Wednesday, August 16, 2017

5 Interesting things about Indentured Servitude




Most indentures were voluntary, although there were some who were coerced or tricked into servitude. Those who voluntarily entered into a seven year contract did so to increase their odds of a better life. Most were immigrants who had no hope of ever owning land or property in their home countries. But there was a pressing need for labor in the new world, with the opportunity to learn a trade and own property.




As harsh as it sounds to us, it wasn’t uncommon for poor people to indenture their children to give them a chance to learn a trade and to offer them a better life. Sometimes a child was indentured close to home and could still visit their parents on occasion. But there were times a child was sent away to the new world to become an indentured servant, some as young as six and seven years old. I can’t imagine the desperation parents felt when making such a decision. But for the price of their passage, they had the assurance of learning a trade, lodging, food, and clothing for the next seven years. That was probably more than they’d have in an overcrowded tenement with no prospects of bettering themselves.


The reason that they had that assurance was because contracts were drawn giving them certain rights. It was in the best interests of the merchants, landowners, bakers, blacksmiths, coopers, etc., for the system of indentured servitude to work. Their small towns and burbs depended on this system of labor to thrive. The local magistrates didn’t look kindly on one of their own abusing this system. Of course, there were exceptions and situations of abuse, but by-and-large, the system of indentured servitude worked quite well.



At the end of the term (usually 7 years), an indentured servant was free to go his own way. He could stay in the community and become part of the community where he’d been indentured, or he could move to another town and hang out his shingle. He now had a trade that he could offer to others.
    



For convicted felons, becoming an indentured servant was preferable to going to prison, and since the prisons in London and other European cities were overflowing, convicts were encouraged (and I use that term loosely) to accept the offer to become indentured servants in the new world. Many weren’t criminals by nature, but were forced to steal to simply stay alive. In more than one case, convicts turned their lives around and became upstanding and well-respected citizens in their new locations.


The Promise of Breeze HillAvailable Now

Connor O’Shea in The Promise of Breeze Hill was first forced to become an indentured servant after running afoul of a powerful woman and her father in Ireland. After serving his forced 7 year indenture in the colonies, Connor willingly indentures himself for an additional four years to bring his brothers over from Ireland, and is very specific and concerned that his contract reflects the terms that he’s set forth.

And, yes, he gets his freedom — and so much more — by book’s end.

CBA Bestselling author PAM HILLMAN was born and raised on a dairy farm in Mississippi and spent her teenage years perched on the seat of a tractor raking hay. In those days, her daddy couldn't afford two cab tractors with air conditioning and a radio, so Pam drove an Allis Chalmers 110. Even when her daddy asked her if she wanted to bale hay, she told him she didn't mind raking. Raking hay doesn't take much thought so Pam spent her time working on her tan and making up stories in her head. Now, that's the kind of life every girl should dream of. www.pamhillman.com


To celebrate the release of THE PROMISE OF BREEZE HILL,Tyndale
 is giving away this gorgeous Natchez, Mississippithemed gift basket.
CLICK TO ENTER!

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Making Linen

By Joan Hochstetler

When I think of drudgery, the task that springs to mind is turning flax into linen. Ugh. That has to be the next worst thing to mud wrestling with a hog, though admittedly cleaner and somewhat less smelly. I’ve never done it, mind you, but just the description of what you have to go through to end up with a piece of linen fabric—which then still has to be laboriously hand cut and sewed into a garment—makes me tired. Let’s take a look at what was involved so we can dispel from our minds any romantic ideas about life in previous centuries. I gleaned the following information from Alice Morse Earle’s Home Life in Colonial Days, an invaluable resource for those of us who write about historical times.

Flax Field
The first step, naturally, was to plant a field of flax, which the farmer usually did in May by broadcasting the seed across the plowed ground. Children and young women got to weed the stuff once it was about 3 or 4 inches high, working barefoot and facing the wind so if they accidentally stepped on any of the plants, the wind would hopefully push them upright again. In June or July, when the flax was ripe, the men and boys pulled out the plants by the roots and laid them out to dry for a couple of days, turning them several times.

Ripple
The next task was to “ripple” it in the field by rapidly drawing the stalks of flax through a coarse wooden or heavy iron wire comb with large teeth. This broke the seed boles off onto a sheet spread to catch them so the seed could be saved for the next crop or to sell. The stalks were tied at the seed end to form bundles called beats or bates, with the stalks spread to form a tent-shaped stack called a stook. Then the stooks were formed into squares called a steep-pool and piled into running water with each layer set at right angles to the one below. Boards and heavy stones were laid on top to keep the flax under water. This is called retting.

