Benevolant Institutions

There were many agents over the years that tended to the orphans, poor, sick and insane. Below is a start of a list of those organizations. It is not a complete list.

Wisconsin Humane Society

First, it will prevent cruelty of all animals; second, it will prevent cruelty to children; third it will prevent cruelty to criminals and to defective and dependent people. See more about the Wisconsin Humane Society.

St. Vincent Infant Asylum.

Records, 1877-1958.

There are records located at the Archdiocese of Milwaukee Archives
Manuscript Collection 56
4.5 cubic ft.

Records are restricted, consult the archivist for details.
Collection consists of admission (1877-1957) and baptismal records (1877-1958) to this Catholic orphanage. Entries for admissions include: entry number, name, gender, birthdate, nativity, admission date, returned to parents, death date, transferred to female-male orphanage, date of adoption/and to whom, and residence. Baptismal records generally include birth name, birth date, baptismal date, birth parents' names, sponsors, priest. St. Vincent's was an orphanage for infants; if a child had not been adopted by age 3-5 then he/she was transferred to the gender appropriate orphanage for older children. Girls usually went to St. Rose Orphanage and boys to St. Aemilian's.

Good Shepherd Industrial School (Milwaukee, Wis.).

Records, 1883-1890.

These records are located at: Archives and Special Collections. Memorial Library.
Marquette University.
Bureau of Catholic Indian Missions Records, Series 1-1 and 2-1
0.1 cubic ft.

Restrictions apply to the pupil attendance records; consult an archivist for details.

Administrative correspondence and pupil attendance records from a Catholic boarding school
serving Ojibwa Indian students from North Dakota. The school was administered by the Sisters
of the Good Shepherd. Also in repository are records pertaining to other Catholic Indian
mission schools in Wisconsin and elsewhere in the U.S.
Finding aid available online:

See also Jewish Charities and Benevolant Societies

The following benevolant institutions are a list from the 1857-58 Milwaukee City Directory
Erving, Burdick & Co. 205 and 207 East Water Street

Milwaukee Bible Society

Depository, corner East Water and Michigan Streets.
Its object is to supply all who are destitute, with the Bible.
The city is now being thoroughly canvassed, with this end in view.

Officers –
E. D. Holton, President
J. F. McMullen, Secretary
Silas Chapman, Treasurer and Depositer
G. W. Elliot General Agent for the State of Wisconsin.

Orphan Asylum

The Milwaukee Orphan Asylum, for the protection and
support of destitute orphan children, Marshall Street, near
Biddle, was established in 1850. It is under the care of a
Board of Managers, composed of ladies from different
protestant denominations in the city, and supported by
voluntary contributions and the proceeds of fairs.

Number of Children in the Asylum, June 26, 1857, 30.
Officers – Mrs. G. P. Hewitt, 1st Directress
Mrs. E. Eldred, 2d Directress
Mrs. J. Whitney, 3d Directress
Mrs. B. McVicker, Treasurer
Mrs. G. W. Allen, Secretary
Mrs. C. J. Cary, Corresponding Secretary.

Managers – Mrs. S. B. Grant
Mrs. W. Sanderson
Mrs. C. W. Wolfe
Mrs. Griffin
Mrs. C. Shephard
Mrs. H. Bosworth
Mrs. E. Ladue
Mrs. J. Bonnell
Mrs. M. Medbery
Mrs. I. A. Lapham
Mrs. C. Papendiek
Mrs. H. W. Spalding
Mrs. L. Kellogg
Mrs. W. H. Byron
Mrs. F. Ripley
Mrs. M. Pearce
Mrs. Wm. Carey
Mrs. A. F. Clarke
Mrs. P. W. Badgley
Mrs. G. D. Norris
Mrs. W. P. Lynde
Mrs. G. D. Dousman
Mrs. P. C. Hale
Mrs. J. Wells

Matron – Miss Lydia Palmer
Teacher – Miss Osgood
Board of Cousellors – A. Finch
W. P. Young
E. Cramer
G. P. Hewitt

St. Emilianum Orphan Asylum

For the support and education of orphan boys, was established in 1849, and is in the town of Lake, three miles south of the city.

St. Rosa’s Orphan Asylum

For the support and education of orphan girls, Jackson, bt Oneida and Biddle streets, was established in 1847. Number in the asylum July 18, 1857, 65. Under the care of eight Sisters.

St. John’s Infirmary

Jefferson, bt Martin and Division streets, is under the care of the Sisters of Charity. Patients are well attended to, and receive the best medical care.

Hibernian Benevolent Society

Established in 1847. Place of meeting, Furlong’s Block.
Patrick Donnaugh, President
James Gorman, Vice President
Daniel Wall, Secretary
Wm. Kennedy, Treasurer


North end Prospect street. First Ward

Other Sources of Listings

In the book Milwaukee The History of a City by Bayrd Still Chapter 10, page
237 the following benevolent societies are listed as existing in the 1860's:

Milwaukee Hospital, founded by Dr. W. A. Passavant in 1863
St. Mary's Hospital
St. Rose's Orphan Asylum
Milwaukee Orphan Asylum, established by the Ladies' Benevolent Society and
partly subsidized by the council
Home of the Friendless, opened in 1867
Hebrew Relief Society, founded 1867
Union Bethel Mission societies

In a small pamphlet entitled In and Around Milwaukee 1883 (published by S. Chapman, 124 Grand Avenue), the following "Benevolent Societies" are listed:

St. Vincent's Orphan Asylum, under the charge of the Sisters of Charity - a foundling hospital- 407 Virginia Street, south side.

Milwaukee Orphan Asylum, under the direction of a board of lady managers, 350 Division Street, on the lake shore.

St. Joseph's Orphan Asylum, (Catholic) 469 Jackson Street

Church Home, Protestant Episcopel, an asylum for old ladies, 640 Cass Street

Milwaukee Industrial School, Lake Avenue, North Point. It takes charge of the young and friendless without regard to religious denomination.

St. Mary's Asylum. Patients of all denominations received, Lake Street and North Avenue, First Ward.