Margaret R. Foote application for membership to Old Ladies Home, Bath, 1949

Contributed by Patten Free Library


Margaret R. Foote completed this application for membership to the Old Ladies Home in Bath, Maine, in 1949. Like many Old Ladies Home residents - or "inmates," as they were called then - Foote signed over her assets in exchange for retirement and end-of-life care. The form was witnessed by Warren A. Higgins, a teller at Bath Savings Institution, and notarized by Allan Spear, notary public and treasurer of Bath Savings Institution.

The Old Ladies’ Home operated in Bath, Maine from 1875 to 1973, when it merged with the Plant Memorial Home. The home, once located at 800 High Street, was established to house older women, largely due to a sizable bequest by Mrs. Mary J. Ledyard (1803-1876). Ledyard willed $14,592.47 to the city of Bath to found and maintain a home for elderly women in the community. The city sought an act of the state legislature enabling it to receive and administer funds for charitable purposes, approved February 2, 1877. Some Old Ladies Home inmates were widows, while many others were unmarried women who had supported themselves in their younger days through work as nurses, maids, housekeepers, cooks, teachers, and librarians.

Margaret R. Foote was born in 1867 to Hannah E. and Benjamin R. Foote, a carpenter and plumber. Miss Foote was the head librarian at Patten Free Library in Bath for over 40 years, from 1894 to 1938. Throughout her working life, Foote lived in the family home at 831 Washington Street, where some of the Foote siblings ran a business making jigsaw puzzles. Foote was a charter member of the Cosmopolitan Club, a women's club, and originated the first Campfire Girls group in Bath. After her sister Martha passed away in 1945, Foote sold the house to a neighbor and moved into the home of Brenda F. Hill at 1006 High Street. Just prior to becoming an inmate at the Old Ladies Home in 1949, Foote lived in a boarding house at the home of Charles T. and Lizzie M. Jackson at 648 Middle Street (known as the William Donnell Crooker House at 71 South Street as of 2021). She lived at the Old Ladies Home until she passed away on June 11, 1955.

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About This Item

  • Title: Margaret R. Foote application for membership to Old Ladies Home, Bath, 1949
  • Creator: Foote, Margaret R.
  • Creation Date: 1949-12-14
  • Subject Date: 1949-12-14
  • Location: Bath, Sagadahoc County, ME
  • Media: Ink on paper
  • Dimensions: 28 cm x 22 cm
  • Local Code: MAINE MC-009
  • Collection: Old Ladies Home collection
  • Object Type: Text

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For more information about this item, contact:

Patten Free Library
33 Summer Street, Bath, ME 04530
(207) 443-5141

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