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We renew our recommendations of two years ago, that the provision be made for helping certain children, committed to our guardianship, in their own homes. The reasons for this recommendation, as stated in our report to the last legislature, are as follows: Many requests have been received for the admission of children conditioned upon their being held in the school for six months or a year to enable a worthy parentusually a mother—to improve her condition and circumstances so as to be able to take them again. Such requests come from the judges who have authority to commit children to the school, from relatives and friends and from the parents themselves.
We believe it would be a wise, humane and economical step for the state to give authority and make provision for helping such children in their own homes. This board could be authorized, on the order of the court committing them to its guardianship, to expend for the benefit of the children so committed and left in their own homes a sum not to exceed the amount that would be expended for their care and support in the institution for a given period. In such cases the children should be kept under supervision and visited in their homes the same as any other children committed to this school and placed in homes not their
This would cost the state no more for their support, would help both the children and the parents and avoid the necessity of breaking up many homes and destroying family relationships.
Total Support, including state agency...
$72,000.00 $75,000.00 $147,000.00 Repairs and betterments.
1,000,00 Enlarging coal bunkers.
2,000.00 Water purifier
3,000.00 Improvements to cemetery.
1,000.00 Gymnasium and bathing pool.
40,000.00 Industrial building and equipment.
15,000.00 15,000.00 30,000.00 Cottage for industrial students..
10,000.00 15,000.00 25,000.00 Enlarging and equipping dining room.
10,000.00 10,000.00 Additional boiler and auxiliaries..
2.700.00 Fireproofing south wing of main building. 8,000.00
8,000.00 Four items in this first list are intended to accomplish the purpose of the foregoing resolutions, viz.:
Industrial building and equipment, cottage for industrial students, enlarging and equiping dining room, additional boiler and auxiliaries.
The enlargement of our coal bunkers is important. The uncertainty of coal shipments in fall and winter makes it necessary to secure a large supply before railroad traffic is interfered with and shipments delayed by the movement of the grain crop and stormy weather. We now find it necessary to unload about one-half of our fuel supply on the ground outside the coal shed. This causes loss in the deterioration of the coal exposed to the weather and considerable expense in handling it twice. The shed should be enlarged so that cars can be run into it and the coal dumped at the least expense. Its present capacity should be about doubled.
The installation of a water softener at this institution would be a measure of economy. The water which is obtained from deep wells is hard and not good for laundry and steam purposes. It leaves a hard deposit in the boilers, pipes and plumbing fixtures which damages them and causes heavy expense for repairs. The water softener would to a large extent relieve this difficulty.
A new greenhouse is needed, the old one being too small and so badly dilapidated that it cannot longer meet the requirements of the institution. It should be torn down and a new one of sufficient capacity erected in a more suitable location. The greenhouse is a valuable and necessary part of the equipment for giving agricultural instruction.
The propriety of making the proposed improvements to the cemetery can hardly be questioned. It is proposed to provide suitable marble markers, like those already in use, for the graves in our cemetery which have not been provided with suitable markers, and to erect a neat and substantial fence around the cemetery.
The gymnasium and bathing pool asked for would afford proper means of amusement and development of the children. It would be a most valuable aid in the discipline of the institution and a means of preventing the necessity for punishments. We think the construction of a suitable gymnasium at this institution should not be delayed'.
The fireproofing of the buildings should be continued. The central section and north wing of the main building have been fireproofed and it is new proposed to fireproof the south wing so as to complete the protection of the largest and most important of the institution buildings.
The fund recommended for repairs and betterments for the first year of the biennial period is the same as has been heretofore appropriated. For the second year of the period we recommend that the fund be increased $500 as many repairs to the old building will be necessary in order to keep them in proper condition.
It is important that the small sum requested for the library each year be granted. The library plays a very important part in our school work. New books will be needed and old books will need to be rebound. The amount asked for is none too large to properly maintain the library.
