Moments in the Life of Charles Dailey
This page revision: 11/25/10

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Entry point:
County Hospital
I entered life at the Sacramento County Hospital in 1930. It is now the University of California, Davis, Medical Center on Stockton Boulevard. The photo shows the hospital in 1928. My arrival two years later did not change it much. I visited there some years later and recall the building as shown in the photo.

Eva, my birth mother

There has never been a clue (beyond her name) as to who my birth mother was or how she looked until our family researcher, Todd Wells, came up with information and a photo in 2010.

Her life had been hard before I was born. She was born, raised and married in Texas. Her first husband was killed in a "hunting accident" which many labeled murder. So she could support her family, Eva took a course in bookkeeping. Later, she migrated to California and eventually settled in Sacramento. Around the time of my birth, she contracted tubercluosis and died shortly afterward.

My father worked for Western Pacific Railroad in Sacramento.

My next stop after the hospital was the Sacramento Orphanage and Children's Home on 12th Avenue, now called Sutterville Road.

Sacramento Orphan
and Children's Home
Although I'm not in the photo,
I remember the building clearly.

Their web page says:

In 1925, the administration building was built to serve as offices and a fireproof dormitory for boys. As the country plunged into the Depression, more children were coming through the doors. The Home hired the first social worker in California who quickly began placing children with families. In 1930, the Stork's Nest was emptied and closed as each baby found a home with loving parents.
I was soon placed by my social worker, Miss Friedenthal. (Why does a person remember a name after 70 years?) I went to the home of Berdie Mae Dailey. She had been recently widowed and now cared for children in her home on Fruitridge Road.

I'm the smallest

It didn't take long for me to make the local newspaper. The Sacramento Bee did a story on Mother Dailey caring for children and I wasn't camera shy. People who remember say that I was about 10 months old in this press photo.

But it is true. I had some developing to do before I was ready to take on a prime time world.

My father died from a stroke when I was four. I saw him once or twice and photos reveal that he had a Model A Ford and a chin like mine. Eighteen years later, my first car was also a Model A Ford.

A typical sod house.

Berdie Mae Dailey was a native of Nebraska. She had been raised in a sod house near the old Oregon Trail at McCook.

A memorial has been erected to sod house settlers.

Mother Dailey adopted me after I stayed with her about 10 years. Today that would be called an "open" adoption. At that time, I didn't know there was another way. Open adoption worked for me.

The lawyer who handled the adoption, Mr. John F. Woodard, must have taken a liking to me. He gave me the book The Great Physician by G. Campbell Morgan. I appreciated the gift and still have it.

I owe so much to people who cared when I could not comprehend their gifts of time and effort.

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