Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas

Latest News

June 16, 2014

Former orphanage residents return for reunion Saturday

Corsicana — About 150 former residents of the Corsicana State Home attended the annual reunion this past weekend, for what could be the last time.

“I think we have a lot of people here because they don’t know if it will be the last time,” said Du’ane Yancy, with the Texas Juvenile Justice Department.

The Corsicana Residential Treatment Center, the former State Home, has been marked for closure by the state, but is still on life support with a skeleton crew and no youth living there anymore. That meant the former residents were able to drive their cars right up to the gazebo for the memorial service. It also means next year they might not be on the campus at all.

Even if they don’t have it on the grounds of the former orphanage, they need to have it, said Butch Nelson, who spent five years of his childhood at the home while his mom was in a tuberculosis sanitorium in Fort Worth.

“It doesn’t matter where we meet as long as we meet,” Nelson said. “That’s how everybody feels.”

Nelson left in 1953, and has now attended 57 reunions.

“The time I had here with these kids, they’re like my brothers and sisters. I’m closer to them than my own family,” he said.

Addie Ruth Carpenter Holleman, 78, came to the reunions every year for the last 15 years with her best friend Geneva Henson. Henson passed away last October. The two women met as kids at the State Home, and reconnected as adults. They spent about 60 years as best friends.

Addie was accompanied by Geneva’s daughter, granddaughter, and great-grandson.

“We call her my aunt,” said Bobbie Kent, Geneva’s daughter.

They came to see old friends and reminisce, Addie explained.

“I feel lost because my friend’s not with me,” she said. “She was like a sister to me more than my friend.”

Many of the former residents described the other “kids,” as their sisters and brothers. It was like an extended family at the State Home, particularly when it was a self-supporting facility. At one time, the orphanage had its own school and farm, where the kids worked to raise their own food. The football team was supposed to be pretty fierce.

Jim Bronstad, now 90, comes to the reunions to see the students he once taught at the school. He was a teacher, coach and recreation director at the State Home from 1953 to 1982.

“I come every year so I can see my kids,” he said.

The fate of the Corsicana Residential Treatment Center remains in the hands of the Legislative Budget Board. Even if the property is transferred to another state department, or given to the county or city, the memorabilia, like trophies and photos of the 100 years of raising kids at the State Home, will be preserved. They’re trying to get permission to move the materials into the former superintendent’s house to make it into a museum, Yancy said.

———

More photos from the event are available on the Daily Sun Facebook page

   —————

Janet Jacobs may be reached via email at jjacobs@corsicanadailysun.com.

1
Text Only
Latest News
  • 7-30-14 4-H robotics.jpg Science made simple

    Hats out of old newspaper and leftover wrapping paper, simple robots out of popsicle sticks, rubber bands and pencil erasers, a microcosm of the aquifer made of root beer and ice cream — with a dollop of chocolate syrup. These were among the fun science projects at Tuesday’s 4-H Discovery Days event at the Navarro County Youth Expo.

    July 29, 2014 3 Photos

  • County: No increase in city subsidies

    As budget talks continue at the Navarro County Courthouse, one consensus that’s been reached will impact budget planning at the Corsicana Government Center.

    July 29, 2014

  • 7-30-14 AthensFire.jpg Senate report finds fault with government inspection of chemical facilities

    WASHINGTON — The government has failed to inspect virtually all of the chemical facilities that it considers to be at a higher risk for a terror attack and has underestimated the threat to densely populated cities, congressional investigators say.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • 7-30-14 Club-Rotary gov.jpg Club News

    News and announcements submitted by clubs and organizations throughout Navarro County.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Local Beat 7/30/14

    A listing of meetings and events of interest from throughout Navarro County.

    July 29, 2014

  • Jury awards Ventura $1.8M in defamation case

    ST. PAUL, Minn. — A jury has awarded former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura $1.8 million in his lawsuit against the estate of "American Sniper" author Chris Kyle.

    July 29, 2014

  • Texas school trustee penalized in cheerleader case

    SAN MARCOS — A Central Texas school board has ordered a trustee to attended professional conduct training after parents and teachers said he used his position to get his daughter onto a cheerleading team.

    July 29, 2014

  • Study: 35 percent in US facing debt collectors

    WASHINGTON — More than 35 percent of Americans have debts and unpaid bills that have been reported to collection agencies, according to a study released Tuesday by the Urban Institute.

    July 29, 2014

  • 7-29-14 Lassiter.jpg Lassiter named new Calico director

    Brittany Watkins-Lassiter has been named the new Calico Director for Corsicana High School. Lassiter replaces Amy Tidwell, who resigned to become the dance squad coach at Sachse High School.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • 7-29-14 McManus.jpg County OKs mall lease

    The question of where many county courthouse offices would move during the three-year historical restoration of the Navarro County Courthouse was officially answered Monday.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

AP Video
US Ready to Slap New Sanctions on Russia Kerry: Not Worried About Israeli Criticism Boater Rescued From Edge of Kentucky Dam Girl Struck by Plane on Florida Beach Dies Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre House to Vote on Slimmed-down Bill for Border Looming Demand Could Undercut Flight Safety Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating
Twitter Updates