwelling for approximately 40 aged women was located at the corner of Broughton and East Broad streets at the former location of the Savannah Poor House and Hospital (lots 33 and 34 of Washington Ward, 548 East Broughton Street). The Abrahams Home building was constructed as directed by the will of Dorothea/Dorethea Connet Abrahams (1779-1853), widow of Abraham DeLyon Abrahams (ca. 1773-1844). In 1875, additional property was given to the Society by Mary Telfair (1791-1875). The Mary Telfair Home, a set of twelve residences in four conjoined buildings, was located at the corner of West Broad and President streets (lot 20 of Liberty Ward, 126 West Broad Street). This home served as a residence for widows with small children. Over time, the Society's charity properties required more extensive upkeep due to the age of the buildings. For this reason, the Mary Telfair Home was razed in 1953. The Abrahams Home was disbanded in 1984 and the building sold the following year. It is currently owned by the Savannah College of Art and Design.

The Savannah Widows' Society, in addition to offering housing, has also served the widows of Chatham County by making visitations to the individuals living in the charity residences. This service ended when the homes were discontinued.


Scope and Content Note

The Savannah Widows' Society Records (1822-1984) are arranged in six series: Series 1. Organizing Papers and Leadership (1928-1983) consists of board membership information, by-laws, and the constitution; Series 2. Minutes (1849-1988) consists of meeting minutes both in bound book and file form; Series 3. Visiting Committee (1859-1984) consists of information concerning the visitation committee both in bound book and file form; Series 4. Charity Residences (1822-1985) consists of files concerning tenant properties that were managed by the Society including information on the Abrahams Home and the Mary Telfair Home, which have been separated into subseries and include information on residents; Series 5. Financial (1830-1981) consists of various financial records including bound cash books, receipt books, and treasurer's books as well as loose files concerning various financial matters (additional financial information can be found in series 2 and 4, Minutes and Charity Residences); and Series 6. Miscellaneous (1837-1972) consists of address books, legal notes, miscellaneous correspondence, and other materials.

In order to save wear and tear on the records, bound materials are housed in boxes 1 through 4 of the collection while those in file folders have been relegated to boxes 5 through 10. Please check box numbers listed in the inventory carefully before requesting materials.


Index Terms

Abrahams, Dorothea Connet, 1779-1853.
Savannah Widows' Society (Ga)
Telfair, Mary, 1791-1875.
Widows--Georgia--Savannah.

Administrative Information

Custodial History

Unknown.

Preferred Citation

[item identification], Savannah Widows' Society records, MS 1651, Georgia Historical Society, Savannah, Georgia.

Acquisition Information

Unknown.


Restrictions

Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research.

Publication Rights

Copyright has not been assigned to the Georgia Historical Society. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Division of Library and Archives. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Georgia Historical Society as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the researcher.


Sponsorship

Encoding funded by a 2012 Documenting Democracy grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.

Container List

 

Organizing Papers and Leadership

alphabetized by type

Box

Fldr

51AApplication Materials, 2001
Board, 1925-1983

Box

Fldr

51BMembers, 1925-1977, undated
Some gaps in the years
2Resignations, 1975-1983
Some gaps in the years
3Constitution and By-laws, 1928, 1949, 1974, 1989
President's Notes, 1951-1975

Box

Fldr

541951 December-1961 October
5Correspondence, 1951 December-1961 October
61959, 1967-1975
Secretary's Book, 1928-1943

Box

Fldr

571928-1931
81931-1938
91938 March-1943 January
 

Minutes

Chronological order
Minute Books

Box

1Book 1, 1816 December-1838 November
Book 2, 1849 January-1871 December
Book 3, 1872 April-1880 December
Book 4, 1881 February-1892 May
Book 5, 1872 June-1902 April
Book 6, 1902 May-1920 June
Book 7, 1920 January-1924 July
Minutes (in Folders)

Box

Fldr

5101924 August-1925 January
111927 January-1931 August
121931July-1932 February
kept by Mrs. E. H. Hawkins
131932-1942
Some gaps in the years
Minute Books
Book 8, 1945 December-1956 May
Book 9, 1956 June-1962 January
Book 10, 1962 January-1971 January
Book 11, 1971 February-1978 March
Book 12, 1978 April-1988 July
Minutes (in Folders)

Box

Fldr

5141978 April-1988 July
Loose Items from Minute Book
Minute Books

Box

1Book 13, 1988 August-1994 December
Book 14, 1995 January-2000 June
 

Visiting Committee

Chronological order
Visiting Committee Report Books

Box

2Book 15, 1859 June-1871 February
Book 16, 1871 January-1887 August
Book 17, 1887 September-1894 July
Book 18, 1894 August-1904 September
Book 19, 1904 October-1911 June
Book 20, 1911 June-1923 September
Book 21, 1923 October-1930 June
Book 22, 1930 February-1937 October
Book 23, 1938 January-1943 September
Book 24, 1943 October-1953 December
Book 25, 1954 January-1959 November
Book 26, 1959 December-1963 July
Book 27, 1963 August-1968 February
Book 28, 1968 March-1984 October

