—Baber helped to overhaul Virginia’s juvenile justice system in the mid-20th century—
—The marker’s text is reproduced below—
A state historical marker issued by the Virginia Department of Historic Resources that highlights work of Lucy Harrison Miller Baber in overhauling Virginia’s juvenile justice system in the mid-20th century will be dedicated in Lynchburg later this month.
The dedication ceremony will begin at 11 a.m., Saturday, November 28, on the front terrace of the Lynchburg Juvenile and Domestic Relations Courthouse, located at 909 Court Street in Lynchburg.
Speakers during the ceremony will include Lynchburg Vice Mayor Beau Wright; the Honorable Cary Payne, Judge, Lynchburg Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court; Ted Delaney, director of the Lynchburg Museum System; and the daughter and son of Lucy Baber, Jane Baber White and Edgar Miller Baber, and grandson K. Spencer White Jr.
In 1950, as a member of the Virginia Advisory Legislative Council subcommittee, Baber (1908-1996) assisted in formulating legislation that strengthened the juvenile court system, required separate juvenile detention facilities, and expanded probation services, according to the historical marker. Baber also served on an advisory committee to the state’s Department of Welfare and Institutions that was tasked with implementing the reforms the legislation enacted.
As chair of the Welfare Department of the Virginia Federation of Women’s Clubs, Baber encouraged activism to end children’s incarceration in adult jails.
The sponsors of the Baber marker covered its manufacturing costs. The Virginia Board of Historic Resources, which has the authority to designate new historical markers, approved the marker in June 2020.
In 1927, Virginia’s historical highway marker program erected the state’s first historical markers along U.S. Route 1. The program is considered the oldest such public roadside history initiative in the nation. Today there are more than 2,600 official state markers, most maintained by the Virginia Department of Transportation and by local partners in jurisdictions outside of VDOT’s authority such as Lynchburg.
NOTE: DHR issues markers not to “honor” their topics or subjects but rather to educate and inform the public about a person, place, or event of regional, state, or national importance. In this regard, markers are not honorific memorials.
Text of marker:
Lucy Harrison Miller Baber (1908-1996)
Lucy Baber helped to overhaul Virginia’s juvenile justice system in the mid-20th century. As a member of a Virginia Advisory Legislative Council subcommittee, she assisted in formulating legislation that in 1950 strengthened the juvenile court system, required separate juvenile detention facilities, and expanded probation services. Baber served on a Department of Welfare and Institutions advisory committee tasked with implementing these reforms. As chair of the Welfare Department of the 20,000-member Virginia Federation of Women’s Clubs, she encouraged activism to end children’s incarceration in adult jails. She was instrumental in organizing Lynchburg’s juvenile court system.
Originally posted: November 18, 2020
Updated: December 14, 2020