West Virginia Industrial Home for Girls

Biennial Report
West Virginia Industrial Home for Girls
Salem, West Virginia, 1899.

Report of the Board of Directors.

SALEM, W. Va., Jan. 3rd, 1899.
To the Hon. G. W. Atkinson, Governor of the State of West Virginia:

The Board of Directors of the Industrial Home for Girls, have the honor to submit to you, and through you to the Legislature, the steps taken by them in carrying out the provisions made by the Legislature of 1897 for the establishment of the Industrial Home for Girls.

The following persons were commissioned by the Governor to serve as members of the Board of Directors:

Mrs. N. R. C. Morrow, Fairmont, W. Va.
Mrs. R. S. Gardner, Clarksburg, W. Va.
Dr. Harriet B. Jones, Wheeling, W. Va.
Stillman Young, Gaines W. Va.
Jerome Haddox, Hamlin, W. Va.
John Cummins, Wheeling, W. Va.

The first meeting of the board was held at Clarksburg, July 28th, 1897.

The following officers were elected:

Harriet B. Jones, Pres.
Jerome Haddox, Sec.
Stillman Young, Treas.

Subsequently, upon the resignation of Mr. Haddox, Mrs. N. R. C. Morrow was elected Secretary. A committee consisting of Dr. Jones and Mr. Young, were appointed by the Board and visited the Industrial schools of Ohio and Michigan, thereby gaining valuable information for the direction of the Board.

The following towns offered sites for our inspection:

Corinth, Preston County.
Clarksburg, Harrison County.
Buckhannon, Upshur County.
Bridgeport, Harrison County.
Huntington, Cabell County.
Harrisville, Ritchie County.
Salem, Harrison County.

All sites were inspected except Harrisville, which, in the opinion of the Board, was too remote from a main line of railroad, as it was thought advisable to select a place centrally located and easy of access.

Of all sites offered, Salem seemed best adapted for the purpose, and was accepted by the Board, at a meeting held in Clarksburg, September 2d, 1897.

This site consisting of the thirty-eight acres, an elevated plateau, commanding an extensive view, making a fine site for the buildings, with bottom lands suitable for gardens, some fine springs of drinking water, and a beautiful grove of three acres, is situated on the main line of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad west of Salem and was given us by the citizens. It has also the added advantage of being situated in a community where the people are highly moral and are heartily in sympathy with the purposes of the institution.

As a large quantity of water is a most desirable thing, and plays a most important part in the welfare of an institution, a well was bored, supplied with wind-mill and tank. Soft water was found in abundance, enough to supply as large an institution as ever may exist. The water will be carried into the buildings and can be thrown over the top of the highest building in case of fire.

The plans and specifications for a suitable building were prepared by Franzheim, Giesey and Faris. A notice to contractors was published in the papers of the large towns in various sections of our State. After considering all bids sent us, the contract was let to Wood Bros. Planing Mill Company, October 16th 1897.

As the funds at the disposal of the board were insufficient for the necessary building, the Board decided to erect only the central part, leaving the wings until sufficient appropriation be made by the next Legislature.

Owing to the financial failure of Wood Bros. Planing Mill Company it became necessary to re-let the contract, which was done at a meeting of the Board in Wheeling, June 9th, 1898, to Mr. A. J. Watson, of Salem, he agreeing to build the main part of the building for $6,900, to take $5,000 payable on estimates, and to wait for the remainder of $1,900 until appropriation be made.

On the site now stands a beautiful three-story brick building, the main portion of original plan. Nothing more can be done until an appropriation be made by the Legislature. It is the intention to open the home for the reception of as many girls as can be accommodated, as soon as the money is provided to furnish and run the Institution. When completed it will be a credit to the State, and the necessity for its completion is only too plainly shown by the number of applicants for admission and the number of young girls put into our jails for minor misdemeanors, where they are associated with hardened criminals, coming out from such association worse than when they entered. Our boys are provided for, and it is to be hoped that our girls will now have a place of safety where they can be saved from degradation and trained into usefulness. If a boy, who has been imprisoned, feels that there is no future for him, how much more will a girl feel the ignominy.

The act provides as well for colored girls as white, and so far as practicable to keep them separated. This can be done only by providing a separate building. The Board would advise, for this purpose, the purchase of eight or ten acres of land adjoining and separated from the present site by a ravine, and they ask an appropriation for this purpose.

The Board feeling the great necessity of this has taken an option on this tract of land. It is advisable to secure this as early as possible. It will be necessary to have a man to attend to the grounds, garden and affairs outside of the building, and, it is not only advisable, but necessary, that he live on the grounds, and money for building a suitable cottage should be provided.

In starting a new institution, there must be necessarily, much outlay that requires large amounts of money. To put things into good shape, and successful running order, a large appropriation is asked, and we hope it will be granted. It is five years since a movement was made to secure this institution, and we hope at this Legislature, the appropriation will be such, that in another five years, or less time we will have an institution of which our State will be justly proud.

To complete this beautiful building and carry forward the work of the institution, the Board begs that the Legislature of 1899 will grant the necessary appropriations.

Appropriations for the Fiscal Year ending Sept. 30, 1899.

