Book Accompanies Opening of New Hendrick Home Main Building

A new book by Loretta Fulton accompanies the opening of a new main building at Hendrick Home for Children, South 27th Street and Treadaway Boulevard. Grand opening ceremonies have been postponed due to COVID concerns, but the book is available at Texas Star Trading Company, 174 Cypress St. Titled “Hendrick Home for Children: Still Building on a Firm Foundation,” the coffee table-style book was published by ACU Press.
The book can be purchased at Texas Star Trading Company, online at www.texasstartrading.com or by calling 325-672-9696. Books are $40.

By LORETTA FULTON

The Hendrick name is literally all over Abilene, from the north side to the south side and points in-between.

One of the iconic Hendrick institutions is Hendrick Home for Children, which opened at the intersection of South 27th St. and Treadaway Boulevard in 1939. The people behind the name — Thomas Gould Hendrick and Ida Nations Hendrick — are buried on the grounds close to the front gate, forever surrounded by the children they envisioned saving from a bleak existence when they opened the Home during the Great Depression.

The original main building on the campus was designed by famed Abilene architect David Castle, and it stood as a welcoming beacon to children for several decades until it was razed in 2018. Construction on a new building started then and is now complete. Hendrick Home staff, headed by David Miller, president, moved into their new digs the week of Oct. 25. Before Miller’s office furniture had been moved from the staff’s three-year temporary home in the gym, Miller was working in a bare new office.

“It’s already a thrill to be functioning out of here,” he said.

Grand opening ceremonies were scheduled for October but were postponed due to COVID concerns. Before construction started, Miller assembled a Legacy Team to ensure that the story of Tom and Ida Hendrick would not be lost in the excitement over the new building. Judy Godfrey, Bird Thomas, Rebecca Sharp, and Loretta Fulton were asked to be a part of the team. Godfrey and Thomas put together a creative timeline for one wall on the second floor. They also created vignettes, with relics from the Home. 

Fulton wrote a book for the occasion, “Hendrick Home for Children: Still Building on a Firm Foundation.” The coffee table-style book, loaded with photographs taken throughout the Home’s history, was published by ACU Press and is available at Texas Star Trading Company, 174 Cypress St. Rebecca Sharp assisted everyone with her research and photographs. 

Following is an excerpt from the introduction to Fulton’s book:

“Walk the grounds of Hendrick Home for Children and listen to the voices. They are the voices of the founders, Thomas Gould and Ida Nations Hendrick, who are buried here. They are the voices of the three men who have led the Home from the beginning, Thomas E. Roberts, Claude A. Hicks, and David W. Miller. They are the voices of the children who got a start to life at the Home that their own parents were unable to provide. 

Each voice tells a part of the entire story of Hendrick Home for Children, from the day it opened in 1939 to the present. Future voices will add their own chapters to the story.”

Loretta Fulton is creator and editor of Spirit of Abilene

Loretta Fulton

One comment

  • I’ve got my copy and will expect the author’s signature soon! It is a lovely, well-documented book and an Abilene treasure.

    Like

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