Once the Great Depression began, a number of orphaned children showed up at the Blalock Mansion. The Wood County Orphanage, one of the larger ones, at one point held almost 40 children ages under one to 16. Girls and boys on different floors, staffed by public employees as well as one nurse present at all times. The groundskeeper Clint Miller acted as the resident grandpa, knowing all their names and even their temperaments.
Here Jane and Marv pose for a photo 3 months after they arrived, and here they are ready to go out into the local community with parent sponsors. They’d take them for the day, often a Saturday or Sunday.
When a grieving mother dropped them off in March, placing them at the door, ringing the doorbell, and running away, the kids didn’t cry. Confused and cold, they hurried into the wood heated entryway to the welcoming arms of Mrs. Wheeler. They came skinny, but as you can see in the photo they’re plump and healthy looking. More about them later as they grow up and later move on from the orphanage.