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tlemen of the Faculty, requires me to state that althougb assigning different causes from your correspondent, for the above mentioned defects, they are not blind to them, and are determined to raise the standard of scholarship as rapidly as possible.
In conclusion I must testify to the pleasure awakened by seeing the profound respect paid at Hillsdale College, to religious culture and life. Manifestly, the blessing of God may be expected to rest on an institution of learning so thoroughly committed to the advancement of the Redeemer's cause, and the apbuilding of his glorious kingdom. I remain, sir, as ever, Yours with esteem,
HORACE C. HOVEY.
FIFTH ANNUAL REPORT OF TIIE BOARD OF CONTROL OF TIIE STATE REFORM SCHOOL,
FOR THE YEAR ENDING NOVEMBER 17, 1861.
To the Hon. J. M. GREGORY, Supt. of Public Instruction:
Sir—The undersigned, members of the Board of Control of the State Reform School, hereby present their annual report of the receipts and expenditures of the Institution, and of its management and condition.
By the accompanying report of the Superintendent, it will be seen that 55 inmates have been discharged during the year; and as the number received bas been 63, the actual increase of the School has been only 8. The discharges have been mostly from the older boys, and the proportion of larger boys to the emaller has sensibly diminished.
The Teacher's report shows that the literary instruction of the inmates continues to be pursued systematically as a most effective means of their improvement and reformation. This is demanded by the low grade of intelligence in the boys at the time of their reception, and is indispensable in imparting to them
considerable elevation of character, or fitting them for usefulness in the world.
A considerable amount of sickness prevailed in the School during the first half of the year; but it is believed that it was owing chiefly to local and temporary causes, wbich have since been removed, and the health of the officers and scholars for some months past has been excellent.
Several changes have taken place in the officers of the School during the year. Rev. D. B. Nichols, formerly of the Chicago Reform School, left his situation as Superintendent of this Institution in June, after a service of one year, and his place has since been supplied by C. B. Robinson, Assistant Superintendent. Rev. H. B. Crosby, formerly a Teacher in the School, now serves as Assistant Superintendent, and Assistant Teacher and Chaplain. Also, Mrs. S. A. Hibbard, who left the Institution in September last, has resumed the situation which she had held for several years previous, as Matron.
All the present officers, and most of the employees, have had several years experience in the Reform School: a qualification of no small importance in enabling them to discharge their duties for the best advantage of the Institution. The Board believe them all to be capable, faithful and honest, and to have at heart the best interests of the School.
Under the contract with Messrs. Woodhouse & Butler, 100 boys have been profitably and usefully employed in the manufacture of chairs; but the shops, with most of their contents, were entirely destroyed by fire on the morning of the 29th of October. By this disaster, all the boys were at once thrown out of employment: nor can their labor be used to good advantage until the shops shall be rebuilt.
The reconstruction of the shops at as early a day as possible, is desirable for several urgent reasons. Regular daily labor, during fixed hours, at some useful business, suited to the age and capacity of the inmates, under the instruction of competent persons, has been found by long experience, to be an indispensable means in the reformation of vicious youth. However well endowed an institution might be, without systematic labor it would be a failure.
The earnings of one hundred boys in the shop were eight dollars a day, or $2,500 a year; and the avails of their labor, in less than two years, would be more than enough to pay the whole expense of re-building. Whereas, without workshops, although a portion of the boys might be usefully occupied a part of the time at different kinds of work, yet the result would be of little net profit to the State, would require a greater outlay of expense, be more embarrassing to the officers, and be far less efficacious in imparting to the boys habits of regular and continuous industry. Arrangements for re building might probably also be so made that the labor of a large number of boys would be applied directly toward the construction of the shops.
The Board of Control, therefore, request the Legislature to make an appropriation of $3,000 for rebuilding the work-shops as soon as possible.
The yard connected with the Reform School is surrounded by a high sence, built entirely of wood, and as it decays rapidly, it must be frequently renewed at a considerable expense. A portion of this fence has been built six years, and has already been once prostrated by high winds. True economy, as well as the safety of the best interests of the Institution, requires that a substantial brick wall, which will stand for ages, should be built as soon as practicable oa the site of the present insecure and perishable board fence.
Whenever an appropriation shall be made for the building of the workshops, it would be advisable, at the same time, to appropriate as much more as may be necessary for constructing such a wall upon the north and east side of the yard, because the work-shops will be placed in the north east corner of the yard, and the walls of the yard, as high as they may be built, may also be the outer walls of the work-shops, thereby increasing the security of the yard, and diminishing both expense and labor.
The length of wall to be built on the north and east side of the yard enclosing it, will be sixty rods, and the estimated expense is $10,000.
The report of the treasurer shows the receipts and expenditures of the Institution during the fiscal year.
The Board have been seriously embarrassed on account of the want of funds, having received only $11,000 for the fiscal year, leaving a balance for current expenses, from the State, of $6,000.