Flax Brakes
The bales were taken out after 4 or 5 days and the rotted leaves cleaned away. At this point the strong young men took over, breaking the flax on wooden flax brakes, which were about 5 feet long and constructed as you see in the illustration on the left. The flax was draped across the lower slats, and then the heavy top was dropped on it. If the brake’s top wasn’t heavy enough to do the job, it was hammered with a heavy wooden mallet. Flax was usually broken twice, the first time with an “open-tooth” brake, and then again with a “close” or “stait” brake. The next step was to scutch or swingle it with a swinging block and knife to remove small particles of bark that had survived the brake. A man could swingle 40 lbs. a day, but it was backbreaking work.

All of these steps had to be done in clear, sunny weather when the flax was dry as tinder. But the preparation still wasn’t done. Now the swingled flax was collected in bundles called strikes. These were swingled again, and the women spun and wove coarse fabric for bags from the refuse, called swingle-tree hurds. The cleaned strikes were sometimes beetled, that is, set into a wooden trough and pounded with a large pestle-shaped “beetle” until it was soft.

Now at last the flax was ready to be hackled or hetcheled. The fineness of the linen depended on how many hacklings the flax received, the fineness of the hackles (combs) used, and the skill of the hackler. The hackler dampened the flax and, holding the bunch at one end, drew it through the hackle teeth toward her. With one stroke the fibers had to be divided into fine filaments, the long threads laid in an untangled line, and the short fibers, or tow, separated and removed. The first hackle was called a ruffler, and the flax was then pulled through as many as 6 more hackles, each finer than the last. Finally the fibers were sorted by fineness, called spreading and drawing.

Hackling Flax
All of this was dusty, dirty work and had to be done during the dog days of summer at a time when air conditioning meant opening the windows and hoping for a breeze. The amount of good fiber left from the large amount of raw material you started with didn’t look like much, but a surprising quantity of linen thread could be made from it.

The fibers were now finally ready for the small spinning wheel. They were wrapped around the spindle and the spinner used the foot treadle to spin the fibers into a long, even thread. A small bone, wood, or earthenware cup or a gourd shell filled with water hung on the wheel so the spinner could moisten her fingers as she held the twisting flax while it wound onto the bobbins. When all of these were filled, the thread was wound off in knots and skeins on a reel. There were usually forty strands in a knot, and a clock reel counted the number of strands, clacking when it was full. Twenty knots made a skein or slipping. Two skeins of linen thread was a good day’s work, with a spinster being paid 8 cents a day and her keep.

Treadle Spinning Wheel
Naturally, if you wanted fine linen the skeins had to be bleached to get them as white as possible. They were submerged in warm water for 4 days, with the water being frequently changed, then rinsed until the water ran clear. After that they had to be repeatedly “bucked” or bleached using ashes and hot water in a bucking tub; laid in clear water for a week; and subjected to a grand seething, rinsing, beating, washing, and drying. Buttermilk and slaked lime were also sometimes used for bleaching, and the woven fabric was also often placed outside on the grass in the sunshine for further whitening.

All this was just to get to the point where the thread could finally be woven into fabric on a loom. Whew! Hemp was also grown and processed in much the same way. Wool was not quite as labor intensive, but still needed a lot of processing. Obviously keeping one’s family clothed, sheets on the beds, and linens on the table was an ordeal, to say the least. Whenever you get a hankering for the good old days, keep this firmly in mind!

Earle quotes one of her sources, who wrote: “Few have ever seen a woman hatchel flax or card tow, or heard the buzzing of the foot-wheel, or seen bunches of flaxen yarn hanging in the kitchen, or linen cloth whitening on the grass. The flax-dresser with the shives, fibres, and dirt of flax covering his garments, and his face begrimed with flax-dirt has disappeared; the noise of his brake and swingling knife has ended, and the boys no longer make bonfires of his swingling tow. The sound of the spinning-wheel, the song of the spinster, and the snapping of the clock-reel all have ceased; the warping bars and quill wheel are gone, and the thwack of the loom is heard only in the factory. The spinning woman of King Lemuel cannot be found.”

All I have to say to that is praise God!!

