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Curtiss-Wedge, F.; Jones, Geo. O. (ed.) / History of Dunn County, Wisconsin

Chapter XII: Three Dunn County institutions,   pp. 74-77

Page 75

In addition to the competition in exhibits of various kinds of stock there were
running races for Dunn County horses, and a number of special features, as a bread
contest, a school display, a flying circus consisting of an aeroplane and a corps of
acrobats performing daring feats on the wing of the plane, a carnival on the pike,
a teachers' meeting, American Legion dances, and a great fireworks spectacle-the
Dunn County historical pageant.
The following is a list of the successive presidents and secretaries of the society
from the beginning, the presidents' names being places first in each year:
1885 to 1887 (inclusive)-William Millar, H. W. Reed; 1888-A. C. Sherburn,
H. W. Reed; 1889--William Millar, H. W. Reed; 1890-Geo. H. Seely, John N.
McGilton; 1891-A. R. Hall, 0. W. Massee; 1892--Geo. Gallaway, 0. W. Massee;
1893-F. J. Golden, 0. W. Massee; 1895-Paul C. Wilson, Geo. Gallaway; 1896 to
1897 Henrv Millar, Geo. Galloway; 1898-F. A. Vasev, Geo. Gallaway; 1899-
F. A. Vasev, R. W. Cronk; 1900-J. B. Chickering, R. W. Cronk; 1901 to 1905
(inclusive)-J. B. Chickering, Geo. Gallaway; 1906 and 1907-S. W. Jackson,
N. J. McArthur; 1908-S. W. Jackson, J. D. Iillar; 1909 to 1915-Paul C. Wilson,
J. D. Millar; 1916 to 1918 (inclusive)-no fair; 1919 to 1924 (inclusive)-Frank
Pierce, J. D. Millar.
The Dunn County Asylum for the Chronic Insane is an institution of which the
county may well be proud. The Dunn County News, in its Semi-Centennial
Edition in 1910 said in regard to it: "Humanity and economy-tender considera-
tion, enlightened methods of treatment and efficient business management-these
are the cardinal characteristics which have made the Dunn County Asylum for the
Chronic Insane a source of relief for hundreds of unfortunates and a means of profit
to the tax payers of the county. They are a combination of qualities in public
service rarely found developed in so high a degree, and have placed the local institu-
tion well to the forefront among those of its kind in the United States."
The primary object of the institution is not to make money but-to quote the
words of a former trustee--" to providej comfortable wholesome home where the
unfortunate charges placed in our care may be made happy," and this object has
been well attained.
It has required careful and efficient management, but more than ordinary
foresight was displayed when the plan was conceived by the authorities in control
of the government some 35 years ago. At the session of the county board of 1890,
a special committee appointed the year before, consisting of A. R. Hall, H. D.
Ransier and George Gallaway, reported that it would be advisable to build a county
asylum, and recommended that a building commission of three be appointed.
At that time there were 20 county asylums in the state, and Dunn County was
supporting 49 patients in various hospitals. The expense of this burden amounted
to 84,000 annually to the county, and a like amount to the state. It was urged that
at least 200 acres of land be procured near the existing poor farm for an institution
that would enable Dunn County to properly care for this class of indigents, and at
the same time save money to the county.
On Feb. 10, 1891, at an adjourned meeting of the board, a special committee,
consisting of A. R. Hall, William Miller, J. H. Stout and R. J. Flint, made a report.
They found that the present system of keeping the chronic insane in county asylums
was inaugurated in this state in 1881, the rate for maintenance per patient being
fixed at $3 per week. As an encouragement for counties to try the new system,
the state agreed to pay S1.50 for the local support of each patient. Each county
providing a suitable asylum would receive $1.50 per head for supporting its own
insane, and $3 per week for supporting the insane of other counties. In November,
1881, the State Board of Charities and Reform certified five counties to the secretary
of state as having availed themselves of this inducement, and the system had been
found a success from the start.
The committee visited the asylums in Dodge, Jefferson, Iowa, Dane, Outagamie
and Racine counties, and they found that the best results were obtained in a building

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