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Don Boyd | all galleries >> Memories of Old Hialeah, Old Miami and Old South Florida Photo Galleries - largest non-Facebook collection on the internet >> Miami Area SCHOOLS, Classes, Teams, Bands, and Clubs Historical Photos Gallery - All Years - click on image to view > 1935 - the boys dormitory after completion at the Kendall Home for Children (aka Dade County Children's Home)
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1935 - the boys dormitory after completion at the Kendall Home for Children (aka Dade County Childrens Home)
1935 Florida State Archives

1935 - the boys dormitory after completion at the Kendall Home for Children (aka Dade County Children's Home)

Kendall, Florida


From the state archives description: "General Note: Constructed under FERA project 13-B305: 13-B3-176. Corporate subject: United States. Federal Emergency Relief Administration. Corporate subject: Dade County Children's Home. Subject term: Federal aid to community development - Florida- -Miami. Subject term: Group homes for children. Geographic term: Kendall (Fla.)--Buildings, structures, etc."

NOTE to victims of child abuse: I'm very sorry to read the comments from people regarding the horrible child abuse that occurred at this facility for many years. Who knows how many are out there who didn't want to post anything on this site? According to a source who sent me an e-mail, prior to 1964 the Kendall Children's Home was run by an order of Catholic Brothers. Dade County operated it from some point in 1964 onward and unfortunately they enjoy a sovereign immunity cap that limits or totally restricts lawsuits for child abuse. For child abuse cases prior to 1964 the state of Florida has repealed the statute of limitations on Catholic Church abuses. If you were abused at the Kendall Children's Home prior to 1964 you can seek legal counsel of your choice or this lawyer at a law practice that handles such cases:

Jennifer Arbour
Herman, Mermelstein & Horowitz
"Sex Abuse & Clergy Abuse Lawyers in Miami, Florida - Representing Victims Nationwide"
North Miami, Florida
305-932-8734

My source says: "By Florida law, this firm can not contact the people who have posted on this website, but I can pass their contact info along. I thought if you could pass it along to those men who posted after me...this might help them AND could get them some kind of restitution and/or no cost therapy (that's what the Church has offered to other victims). If things happened post-1964, then they're out of luck like me. But at least pre-1964, SOMEBODY could be held accountable for what went on there!"



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Linda 04-Jun-2014 08:26
I was in Kendall with my younger brother from 1959 until 1963 and I had a very difficult time because I was alone and didn't have any friends there. The house mothers were very harsh and we were locked in our rooms a lot. Several girls ran away at different times and were in isolation after they were caught. I can't remember the girls names who were there in the dependent section at the time I was there. I do recall the house mothers but cannot be sure of their names. I remember crying a lot because I felt so alone all the time and the kids were really mean at school.
Pamela Stubock 15-Aug-2013 13:44
I was there for three to four months in 1966. My mother put me there or had the court order it when I skipped school and smoked at the age of 14, 15. My memories are not to bad. I remember that we had to follow the rules and there was a point system so when I reached a certain level of points I could go home. When family would visit they would bring me snacks in large paper bags which we would share with the other girls. Our house parent was a Ms. Summer and I liked her, My memories of this place are not bad, just lonely and missing my family. I remember the structure which I did not have at home. I just read the book about the White House Boys (that has been in the news lately regarding the dead boys buried on the property.)and am appalled at the cruelty meted out to those kids that should have been protected by the state of Florida and not victimized by them and I realize that I was at Kendall while some of the abuse at Dozier at Marianna was going on.. I vaguely remember hearing about and being afraid of that place. Now that so much has come to light there was good reason as sexual, physical, emotional and mental abuse by the guards and houseparents, staff, administrators and resident psychologist. But as for Kendall, while I was there I never saw abuse of any kind. I never got into any trouble after that, don't know why maybe I just grew up at that point and learned a valuable lesson. Today I have 4 children 7 grandchildren and 3 great grand children. Still married to the same man who I met about 1 1/2 years after leaving Kendall. Just wish that some of the kids that were murdered in Dozier had that same opportunity.
Jerry 06-Aug-2013 23:36
I was there in the early 60's for a couple of years. Some of what happened there I can remember. I started out as a delinquent then after getting my points became a dependant and spent several years on both sides of the fence. As a dependant I remember house parents with the name of Germain , husband and wife, I think. I can remember many things happening there.
Bill 16-Jul-2013 18:19
A friend of mine, who is now deceased, was sent to the Kendall school 3 times, for 6 months each time. This would have been sometime in the mid 1930's. He spoke of it being extremely strict, but since he came from an abusive home, he did not think much of that. He said the lady in charge at the time was a Mrs. Williams. He wound up working in the kitchen for a lady known as Mrs. Romine. He did not know why, but Mrs. Romine seemed to like him and shielded him as much as possible from abuse. He also remembered a Mr. Stephens who ran the farm and told me about a hunt they went on one night to kill a panther that had been killing some of the farm animals. I am interested in knowing more about Kendall during this time period. I can be contacted at the.blairs@hotmail.com
Thanks
Bill
Julie 15-Sep-2012 22:15
Looking for anyone who might have been here in the early late 30's early 40's. My Dad and two of his siblings were left there by my Grandfather. Are there any records available? My Dad will not talk about it, just refers to it as "that place"....He's 81 now, so I realize there may not be many past residents to comment, but would like to know more about his life there.
Pat 25-Aug-2012 15:51
I remember the Principle's Name.. Mr Kershaw.. The houseparents on delinquent side Were: Mrs Lowe, Mrs Richardson, Miss Nesbit ( Very nice)

