Ladies’ Union Aid Society records
A Guide to the Collection
Ladies’ Aid Societies were common from the beginning of American Methodism. In 1850 members of the Methodist Episcopal Churches of New York City founded the Ladies’ Union Aid Society in order to assist in caring for poor and sickly female members. Reverend Dr. Nathaniel Bangs presided over the preliminary meetings that created the Society.
In 1851 the Society was incorporated and authorized to hold real estate. At this time a house that could accommodate thirty people was rented. It served as the only home for the early years of the Society. In order to expand its ministry, the Society purchased a lot and built a home that could house seventy-five residents. The completion of the home in 1857 put the Society in debt by $23,000. The debt pushed the Society to hold fairs and festivals. A large donation by Samuel Halsted and Scheneman Halsted in 1864 erased the debt.
Additional applications prompted the purchase of a second building in 1867. As many as 100 patients could be housed within the two buildings, and the Society began admitting men and elderly couples.
The name the Methodist Episcopal Church Home was adopted in 1877. In 1884 the original home was sold for $80,000. The Society moved into a much larger, newly- built facility in 1886.
Earl, Jesse A. “Ladies’ Aid Societies” In Encyclopedia of World Methodism, vol. 2. Nashville: United Methodist Publishing House, 1974.
Bangs, Julia Anderson Merwin. An Historic Outline of the Methodist Episcopal Church Home in the City of New York. New York: [s.n.], 1893.
The Ladies’ Union Aid Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church was founded in 1850 in New York City, and later renamed the Methodist Episcopal Church Home in 1877. The Ladies’ Union Aid Society records include three ledgers containing minutes that span a quarter of a century of the Society’s growth. Researchers will find within these records evidence of a late nineteenth century church-related organization’s charitable mission and financial struggles.
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[Identification of item], Bridwell Library, Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University.
Acquired prior to 2009.
Processed by Madeline Hoff, 2012.
Madeline Hoff, 2012.
Ada Negraru, 2012
Detailed Description of the Collection