General German Aged People's Home

FOUNDED: 1881; PURPOSE: To establish and maintain a home where the elderly can spend the latter years of their life in comfort and security. The location listed in Weishampel's Baltimore in 1896 is at Baltimore and Payson Streets.

It was originally organized as the German Aged Men's Home in 1881 by a meeting of delegates from the various German Socieities. The meeting was held at Mechanic's Hall on March 24, 1881. The meeting had been organized by President Christopher Bartell; Vice President, Louis Hennighausen; Secretary, Julius Conrad and Treasurer, John Fellmann. The following socieites were present at the meeting: German Workingmen's Sick Relief Union, Chairm Bartell, Herman Windolf, Fred Guerke, Julius Conrad; Powhatan Tribe, No 30, U.O.R.M, Fred. Falkenstein; Jackson Lodge, No. 55, I.O.O.F, George Deibel; Baltimore Liederkranz, Dr. Wagner, Joseph Raiber, Charles Kaiser, J. Hemmeter; Dr. Martin Luther, B.S., George Klein, Adam Silberzahn, Casper Schneider; Germania Lodge, No 31, U.O. Mchan., Hy. Hennings, Rudolph Vabbe, Hy. Deibel; Gustav Adolph Bund, D.O.S.R. John Dolch, Franz Grothe, John Bauer; Schuetzen Ges. von Baltimore County, Hy. Schmitz, Carl Schreiner, Franz Dibelius; Steuben Lodge, No. 41, U.O.G.B., Catonsville, Baltimore Co., John B. Pilert; Baltimore Turngemeinde, John R. Fellman, Carl Zahrand, F. List, Jr. At this time, a committee was appointed and on April 20th a constitution adopted. The constitution stated that as soon as one thousand dollars are subscribed and an annual income of one thousand five hundred dollars are secured, it will begin. Any German may become a subscribed by paying five dollars annually with the privildge of becoming an inamed of the Home when in old age, without paying an entrance fee. No one could be admitted unless they were sixty years of age or older, free from chronic disease and the entrance fee was one hundred fifty to three hundred dollars.

Initially called the 'Allgemeines Deutsches Greisenheim von Baltimore, the applicants soon exceeded capacity and a new building was built at the intersection of Baltimore and Payson Streets, which was dedicated in 1885. On April 25, 1935 (see photo below), ground was broken at 22 South Athol Avenue in Irvington and a new fireproof building wasd dedicated that year on November 8. In 1980, the Silver Cross Home was merged into the General German Aged People's Home and thirty two residents were moved into the home. This merger made it necessary to make many improvements and eventually to look for larger facilities.

A Sunpaper article reports on the huge celebration on June 8, 1931 that celebrated the 50th Anniversary of the founding of the Institution. On this day the residents and the trustees gathered at Arion Park. There were singing societies, guest addresses in both German and English concluding with a banquet at the Lord Baltimore Hotel. [Baltimore Sun, June 9, 1931, Page 18]

The incorporators were Rev. G. Facius, Julius Conrad, A.V. Degen Rev. Mr. Bachmann, H. Engelhardt, George Bunnicke and F.L.C. Hennighausen. The directors for the year were Charels Weber, Sr., H.H. Graue, Ernest Knabe, Rev. N. Burkhardt, Rev. Pister, F.L.C. Hennighausen, Christopher Bartell, F.R. Fellmann, Frederick Wehr, Ernest Hoen and Joel Gutman.

In September 1985, the Board of Directors opened 'Edenwald', an 18 story high rise in Towson.

The German Aged Men's Home Dedication

Athol Avenue, April 25, 1935