Mr Robert Taro Or Tero ? was director (ran the compound).. There was A Mr Sommerfeld.. I heard he was a very nice person. left before I came there.. My Probation officer was Barbara Sue Jordan... I haven't talked about My stay there , I was up till 7.00 a.m this A.M.. Names , events came flowing back.. I found it strange that I remembered names of girls ,first and last names after 46 years . When today I can't remember ppl's names 1 hour after I met them..

I have More stories which I will relate at a later time..
Pat 25-Aug-2012 02:34
I remember the Girl's Name.. Anita Louise Holst.. Spelling last name ,not sure of spelling.... I have never forgot, that girl..My Email is Seasonchase@hotmail.com
Pat 25-Aug-2012 02:04
I apologize for typo's.. The Girl was at the morgue around July or Aug of 1963
Pat 25-Aug-2012 02:01
I want to mention Miss or Mrs Lowe She was MEAN.. there was a girl she picked on The poor girl was released , later her body unclaimed in the morgue.. I think it was suicide.. I will put her name up later.. I can't reember her name at this point when I do I will put her name up here..
Pat 25-Aug-2012 01:24
I was there in 1962 from Feb- till Aug 3rd.. I met some Nice kids there.. On the Delinquent side and the dependant side.. I'll always remember Bess Queen Devine.. She was a Houseparent and the kindess person I ever met..I do know the principle enjoyed giving hard wacks with a heavy paddle we had bleeding sores and large bruises on our back side when he finished!! He was cruel!!
guest 03-Jun-2012 04:46
mel, I was there along with older brother Ernesto who loved Marty the pony
Please text me at samsolis38@gmail.com
I was there for six years. In june of 1965 I was fostered out. My brother was later sent to Parkway.
We were not abused and did not see any of it. It was my home. I miss the home and the 60's
Miss pop and mom Stone. Miss the puppy love from all the girls
Tony 26-Jan-2012 14:43
Remember DCCH like it was last week. Was sent there twice and was lucky. I watched other boys being raped but was able to defend myself. I recall there was a "houseparent" also charged with sexual abuse, I think his name was Sapio or something like that.
Don Boyd27-Aug-2011 02:21
John, thank you for your comments and for posting again. Come on back anytime, you don't have to register to leave comments here.

Don
Guest 24-Aug-2011 07:52
Don, Thank you for the great photos and the memories here. I enjoy meandering around.. With the exception of those dark years I really loved the Miami area and the times. The next time I stop by I will register and one of these times I'll post my list of memory lane highlights. Experiencing your site is a good feeling, a feeling of something special shared. When I've read here about the places, people and the essence of what Miami was like I miss those good days and times- and I feel fortunate to have been there.

