PROVIDENCE, DEC. 31, 1895.











FRANK F.OLNEY, Providence,
J. C. B. WOODS, Providence
WALTER A. READ, Chepachet
ELLERY H. WILSON, East Providence
PHINEAS O. LITTLEFIELD Narragansett pier.
CHARLES H. PECKHAM, (ex-officio) Providence,




J. C. B. WOODS, Chairman


Mrs. M. F. HOPKINS, Superintendent Oak Lawn School.
JAMES H. EASTMAN, Superintendent Sockanossett School,







The number of boys in the school at the close of 1895 was 265, an increase of twenty-three during the year. The daily average during the year was 249. The number received in 1895 (196) was but six larger than in 1894, but the number discharged in 1894 (173) was twenty-three smaller than 1895. It would appear then that the increase in the number in the school at the close of 1895 was due more largely to a smaller number of discharges during the year than to the increased number of admissions.

The new home for the boys described in the last report had been nearly completed at the close of 1894. It was finished during the spring and early summer of the past year and was occupied in July by fifty of the smallest boys. It is called the "Primary Home" and is the third one erected since the removal of the School from Providence in 1882. Only two "homes," as the boys dwellings are called, were provided at the time of the removal and there are now five.

The building for industrial training shops and drill hall was also unfinished when the last report was made. This has been completed, except the foundry, and the building will soon be used for it's intended purposes,-as a drill hall in the upper, and for industrial education in the lower, story. Masons' work and foundry work will be taught here.


The average number of boys employed in the different departments during the year was as follows:

In the carpenters' shop   8
In the blacksmith's shop 16
In the masons' shop 12
In the machine shop   8
In the engineers' department (boiler and engine-room)   5
In the printing office 14
In the shoe shop   9
In the tailors' shop 12

The boys of the department of carpentering, with their instructor, finished the woodwork of the new industrial training shops and drill hall, besides doing much repairing about the school and such machine work as was required at the other Institutions, that is, turning; machine-planing, etc. Two of these boys were discharged, having acquired sufficient knowledge of their trade to secure work, and are doing well.

Instruction has been continued, as before, in the blacksmiths' shop in forging; making, dressing and tempering tools for the machine shop; repairing picks and crow-bars; making and repairing chains; turning shoes for horses and oxen and shoeing the horses and oxen used at the school; making and repairing tools for stone work and for the masons, and sharpening stone drills for the other Institutions. Ten boys were discharged from this department during the year, some of them after only a few months of instruction, which is too soon for their own good. Instruction for so short a period can be of little benefit to boys. They should have at least two years' instruction and experience in this department to enable them to obtain work and support themselves at their trades after their discharge.

The boys, twelve in number, who have been learning the masons' trade, were especially proficient and useful during the year. The work done by them includes laying 276 square yards of cement floor in the new "Primary Home" and plastering the walls and window jams of the same, about 200 square yards; building of stone and brick the conduits for the steam pipes; building four manholes for these conduits, also two sewer manholes at the Oak Lawn School; preparing a room in one of the basements of the Asylum for the Insane for the temporary safe-keeping of the dead, besides some repairing at the same institution; and laying a new cement floor and making other improvements in the piggery of their own school. Three pupils were discharged from this department of industrial training in 1895, all of whom were well advanced in the masons' trade, and one was discharged who had served as a masons' tender.

The boys under instruction in the machine shop made a Ross water motor, No. 28, to furnish power for blowing the new organ at the Asylum for the Insane, the drawings for the motor having been kindly furnished free of cost by the Ross Valve Co., of Troy, N.Y.; two five inch and two two-and-one-half-inch expansion joints for the steam pipes in the conduit above mentioned; an emery wheel stand with a twist-drill grinding attachment; and a douche bath for the new "Primary Home." They also made all the tools used by themselves and did a good deal of repairing of machinery and tools for the other institutions as well as for the school. One of the items of work for the school was the repairing and polishing of the two hundred and fifty Quaker muskets of the military battalion. Six boys were graduated from this department well skilled in the mechanists' trade and they are doing well.

The pupils in the engineers' department, so-called, receive instruction and assist in tending the steam boilers, the steam engine, the steam pumps and other apparatus in the boiler and engine rooms. They also learn in a measure the trade of piping, that is, running lines of pipe for conveying steam, water or gas, as the case may be, with the necessary valves , etc. These pupils assist the engineer, too, in making the necessary repairs upon pipes and kindred apparatus throughout the school. No boy was graduated from this department in 1895.

From the printing office has been issued regularly during the year the HOWARD TIMES, the semi-monthly school paper, and all of the job work for the offices of the Board, and other institutions, such as blanks for reports of many kinds, ect., has been done here. The boys of the printing office also set up and printed as in previous years, the last report of the Board of State Charities and Corrections to the General Assembly and are now, as we write, engaged upon this report. Seven boys were discharged from the printing office competent to earn their living as compositors.

In the shoe shop, 2,575 pairs of shoes were repaired during the year; this number included, of course, the repairing of the same pair of shoes several times. Each boy has two pairs of shoes in wear and each week one of these pairs is sent to the shop for inspection and repairs if needed. The boys in this shop repair also harnesses, footballs, and baseballs.

The twelve boys under the instruction of the tailoress make up and repair all of the clothing of the boys and the bedding and table linen of both officers and boys.