I’ve watched spinsters and weavers at reenactments and marveled at their skill. Since we can just go to the store to clothe ourselves and our families, it can be enjoyable to try our hand at some of these crafts to get a feel for life in previous centuries. Have you ever done any spinning or used a loom, or are you an expert? Have you ever wanted to learn how to do these crafts or others from the “olden days”? Please leave a comment and share your experiences and thoughts with us!
~~~
The daughter of Mennonite farmers, J. M. Hochstetler is an author, editor, publisher, and a lifelong student of history. Northkill, Book 1 of the Northkill Amish Series, won Foreword Magazine’s 2014 Indie Book of the Year Bronze Award for historical fiction. Book 2, The Return, released in April. Her American Patriot Series is the only comprehensive historical fiction series on the American Revolution. One Holy Night, a contemporary retelling of the Christmas story, was the Christian Small Publishers 2009 Book of the Year.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Women in Early Aviation

Gabrielle Here:

I recently completed a story set in 1917, as America enters WWI. At this time in history, flight was a fairly new phenomenon.

My heroine is captivated by airplanes. In central Minnesota, where she lives, she has only seen one airplane in her life. When a Curtiss JN-3 (bi-plane) flies overhead and lands in a nearby field, she will do whatever it takes to get a ride in the air...and eventually she convinces the handsome pilot to teach her how to fly.

1916 Curtiss JN-3 Bi-Plane
In my research, I've discovered some amazing women who pioneered aviation. I thought I'd share just two of these women, but I'm including a fun link to the Smithsonian's Air and Space Museum, where you can learn more.

NASM-81-3423
National Air and Space Museum Archives, Smithsonian Institution
The Baroness Raymonde de le Roche was the first woman in the world to receive her pilot's license. She learned to fly a plane in 1909, just three years after the plane was invented! She lived in France and won a competition for a 4 hour non-stop flight, as well as set a record for altitude in 1919. Sadly, the same year, she was attempting to be the first female test pilot for a new type of aircraft and crashed to her death. There is now a statue of her at the airport in Le Bourget, France (which I visited in 2010).

NASM-2002-23705
National Air and Space Museum Archives, Smithsonian Institution
Harriet Quimby was the first woman in the United States to receive her pilot's license, in 1911. Harriet went on to be the first woman to fly across the English Channel. Her advisor wasn't sure a woman could accomplish the task, so volunteered to dress like her and complete the feat in her name--but she refused him. In 1912, Harriet was flying in the Harvard-Boston Aviation Meet and was tossed from her plane, to her death. Ironically, the plane glided to a perfect landing.

Sadly, both of these early aviators died pursuing their passion, but many more lived to tell amazing tales about their flying days. I encourage you to stop by the Air and Space site to discover more. You can find that link here.

Your Turn: Would you be brave enough to fly an airplane only three years after it was invented? 

Gabrielle Meyer
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Sunday, August 13, 2017

Extreme Weather in History

By Miralee Ferrell

Can you tell we're undergoing high temps in our neck of the woods? For those of you who live in Arizona, Texas, and other 'hot' states, it's not a big deal for you. But for those of us living in the Pacific N.W., the past 6 days have been rough--with another 7 coming before it breaks. It's not unusual for us to have 3 or 4 days in August reaching the 90s and even breaking 100, but we've had 6 days now breaking 100 and 6 more coming. To put it mildly, it's been brutal trying to keep my poor chickens cooled off and their house from overheating to where I start losing my feathered friends. 

So, what is normal and what is strange, based on historical records? We had a heave snow load over this past winter that reminded me of winters we always had when we were raising our kids, over 20 years ago, but the past 15 or so have been very mild. 




First, let's take a look at Death Valley, which lives up to its name and helps put my woes into perspective. The average temp this past July broke all historical records--119 degrees during the day on average, with one day hitting 127. I think you could cook food on the rocks in that weather! However, the world record for heat in one day was in Death Valley, June 10, 1913 when it reached 134 degrees. Yikes! Sunburn anyone?

On the other end of the spectrum, we have the lowest temp ever recorded in history on July 21, 1983, in Vostok, Antarctica it was minus 128.5 degrees. And that was in July!!! How would you like to live here? I think I'll take my 4' of snow we had last winter.

Greatest rainfall in one minute, Unionville
This record is owned by Unionville, Maryland, where on July 4, 1956, 1.22 inches (31.2 millimeters) of rain fell in one minute.