I am also grateful that you have the photo of Kendall posted. It was a cathartic moment for me. I am also grateful to the people who posted their experiences at Kendall here. I have never talked about what happened to me there with anyone other than my sister. It must have taken a lot of courage for the first person to post about his stay there.

I live in California now, and as our ex-governor used to say "I'll be back".
John
Don Boyd24-Aug-2011 06:16
John, I really feel for you and I'm sorry that circumstances led to your stay and horrible abuse at Kendall. You said it very well and I thank you for writing in to relate some of your memories there.

Don
John 23-Aug-2011 22:13
It is a painful experience just to see that building. I feel the overwhelming fear and pain, the lonliness and an immense sadness well up from deep inside as I recall the horrific time I spent there. I was there in the early 60's, maybe '60 or '61. I am not sure because I have always tried forget the time I was kept there.
I had never been hit in my life- my mother was a very loving and gentle person. My mom was divorced from my father and we had just moved to Miami Beach from New York. My mother was having a difficult time getting work, I remember going to a daycare sometimes -that was fun... all those great toys. I guess she was trying to do her best for us but it must have been hard for her as a single mom in a new city. I think I was getting ready to start school and needed clothes... My mom was arrested for shoplifting, I was taken to Kendall. Nothing in my 5 or 6 year old life prepared me for what happened over the next several years.

I cannot even describe the level of shock and terror I felt upon being treated so harshly. I saw an earlier post where someone wrote about getting his head split open. I think that was one of my first days there... I didn't see the fight but I did see the large puddle of blood on the ground and to the 5 or 6 year old me, it was traumatic. I remember feeling sad for the boy and totally bewildered by the meaness that seemed to be everywhere.
I tried to forget the things that happened there. When my sister and I were reunited with our mother we never talked about what happened to our mother. Or even to each other, not for many years. I do remember the fear, the huge paddle and being harshly punished for things. I remember not even knowing what it was I did wrong. I hate brussel sprouts. The smell of certain things cooking make me ill. I know my room was in the back of the back of the building because I used to look into the distance at night at a flashing red light on a tall tower off in the distance. The light seemed to both remind me how far away I was from my mom and give me comfort as it flashed gently in the far distance. It was away from this terrible place, and I knew that. Fear, pain. Sadness and lonliness. Missing my mom and my sister. I try to stop my memory there. I don't want to remember details but sometimes I do....
Don Boyd28-Jun-2011 06:47
Richard, and all the others: thank you for taking the time to write and for discussing your situation and what you went through back then and for some of you what you still endure.

I thank my lucky stars that I never ended up in "Kendall" and it is disturbing to me to read some of your comments. But these are important stories to be told and I encourage everyone to post whatever they want to say. Thanks.

