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Old Posted Jul 3, 2017, 8:03 AM
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Flyingwedge Flyingwedge is offline
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Mrs. Watson and the Girls' Home

Originally Posted by ethereal_reality View Post

"On June 11, 1887, the Los Angeles Police Department’s baseball team (The Police Nine) played a game of ball
against the Town’s Sheriff Department’s baseball team (The Constable Nines) at Sixth Street grounds in Los Angeles.
The Police Nine vs. The Constable Nine rivalry brought out a huge crowd, including Los Angeles Police Chief
John K. Skinner, and other City officials. The game raised $244.95 for Mrs. Watson's Home for Stray Girls."

I checked the city directories for a Mrs. Watson's Home for Stray Girls.
but all I found were several widows (named Watson) that might possibly have been the place.

I have to say that the use of the term 'stray girls' was rather unfortunate (it made me think of stray dogs )

In Illinois we had schools for 'wayward' girls. There was one out in the country near my hometown.
By the time I came along, the school was long closed but the big old scary building still stood.
We were always told it was where rich people in Chicago sent their daughters if they became pregnant
before marriage.

(of course Mrs. Watson might have simply meant run-away girls)

I digress.
Thank you for reminding me about Mrs. Watson, e_r. I bumped into her last year while researching the LAPD of the 1880s and 90s.
Mrs. Helen A. Watson was the LAPD's first Matron. I know Lucy Gray is said to have been appointed the first LAPD Matron in 1888,
but that is not correct. Mrs. Watson was appointed Matron to support her work with young girls (and boys, too). The reasoning was,
if it weren't for Mrs. Watson, the police would end up dealing with many of the girls and boys, either because they had become
criminals, or they had become victims of crime.

The Girls' Home, mentioned in the article you quoted about the baseball game, opened in temporary quarters at 11th and Myrtle
(now Wall) on July 6, 1887 (a Times article on July 2 explained that Mrs. Watson needed to rent a home now, rather than wait to
find a place to buy):

July 7, 1887, Los Angeles Herald at CDNC

Mrs. Watson shared your distaste for the term "stray girls," e_r, though only as it applied to the girls under her care:

July 12, 1887, Los Angeles Herald at CDNC

The permanent location for the Girls' Home turned out to be 13 Fuller Street:

November 12, 1887, Los Angeles Times at ProQuest via LAPL

Here's the Girls' Home in the 1891 LACD at 2150 Glowner:

That's not because the home moved, it's because Fuller became Glowner:

February 6, 1889, Los Angeles Times at ProQuest via LAPL

The site of 2150 Glowner is marked by a blue dot:

October 1, 1895, Grider and Dow Map, 249513 at Huntington Digital Library

Eventually 2150 Glowner was renumbered and renamed 2230 Wall. It's been replaced by an apartment building:

Jan 2017 GSV

In late 1897, the Girls' Home sort of dissolved, and the Los Angeles Boys and Girls Aid Society (not Home Society) apparently
took over the assets of the Girls' Home (Lot 13 is 13 Fuller/2150 Glowner):

December 15, 1897, Los Angeles Times at ProQuest via LAPL

In 1898, the Boys and Girls Aid Society built an orphanage at Mission and Orange Grove in South Pasadena, now the site
of Orange Grove Park. That facility was condemned in 1925, and the following year the current facility opened in Altadena.
It's called Five Acres, and it traces its origins back to the founding of the Los Angeles Boys and Girls Aid Society in 1888 --
by, among others, Mrs. Watson:

May 22, 1888, Los Angeles Times at ProQuest via LAPL

Oh yeah, about the Matron thing . . . on August 1, 1888, the LA Police Commission appointed Mrs. Helen A. Watson as the
LAPD's first Matron (she was "H. A." not "M. A."):

August 2, 1888, Los Angeles Herald at CDNC

August 2, 1888, Los Angeles Times at ProQuest via LAPL

However, Mrs. Watson was interested in helping children, not in searching or attending to women brought to the jail:

August 30, 1888, Los Angeles Times at ProQuest via LAPL

There was continued opposition to the idea of a Police Matron, Mrs. Watson was not performing all the duties expected of
her, and some of the things she did seem to have rubbed some people the wrong way. As a result, the Police Commission
voted to eliminate the position of Police Matron on January 9, 1889 ("His Honor" is Mayor John Bryson):

January 10, 1889, Los Angeles Times at ProQuest via LAPL

Mrs. Watson wanted her job back:

April 25, 1889, Los Angeles Herald at CDNC

But when the Police Matron position was reestablished, it went to Lucy Gray:

July 11, 1889, Los Angeles Herald at CDNC

Mrs. Watson, who lived at 6 Sand (just east of Fort/Broadway) then 920 Bartlett (I think that's now part of the
Harbor Freeway, just north of Sunset), eventually moved to somewhere in Colegrove, where she died in 1899:

September 12, 1899, Los Angeles Times at ProQuest via LAPL

Last edited by Flyingwedge; Oct 16, 2018 at 8:09 AM. Reason: image link editing
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