Pueblo County, Colorado
Fries Orphanage


Contributed by the Pueblo County Volunteers.

Fries Orphanage In existence in 1900, listed on Fourth Avenue, - June 10, 1900

1900 Directory
Rev. Alvin A Fries superintendent page 222
Mrs. Hattie Fleming nurse page 212

The Fries Orphanage was open for only a short time.
From the Fifth Biennial Report of the State Board of Charities and Corrections for the Biennial Period Ending November 30, 1900, published by Smith-Brooks Printing Company of Denver, Colorado in 1901: Fries' Orphanage. The Rev. A. A. Fries came from Nebraska and started an orphanage in Pueblo. He traveled about this state, Wyoming, New Mexico and western Kansas and Nebraska soliciting both children and funds. He rented three small brick cottages on the northern edge of the city, placed his wife in charge, and endeavored to give the children good care, good food and good clothing. He was evidently much in earnest and was devoted to the work, desiring to make the children happy. The secretary of this board visited the place on two occasions, but secured little information of the plans and purposes of this orphanage, owing to the absence of Mr. Fries and the illness of his wife. A conference was held with the ministerial association of Pueblo and that body appointed a committee of citizens to investigate and report. The result was an unqualified endorsement by the Pueblo pastors. On May 20, 1900, Calvin Kimblern, colored, an employe at the Fries Orphanage, shot and killed two inmates, Ethel Straussen, aged 13, and Jessie Skaggs, aged 11, and seriously wounded his wife, Mrs. Hattie Kimblern. Kimblern was a recently discharged soldier, having served in the Philippines, and had been employed but three weeks as cook. He was arrested in Denver, returned to Pueblo, where a mob captured and lynched him on the night of May 22. The manager of the orphanage, the Rev. A. A. Fries, upon the advice of his friends, disappeared from the city and took refuge with Rev. James Sheperd at La Junta, which is the latter's home. On May 24 a mass meeting of Pueblo citizens was held to discuss the situation and a committee of citizens was appointed to take charge of the children at the home. Mr. H. M. Morse, a very superior man, was given personal charge. This committee of citizens visited Mr. Fries at La Junta, consulted with him about the institution, and on June 5, at a second meeting of citizens, the committee reported that they had taken seventeen children from the home and had sent them to persons obligated by relationship or otherwise to care for them; of the twenty-eight remaining, seven had been admitted from Pueblo, six from Wyoming, three from New Mexico and the remainder from four towns in the state. The committee recommended that of this twenty-eight, four should go to the State Home, eleven be returned to their families, four should be returned to Las Animas county, and ten would require further disposition. The result was that on June 10 the citizens of Pueblo refused to return the ten waifs to the charge of Mr. Fries and Mr. Sheperd, reporting that, in their judgment, the tragedy was directly due to the "incompetency and criminal neglect of Fries" and children not otherwise disposed of were placed in the Pueblo Children's Home, operated under the sanction of the Pueblo Associated Charities. Rev. Fries left the city owing debts to the amount of $600 and taking two carloads of furniture which he had accumulated, to La Junta, where he endeavored in vain to secure the sanction of the citizens to reopen for business at that place.

11-2-1898 The Hooper Tribune - Rev. Fries delivered his farewell address Sunday evening to a crowded house.

11-25-1898 Rev. Fries returned Monday from the Baptist State Convention. Rev. Fries will locale at Pueblo and engage in orphanage work. He expects to move there next week.

Aspen Weekly Times 2-24-1900 Rev. A. A. Fries departed for Pueblo on yesterday afternoon's Rio Grande. Rev. Fries succeeded in collecting about $100 for the maintenance of the Rescue Home, which at the present time contains forty-eight children. This gentleman puts in his whole time traveling. On Sundays he preaches in different churches where he can get a hearing, and devotes the week days for collecting. This home would not be admitted to an orphan's home, for all are not orphans but need the care as badly. The photos he exhibits show groups of healthy, clean little children proving that all funds solicited in their behalf are used for them.