Don
Richard 28-Jun-2011 04:18
I knew it as simply "Kendall" or "The Kendall Home". I was there in late 1948 and early '49 with four of my siblings and again in June 1950 with two of them. I was five the first time I went there. I stayed in two of the buildings but the others only stayed in one; it was because of how they grouped us by age and sex. As I recall there were three buildings that looked like the one in the photo; two faced each other from north and south; they were in the front near 107th Av; a third was west of the south-facing one up front and it also faced south. My older brothers would know more certainly. I stayed in the two south-facing buildings, but the western-most one only for a short time in 1950 with my older brother. The other times were with my younger brother in the front one. The hospital was near the two up front and was where I had my tonsils removed in 1948 or '49. We slept in rooms that had metal mesh opening in the upper part of the room door. The doors were locked from the outside whenever occupied by us. The windows also had the metal mesh on the outside. My younger brother and I had only women to watch us and these rotated their stays. A heavy-set woman I liked and remember only that she was kind. Of the others I remember only one who was skinny and wrinkled and who slapped me once and gave me a bloody nose. Her Sunday afternoon routine was to march us into the brush and pick thin branches from bushes or trees. She called these "switches" and used them to beat upon our bare legs as it seems we always wore short pants. She did this whenever we broke a rule and it seems every boy got switched-just some more than others. Infractions were things like jumping on the bed with my younger brother. We called the women "matrons"-the first time that I had ever heard such a word of course. I recall no priests; it was run by a woman named Mrs. Dial (Dyal); I couldn't read, write nor spell then; I just remember the pronunciation of her name. She was to me big and fat with somewhat light hair and wore glasses. For some reason I remember she was a woman to fear. My first stay there must have been hard for me to adjust to because a man and woman made several visits and I was given an ink-blot (Rohrschaz) test by them. In retrospect he was in charge-probably a psychologist; she his assistant. I only knew what the test was when I took Psychology 101 in college years later. I have tried to find records of the place but it seems to have disappeared, conveniently, into oblivion, records and all. I would sure like to know what the guy who gave me those tests concluded. Maybe he predicted my Clinical Depression that just about ruined the most productive years of my life. Maybe he found then I was already depressed. Such information may have actually helped me to get treatment, but it's too late now-I just take antidepressants. Who knows if the place and my stays there have anything to do with my condition anyway. Just thought you'd like to know and maybe this helps.
Jenna Millward Corkill 20-May-2011 20:44
Wow, it's been some time since I visited this page... I see some new comments from others who lived here. Wondering if any others who lived here remember lining up at bedtime with our palms out to get a spoonful of baking soda to brush our teeth with. While I didn't like Kendall ( I wish I'd had a 'normal family' with parents who could care for us), for me it wasn't as bad as what I'm reading other kids had to endure there. Several times, my parents sobered up enough to get custody of my brother and I (never lasted long) and during these times we were abused by the people my parents hung around with. Kendall, for us, was a safe haven.
I'm on Facebook (Jenna Millward Corkill) and would like to hear from other dependents that were in Kendall during the 1960-1966 time frame.
Sandy 29-Mar-2011 15:30
Can anyone tell me how to obtain records from Kendall Children's Home ? I am trying to help a lady that was in that home in the late50's & 60's. She needs her records because she is trying to get her birth certificate from Puerto Rico. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Rocky (Bill) Duncan 21-Nov-2010 02:05
I see some one else lived there too, I lived there from 1963 to 1961, I remember pop stone and Mr.&Mrs. Hanlon, Mr.Withers was the administrator what a time,now it is all condos..
K. Blanton 02-Aug-2010 03:21
That school for the "retarded" kids was called Haven or Heaven School. My friend's sister used to work there.This was the late 60s.
mel cooperman 28-Jul-2010 01:37
I would appreciate anyone who was in the dependent section of Kendall deuring the fiurst half of 1963 either child or empoloyee to drop me an e mail. I remember living in this building at that time when I was a 14 year old boy and remember the houseparents----The Stones (not the Rolling ones either) and the The Grangers. thanks mel cooperman melcooperman@hotmail.com
mel cooperman 27-Jul-2010 22:41
Wow! Looking at that building brings back some memories. my name is Mel Cooperman and I lived there from january until about july 1963 and remember "pop Stone" and "pop Granger"and their wives. I took care of a horse named Cocoa and a pony named Marty who had a habit of biting people. I remember a little mexican named ernesto. There was a black cook named Mr. Dubois i think. I remember I had a few fights in that place. Also remember a probation officer, a really fine man, named Harry Keith. I would appreciate hearing from anyone who was there at that time. it was a bad time for me since neither of my parents could care for me. I ran away from the place once and the state police picked me up near the facility. I was taken to Robert J. Taro´s office, thedirector of that place, who told me that if i continued to do those things i could "wind up in the electric chair." He should have been in prison himself for saying that to a 14 year old.
CantForget 14-Apr-2010 16:58
I was taken from my father by the state and placed here at the age of 6 or 7 in a dormitory with predominantly juvenile deliquents. I was repeatedly raped and often beaten by the older boys who ranged up to age 18! I was also forced to eat my own vomit when i could not stomach the cooked cabbage, asparagus or brussel sprouts we were forced to eat. Especially sadistic were the houseparents named Creeden at the time. That fat old man had a huge paddle that he throrughly enjoyed using on us. There was a nicer older couple named Johnson who were there when the Creedens had their days off. There was only one boy there who was younger than myself. I retain many vivid memories of the place including getting my head split open with a rock by one of the older boys on the playground at the school we went to. Is that wicked place still around?
S 29-Oct-2009 05:34
I was in Kendall during the mid 60's. I made it into the Honor cottage. Where I had the honor of being sexually assaulted by a couple of the other boys. I'll never forget that hellhole.
Barbara 08-Aug-2009 18:53
My brother and my self were resident at the childrens home In the year 1963. I remember the shool and I have some great stories about my stay their. Some good and some bad. Over all I have good feeling about the children home.
Don Boyd05-Feb-2009 02:10
Thank you for writing that heart-wrenching story, Roberta. I have real empathy for abused kids and especially so for kids without homes of their own, thus my favorite long-time charity has been Covenant House for at least the past 20 years.

