Boys Republic was founded in 1907, as California Junior Republic. The organization was conceived through the collaboration of a group of child-care advocates led by philanthropist Margaret B. Fowler of Pasadena. She and her associates were interested in finding a way to treat troubled teenagers without sending them to jail along with adult criminals. Mrs. Fowler provided a start-up grant of $10,000 and established the fledgling program in an old, San Fernando Valley hotel.
Mrs. Fowler’s daughter, Kate, took a strong interest in her mother’s creation (please see “It Takes An Inspired Community”). In 1909, Kate Fowler donated an established dairy farm on 230 acres of land in the Chino Valley. The program relocated to its new, rural site which serves as Boys Republic’s main campus, to this day.
The energetic young woman continued her active support when, in 1911, along with about a dozen of her closest friends, she founded the Pasadena Auxiliary of Boys Republic. Within a short time, the group had established three traditions of service. The first was to help improve the students’ lives. The second was to help expand and improve Boys Republic facilities (please see “Pasadena Auxiliary: A Chronology of Support“). And the third was to provide a continuous flow of funding for programs and services.
All three traditions continue today. The Pasadena Auxiliary supports a wide variety of student-related activities including on-campus parties, gifts of furnishings, clothing and scholarships. Physical plant improvements funded by the Auxiliary and its members over the years. include many of the structures and facilities on the main campus in Chino Hills and the Girls Republic residence in Monrovia.
And fund-raising activities which began with the sale of fresh eggs and magazine subscriptions by Kate Fowler and her friends in 1911 continue today with the operation of the Boys Republic Thrift Shop in Altadena. All of the Auxiliary’s members donate their time, serving without pay or other compensation.