Home for the Aged and Infirm
of the
Methodist Episcopal Church

531 York Street

The following is derived from
The Centennial History of Camden Methodism
published in 1909

Home for the Aged and Infirm of the Methodist Episcopal Church

The Home for the Aged and Infirm of the Methodist Episcopal Church in the County of Camden, State of New Jersey, was incorporated February 3, 1890. It was formally opened April 15, 1890. It was furnished complete at 531 York street, Camden, N. J., with Auxiliaries from eight churches, as follows: Centenary, Tabernacle, Third Street, Broadway, Wiley, Union, Haddonfield and Gloucester M. E. Churches. Mr. William T. Bailey of Centenary M. E. Church, donated the rent, amounting to $20 per month, toward the fund for a permanent building. During the first year nine old ladies became members of the Home.

The officers were:—President, Mrs. David Baird; Vice-Presidents, Mrs. Daniel Erdman, Mrs. John Gourley; Recording Secretary, Miss Lida Mayhew; Corresponding Secretary, Mrs. J. S. Baer; Treasurer, Miss Harriet N. King; Matron, Mrs. Townsend.

Board of Trustees—President, George Danenhower; Secretary, John T. Seymour; Treasurer, Frank S. Wells; Dr. A. E. Street, James R. Carson, Joseph E. Roberts, A.D. Geiger, Richard T. Collings, B. Flummer. 

On June 23rd, Mr. E. C. Knight, of Collingswood, tendered a lot on Haddon avenue on which the Home now stands, 160 feet front on Haddon avenue by 385 feet in depth, and at a meeting of the Board of Trustees held August 14, 1890, the offer of Mr. Knight was gratefully accepted, and an agreement made to purchase thirty feet additional on the front and of same depth from Mr. Knight for the sum of $600. Twenty feet was afterward dedicated as part of a 50 ft. street, now Zane avenue, leaving 190 ft. front on Haddon avenue. Much of the success which has thus far attended the Home is due, under the blessing of God, to the indefatigable efforts of the President of the Board of Managers, Mrs. David Baird.

During the second year the following churches became interested and appointed Auxiliaries: Collingswood, Kaighn Avenue, Bethany, Wiley, and State Street, making thirteen in all. On July 9, 1891, the corner stone of the Home at Collingswood was laid by Bishop Cyrus D. Poss, after an eloquent address.

The services were in charge of Rev. Milton Relyea, Presiding Elder of Camden District.

The dedication took place on Thursday, October 22, 1891, at 3 P. M. The services being in charge of Presiding Elder Rev. Milton Relyea, and the dedication service, arranged by himself, was read by Rev. J. L. Sooy. 

On August 29, 1897, the Home met with a great loss in the death of the President of the Board of Managers, Mrs. Christianna Baird, whose active efforts from the first inception of the Home, and hopeful spirit have been an inspiration to all who came in contact with her. Her mantel has fallen on her daughter, Mrs. Mary Baird Fox.

Finding the Home inadequate for the demands made upon it, at a joint meeting of the Boards of Trustees and Managers, held at First M. E. Church, on October 28, 1909, it was decided to enlarge the capacity of the Home by building an addition in front of the old building to contain a chapel and twenty-six rooms.

Plans were drawn by Thomas Stephens, architect, and on January 28, 1910, a contract was made with James W. Draper to build the addition for the sum of $18,962.50. A supplemental contract afterward being made for enlargement of kitchen at an additional cost of $450, the work to be completed in three months. At this writing plans have been made to relay the corner stone, which was removed from the old building. The service to be in charge of Rev. Sanford M. Nichols, District Superintendent of Camden District, and
the corner stone to be laid on June 2, 1910, by Bishop Luther B. Wilson,

The present Board of Trustees is as follows : President, Thomas Hollinshed: Secretary, Frank S. Warren; Treasurer and Solicitor, H. Graham Bleakly; Preston D. Hughes, D. P. Fries, Harry L. Swyler, John Simpson, Frank D. Ellis, R. H. Robbins.

Board of Managers: President, Mrs. Mary Baird Fox; Vice-Presidents, Mrs. Elizabeth Goorley, Mrs. Susie M. Wells; Recording Secretary, Mrs. L. Mayhew Allbright; Corresponding Secretary, Mrs. Ida B. Cooper; Financial Secretary, Mrs. Maggie Briggs ; Treasurer, Mrs. Sarah E. Phillips; Matron, Miss Sarah A. Mayers.