3-3-1899 Longmont Ledger - A Children's Home The Rev. A. A. Fries of Pueblo was in Longmont Friday and Saturday for the purpose of getting subscriptions to carry on the home for orphan or destitute children. As he depends upon subscriptions for the home he will soon come again. Mr. Fries has been in the Baptist Home Missionary work in Nebraska for seven years. The following will explain itself: Pueblo, Colo., Feb. 10, 1899 To Whom It May Concern: This is to certify that I have known Rev. A. A. Fries for a number of years and take great pleasure in bearing testimony to his ability to conduct a children's home. I have visited the home and found the children well cared for and devoted especially to Mrs. Fries, who takes the place of a mother in their affections. I desire to emphasize especially that the children have a true home and that they have in Sister Fries a real mother, and every care is given them that is necessary or possible in a home of that kind. Bro. Fries takes any child that is left destitute and cares for them as above stated, free of charge. The institute is worthy of the confidence and support of all who are interested in the fatherless and destitute. Very respectfully, Thos. Stephenson, Pastor First Baptist Church, Pueblo, Colorado. This home is located at 2812 4th Ave., and is open to all who need the benefits of such an institute. A. A. Fries.

Longmont Ledger 3-24-1899 Rev. A. A. Fries of the Colorado Orphans' Home, situated in Pueblo, was in town yesterday, gathering in subscriptions to help the enterprise along. They now have practically ten children under their care from Boulder county. It would be the fair thing for the county commissioners to make an appropriation for the benefit of this home, for some of the unpleasant work of the county is thus taken out of the county's hands.

Aspen Tribune 4-20-1899 A. A. Fries, superintendent of the Rescue Home for children at Pueblo is in the city and will today visit the several churches of Aspen where he will give short talks on the work of this undenominational Christian home where homeless children are cared for. Rev. Fries will visit the Christian church in the morning, the Methodist church at 11 o'clock, the Baptist church at the close of the morning services and the Presbyterian church in the evening.

Aspen Rocky Mountain Sun 5-6-1899 A. A. Fries, superintendent of the Rescue Home for children, at Pueblo, leaves this morning for Leadville. Mr. Fries has been in the city several days soliciting financial assistance for the orphans in his care, and raised about $90. The home is supported entirely by voluntary contributions and is undenominational in character. Any person who wishes to contribute a mite to this worthy object at any time should address Rescue Home, 2812 Fourth avenue, Pueblo, Colorado.

Telluride Daily Journal 5-31-1899 Rev. A. A. Fries, who has opened an undenominational home for orphans and homeless children at Pueblo is in Telluride for a few days soliciting aid for the maintenance of the same. The enterprise has the endorsement of the leading churches and prominent people of Pueblo, and those who are charitably disposed and can afford to contribute may rest assured that they are aiding a most worthy institution.

5-25-1900 The Hooper Tribune - A negro employed at the Fries orphan home in Pueblo, shot and wounded his wife and killed two little orphan girls. The murderer was captured in Denver and taken to Pueblo, where the citizens hung him to a telegraph pole.

Wray Rattler 5-26-1900 A Pueblo dispatch of the 20th says: Pueblo is excited tonight over the most atrocious crime ever committed in her history. Two innocent children are lying dead in the morgue and a colored woman is at the Pueblo hospital with two bullet holes in her body. Calvin Kimblern, a colored cook in the employ of the Fries Orphan home, is the murderer of the children, and the would be assassin of his wife. The murder was committed at 1:30 o'clock this morning at cottage No. 2 of the Fries Orphan Home in central Park. According to the wounded woman's story if was the result of insane jealousy on the part of the husband, who, prior to the shooting, had been quarreling with her. He has not yet been captured.

Pueblo Chieftain 11-17-1991 - Doctor Battled Corruption - A Look Back at Pueblo County - Abraham Lincoln Fugard was a medical doctor in Pueblo in the latter part of the 19th and early 20th centuries. His efforts to clean up corruption in the city make an interesting story. In 1900, one of Pueblo's great tragedies occurred. Fugard was serving as coroner at the time, being elected in 1897. A mulatto cook at the Fries Orphanage on Fourth Avenue was accused of molesting and then killing two girls at the institution. The suspect fled to Denver where he was apprehended and returned to Pueblo. An angry mob met the train at the Eighth Street Depot. He was dragged to Eighth and Santa Fe and hanged. Fugard, who was the coroner at the time, called a coroner's jury to investigate the deaths of the two girls. Investigators determined that the care and protection of "inmates" of the institution was inadequate. The result was establishing Sacred Heart Home and McClelland Home to care for Pueblo's homeless children.

