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Freedom Kia | Scott's Run Settlement House Partnership


In 1922, Osage, WV was a small mining community with poverty, sub-standard health and poor education. The Women’s Home Missionary Society of Morgantown saw the need and started the Scott’s Run Settlement House Program to provide spiritual education, health services, and recreation. They gave Osage residents a place to turn to in 1922, and we remain committed to that mission today!

The area of Monongalia County known as Scott’s Run played an important role in the history of the United States during the 1920s and 1930s because of the productivity of the area’s coal mines. Because of this, the area of the county known as the Cass District had slowly grown from a very small population to a booming town of close to 7,000 people. Many immigrants were attracted the area because of the new boom in jobs. The members of the Women’s Home Missionary Society of the Methodist Church in Morgantown had been searching for the right project in the Scott’s Run area for many years. On November 24, 1922, the women held a service for the area children in a small portable school building along the creek in Osage.


In 1923, a deaconess of the church, Millicent Fuller, took the lead of the mission project. She and the society decided to rent some rooms over what was then Possner’s Store in Osage. This is when the work truly began. The women modeled their program after other settlement houses that were operating at the time in larger cities. Several of the rented rooms were used for the settlement of newly arrived residents. These new residents were taught English and were prepared to become naturalized citizens. While the women were doing good works for the community, many people and businesses in the area did not trust the women and did not like what they were doing. The women became known as “do-gooders” and this went against any principles the town had of exploiting the outsiders. The women had to deal with a lot from the people in town, but this did not discourage them. Even a fire that burnt down the building where their rooms were did not end the mission! The ladies simply started over again and gathered up resources wherever they could.

The women decided that they needed to build a permanent structure for their settlement house. The women worked hard to raise funds to buy a lot located in Osage, while a local bank gave them a loan so that the construction of the permanent structure could be started. Finally, on September 17, 1927, the present building was constructed to house the expanding social programs and a Methodist Church. By 1931, the loan was paid off! Over the years the Settlement House struggled with funds, but always managed to find enough money in the end to make ends meet.

The women continued to carry on their work throughout the depression, even though times were tough. They added to their settlement house project cooking classes, reading classes and Sunday school lessons. Some of this was done when they were still in the rooms above Possner’s Store. As the Missionary women saw a need in the community, they did their best to fulfill it. During the 1950s, the Settlement House became very active in the civic affairs of the community of Osage. In the 1960s and 1970s, work teams began to come in the summers, university students volunteered, a day care center was started, and senior citizen activities were begun. During the 1980s, the Settlement House housed the Meals on Wheels program, a program was started to help young and single mothers, and the food pantry was established. The organized church at Scott’s Run Settlement House did not function after the 1980s, but Christian philosophy continues to be practiced throughout our services.

Today the Settlement House takes pride in aiding individuals of all ages, backgrounds, nationalities, beliefs, and capabilities. After 100 years, the original mission of our founders remains: to help our neighbors in need. The Settlement House of Osage, West Virginia is a non-profit corporation duly organized under the laws of West Virginia. It is one of the mission projects related to the General Board of Global Ministries of the United Methodist Church and the Division of Missions of the West Virginia Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church. The Settlement House operates under bodies’ administration and policies. .