To give you an idea -- in sub-tropical Hong Kong, the most severe black rainstorm signal will be hoisted if the rainfall exceeds 70 millimeters (2.75 inches) in an hour.

Greatest rainfall in 24 hours
The biggest rainfall in a day occurred with the passage of Cyclone Denise in Foc-Foc, La RĂ©union, an island in the southern Indian Ocean. Some 1.825 meters (71.8 inches) of rain fell over 24 hours, from January 7 to 8, 1966.

Heaviest hailstone, Bangladesh
The heaviest hailstone was discovered during a hailstorm in Gopalganj, Bangladesh on April 14, 1986. The storm killed 92 people and included one hailstone that weighed 1.02 kilos (2.25 pounds).

The largest officially recognized hailstone on record to have been ‘captured’ in the U.S.
Near Vivian, South Dakota last summer (2010) on July 23rd. It measured 8.0” in diameter, 18 ½” in circumference, and weighed in at 1.9375 pounds. Mr. Lee Scott, who collected, the monster stone originally planned to make daiquiris out of the hailstone but fortunately thought better and placed it in a freezer before turning it over to the National Weather Service for certification.
https://www.wunderground.com/blog/weatherhistorian/worlds-largest-hailstones.html

Inhabited place with the lowest temperature
The coldest permanently inhabited place is the Siberian village of Oymyakon, Russia. The temperature once dropped to -68 C (-90.4 F) in 1933 -- the coldest temperature recorded outside Antarctica. The ground there is permanently frozen (continuous permafrost).
https://www.britannica.com/place/Arica-Chile 

And last, the Longest recorded dry period, Arica
The longest dry period in history was measured in years. There was not a single raindrop in Arica, Chile, for more than 14 years, from October 1903 to January 1918 -- a total of 173 months. This area was also hit by another tragedy well over 100 years ago, when a massive earthquake hit the town in 1868, leaving it in ruins. The earthquake of August 13, 1868 struck near the city with an estimated magnitude of 8.0 to 9.0, killing an estimated 25,000 to 70,000 people.[5] It triggered a tsunami, measurable across the Pacific in Hawaii, Japan and New Zealand. As Arica lies very close to the subduction zone known as the Peru–Chile Trench where the Nazca Plate dives beneath the South American Plate, the city is subject to megathrust earthquakes.

Miralee Ferrell is a best-selling, award-winning author of both western/historical romance and middle-grade horse novels. You can find out more about Miralee at www.miraleeferrell.com

Her upcoming book, Runaway Romance, releases the first of October, and will be followed within a month after by the movie version airing on the UP Channel. 

Saturday, August 12, 2017

A Belle of the Wild West

A footnote from history by Stephanie Grace Whitson

"Where did you get that idea?" is a question often
asked of historical fiction authors. Personally, I'm always looking for little-known stories about interesting women. 

Nan Aspinwall of Liberty, Nebraska, captured my imagination the moment I "met" her. I was working on a non-fiction project at the Nebraska State Archives in Lincoln when a researcher smiled and said, "You'd probably be interested in a woman I'm helping another author research. He's doing a magazine article on long distance rides and called asking for more information on Nan Aspinwall." She told me a little about Nan--beginning with the endurance ride that earned her headlines across the nation. Aspinwall rode from San Francisco to New York City in 180 days, "averaging 25 miles per day and did not change horses ..." Once she reached New York, Nan finished the stunt by riding her horse (in a freight elevator) to the top of a twelve-story building.

I was intrigued.  "What kind of information do we have?"
The researcher smiled. "We have her scrapbooks." 

It was Friday, and I was immersed in the other project, but I returned the next week and by page 2 of the first scrapbook (the archive has six), I knew I would be proposing a story about the women of Buffalo Bill's Wild West--a story inspired by Nan Aspinwall.

Nan's career didn't intersect with the Wild West until 1908, when she performed with Buffalo Bill's Wild West and Pawnee Bill's Far East Groupe. I've wondered if she's featured on the poster at left. 

Prior to 1908, Nan was the "Montana Girl," billed as an "expert horsewoman, lariatist and sharpshooter," performing with her husband, Frank Gable. After the Wild West, Frank and Nan of "Gable's Novelty Show" traveled the west (and even performed in Honolulu) with an act that featured "Mrs. Gable shooting with rifle and revolvers and an exhibition of skill with bow and arrow. Frank gives a fine roping, spinning, and trick number. They carry a nice supply of Wild West and African big game films and present these in conjunction with their vaudeville numbers." Part of the shooting exhibition included Nan breaking poker chips held in a closely fitting frame on her husband's head.

Photos like this one inspired Liberty Belle,
the main character in Belle of the Wild West
