Charles P. Moorman Home for Women Records, 1901-1995

Held by The Filson Historical Society

Creator: Charles P. Moorman Home for Women

Title: Records, 1901-1995

Rights: For information regarding literary and copyright interest for these papers, contact the Curator of Special Collections.

Size of Collection: 3 cubic feet, plus 1 volume, & 1 ovsz. folder

Location Number: Mss. BF C476

Scope and Content Note

Collection contains the records of the Charles P. Moorman Home for Women, an organization formed by the will of Charles Moorman to care for the indigent elderly of Jefferson County, Kentucky.  Records consist of correspondence, meeting minutes, financial records, and miscellaneous documents.  Records relate to the opening and construction of the Home, its daily operations, and the care of its residents.  Also included are documents relating to a protracted legal battle between members of the Moorman family over the terms of Charles Moorman’s will.  Related to the legal battle are reports of the Standard Detective Agency.  The agency, led by Col. J. H. Haager, was hired by the Moorman Home's Board of Directors to follow and report on the activities of Mrs. Elizabeth Warren.  (Mrs. Warren was presumably the main instigator behind the challenge to the will.)

Correspondence, 1901-1922, is primarily comprised of letters between members of the Moorman family.  Family correspondence concerns the health of Charles P. Moorman's granddaughter, Lucy Moorman, her education at a Washington, D.C. school, and also requests for Charles P. Moorman to render financial assistance.  Much of this family correspondence was saved by the Board of Directors to be used as evidence in the event of a challenge to Moorman's will.  There are also letters regarding legal proceedings and matters relating to the management of the Moorman estate.

Correspondence, 1925-1947, relates to business of the Moorman Home.  Included are details regarding preparations for opening the Home, the hiring of employees, expenses and bills to be paid.  Other letters are related to the construction of the residence at Cherokee Road and Highland Avenue.  Several letters offer suggestions as to the ideal location for the new home.  Also included is correspondence with the architect, E. T. Hutchings, correspondence relating to construction bids, and applications from area contractors interested in providing services to the facility.  There are also a few letters regarding applications for admission to the Home.

Minutes, 1917-1995, record the meetings of the Home’s Board of Directors.  Minutes for the time period prior to July 1925 primarily concern the protracted legal battle over the Moorman estate.  Minutes from 1917 in particular, discuss the hiring of Col. J. H. Haager to investigate Mrs. Elizabeth Warren's affairs.  Also detailed in the minutes are meetings with attorneys and proposed settlements.  Other legal and financial matters relating to the estate are discussed, including the maintenance and sale of property and other items, and the investment and management of the estate's money.  Reports on the health and well-being of the invalid Charles Moorman, Jr. are also occasionally included, especially in the weeks leading up to his death on July 3rd, 1925.

Meeting minutes from July 1925 and subsequent contain details about preparations to open the Home at 245 East Chestnut Street.  Minutes discuss details such as the hiring of staff, property renovations and maintenance, the purchase of furniture and equipment, and the medical care of elderly women in the Home.  By 1927, architect E. T. Hutchings had been selected to plan a new home and meeting minutes discuss his design plans for the new residence.  Minutes from the 1990s include a few reports of the resident’s council, which commented on maintenance issues, dietary complaints, and resident activities.  Minutes from the 1990s also include budget planning spreadsheets, providing evidence of the Home’s increasing operating expenses.

Financial records, 1917-1968, provide evidence of the Home’s assets and expenditures.  Included are monthly statements from the Louisville Trust Company, Executor of the Charles P. Moorman will.  The reports contain itemized statements of all income and disbursements of the Estate, and any changes in investments of the principal of the Estate.  Statements for Lucy Moorman's account are occasionally included, and sometimes list her expenditures, providing insight into the lifestyle of a wealthy teenager in the early 1900s.

Miscellaneous materials include the records of the Standard Detective Agency’s investigation of Mrs. Elizabeth Warren.  The agency investigated Mrs. Warren in 1917 on behalf of the Moorman Home’s Board of Directors.  Included are the reports and letters of operatives, as well as a selection Mrs. Warren's letters and other documents collected by the agents following her.  Also present is a bill for the Standard Detective Agency itemizing the costs of the investigation.  Operatives from the agency followed Mrs. Warren during her visit to Louisville in March 1917, and also sent a female operative to infiltrate her business in Silver City, New Mexico.

Monthly reports, 1947-1965, contain details on the day-to-day operations of the Moorman Home.  Included are reports of admissions to the Home, and on the health of the women, including details on those in the Home’s infirmary, as well as office visits and admissions to the hospital.

