1916-1918. A collection of ephemera related to the support of three Belgian children whose father died in the fighting in W.W.I.
The orphaned children are Clement, Anne & Emile Lapouge of Gueret, Creuse. Henrotin first supported them through American Ouvroir Fund, paying $30 a year for the children's support. The father had died of his wounds received at the Woods of Mortmart 5 April 1917. Descriptions of Emile Lapouge (numbered "No. 353") say that he was born 30 May 1912 at Gueret (Creuse). His sister Anne was born at Gueret 16 May 1906. It was proposed that the brother Clement would be placed in a nearby family.
Edward Clement Henrotin (1874-1945) was a stock trader in Chicago, son of Charles, a banker born in Belgium. The father clearly did well in the United States - he, his wife Ellen and 3 sons lived in Lincoln Park in 1910 with three servants. The Chicago directory for that year stated that he was the Belgian & Turkish Consul. Somewhere between 1910 and 1918, son Edward married Emily Blair and moved with widowed mother and brother Charles' family to South Berlin, New York. He and Emily seemed to have had one son, Preston Blair.
Neither the US Census for 1920, 1930 or 1940 nor the NY census for 1915 or 1925, show any listing for any of the Lapouge children. A cursory search through French records on the Ancestry website does not easily reveal the children's residence or birth. One hopes that the mother could not bear to part with her children and that they survived the war.
The collection is composed of 20 letters, forms and envelopes- a certificate from "The Commission for Relief in Belgium dated January 14, 1916, inscribed to Edward Henrotin; a letter from J.P. Morgan & Co, dated Feb. 1917, thanking the Henrotin for their contribution to the American Ouvroir Fund; from the Association Nationale Francaise pour la protection des Familles des Morts pour la Patrie, April 1917; a letter from the Fund 15 Feb 1917 signed Julia S. Loomis, Chairman, expressing delight that the Henrotin's had agreed to take the 2 children and for the 3rd to be provided for by a friend, with specific directions of how to send them clothes; another letter from the Fund 28 Feb 1917 about the children's photographs; three "Observations Generale" from the French Association describing the children with dates of birth, mother, father died of his wounds, his citation of the croix de guerre; four letters & stamped envelopes from young Anna Lapouge addressed to "Cher Marraine" (Dear Godmother) dated September 1917 to April 1918. The chairman of the committee is listed as H.C Hoover, future president of the US; a postcard sized card (printed & manuscript) entitled "Belgian Army" Button from the Uniform of a Belgian Soldier who fought for King, Country and Liberty. The soldier was from the carabinier regiment which distinguished itself at the Battle of Yser August 1914, and signed at the bottom.
An interesting view into the support in the US for victims of the devastation in Europe during W.W.I. Item #23310