For completion of first wing of present building      $5,000
For plumbing          350
For heating          500
For sewerage          600
For roads          100
For fence          250
For house for gardener          800
For small stable          200
For beautifying grounds and grading          200
For ten acres ground for colored building        1,000
For building for colored girls        5,000
For salaries        1,500
For furnishing present building          500
For general expenses        2,000
For Board of Directors        1,000
For transportation of inmates          150
For contingent expenses          200
For balance due Mr. A. J. Watson, contractor        1,900
Total      21,250

Appropriations for the Fiscal Year ending Sept. 30, 1900

For completion of second wing of present building    $ 5,000
For plumbing          400
For heating        1,000
For road          100
For fence          250
For beautifying grounds and grading          200
For building for colored girls      10,000
For heating, plumbing and furnishing above        3,500
For furnishing present building          500
For salaries        2,500
For general expenses        3,500
For board of directors        1,000
For transportation of inmates          200
For contingent expenses          200
Total      27,850

In asking these appropriations we have been careful only to ask for what will be actually needed to complete the buildings and plans proposed, and to actually support the institution.

We all know it is far more economical to build a building all at once, rather than to build piecemeal, and more satisfactory. Good plumbing and heating are an absolute necessity and we want to make no mistakes by putting in cheap work, that in a few years will have to be done over, and it is always best to put in both, while the building is being erected.

As there must be a suitable means of approach a good road should be made at once, with good drainage.

The fence around the land is in such bad order, an entire new fence ought at once to be put up to protect the gardens, grounds and to keep out trespassers.

We all have a pride in having our institutions present a beautiful appearance, to in some degree approach those in other states, so a small amount is asked for beautifying the grounds, which can be made very attractive.

There will undoubtedly be a sufficient number of colored girls to justify having a building for them. The land on which an option has been taken would be very suitable, and probably give all the land that will ever be needed. It would be best to purchase it at once at a reasonable figure, for should it fall into other hands, it might not be so easily acquired, besides it joins our present site in such a manner, that if owned by the State would practically cut off the Home lands from all possible objectionable neighbors, as there are roads on all sides except at the back, a very high hill.

The amount for salaries is based upon the number at first considered necessary. Any additional appointments will depend, of course, on the increase in the number of inmates.

Our prospect for good sewerage could not be excelled. The sewerage proposed will do for all future buildings, should any more be necessary, by simply connecting each building to the main sewer pipe. We are to lay our sewerage to the present corporate limits of Salem, and then we have no more concern in the matter, the people of Salem having contracted to carry it to the stream beyond. We have also acquired a right of way through all intervening land. It is desirable, of course, to put in good sewerage in the beginning, to avoid further trouble. If this institution be properly constructed by having sufficient money to put in good material, it will prevent a large amount of expense in future repairs.

It will be unnecessary to comment on the remaining amounts asked for, for their necessity is so apparent. As the Home has two natural gas lines passing its door, the gas can be used for fuel and lighting. No electric or gas plant being necessary. A laundry will be in each finished building.

We feel that we have been reasonable in our estimates, and are exceedingly anxious that this much needed institution be a success, and not handicapped for want of means to carry out the proposed plans, that our State may be able to rescue girls still innocent, but thoughtless and ignorant; to place them under good influences before they sink into lives of shame, while life with all its possibilities is open to them; to take them from the evil that surrounds them which must eventually bring them to jails, penitentiaries, and places of vice, then turned out to be a menace to society and bringing into the world men and women ten times worse than themselves, to continue to fill our public institutions in County and State.

To train girls into habits of industry, to prepare them to be honest and honorable citizens and filling places of respectability are but a few of the many benefits our Home expects to give.

President of the Board of Directors


Financial Statement.

Statement of the account of Stillman Young, Treasurer of West Virginia Industrial Home for Girls, from August 18, 1897, to January 3,1899:


Sept. 3, 1897 - To amount received from Auditor  $1,000.00
Sept. 20, 1897 - To amount received from Auditor    5,000.00
Oct. 7, 1897 - To amount received from Auditor    2,000.00
Aug. 22, 1898 - To amount received from Auditor    2,000.00
Total amount received from Auditor$10,000.00


Date Allowed. CLAIMANT. CLAIM. Amount.
Aug. 18, 1897 Stencil Company Seal         3.00
Sept. 2, 1897 Globe Printing and Binding Book for Secretary        4.50
Sept. 25, 1897 C. A. Boggess Surveying and platting land       15.00
Sept. 25, 1897 M. F. Giesey Plan for building       50.00
Sept. 3, 1897 Newspapers Notice to contractors       45.73
Nov. 23, 1897 M. F. Giesey Plan for building     100.00
Nov. 23, 1897 Wood Bros. Planing Mill On building 2,500.00
Nov. 23, 1897 White & Allen Attorney's fees       10.00
Jan. 3, 1897 Marcellus Davisson For Cleaning grounds       15.00
Jan. 10, 1897 R. L. Highland County Clerk Fees       31.70
Jan. 24, 1897 E. G. Smith Examining & making deed       75.00
Jan. 10, 1897 A. J. Watson For making road       50.00
July 20, 1897 G. R. Miner On water works     187.50
Aug. 17, 1897 A. J. Watson On building   1,200.00
Aug. 23, 1897 G. R. Miner On water works     325.00
Sept. 22, 1897 A. J. Watson On building   1,600.00
Oct. 17, 1897 G. R. Miner On water works     100.00
Nov. 7, 1897 A. J. Watson On building     960.00
    Stillman Young Treasurers' Supplies         3.70
        Telephones and telegrams         4.00
    Board of Directors Expenses   1,244 47
Jan. 3 1899 A. J. Watson Cement & brick for well       47.12
Jan. 3, 1899 G. W. Haskins Repairing fence         5.00
Jan. 3, 1899 M. F. Giesey Oversight of building       50.00
Jan. 3, 1899A. J. Watson On building   1,240.00
    Total    $9,866.72


Building$ 7,700.00
Well, windmill and reservoir      659.62
Board of Directors    1,244.47
Miscellaneous expenses      266.62
Balance in treasury      133.28

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