Union Mission

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This three-story brick building at 645-47 3rd Ave. was home to the
Huntington Union Mission Settlement from 1920 to 1964.

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HUNTINGTON  The Huntington Union Mission Settlement was founded in 1914
 to care for neglected and orphaned children. At the time, there
were no child welfare agencies in Huntington.

Originally located in a building at 2nd Avenue and 8th Street, the Union Mission Settlement
 provided a kindergarten, day nursery, gymnasium and living quarters for neglected
 and orphaned infants and young children. In 1917, Mrs. Leslie T. Downey
 became the mission's superintendent, a post she would hold for decades.

In 1920, Huntington businessman Charles W. Cammack bought a building
 at 645-47 3rd Ave., and after extensive remodeling the mission moved
 there. In 1938, the Union Mission became the first child facility
 in West Virginia to be licensed by the state.

Cammack would serve as president of the mission for nearly 30 years,
from 1919 until his death in 1946. While he had a highly successful
 business career, Cammack said he considered his work
with the mission to be his greatest endeavor.
 On his death, the mission was
 renamed in his honor.

In 1964, the Charles W. Cammack Children's Center Inc. moved to a new location
on West 6th Avenue. Cammack's grandson, well-known amateur golfer
William C. Campbell, was a long-time member of the center's
board and was instrumental in getting the new facility built.

In 1980, the center began a New Directions campaign that would dramatically
 expand and change its program. The goal was to create, develop and
 implement a more treatment-oriented program to help address
 the growing needs of the children and families the center
served. As part of this campaign, the center changed
its focus from infants and small children
to adolescent youth.

In 2014, the Cammack Center celebrated its 100th anniversary.

Today, the center is a residential facility for youngsters, ages 12 to 17, who need
 a structured living situation that also provides treatment for their underlying
 issues. The aim is to develop each child's potential and prepare him or
 her to return home, to foster care or an independent living setting
 ready to make a positive contribution to their community.

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Note:  This Article and picture appeared in the Herald-Dispatch Newspaper on Sep. 17, 2018

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