It sure seems to me that physical abuse was far more prevalent when we were growing up than now. Half of our parents and a lot of our teachers would have been in deep doo-doo if the current day laws were present and/or enforced back then. Hopefully the physical brutality we endured isn't passed on from generation to generation. I have identical feelings as you for Mrs. Hobbs and where she should be now.

Thank you again for posting your comments.

Don
Roberta Hodge 04-Feb-2009 15:23
I was a resident of that hell hole in October 1964, when I was 9 years old. I was intentionally placed there by my mother, who wanted a vacation from motherhood. I was only there for 9 days, but they were 9 days I will never forget. I remember being picked up in an old station wagon by a teenager named Jimmy Hobbs, who I later learned was the son of the housemother. I remember driving west, on what I thought was Kendall Drive, out to buildings surrounded by a tall fence and woods. I was in a white "T" shaped building with dorms on each side of a small living room, and a dining hall at the bottom of the "T". I was told I was in the "dependant" section and that those girls on the other side of the fence were delinquent and not to associate with them. I was told that they had done terrible things like shoplifting & joy riding (which was a big deal back then)!

What I remember most was the daily physical abuse inflicted on all of us by the housemother, Mrs. Hobbs! Open handed slaps in the face, arm wrenchings and spankings. I remember a very shy girl, who was 15, and had been in there for 7-8 years. Every night she would wet her bed. Every morning Mrs. Hobbs would slide her hand under the sheets to check for wetness...find it...and then turn around and slap this girls teeth out. Every morning! I had been a bed wetter during my parents marital problems, so I knew it stemmed from emotional trauma and not something she could control. I felt so sorry for that girl. I've often wondered what has happened to her since. I also remember that we were not allowed to go to the bathroom after lights out. I heard Mrs. Hobbs pull girls off the toilet and spank their bare bottoms for doing so. The rest of us would wait until we heard a girl being dragged back to her bunk, and then run to the toilet and be back in bed before she was done with the first girl. I remember the bathroom was one big room with showerheads, with no curtains, and the toilet stalls had no doors. I was an only child and had never even undressed in front of anyone else, much less anything else. I was so embarrassed and frightened.

I can only hope that Mrs. Hobbs, assuming she is dead, is going to spend all eternity in that special place in hell reserved for child abusers. To take defenseless, innocent children, who had nowhere else to go and no one else to go to, and abuse them like that was criminal. If it happened today, instead in 1964, she'd be in prison where she belonged...but back then the authorities looked the other way when it came to child abuse.
Devin O'Leary 31-Dec-2008 18:06
I would like to talk to former residents or employees of the Kendall Home for Children. If you lived or worked at the Kendall Home between 1952-1960 and are willing to talk about your experience there I would greatly appreciate it. My name is Devin O'Leary and my email address is doleary@capsf.org. Thanks very much.
Keith Henson 01-Dec-2008 05:58
I used to live at the Dade County Children's Home in Kendall, Florida on and off between the years of (approximately) 1960 to 1965 - at that time it was an orphanage as well as a reform school and there was a hospital associated with it. As you went in the front gate of the place there was a large brick - two or three story building on both the left and the right sides of a circular drive that led directly up to the hospital that sat at the top of this circle. The building on the right was abandoned when I was there, but had been the girl's orphanage building in its day. Now the orphans were housed in the sister building on the left as you entered the place. And these were the day's of racial segregation and these buildings were reserved for the "white" orphans, of which I and my brother were but two of about thirty orphans.

