Ohio Veterans' Children's Home
In 1870 the Ohio Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Orphans’ Home was established in Xenia, Ohio.
In the early years this facility provided a home to children who had lost their Father in the American Civil War. The State of Ohio eventually opened the institution to orphans of all military conflicts and the children of all veterans. In some cases, the children had not lost their parents, but the veteran was physically, emotionally or financially unable to care for his family.
The "Home" was commissioned by Abraham Lincoln, and was a self-contained community with a farm, dairy barn, hospital, power/heating plant, gymnasium, banquet hall, chapel, and residence halls. Lincoln challenged the states to bind up the wounds of the Civil War by meeting the needs of widows and orphans created by the conflict.
Ohio members of the Grand Army of the Republic took up that challenge, and, through a donation of 100 acres by a Xenia farmer, created the Ohio Soldiers' and Sailors' Orphans' Home. This institution was the predecessor of the Ohio Veterans' Children's Home. In 1870, the State of Ohio assumed control of the home.
The Ohio Soldiers' and Sailors' Orphans' Home was originally located in a rented building in Xenia, Ohio. In 1869, Xenia residents provided the GAR with 150 acres of land to build a permanent facility.
In 1978 the name of the Home was changed to The Ohio Veterans' Children's Home.
The children who called this place home received an academic and vocational education, religious instruction and training in various occupations.
The Home endured for 125 years - from 1870 until 1995, providing a lifeline to more than 13,500 children. During its existence, the Home provided children with a stable and secure environment, allowing them an opportunity for success during childhood and also as an adult.
In 1997, State of Ohio, 122nd General Assembly, passed SB7, conveying the State owned land of the OSSO/OVCH to the Board of Commissioners of Greene County. In August 1999, Legacy Ministries International bought the land, in order to expand the campuses of the Xenia Christian Schools. Since then, this historic site has undergone extensive renovation.
AMVETS Dept. of Ohio Service Foundation supported the home over the years, providing volunteers, gifting a fountain and supporting the renovation and maintenance of the Collier Chapel, the oldest building on the campus. Support of the upkeep of the chapel continues today. The campus hosts a variety of organizations and the chapel is still being used as a chapel.