An increase in the appropriation for the support of the institution and state agency will be necessary. The new cottage now being erected will add to the capacity of the institution so that there will be an increase in the population after it is completed, and if the proposed industrial training is introduced, provision will need to be made to meet the increased expense. It is our opinion that the amount named for each of the two years of the biennial period is none too large to meet such requirements.
CHANGES IN THE PERSONNEL OF THE BOARD.
This board suffered serious loss by the death, on December 25, 1910, of Dr. D. S. Cummings, whose reliable judgment and fine qualities of mind and heart made him a most valuable member. His loss was sincerely mourned not only by his colleagues on the board and the officers and employes of the school but by the children who, during the four years of his service, had been recipients of his unfailing kindness.
The resignation of Prof. Charles R. Boostrom, who for a like period had served most efficiently in the board, caused another vacancy in February, 1911.
These vacancies were filled by the appointment of Mr. L. P. Ward, of Waseca, and Mr. J. L. Mitchell, of Austin.
L. F. HAMMEL,
J. L. MITCHELL,
R. P. WARD,
Board of Managers.
PHYSICIAN'S REPORT. Galen A. Merrill, Superintendent.
Dear Sir: Herewith I present my report as physician of the institution for the biennial period ending July 31, 1912.
During this time 843 children have been the subjects of hospital care and treatment (aside from the nursing infants cared for entirely in their own building) with a mortality for the two year period of 4, one each from the following causes: tuberculosis (pulmonary), epilepsy, mastoid abscess and meningitis. One accidental death from drowning occurred during the summer of 1912.
There have been 16 deaths among the children during the past two years including those tabulated above, distributed by ages as follows: 5 under one year of age out of a total of 57; 7 over one year and under five, and 4 over five years.
During the spring of 1911 the school was visited by an epidemic of measles and a year later by one of whooping cough. Fortunately the general type of the disease in both instances was mild and no fatalities resulted from either.
The lowering of our infant mortality rate as a result undoubtedly of the improved facilities for dealing with this part of the school population is exceedingly gratifying and we hope to attain even more favorable results in the future.
J. H. ADAIR.
THE STATE AGENCY.
MR. JAGER'S REPORT. I have visited 469 children in their homes, and in addition attended to 197 special cases, and investigated 352 applications for children, making a total of 1,018 formal visits. During the first half of the period I traveled 1,492 miles by team, while during the second half my work was in the Twin City district and I covered only 175 miles by team. Mileage traveled by rail (not including street car) 30,584. My expenses have been as follows: Railroad and street car fares, $675.35; livery, $226.25; hotel, $630.50; miscelaneous, $30.55. Total including salary $4,446.30, making the per capita cost of visits $4.36.
During the winter of 1911, I made a long trip through Wisconsin, Illinois, Iowa, North and South Dakota, visiting a large number of scattered homes where we had children who had not been visited for some time, owing to the great distance away. These children are either with relatives or with former residents of Minnesota, who have moved out with permission to take the children along. Where no good reason exists for continuing our supervision of these children, I have arranged for legal adoption or discharge and thus reduced greatly their numbers and the future expenses. I also visited a number of institutions for children in these states. I spent a day at the Orphans Home at Davenport, Iowa. A Sunday and part of Monday I spent at the Boy's Home at St. Charles, Illinois, having bed and board at one of the cottages. I also visited the Home at Wawatousa, near Milwaukee, the Children's Home, at Fargo, North Dakota, and several smaller sectarian institutions. These visits were very profitable to me in many ways.