Yuma Pioneer May 25, 1900 A Pueblo dispatch of the 20th says: Pueblo is excited tonight over the most atrocious crime ever committed in her history. Two innocent children are lying dead in the morgue and a colored woman is at the Pueblo hospital with two bullets in her body. Calvin Kimblern, a colored cook in the employ of the Fries Orphan home, is the murderer of the children, and the would-be assassin of his wife. The murder was committed at 1:30 o'clock this morning at cottage No. 2 of the Fries Orphans' Home in Central Park. According to the wounded woman's story it was the result of insane jealousy on the part of the husband, who, prior to the shooting, had been quarreling with her. He has not yet been captured. Note: From the Fifth Biennial Report of the State Board of Charities and Corrections for the Biennial Period Ending November 30, 1900, published by Smith-Brooks Printing Company of Denver, Colorado in 1901, the names of the two dead orphans were obtained. They were Ethel Straussen, aged 13, and Jessie Skaggs, aged 11. Jessie Skaggs was buried in Roselawn Cemetery in Pueblo, Colorado on May 22, 1900.

6-22-1900 Castle Rock Journal It was decided at a mass meeting of Pueblo citizens to send the children remaining in the Fries Orphan Home to the Grays home on the mesa, pending the result of the work of the committee in establishing a permanent home for orphan children.

6-29-1900 Fairplay Flume A La Junta dispatch says: Rev. Dr. Weaver, pastor of the First Presbyterian church of Pueblo; Rev. Dr. Patchell, pastor of the First Congregational church at Pueblo, and Rev. Dr. Earley of the Central Christian church of Pueblo, came down Monday morning and a meeting was held at the M. E. church regarding the re-establishment of the Fries Orphans' home at this place. These gentlemen have contradicted the statements made in the papers as to Mr. Fries' neglect of the home. They say that under the excitement of the hour neither the people nor the daily papers gave Mr. Fries a chance to be heard and that he has been basely misrepresented. Mr. Fries said that there was no doubt but that the home would be located here; that he was daily receiving letters from various parts of the state assuring him of financial assistance. A tract of land will be purchased shortly, and it is Mr. Fries' plan to raise money in the East to erect suitable buildings. He also stated that his goods formerly used in Pueblo are here and will be stored until definite arrangements are made.

1900 census

NAME POSITION BIRTH AGE NOTES
Arnold, Ada 8-1888 11
Arnold, Hazel 1-1892 8
Carlson, Amanda 6
Carlson, Christina 12-1890 9
Carlson, Herman 7-1896 3
Carlson, Jeanie 6-1887 17
Hawes, Georgia 1893 7
Hulstead, Evelyn 1893 7
Jackson, Claud 1894 4
Knoble, Albert 4-1892 8
Knoble, Charles 9-1895 4
Knoble, Edna 3-1890 10
Knoble, Minnie 10-1885 14
Li? Middle initial E. matron 45
Love, Alferd son 5-1892 8
Love, Sarah cook 10-1854 43 wd, m 12y, 1 child
Montgomery, Lizzie 6-1888 11
Montgomery, Sarah 5-1887 13
Reibuhart, Claud head 1872 28
S?, Mary 40
Sckagg, Charles ?-1892 8
Sckagg, Oscar 8-1893 6
Sckagg, Ray 1899 1
Shaussen, Fay 10-1891 8
Shaussen, Hazel 9-1889 10
Shaussen, Jay 10-1891 8
Terry, Ada 5-1890 10
Terry, Alice 7-1895 4
Terry, Benny 10-1887 12
Terry, Lizzie 2-1893 7
Toles, Eve 3-1888 12
Toles, Maud 4-1890 10  



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