Woodmen's circle home
the story of the forgotten orphanage
North of Dallas traveling up hwy 75 you'll stumble across a town by the name of Sherman, Texas. If you have been through this town before then you have surely seen the abandoned estate in the heart of the town. Sitting on the side of the road, crumbling as the rest of the town continues to grow. As intriguing in appearance the estate is, most don't know how important it once was for so many in need.
Built in the 1920s, the home's main purpose was to house orphans and the widows to members of Modern Woodmen of America. The organization was founded in 1890 in Omaha, Nebraska, by Joseph Cullen Root. Root founded Modern Woodmen of America (MWA) in Lyons, Iowa, in 1883, after hearing a sermon about "pioneer woodsmen clearing away the forest to provide for their families". Taking his own surname to heart, he wanted to start a society that "would clear away problems of financial security for its members". This was the first group to offer life insurance for women.
If the parents of a child passed away, it was part of the policy to allow them to live within the home until they graduated high school. Women who were widowed were also allowed to spend their lives there and often helped take care of the children.
It was only operational from 1920 to 1970. During this time it was a home to 100 children and 165 women. It was abandoned be the group in the 70s and has had very many owners since. shortly after the group left the property, a cult used it. They didn't stay long for reasons of child abuse. A 15 year old girl with cancer was told to refuse treatment because of healing powers within the cult. Sadly she died shortly after.
The building is reaching its 100th birthday soon and its a shame to see it in this amount of despair. A majority of the building is wood and with no upkeep it is falling apart. As I walked on the second floor there were many places that I would feel the floor sink under my weight. Unfortunately this building is not savable. It will sooner than later completely collapse. Currently it is surrounded by apartment complexes and one day this land will be more than likely used to make even more apartments.
Have you seen this forgotten beauty in person?
source of info: wikipedia
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