Biographical / Historical
Fowler Orphanage (later Fowler Home for Girls) in Cairo, Egypt was founded in 1906 with money collected by John and Esther Fowler, both members of the Society of Friends. Esther was a minister, and John had previously opened a children’s home in Athens, Ohio. The Fowler institution housed a fluctuating number of girls - approximately 40 - during the time that the Fowler Orphanage Association was active. For a time, the Home also ran a school for the younger girls, with the young women being sent to secondary schools in the area, and then sometimes to more specialized training in areas such as nursing. Later, it served solely as a home, with all school-aged children being sent to the nearby mission school. The Home was administered by the United Presbyterian Board for Foreign Missions. Jane C. Smith, Miss Barnes, Lucy Lightower, and Elizabeth Wilson served as matron-superintendents. In 1962 the administration of the Home was transferred to the Faggala Evangelical Church (Coptic), and when Elizabeth Wilson retired in 1967, the Church supplied its own staff.
The Fowler Orphanage Association first met the Ninth Month of 1927, with Clarkson S. French as president. Associated with the Ohio Yearly Meeting (Conservative), the Association met yearly until it was laid down in 1987, collecting donations for the Fowler Orphanage (later the Fowler Home for Girls). Many in the original group had personally known the Fowlers, and hence felt moved to continue their legacy. Though the Association did often discuss the efforts of other orphanages, donations went only to the Fowler Orphanage. Communication flowed smoothly until 1967, after which money continued to be sent, but follow up letters were rare and information about the orphanage had to be obtained from the local Presbyterian missionaries to Egypt, Willis and Anne McGill.