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The Verde Independent | Cottonwood, Arizona

home : blogsold : verde heritage May 24, 2016

Verde Heritage
By Glenda Farley, Cottonwood, AZ
Local historian Glenda Farley guides us on a journey back in time to discover fascinating moments that make up our Verde heritage and history.
Monday, July 14, 2014

1950-1960: Clemenceau; Navajo Children's Home.

Verde Heritage


"Establishment of an Indian orphanage and children's home at Cottonwood seemed virtually assured yesterday following the action Tuesday night of Verde Land and Development stockholders. They voted unanimously to offer a 'deed of gift' of unused UVX buildings for that purpose to the Arizona Baptist convention."

"The buildings include the large former United Verde Extension office, emergency hospital and change house as well as smaller buildings in the area."

"If they accept the gift the Baptist convention with support from the Conservative Baptist Home Mission society will begin operation of the children's home as soon as the buildings can be put in condition to care for the children and the staff. Tentative plans call for facilities for 40 children, a minimum staff of seven adults, though these may be enlarged or reduced to fit conditions."

"Also considered are plans for a school. The executive secretary requested that restrictions in the deed not preclude future developments such as the school or creation of a home for aged church members."

"The buildings, near the site of the former Clemenceau smelter, have not been occupied since the smelter closed in 1935."

(The Verde Independent; Cottonwood; Thursday, November 16, 1950; page 1, column 5.)


"Rev. Wallace Wood, superintendent of Navajo Children;s Home, has announced the school will not open this fall. The home and school, which has been in operation since November 1951, was closed by the Conservative Baptist Home Mission Society of Wheaton, Ill., since the fundamental policies of the organization are no longer being satisfied by the operation."

"Three basic reasons were given for the closure:"

"There are few homeless children being served by the school, one of the main purposes when it opened. Welfare agencies have stressed a preference for placing homeless children in foster homes rather than institutions, and the school has become a boarding school which does not fit the original purpose."

"The committee also recognized the federal policy of desegregating Indians in order to help them learn the ways of the broader American society."

"The committee also felt other methods of helping native groups, which is one of their major objectives, could be more effective."

"During the last school year there were 44 students served by a staff of 14. Nearly all staff members will be seeking other appointments. Rev. Wood, who has been head of the home since 1954, will be leaving soon."

"The home committee does not plan to dispose of the property and will begin studying other ways of utilizing the facility. It is unlikely any use will be determined this year. A caretaker will remain to take care of the buildings and to handle any necessary communications."

"Rev. Wood reported the society does not operate any homes of this type in other parts of the nation so this is the only operation affected by the order."

"Rev. William Painter of the Verde Baptist Church reported several members of his congregation and other interested persons are writing to the society asking for the continuance of the school and home."

(The Verde Independent; Cottonwood; Thursday, July 14, 1960; page 1, column 5.)

The United Verde Extension building complex, near the corner of the Bypass and Willard, are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

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