Box

Fldr

515Visiting Committee Notes, 1974-1984
 

Charity Residences

for additional information see Series 2: Minutes



Abrahams Home

Chronological order

Box

Fldr

616Abrahams Wills, 1822-1853, 1912-1916, undated
Some gaps in the years 1882-1853
17Department of Public Welfare, 1920-1971
18Reports by Mary C. McLeod, 1920-1921
19Miscellaneous, 1920-1970
Some gaps in the years
20Applicants and Inmates, 1929-1983
Some gaps in the years
Inmates Files, 1931-1984
21A
22BA-BE
23BL-BU
24CA-CL
25CO-CU
26D-E
27F-G

Box

Fldr

728HA
29HE-HU
30I-J
31K
32L
33MA-MC
34ME-MU
35N-PA
36PE-R
37SA-SH
38SI-ST
39T-V

Box

Fldr

840WA
41WE-WR
42Y-Z
43Memorials, Abrahams Home Garden, 1936-1956
Index Cards of Inmates, 1941-1965
44A-E
45F-J
46K-M
47N-Z
48Fire Marshal Reports, 1959-1973
Some gaps in the years
49Brochures and Booklets, 1959-1975
Some gaps in the years
50Permit to Operate Personal Care Home, 1959-1973
Some gaps in the years
51Gifts to Abrahams Home, 1961-1984
Some gaps in the years
52Miscellaneous, 1972-1985, undated
Some gaps in the years

Box

Fldr

953Board of Directresses, 1974-1980
54Mrs. Frances B. Olson on Abrahams Home, 1977
55Financial Statements, Abrahams Home, 1983-1984



Mary Telfair Home

Chronological order

Box

Fldr

956Reports, 1920-1926
57Miscellaneous, 1920-1942
Some gaps in the years
Inmates, 1926-1947
58A-F
59G-R
60S-Z
61Razing of Mary Telfair Home, 1947-1952
 

Financial

alphabetized by type of material with miscellaneous at end
Cash Books
Chronological order

Box

2Book 29, 1895-1901
Book 30, 1901-1902
Real Estate

Box

Fldr

962Augustus Jones Mortgage, 1921-1929
63Real Estate, 1926-1981
Some gaps in the years
64Insurance, 1947, 1969-1970
Rentals, Liberty Ward, Lot 20
651955-1957
661957-1961
67Hollowbush Gift Property Purchase, 1968-1970
68Urban Renewal Project, 1973-1974
Receipt Books
Chronological order

Box

3Book 31, 1853 April-1866 December
Book 32, 1884 April-1895 May
Book 33, 1890 July-1895 April
Book 34, Stocks, Bonds, and Securities Book, 1854-1859
Treasurer's Records
Chronological order
Treasurer's Books
Book 35, 1830-1835
Book 36, 1835-1842
Book 37, 1842-1851
Book 38, 1851-1854
Book 39, 1859-1868
Book 40, 1868-1878
Book 41, 1879-1882
Book 42, 1879-1883
Book 43, 1884-1895

Box

Fldr

1069Treasurer Reports, 1895-1899
Treasurer's Books
Book 44, 1895-1902
Book 45, 1909-1918
Book 46, 1932-1942
Book 47, 1941-1944

Box

4Book 48, 1945-1948
Book 49, 1946-1975
Some gaps in the years
Book 50, 1949-1954
Book 51, 1955-1961
70Treasurer Reports, 1960-1961
71Treasurer's Book File, 1965-1966
72Treasurer Reports, 1965-1967
Treasurer's Book
Book 52, 1975-1976
Miscellaneous Financial Files
Chronological order
73Bank Statements, 1909-1954
Some gaps in the years
74Miscellaneous Financial, 1925-1961
Some gaps in the years
75Yearly Disbursement Reports, 1926-1940
Some gaps in the years
76Investors, 1947-1973
Some gaps in the years
77Yearly Audit, 1947-1975
Some gaps in the years
78Taxes, 1953-1970
Some gaps in the years
79Correspondence, Citizens and Southern Bank, 1960-1971
Some gaps in the years
80Portfolio Appraisal Reports, 1968-1981, undated
Some gaps in the years
Miscellaneous
Chronological order

Box

Fldr

1081Miscellaneous, 1837, 1920, undated
82Miscellaneous Correspondence, 1932-1980, undated
Some gaps in the years
Names and Organizations List Books, 1950-1974
use unknown
Book 53, 1950 January-1954 February
Book 54, 1954 May-1974 December
Legal Matters, 1952-1972
83J. A. Rossiter, 1952-1959
Regarding Sarah Douglas Adams. Some gaps in the years
84H. B. Brennan, 1954-1964
With some gaps in the years
85Kennedy and Sognier, 1967-1972