Louis DuChez—future spouse of Marge O'Malley—was the second of four children born to Harry and Nina DuChez. The family moved in 1920 from Illinois to Denver, at the recommendation of Nina's physician when she contracted consumption (today known as tuberculosis.) Harry joined the Loyal Order of Moose—a fraternal service organization started in the 1800s, well-known for its humanitarian efforts in addition to community service projects, family activities, and sports programs. There were several Moose Lodges across the United States but the main headquarters were located at Mooseheart, Illinois where an entire city, aptly named Child City and funded by membership dues, was constructed to accommodate children in need.
Many would say Harry’s decision to join the Loyal Order was an act of Divine Providence because he expired one month later in 1920 from the Spanish Flu pandemic. Following the death of her husband, Nina and their four children moved to Mooseheart where she died from consumption. Thanks to Harry’s foresight, despite being a member of the Order for only one month, the four children were eligible to live and prosper in Mooseheart Child City. Although many couples came forward at various times to adopt one of the four children, they refused to be separated and grew up in close proximity to one another.
Child City was a town with amenities that catered to children with separate dormitories (one each for the boys, girls, and infants), church, medical clinic, schoolhouse, cafeteria, post office, auditorium, laundry facilities, and vocational structures. The siblings took comfort in seeing one another daily and gravitated toward interests that suited unique talents each one possessed.
The Roosevelt building (auditorium) pictured in 1918 was an 80,000 square foot building. Its multipurpose use included a grocery store, student bank, clothing stores, shoe store, administrative offices, auditorium, church services, and student dormitory.
Mooseheart clothing store in 1930 located in the Roosevelt building. Through the generority of the Loyal Order of Moose, each student was alloted an annual budget to purchase clothes.
Mooseheart's "Red Ramblers" football team in the 1920s. Their players were so exceptional they played other teams across the United States and their name was derived from the amount of traveling each year for competitions.
Students, like Louis DuChez, learned and applyed carpentry skills through the vocational program at the Mooseheart School.