The trade of painting is one that can not well be taught except as opportunity for its practical application occurs, which is not continuous. The quantity of material that would be required to keep a class in constant practice would cost a good deal of money and the material cannot be used over and over again as in other trades. During the past year, however, there was ample opportunity for the teaching of painting. The Primary Home was painted inside and outside by a class of boys under the direction of one hired painter and the hard oil finish within the building was applied also by them. Besides, some of the smaller boys were made useful in dressing and waxing the floors. A good deal of painting repairs about the buildings also was done by the boys.

The farm and garden work is done by such of the boys as are not large enough, or are otherwise incapacitated, for instruction in the industrial training shops. Five of the larger boys do the work in the barn assisted during the day, but not in early morning or late evening, by several smaller ones.

The following table shows the quantities of farm and garden produce raised at the school by the boys;

Apples, (hand picked) 65 bbls. Lettuce 30 bush
    "       (windfalls) 70 bbls. Melons, musk 800
Beans, shell 40 bush. Melons, water 85
Beans, string 80 bush. Milk 78,728 qts.
Beef 672 lbs. Onions 90 bush.
Beets 260 bush. Pears 18 bush.
Cabbage  5,000 heads Peas 56 bush.
Carrots 440 bush. Potatoes 273 bush.
Chickens 66 lbs Pork 1,395 lbs.
Corn 60 bush. Pumpkins 4 tons.
Corn, pop 17 bush. Rye straw 2 tons.
Corn, sweet 1,260 doz Squash, summer 30 doz
Cucumbers 30 bush. Squash, winter 140 doz.
Eggs 131 doz. Turnips 285 bush.
Grapes 22 bush. Veal 1,137 lbs
Hay 6 tons.    

Two notable events in the history of the school the past year are worthy of record. The first is the part of our school battalion took in the Forth of July parade in the City of Providence, a privilege granted them by consent of the Board of State Charities and Corrections. The invitation had been extended by His Honor the Mayor, Frank F. Olney, and the City Government. The battalion made a fine appearance and was a notable feature in the procession. All along the rout the cadets were cheered and praised for their soldierly bearing. At the end of the five miles' march, His Honor, the Mayor, entertained them in a sumptuous manner with a banquet in Music Hall.

By consent of the Board of State Charities and Corrections also, we were enabled to accept an invitation extended to us by the managers of the State Fair to take space in the Educational Department of their exhibition in the month of September. The space allowed us was sufficient for quite a practical illustration to the many thousands of visitors to that Fair of how the boys are being trained. The work of the schoolroom was illustrated by maps submitted, together with compositions, arithmetical problems, quarterly examination papers, ect. There were boys there each day working at the case, setting type; at the forge, forging hammers, turning shoes, etc; at the machine, learning the lesson of thread-cutting; boys at their carpenters' bench, learning to mitre; brick masons, building piers and foundations for bay windows; with a display of the finished products of their labor in the several departments of the school arranged in glass cases and upon tables in such a way that the people could best see them. It all made a most interesting exhibit, and was commended on every hand. The great interest in our exhibition there was fully manifested by the crowds constantly pressing up to the boys while at their work. The Fair Association have been pleased to award us a very handsome diploma.

During the course of these two events not one single untoward circumstance happened. The cadets without exception conducted themselves in a most soldierly and gentlemanly manner, reflecting credit upon themselves, the school, and the State.


Throughout the year the schools have been in session three hours each day, five days in the week, except two weeks in summer. In the Primary Cottage the small boys have two sessions, one of two hours in the morning and one of three in the afternoon.

The schools are so arranged that in each cottage there are five grades; all boys in a grade are required to cover the same ground each quarter. Quarterly examinations are given, and upon a boy's standing in these examinations, together with his class work, general conduct and military record, depends his time of parole.

We are using the Normal Course in reading, writing, spelling, and arithmetic. The highest classes use Information Readers No. III, and for supplementary reading, Harper's Round Table, Youth's Companion, and St. Nicholas. One hour each week is devoted to physiology. The lessons are given by the teacher with special reference to the effect of alcohol, cigarettes and tobacco on the human system. We are using Potter's Elementary and Advanced Geographies. I would recommend that we change Potter's Geographies for Frye's elementary and Complete Geographies. One session each week is devoted to United States History, composition, and talks on civil government and current events.

Many of the boys take much interest in Nature Study, watching eagerly the growth of the plant from the seed, the development of the insect from the chrysalis, or hunting carefully for specimens of rocks and fossils. Each school keeps a record of the weather, temperature, wind, and clouds. The higher classes do considerable work in map drawing. By means of committing to memory short extracts from the best authors, talks on character building, and the study of the writings and lives of eminent men, our teachers try to instill into the boys a love of good books, and higher and nobler ideals of living.

The statistics for the year are as follows:

Number in the school January 1 1895   242
Number committed by the Courts 163  
Number admitted by Board of Charities and Corrections    6  
Number returned or retaken, having excaped    7  
Number returned from places, surrendered by bail, ect   20 196
Number discharged 158  
Number escaped and not returned    7  
Number sent to jail on alternate sentence    1  
Number removed to Workhouse and House of Correction    5  
Number died    2 173
Number remaining, January 1, 1896   265

The average numbers in the school were:

In 1883, approximately 153
In 1884,        " 171
In 1885, from daily record 156
In 1886,    "      "       " 179
In 1887,    "      "       " 203
In 1888,    "      "       " 200
In 1889,    "      "       " 204
In 1890,    "      "       " 211
In 1891,    "      "       " 171
In 1892,    "      "       " 192
In 1893,    "      "       " 247
In 1894,    "      "       " 294
In 1895,    "      "       " 249




Excerpted from
Susan W. Pieroth