The Chippewa Times
City of Chippewa Falls, pp. -60 ff.
32 CITY OF CHIPPEWA FALLS. WISCONSIN HOME FOR THE FEEBLE MINDED. ADMINISTRATION BUILDING. COTTAGE NO. 1. Beautifully located on the bank of the Chippewa river opposite the city of Chippewa Falls is the Wisconsin Home for the Feeble Minded. The conditions which called for the establishment of this great institution are several. There are many homes where a child mentally afflicted absorbs the attention of the mother to the detriment of the other children, who are to become the men and women of the future, and also exhaust the sav- ings of the parents. With the widowed father they often prevent the following of his regular work and he may not be able because of financial difficulties to secure a proper person to take charge of his child. Then to these is the more serious danger of having these children, particularly the older boys and girls, alone on the streets where ihey must be exposed to all kinds of dangers. As for the children themselves it is very evident that it is of the greatest benefit to have a home for them. They are taken to this beautiful home, placed under the care of persons who are able to help them, who are able to teach them, and who understand their needs. Many of them come from homes of privation and neglect. In the care- fully classified groups of the institution they find what they cannot obtain elsewhere, congenial com- panionship, which removes that continual feeling of inferiority and helps to develop the best that is in them. "It gives them the inalienable right of every American child, the opportunity of an education to the highest available point, thus add- ing much to their happiness through the one avail- able source, usefulness." Dr. Wilmarth, the very competent and success- fuI head of the institution, endeavors to not only give every child the proper care, but also teach every child in the best way in order that he may develop to the highest degree of usefulness pos- sible. The management has endeavored to make every child feel that be or she is a useful unit, and by encouraging what the children do they spur them on to better work. As the State owns 1,010 acres of land there is plenty of opportunity for out-door work for the children. The work of clearing the land is going on rapidly and the farming has progressed so well that all the vege- tables used are raised there. In the near future it is hoped that a dairy farm will be part of the institution's farm. The shoes that are worn, the girls' clothing and many beautiful articles of needlework are made by the children, and even some of the boys' clothing, besides the bed linen, is manufactured by the children under careful supervision of the teachers. The laundry work is done by the older girls, also many of them act as nurses for the smaller children. It is hoped that in time each child will be self-supporting. The Wisconsin Home for the Feeble Minded was open- ed June 11, 1897, and received its first inmates June 17, 1897. There are now 605 children en- rolled. The State employs 112 persons to take care of them, teach them and keep up the insti- tution. The buildings number 10, some of the most important, but recently completed, and there are still several (four cottages and one school- house) to be built. In order to fully appreciate this great institution one must see it and then in realizing the great work of humanity in providing it for the benefit of these poor unfortunates, about 60 per cent. of whom inherited their misfortune, one also realizes the great generosity of the State of Wisconsin. DINING HALL IN ADMINSTRATION BUILDING, SCHOOL HOUSE.
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