Next I took up the work in the Duluth District, which includes the Iron Range and Lake Superior Region. The Duluth Humane Society is doing effective work in this vast territory with its great number of poor and illiterate foreign laborers. In the Children's Home in Duluth, I find a real model of economy and efficiency combined, a great boon to the children of the needy in that locality. If the Twin Cities had a home like it our members would be greatly reduced by avoiding temporary commitments from their courts. In the Duluth District is seen the great gulf which separates wealth from poverty. The solid village of laborers' huts and miners' shacks is contrasted with magnificent public buildings and picturesque residences and grounds of the mine owners. Were it not for the generosity of the wealthy in contributing to the relief agencies our help would be needed there very much more than it is now. Many a poor homeless child has been adopted into these homes of wealth. One of these, a little girl, badly disfigured by burns, so that I thought no one would want her, was taken by a well-to-do family. I was telling about this noble act in another fine home where I was calling, when the gentleman of the home interrupted me and said: "If Mr. and Mrs.
did that we will bury the hatchet and be friends though we have not spoken for years.” Surely a noble deed has its reward.
From Duluth I went to the Twin City District and spent the last half of the biennial period there. Thụs I had a chance to note and compare the work in the three large cities and observe the wonderful progress made in the intelligent handling of children and the increased facilities of the Juvenile Courts, Detention Homes and broad system of probation and splendid corps of probation officers. The field there is limited only by the capaciiy of the worker and I have had a revelation of conditions in society of which I had not dreamed. To anyone who has not come in personal touch with the work carried on by the Juvenile Court and Probation Officers, the Associated Charities, Humane Society and Sunshine Society and other relief agencies, the needs and the efforts put forth to meet them are simply beyond comprehension, and the more effort one puts forth the more need one discovers. The hearty co-operation which I have met with from these societies have been gratifying and I have gained much inspiration from my contact with their devoted workers. I only regret that we are not always able to relieve them of all the children they want to send to us.
To me the most distressing feature of the city work is the large and apparently ever-increasing number of homeless babies. Many of them do not really belong to the cities, but the unhappy girl mother has been sent there to some so-called "private hospital” where she will be cared for in secrecy and her baby disposed of, all for a certain sum of money. If the child is nice and healthy it is given to anybody who will take it and this is the horrible part of it—these helpless innocent little souls are often given to vicious and degraded women who use them as a blind to give their dens of iniquity the appearance of family life or to be a plaything for the inmates of the place and later on a source of revenue. We need a law making it a crime for any person or institution to give away children unless they have the facilities for keeping records of their work and investigating the homes and supervising the children placed therein. The present situation is equal to the heathen practice of throwing baby girls to the alligators; for is the girls that are taken by this class of women. If the baby is not marketable by these modern slavetraders, it will find its way into a private boarding house for babies or into the City Hospital and the mother disappears after which the child is brought into Juvenile Court and committed to the state's guardianship as a deserted child. Some of these babies are in a dreadful state of neglect before they reach responsible hands.
I shall never forget one baby girl weighing four pounds when three months old, its body blistered and raw from neglect. I had an application for a baby girl from a Polish woman and sent her to see this baby. She was an exile from an aristocratic home across the waters, because of her democratic views; she was a princess gracing the plain home of an honest big-hearted day laborer. When she saw the child she was horrified but she could not turn away from its suffering. She took the repulsive little creature in her arms and into her great heart and carried it home and nursed it tenderly, day and night until at the end of the three months' trial period she showed me a clean wholesome nine pound baby. And how she loves it! What hero is more entitled to a Carnegie lifesaving medal than she is? The one great bright spot in this year's experience is the memory of the many babies I have succeeded in placing with splendid foster parents and thereby increased the sum total of human love and happiness.
It has also been my happy lot of meeting many of the old boys and girls who first came under my care when I began my work thirteen years ago. Many of them are now married and have good homes of their own and occupy positions of responsibility. I meet some very pleasant surprises at times, the stories of which would make interesting reading, but the lack of time and space compels me to omit them.
H. J. JAGER.
MR. SWANSON'S REPORT. During the period I have visited 654 children in their homes, investigated 233 applicants for children, attended 131 special cases, transferred 34 chil. dren to other homes or returned them to the school and accompanied 31 children to homes selected for them. I have collected money due children to the amount of $687,65, and arranged for many settlements of indenture contracts with tardy guardians. The necessary travel to accomplish this has been a total of 27,903 miles, 22,538 by rail and 5,365 by