Carrie Steele Logan (1829-1900)
Carrie Steele Logan founded the Carrie Steele Orphan Home in Atlanta, recognized as the oldest predominantly black orphanage in Georgia and possibly the oldest organization of its type in the country.
Logan wrote a book telling her life story and sold it to raise funds to build an orphanage. She also sold her home and solicited donations from the community. In 1888 the Carrie Steele Orphan Home was chartered through a contract between Steele and Fulton County. The original structure was a two-room house with space for five orphans. A three-story brick structure was constructed in 1892 for $5,000 and provided a nondenominational home for fifty children. Atlanta's mayor and city council extended the original lease for four acres on Roy Street from ten years to ninety-nine years. The orphanage was created to serve as a place for homeless African American children to be educated, study religion, and learn skills in order to gain employment. A quote attributed to Logan was published in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution in 1989: "[The orphanage] is meant to care for and train to honest labor the hundreds of colored orphans who are growing up as material for the chain gang." She served as director of the orphanage until her death in 1900.
Logan died at the age of seventy-one and is buried in Atlanta's Oakland Cemetery. Her epitaph reads: "The mother of orphans. She hath done what she could." For her contributions to children's welfare, Logan was inducted into Georgia Women of Achievement in 1998.
E. R. Carter, The Black Side: A Partial History of the Business, Religious, and Educational Side of the Negro in Atlanta, Georgia (Atlanta: n.p., 1894).
Jennifer Ffrench-Parker, "Atlanta Home for Children in Need Is a Place of Love," Atlanta Constitution, December 25, 1997.
Gussie Mims Logan, "The Carrie Steele Orphanage," The Voice of the Negro (November 1904).
Ronald Roach, "For 100 Years, Orphanage Has Been Home to 20,000," Atlanta Journal, Intown Extra, June 2, 1988.
Tevi Taliaferro Henson, Atlanta
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