The Charity School of Kendal was established along Wales Road in 1829. Named for Charity Rotch, wife of Thomas Rotch founder of Kendal, she donated her money at her death to the establishment of the school. She wrote in her will that the school would be:
…a Benevolent Institution for the education of destitute orphans, and indigent children; more particularly those whose parents are of depraved morals … it is my will that my executors convert the remainder of my property, both real and personal, into money … the interest of which to be solely applied to such institution.
Opening on January 1, 1829, it closed in 1832, and moved to a point along Amherst Road between Lake Avenue and the Jackson Township line. It reopened in 1844. The school was a vocational school, where six hours of the day were spent studying, six were spent learning farming methods for the boys and learning housework for the girls, and eight hours were given to sleeping.
Boys and girls from between the ages of twelve and sixteen were enrolled if they were, “of sound mind and body, of good moral character and unable to procure and education.”
Due to lack of funds, enrollment was cut over the years, and the school closed and reopened once more until it was permanently closed in 1910. Portions of the school and farmland were bought and leased for years until 1942 when the remaining 140.5 acres were sold, and the school was razed.
The Massillon Public Library searched the Rotch-Wales papers to find information on the students who were enrolled at the Charity School. By clicking on the link found here, you can search this listing to find the names of the students, their age, what letter they are referenced in, as well as were the letter originated from.
Information on the school was found in the book, “Wheat, Glass, Stone and Steel: The Story of Massillon” by Ruth Kane. It can be found in the Local History and Genealogy room of the Massillon Public Library.