The Gables toured together until Frank's death in 1929. Two years after Frank's death, Nan donated their shooting gallery equipment to the San Juan Basin Rifle and Pistol Club. She remarried and was living in California when she passed away in 1964. I was twelve years old when Nan Aspinwall died ... wow. The Wild West wasn't all that long ago!

One reporter, speaking of Two Gun Nan wrote, "In her the spirit of the West still lives."

How about you? Would you have been the young girl dreaming of performing in Buffalo Bill's Wild West? What you have wanted to do ... trick riding, roping, or shooting?

Here's the result of my discovering Nan Aspinwall:
Previously published as
Unbridled Dreams

The only child of wealthy parents, Irmagard Friedrich is determined to become famous as Liberty Belle, trick rider for the Wild West. Irma's fiercely controlling mother is just as determined to stop her. But then Irma's doting father arranges for an audition with his old friend, William F. Cody.

As Liberty Belle, Irma enters the magical world of the Wild West. Friendship awaits -- and so does Shep Sterling, the handsome King of the Cowboys.

Just when Belle has everything she wants, family secrets are exposed, rattling the very foundations of her life and threatening her future.

What will Liberty Belle--and others--be forced to sacrifice so that she can live her dream?




The ebook is $2.99 here: https://www.amazon.com/Belle-Wild-Stephanie-Grace-Whitson-ebook/dp/B073ZLRFL4


Friday, August 11, 2017

Legendary Trail Boss

Charles Goodnight: A Texas Trail Blazer
by Martha Rogers

Continuing the story of Charles Goodnight and his contributions to the history of trail drives in Texas takes us to 1878 when he took the first herd of cattle from
his partnership with John Adair north to Dodge City, Kansas because it was the nearest railhead.

They blazed the trail for the Palo Duro-Kansas trail that quickly became the path for a number of Panhandle ranchers in the coming years. Goodnight, using his knowledge of Indians and their needs, made a treaty with Quanah Parker. The destitute Indians were hunting for the now scarce buffalo and met up with Goodnight.
Goodnight promised two beeves every other day as long as Parker and his followers didn’t disturb the JA herd. This led to more successful trail drives to Kansas for the JA herd.

Goodnight decided he wanted to be closer to the railroad. He moved the ranch headquarters to Turkey Creek which was further east. There he built a new ranch home for himself and later one for the Adair family.

Then came the bands of cattle rustlers and in 1880, the ranchers were losing cattle and money. Goodnight warned the Texas Rangers by telling them if they couldn’t handle the problem that he would. From that grew the Panhandle Stockman’s Association in Mobeetie, Texas. These ranchers began taking care of the problem themselves and applied vigilante justice to the rustlers.

Goodnight foresaw the end of the open range and ended his association with John Adair and JA ranch. In 1889, he bought his own ranch and a small village that would later become Goodnight, Texas. Goodnight is reputed to be the first rancher in the Panhandle to use barbed wire to fence off his land.

Not satisfied with being just a rancher, Goodnight also became involved in other endeavors. He established the Goodnight College in Armstrong County, Texas. He also worked as a newspaperman and a banker. He invested in a number of different businesses and endeavors, one of which finally brought him to financial ruin with an investment in Mexican silver mine.

This statute Goodnight stands in the town as a reminder of the man who forged the cattle trails of Texas

In 1919 he sold the ranch to one W.J. McAlister, a friend and oilman. His only stipulation with McAlister was that Goodnight and his wife could live in the home until their deaths. She died in 1926 and he decided to move out and settle in Clarendon, Texas. He died there in December of 1929.

The JA ranch continues to operate today as active ranch and is located within Palo Duro Canyon in Amarillo, Texas. The original buildings, built in 1879 are still standing. The ranch has since been modernized and expanded, but the stone Adair house still dominates the cluster of buildings n the property.

Goodnight’s original cabin is located in Palo Duro and was rebuilt by the Panhandle-Plains Historical society. 










                                                         Picture shared from https://goo.gl/YhqJve 




The frame house where Goodnight lived from 1889 to 1926 is also still standing in Goodnight, Texas. Until 2005, it served as a private residence. At that time it was purchased by Mr. and Mrs. Brent Caviness and Mrs. Marsh Pitman. They donated the home and 30 acres of land for the Charles Goodnight Historical Center. This house, belonging to Charles and Mary, is one of the most important historic sites in Texas.  Below is how it looked in 1890.
                                                    

That house operates today as a museum and learning center. Charles Goodnight was a trailblazer for the cattle ranchers in the latter part of the 19th century and his legacy lives on through the museum center. If you’re ever in the Panhandle area of Texas, don’t miss visiting Palo Duro Canyon and the historical center in Goodnight, Texas.



