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Durham County Youth Home records

Identifier: NCC-0070

Scope and Contents

The Durham County Youth Home Records consist mostly of administrative records for both the Juvenile Court and the Durham County Youth Home from 1933-1968. Three main types of records are included: monthly reports, money reports, and age-of-delinquent reports. The monthly reports provide information on the types of crimes that youth in Durham were being charged with and include breakdowns by sex and race. The money reports are budget reports for the Youth Home, and the age-of-delinquent reports contain more statistics on the children being charged with crimes. The collection also includes several maps that show where the youths being charged with crimes lived. Since the data the map depicts is split by race, it can give researchers a good idea of the settlement patterns in Durham in the mid-1900s. No personal identifying information for any of the youths is present in the collection.


  • 1933 - 1968

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

There are no restrictions on the use of this material except where previously copyrighted material is concerned. It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain all permissions.

Biographical / Historical

In 1945 Durham County established the Durham County Juvenile Detention Home (later known as the Durham County Youth Home) at the suggestion of juvenile judge Mamie Dowd Walker. It was her belief that young offenders needed a separate facility apart from the general population of prisoners. How badly such a facility was needed became clear to the public after a boy hung himself in the detention center at the county home. The Youth Home, built on a plot of land appropriated by the county, was operational by 1947. The maximum capacity of the home when built was eight children.

There is no record of who managed the youth home before 1947. According to documentation in the collection, a Mr. Richard Thompson and his wife, Mary B. Thompson, were hired in 1953 to serve as superintendent and matron of the home. In the mid-1950s, a Mr. and Mrs. Byrd took over these positions, which they resigned in 1957. Sam and Norma Womack took over in 1957 and served until 1966, when a Mr. Fred Elkins was given management responsibility. In 1972, the home was moved to the Durham County Personnel Department at the request of Mr. Elkins. Ms. Angela G. Nunn was appointed interim director of the Youth Home in September 2001 and was named director in December 2001.


3.5 Linear Feet (6 document boxes, 1 oversize folder)

Language of Materials



The collection is organized in the way it was received.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Durham County Government

Related Materials

Mamie Dowd Walker Scrapbook (NCC.0192)

Physical Description

The earlier files in the collection are on brittle paper and should be handled with care.
Finding aid for the Durham County Youth Home Records
Processed by Kristen Merryman
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the North Carolina Collection Archives Repository

300 N. Roxboro Street
Durham NC 27701 United States