A History of Caring

We have a proud history that spans three centuries and has touched generations of families throughout the Miami Valley. During that time, a tradition of caring has been established that truly sets us apart from other skilled nursing and rehab facilities in the area. We owe so much to the people who have shaped our organization over the years, but we understand that with that gratitude comes a responsibility to carry their dedication to improving lives forward into the future.

Widows Home of Dayton—Truly Historic

  • 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

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