The man and his legend live on.



Martha Rogers is a multi-published author and writes a weekly devotional for ACFW. Martha and her husband Rex live in Houston, Texas where they are active members of First Baptist Church. They are the parents of three sons and grandparents to eleven grandchildren and great-grandparents to four. Martha is a retired teacher with twenty-eight years teaching Home Economics and English at the secondary level and eight years at the college level supervising student teachers and teaching freshman English. She is the Director of the Texas Christian Writers Conference held in Houston in August each year, a member of ACFW, ACFW WOTS chapter in Houston, and a member of the writers’ group, Inspirational Writers Alive.

Find Martha at:  www.marthawrogers.com

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Minnesota State Public School for Dependent and Neglected Children - The Owatonna State School

Erica Vetsch here:

Every tenth of the month, I have been posting about various historic sites in the state of Minnesota run by the Minnesota Historical Society...but today, I'm going to take a little departure. I'll still be blogging about an historic site. It will still be set in the state of Minnesota. The difference is...this isn't a site run by the Minnesota Historical Society.

Today, I'd like to tell you about one of the hidden gems of southern Minnesota, the MN State Public School for Dependent and Neglected Children.



From 1886 to 1945, the state of Minnesota operated an orphanage in the town of Owatonna, MN. In the nearly sixty years the orphanage was in operation, more than 10,000 children called the place 'Home.' At the height of occupancy,  (In the Depression years of the 1930s) the institution averaged around five hundred children.

While many of the children were true orphans, many others were removed from abusive, neglectful situations. Every child who came to the school became a ward of the state of Minnesota, and parents had no rights once the child was removed from their care.



Upon arrival at the school, no matter what the child's age, they were placed in total isolation for three weeks. (After having their head shaved and being given a kerosene bath to kill whatever vermin might be making their abode on the child.) Once it was determined that the child had no communicable disease or mental instability that might prove harmful, they were placed into the nursery if they were under the age of four, or into one of the 'cottages.'

A cottage housed around thirty children at a time, all under the supervision of a house matron and two assistant matrons. It was luck of the draw whether you received a 'good' matron or a bad one. Siblings were separated according to age and gender, and they were allowed to see one another only on special occasions after that.

The orphanage, which was also a working farm for a good portion of the time it was open, boasted a school for children in 1-8th grade and a gymnasium with a swimming pool. Students from 9-12th grade attended Owatonna High School in town.

While the school tried to place children out for adoption as often as possible, most did not ever find a permanent home within a family. Older children were instead 'placed out,' which was a form of indenturing. In exchange for feeding, clothing, and housing a child (usually a teen-aged boy) and agreeing to send him to school for at least four months of the year, the host family received free labor.



More than 300 children died while wards of the state at the school, and 198 of those are buried at the school cemetery. In the early days, gravestones were placed to mark the name and pertinent dates of the child's life, but for whatever reason, beginning in the late 1920s or early 1930s, the school stopped placing headstones with the child's name and merely placed a concrete rectangle with the child's school ID number.



When the school closed, the cemetery fell into ruin, and it wasn't until the 1990s that the children who were buried in this cemetery received the dignity of having their names remembered. Crosses were placed, engraved with each child's name.

If you have the chance, I urge you to visit the museum. One man, Harvey Ronglien, who was a "State School Kid" for eleven years in the 30s and 40s, is often at the museum to give tours and answer questions, but "State School" kids are passing from this life, and soon no one living will remember...

"To the children who rest here - May the love you lacked in life
now be your reward in Heaven. You are remembered." Harvey Ronglien


There are several books written by "State School Kids" (This is what they proudly call themselves.) Two of the best I've read are "The Boy From C-11" by Harvey Ronglien, and "While the Locust Slept" by Peter Razor.

You can learn more about the Owatonna Orphanage at www.orphanagemuseum.com



In other news: My latest release is "Win, Place, or Show" in the Of Rags and Riches Novella Collection. You can find out more about Gard and Beryl's romance, and all the horses that help along the story HERE. 














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