Hendrick Home for Children was established in 1939 by Thomas and Ida Hendrick. They were a couple who had a vision for helping children and families that has remained constant since day one. The campus sits on 52 acres in the city limits of Abilene, Texas. It includes a main building for family care and after care youth as well as the administrative offices. The third floor includes a historical timeline and museum of the Hendrick legacy to include exhibits of the original building.
Thomas Gould Hendrick was born on October 23, 1862, in Paradise, Muhlenberg County, Kentucky, to Bernard Calvin Hendrick and Mary Coleman Hendrick. The Hendricks moved to Fort Bend County, Texas in 1870. Ida Nations was born on August 12, 1866 in Gonzales County, Texas, to Eli and Eliza Austin Woodruff Nations. On May 13, 1888, Tom and Ida married in Union Church in Alpine, Texas. They lived in El Paso, TX, Las Cruces, NM, Odessa, TX, and Fort Worth, TX. They had one child, Joseph, in 1889, who died in 1892 of dysentery diphtheria. The Hendricks did not have any other children.
The Hendricks bought acreage in Winkler County in 1917, which turned into the beginning of Hendrick Field due to a lucky strike of oil on the property in 1926. Tom and Ida moved to Abilene in 1932 and lived on Orange Street. They became contributors to the West Texas Baptist Sanitarium (now Hendrick Health), Hardin Simmons University, First Baptist Church (Friendship Mission), and several individuals who wanted to attend college or needing basic needs met.
The Hendrick Home for Children building was designed by architect, David S. Castle, in 1938. The doors opened in 1939 with 12 children from three families. From 2019 – 2021, Hendrick Home underwent a major renovation to the main building and several of the cottages on the campus. Today its campus includes one main building with 14 apartments, administrative offices, and dining facility, nine structures for living quarters for the family care and basic care programs, playgrounds, gymnasium, swimming pool, baseball field and horse barn.