The Father’s House History
Butler County Children’s Home
In 1869, a group of praying women lead by Mrs. Thomas Moore and Mrs. William Becket started the Butler County Children’s Home, to care for orphans of the Civil War. The first home was rented on North C Street. This home became overcrowded. A generous gift, in 1875, allowed the children’s home to move to its permanent location on 425 South D Street in Hamilton, Ohio. Hamilton’s philanthropist Mr. Clark Lane and his partner, Mr. E.G. Dyer offered to give the ladies $10,000 towards the purchase of the Dyer farm on D Street.
AIn 1902, Colonel R.C. McKinney and his wife Eleanor Becket McKinney generously built Ruth Hospital in memory of their young daughter who died in infancy. The building offered medical services to the children and staff at The Home.
For many years both boys and girls were housed in the main building. With an increase of children in need another structure was built in 1909 to house the boys. This building is known as the Lane and Dyer cottages.
A swimming pool donated by Charles E. Heiser was built in 1921.
Many prominent leaders, who helped to develop Hamilton, have donated to the funding of the Butler County Children’s Home and served the Home throughout its years of existence.
Due to lack of funds the home was closed and sold at auction to Mr. Grover Thomas in 1985.
Prior to her death, every time Doreen MacDonald walked past this house she heard God say that He wants to restore this house back to taking care of children. Then as Carrie Halim walked past this house she heard God tell her that children would live here again.
After her death, Doreen’s husband, Tim, began the work of making Doreen’s vision a reality. The old Butler County Children’s Home was purchased and work began to restore the property. After Tim was transferred to California with his job, Daryl and Roxann Gunnarson became the directors of this project and the name was changed to The Father’s House – a literal home to families who are caring for the orphans of our day.