History at Widows Home

  • 1844 – Nancy Trotter Bates becomes head of the Dayton Female Association, an organization formed to care for destitute children

    • The Widows Home of Dayton is dedicated to Nancy’s memory

  • 1844 – The Dayton Female Orphans Asylum on Charity Hill opens on Magnolia Street (on the current site of Miami Valley Hospital)

    • Simple brick building built using contributions from Dayton residents

  • 1866 – Legislative act turns orphan care over to the county

  • 1870 – Nancy Trotter Bates reorganizes the Dayton Female Association as the Women’s Christian Association and turns attention toward caring for the widows of Civil War soldiers

  • 1870 - Nancy Trotter Bates dies one month before organization of the Women’s Christian Association is complete

    • The group asks her daughter, Susan Winters, to step in as president

  • 1875 – The brick orphanage on Magnolia Street is repaired and opened as the Widows Home

    • Original admissions policy stipulated that: “any widows or destitute woman of good moral character over sixty years of age who had resided in Dayton five years could become a permanent ‘inmate’ (today’s resident)”

  • 1876 – 34 women stay in the Widows Home for periods varying from overnight to several months

  • 1883 – New Victorian-style, 3-story brick house with full basement built on the current Widows Home site

    • Building cost $20,000 to construct

    • All money was raised through private donations including a $5,000 contribution from Susan Winters

    • Built on 2.5 acres donated by Dayton banker, William P. Huffman

  • 1951 – 2 new wings added to the original building

    • New wings housed 31 residents and a modern infirmary

  • 1957 – Generous bequest from William F. Neff funds further expansion including another dormitory and infirmary, a new dining room, a more modern kitchen, and a solarium

  • 1961 – YWCA ends relationship with the facility, so the committee decides to operate independently

    • Incorporated as the Widows Home of Dayton

  • 1972 – Former board member, Thelma Dreese, leaves bequest of $750,000 for expansions and renovations including

    • Administration offices

    • 2 new apartments

    • TV room

    • Parlor (furnished with donated antiques)

    • Large multipurpose room

    • Beauty parlor

    • Meditation room

    • Large porch

  • 1976 – Widows Home of Dayton licensed as a Home for the Aging by the Ohio Department of Health

  • 1998 – Ohio legislation adds 29 nursing home beds to facility

  • 1998 – Widows Home Foundation created to maintain endowment fund

  • 1999 – Widows Home of Dayton becomes Medicare and Medicaid certified

  • 2000 – Male residents welcomed to the Widows Home for the first time

  • 2007 – Expansion to accommodate 25 new beds completed

  • 2008 – First residents and patients admitted to new Rapid Rehab wing

Widows Home Board of Trustees

Jane Cliffton, President
Community Volunteer


Teri Engle, Treasurer

Merrill Lynch

Jan LaPore-Jentleson, Secretary

East End Community Services

Keith Valiquette

Energy Systems Group

Dave Chambers

Greater Dayton RTA

Kerry Onyett

Senior Resources Consultants