Historical Note

 Charles P. Moorman, a fabulously wealthy Louisvillian and retired distiller, died from a heart attack in February 1917.  Moorman left part of his estate to his son, Charles P. Moorman, Jr., who had been crippled by meningitis as a child.  Another son, Elmore Moorman, had died some years ago from tuberculosis, but had left a daughter: Lucy Moorman of Silver City, New Mexico.  Another portion of Moorman’s estate was given in trust to this granddaughter.

In his will, Moorman also made provision for the establishment of a home to care for elderly, poor white women who resided in Jefferson County, Kentucky.  Additionally, money remaining after the death of Charles Moorman, Jr. (who would presumably die without an heir) was to also go towards the establishment of the institution.  Displeased with these terms, a legal challenge to the will was mounted by Lucy Moorman, her mother Joan (Warren) Moorman, and her grandmother Elizabeth Warren.  Members of the Moorman Home's newly established Board of Directors hired the Standard Detective Agency to follow and report on the activities of Mrs. Elizabeth Warren, who was presumably the main instigator behind the challenge to the will.

In 1925, Charles Jr. passed away.  In his will, he left the entirety of the money he inherited from his father to the establishment of the home for the elderly.  Additionally, Charles Jr. desired that his inheritance from his mother’s estate be used towards the establishment of a parallel institution for elderly black women.  This home was to be named after his mother as a testament to her work among the African American community: The Lucy Beckley Moorman Home for Colored Women.  Perhaps the desire to open the home for black women was also influenced by Charles Jr.’s relationship with Matilda “Mammy” Jennings, the family’s African American attendant and nurse to Charles Jr.  (This home does not appear to have ever been established; terms in Charles Jr.’s will stated that if the establishment of this parallel institution was deemed impracticable, resources should be reassigned to the Moorman Home for indigent white women.)

The Charles P. Moorman Home for Women opened at 245 East Chestnut St. – the former home of the Moorman family – on September 15, 1925.  There were initially 6 residents accepted into the home.  The original members of the board of directors were Arthur Broad (president), Dr. Leon L. Solomon (vice-president), and Caldwell Norton (secretary).  Mary Lou Howington was the first superintendent of the home.

Due to space constraints, only a limited number of elderly women could be admitted to the home in its initial years.  In 1928, a new home was constructed under the direction of architects E. T. Hutchings and Edd R. Gregg.  The new home was located at 966 Cherokee Road, at the intersection of Cherokee Road and Highland Avenue.  It opened in 1929.

