In the late 1880’s, Juliette Peak Fowler dreamed of a community of care for widows and orphaned children. She traveled throughout the country researching social service agencies and learning their methods, but died before launching her dream. Her will specified that acreage she had purchased in East Dallas and a trust fund she had established were to be used for this purpose.
Her sister, Sarah Peak Harwood, fulfilled her younger sister’s vision and chartered “The Juliette Fowler Home for Children and the Aged” in 1892 as a non-profit in the state of Texas. In 1903, Sarah created a formal association with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), a relationship that remains today. Sarah served as president of the homes until 1907 and was followed by her daughter-in-law, Mrs. Ripley Barksdale Harwood who served as president until 1911.
The first home for children opened in 1904 in Grand Prairie. Harwood Hall, the first permanent structure on the East Dallas property opened in 1911. In 1913, the children moved to the East Dallas location, thus fulfilling Juliette’s vision for an intergenerational community.
Fowler’s services grew and evolved as the needs of the Dallas’ community and society changed. Expansion of buildings and the evolution of care were simultaneous; orphanages gave way to foster care; “bedside wings” became a skilled nursing and rehabilitation center; “the home” is now a community. Though times have changed, our dedication to faith, quality, innovation, and stewardship endured.
Today, Juliette Fowler Communities serves older adults through independent living, supportive assisted living, and a Center for Excellence in Dementia Care. Children are loved and supported through Intergenerational Programs of Distinction, including outreach services at the Youth Support Center and residential services at The Ebby House, for young women who have aged out of foster care or are at risk for homelessness. Fowler serves more than 900 individuals plus their families, employs 150 team members and engages more than 2000 volunteers annually.
To learn more about living, giving or working at Fowler, call 214-827-0813.