Behind the hospital was a grade school for white children - both orphans and reforn school kids alike - and further out was the junior high and high school for the white orphans and delinquents - with "cottages" that housed the delinquents in groups of about 24 children apiece with one being set aside for the girls. The school was literally divided with neither side ever coming into contact with one another because - wouldn't you know it - the black children had use of the back side of the building, which was their junior high and high school. Behind that was their reform school, and further back yet was their orphanage while way, way back was a home for - not politically correct now a days - was a home for retarded children.

In the early part of 1965 the State decided to integrate this facility and no one was particularly happy with the idea - both groups - black and white - children and staff - wanted to continue to live with their own kind rather than mix up the units with equal numbers of each - staff and children. We staged a walk-out in protest and I am not sure what ever became of that because I was one of the first gone and never returned to the facility since I was 17 at the time and given the choice of either joining the military or going to Rafard Reformatory, which was a giant step in the wrong direction as far as reform schools went in those days. I joined the Navy. Now I Google Earth to find that the facility no longer exists and that Kendal has changed dramatically into residential track homes that cover what was, basically, swamp land surrounding the Dade County Children's Home.
pete peterson 11-Oct-2008 21:52
Jenna, I was at DCCH when you were there in the 60,s. The boys dormitory is cottage 3a & 3b for dependents boys. I spent most of my youth at DCCH, and went into the army in Sept of 1962 My name is Jon (Johnny) Peterson. and would love to hear from some of the residents, both deliquent & dependents, since we went to Silver Oaks School together, and played together after school. My E-mail is bonanapete@bellsouth.net. Jon
Carol Bishop 09-Jul-2008 19:58
Hi Jenna, there was a hospital near by, it was called Children's Variety Hospital. I was born in 1947 in Miami. My Mom was single with three children, not much money, so anytime we needed medical or dental treatment, that was where we went. The hospital treated you good but the only thing they did for your teeth was pull them out! I'm so glad things have changed. I would love to see a picture of it. Carol Bishop
Ralph Knudsen 28-Dec-2007 14:20
I went to Kendall Elementary in the early fifties. They had to change the school's name to Kenwood around 1952. Parents with kids at the Kendall Home kept showing up at our school looking for their kids.
Ray 11-Oct-2007 03:39
All but one building on this campus is gone. The one that's remaining is in ruins at this point. It's two stories, but much smaller than the one shown here. I think it has some level of historic protection but I doubt if it will be standing much longer.

I remember going into the old buildings late at night back in the late 70s or early 80's. They were abandoned but still standing. Scary place for sure. There was a building with a tall smoke stack. Back then we thought for sure it was the crematorium. But now I'm sure it was just an old incinerator. Funny how imaginations can get carried away.

The Fire Department building was at one time Station 9. It's about to be torn down. It didn't pass it's 40 year inspection and there was no way to upgrade it. It has a little history but really is pretty plain and boring compared to the old wood building.
russ 17-Sep-2007 00:27
Jenna,
The area is owned and run by the Miami Dade County now as Indian Hammocks park. Also there are other county departments like the fire dept which has a training facility and the solid waste dept parks garbage trucks there.
The juvenile delinquents are still at sw 84 st. and 110 ave. in residential style group homes. Some schooling is done there also, I think it's call Mac-Arthur South.
You can drive around the streets in the area, where this boys dorm building is I don't know. Wasn't there a childrens hospital in there also?
jenna 24-Jun-2007 03:37
does anyone know if this building is still around?? and where exactly was it located, the street address?...because our parents were unable to care for us, my little brother and i were residents of the dependant section of kendall children's home from 1960-1966...this was the building we spent the first year or so in until they built new dormitories for dependant children that were further away from the juvenile deliquent section....thanks ....jenna