Folder List

Folder 1:          Articles of Incorporation

Correspondence

Folder 2:          Correspondence, 1901-1916

Folder 3:          Correspondence, January-March 1917

Folder 4:          Correspondence, April-June 1917

Folder 5:          Correspondence, July-December 1917

Folder 6:          Correspondence, 1918

Folder 7:          Correspondence, 1919

Folder 8:          Correspondence, 1920-1922

Folder 9:          Correspondence, July-September 1925

Folder 10:        Correspondence, October-December 1925

Folder 11:        Correspondence, January-March 1926

Folder 12:        Correspondence, April-June 1926

Folder 13:        Correspondence, July-September 1926

Folder 14:        Correspondence, October-December 1926

Folder 15:        Correspondence, 1927

Folder 16:        Correspondence, 1929-1933

Folder 17:        Correspondence, 1934-1947 & undated

Minutes

Folder 18:        Minutes, March-April 1917

Folder 19:        Minutes, May-December 1917

Folder 20:        Minutes, January-June 1918

Folder 21:        Minutes, July-December 1918

Folder 22:        Minutes, January-March 1919

Folder 23:        Minutes, March-June 1919

Folder 24:        Minutes, July-December 1919

Folder 25:        Minutes, January-April 1920

Folder 26:        Minutes, May-August 1920

Folder 27:        Minutes, September-December 1920

Folder 28:        Minutes, January-March 1921

Folder 29:        Minutes, May-July 1921

Folder 30:        Minutes, August-December 1921

Folder 31:        Minutes, January-May 1922

Folder 32:        Minutes, June-December 1922

Folder 33:        Minutes, December 1922-December 1923

Folder 34:        Minutes, December 1923-April 1924

Folder 35:        Minutes, May-September 1924

Folder 36:        Minutes, October 1924-July 1925

Folder 37:        Minutes, July-August 1925

Folder 38:        Minutes, September-December 1925

Folder 39:        Minutes, January-February 1926

Folder 40:        Minutes, March-December 1926

Folder 41:        Minutes, 1927

Volume 42:     Minute book, 1921-1927

Volume 43:     Minute book, 1927-1936

Volume 44:     Minute book, 1936-1969

Volume 45:     Minute book, 1969-1993

Volume 46:     Minute book, 1994-1995

Volume 47:     Minute book, 1995

Financial records

Folder 48:        Moorman estate statements, March-July 1917

Folder 49:        Moorman estate statements, August-October 1917

Folder 50:        Moorman estate statements, November-December 1917

Folder 51:        Moorman estate statements, January-March 1918

Folder 52:        Moorman estate statements, April-June 1918

Folder 53:        Moorman estate statements, July-September 1918

Folder 54:        Moorman estate statements, October-December 1918

Folder 55:        Moorman estate statements, March-May 1919

Folder 56:        Moorman estate statements, June-August 1919

Folder 57:        Moorman estate statements, September-November 1919

Folder 58:        Moorman estate statements, January-March 1920

Folder 59:        Moorman estate statements, April-July 1920

Folder 60:        Moorman estate statements, August-December 1920

Folder 61:        Moorman estate statements, January-April 1921

Folder 62:        Moorman estate statements, May-November 1921

Folder 63:        Moorman estate statements, January-April 1922

Folder 64:        Moorman estate statements, May-August 1922

Folder 65:        Moorman estate statements, September-December 1922

Folder 66:        Moorman estate statements, January-April 1923

Folder 67:        Moorman estate statements, May-August 1923

Folder 68:        Moorman estate statements, September-December 1923

Folder 69:        Moorman estate statements, February-June 1924

Folder 70:        Moorman estate statements, July-December 1924

Folder 71:        Moorman estate statements, January-April 1925

Folder 72:        Moorman estate statements, July-September 1925

Folder 73:        Moorman Home expenses, October-December 1925

Folder 74:        Moorman Home expenses, January-March 1926

Folder 75:        Moorman Home expenses, July 1926-1927

Folder 76:        First National Bank statements & returned checks, October-December 1930

Folder 77:        First National Bank statements & returned checks, January 1931

Folder 78:        First National Bank statements & returned checks, February 1931

Folder 79:        First National Bank statements & returned checks, March 1931

Folder 80:        First National Bank statements & returned checks, April 1931

Folder 81:        First National Bank statements & returned checks, May 1931

Folder 82:        First National Bank statements & returned checks, June 1931

Folder 83:        Social Security & Old Age Assistance receipts, 1952-1953

Volume 84:     Account book, 1947-1957

Volume 85:     Account book, 1958-1968

Folder 86:        Moorman Home investments

Folder 87:        Miscellaneous financial documents

Miscellaneous

Folder 88:        C. P. Moorman estate inventory

Folder 89:        Standard Detective Agency operative reports, March 1917

Folder 90:        Standard Detective Agency operative reports, March 1917

Folder 91:        Standard Detective Agency operative reports, April-September 1917

Folder 92:        Court documents re Lucy Moorman Bartlett’s challenge to the Moorman will

Folder 93:        Court documents re Lucy Moorman Bartlett’s challenge to the Moorman will

Folder 94:        Court documents re Lucy Moorman Bartlett’s challenge to the Moorman will

Folder 95:        Home of the Innocents lease, 1931, 1933

Folder 96:        Moorman Home monthly reports, 1947-1958

Folder 97:        Moorman Home monthly reports, 1960-1965

Folder 98:        Newspaper clippings re death of C. P. Moorman & Lucy Moorman's inheritance

Folder 99:        Elevator installation quotes

Folder 100:      Interior paint recommendations

Folder 101:      Miscellaneous

Wrapped volume

Volume 102: Visitor register, 1925, 1929-1930, 1959

Oversize folder

Folder 103: Auditor reports, 1911-1926; court documents re: Lucy Moorman Bartlett’s challenge to the Moorman will

 

Subject Headings

Antisemitism.

Detectives.

Discrimination – Kentucky – Louisville

Distilling industries – Kentucky.

Elderly poor – Kentucky – Louisville.

Espionage.

Haager, J. H.

Moorman, Charles P., d. 1917.

Moorman, Charles P., Jr., d. 1925.

Moorman, Joan Warren.

Moorman, Lucy.

Nursing homes – Kentucky – Louisville.

Old age homes – Kentucky – Louisville.

Older people – Institutional care.

Private investigators.

Prohibition – Kentucky.

Segregation – Kentucky – Louisville.

Senior centers.

Standard Detective Agency.

Spies.

Warren, Elizabeth.

World War, 1914-1918.

Jennie Cole

Jennie Cole is the Manager of Collection Access at The Filson. She has a MLIS with a specialization in Archives from the University of Pittsburgh and an MA in History from the University of Louisville. Jennie’s research interests in the Filson’s collections include women’s history, Camp Zachary Taylor, and Speed family of Louisville.