Legacies: A History Journal for Dallas and North Central Texas, Volume 5, Number 2, Fall, 1993 Page: 32
This periodical is part of the collection entitled: Legacies: a History Journal for Dallas and North Central Texas and was provided to The Portal to Texas History by the Dallas Historical Society.
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home's entry and exit logs are graphic proof of the
need for the home and the hardluck backgrounds of
the young women seeking admittance. Following
are a few examples taken from one of these logs:
April 7,1923, United Charities, Dallas made
application for Marie Raymond 19 yrs &
child 3 mos. stepfather responsible for her
downfall, it is believed.
April 12,1923, CountyJudge ofWaxahachie
phoned JTU [Upchurch] to take a girl and
her baby from there to shield her from danger.
Her father and brother are inj ail charged
with her ruin.
April 12, 1923, Mrs. Tom Wade, Marlow,
Oklahoma, wrote for Federated Missionary
Societies, wanted place for deserted wife
whose baby was born after desertion.16
Page after page, year after year, the logs tell a story
of women without many options.
It is no wonder, then, that the Upchurches and
the Berachah Rescue Society were able to dramatically
expand the site, services, and physical facilities
of the home from one building on seven acres of
land in 1903 to nineteen buildings on seventy-five
acres by 1930. Upchurch pushed for this expansion
while his "business board," composed of individuals
who lent their name or donated their money to the
home, financed it.17 Upchurch must have been a
master fundraiser, at least before the depression hit
North Texas. He knew to keep his name in front of
the public. He was a prolific author of religious
tracts and prescriptive pamphlets for young women.
He also published the Purity Journal at the home and
mailed it monthly to individuals in forty-five states
and ten foreign countries.1 He crisscrossed Texas
and the Southwest preaching to eager congregations
and revival audiences. His message was always the
same: the Berachah Home needed increased financial
support to carry on the important work it was
Despite herculean efforts by the Upchurches,
by the early 1930s the home and the Rescue Society
were foundering. Prior to this time, Upchurch and
his staff had always been able to make up any yearend
deficit by donating a part of their salaries to be
used for operations. By the 1930s, however, the
I- \B-' 17.' r.S '- .-' ' '., !1,5LS I
The back cover of the July 1905 issue of J. T.
Upchurch's Purity Journal featured this nineteenth
century temperance cartoon.
home's financial problems had become acute. A
number of factors brought on these problems, including
the general downturn in the economy caused
by the depression, which adversely affected
fundraising; the death of a number of the home's
important donors; and the rapid expansion of the
facilities and property at a time when the Society
was least able to pay for it. The results were
disastrous. In November, 1934, the Fort Worth
Star-Telegram reported that Upchurch, burdened
with debt, was liquidating the home and attempting
to find homes for the mothers and children who still
resided there.'9 In addition, Upchurch was obviously
scrambling around the state trying to locate a
savior for the home. In January, 1935, the Fort
Worth paper reported that an agreement had been
worked out between the Berachah Home and the
Methodist Church in Texas, subject to the approval
of the five Methodist conferences in the state. The
agreement, if approved, would have turned over to
the church, at no cost, twenty acres of land and six
buildings to be used for a school and home for
unwed mothers. The Berachah Rescue Society
would have retained approximately fifty acres, which
it intended to use for summer camp meetings.20 The
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Dallas County Heritage Society. Legacies: A History Journal for Dallas and North Central Texas, Volume 5, Number 2, Fall, 1993, periodical, 1993; (https://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth35115/m1/34/: accessed June 18, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, https://texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Dallas Historical Society.