According to another account he was a foundling in the village from which he derived his name.
Among other charitable institutions are the Curtis Home (1894) for destitute women and girls, the Bethesda Home (1890) for homeless girls and their children, the Florence Crittenton Home (1893) for homeless and unfortunate women, the Roselia Foundling Asylum and Maternity Hospital (1891), the Protestant Home for Incurables (1883), the Pittsburg Newsboys' Home (1894), the Children's Aid Society of Western Pennsylvania, the Pittsburg Association for the Improvement of the Poor and the Western Pennsylvania Humane Society.
Avila also possesses an old Moorish castle (alcazar) used as barracks, a foundling hospital, infirmary, military academy, and training schools for teachers of both sexes.
Of the sum spent by the provincial authorities, over half goes to lunatic asylums and over a quarter to the maintenance of foundling hospitals.
Expenditure amounted to 3,768,888, of which the principal items were 760,000 for roads and bridges, 520,000 for lunatic asylums, ~4o,ooo for foundling hospitals, 320,000 for interest on debtand 200,000 for police.