Missouri's Confederate Soldiers Home dates to the early 1890s. It was conceived as a place of refuge and residence for indigent Confederate veterans, their spouses and minor children. It was the only such facility in the states constructed and originally furnished through private donations. The Ex-Confederate Association of Missouri and the Confederate Home Association were instrumental in raising funds and planning for the home. Southern heritage organizations such as the United Daughters of the Confederacy and the United Confederate Veterans of Missouri were also instrumental in raising funds for the home. Donations were obtained statewide from ex-Confederate and ex-Union soldiers, proving that passions had cooled in the quarter century since the Civil War.
In solicitation for funds aimed at fellow Confederate veterans, Jo. O. Shelby, former general of Missouri Confederate Cavalry, wrote: "Your cheerful submission to, and acquiescence in, the results of the was, has caused all the people of the State to aid in erecting and maintaining this beautiful refuge for your unfortunate comrades. This Home must be sustained, and the burden, mainly and properly, rests upon you."
The main buildings of the Confederate Home were located directly in front of where you are now standing. These included a large dormitory building, a women's dormitory, hospital buildings, a greenhouse, commissary and various others. In the mid-1950s following the destruction of some of the home buildings, the property was divided between two state agencies: Mental Health and the Missouri State Park Board.
As you look directly ahead and to the east, two buildings are visible. The large brick building to the right was erected in 1922 and served as one of the home's hospitals. The white two-story frame structure served as a residence for hired hands. Two other surviving buildings include the Confederate Home Chapel and one cottage, now serving as the site administrator's residence. The 1922 hospital, hired hand's [sic] residence, chapel and cottage are maintained as part of the Confederate Memorial State Historic Site by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources. Other buildings visible from where you are standing are maintained as a part of the Higginsville Habitation Center by the Missouri Department of Mental Health.
[Photo caption reads]
View of main building with residents
[Background caption reads]
Fire insurance map drawn by F. E. Santmeyer, 1920s