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The prison mirror. [volume] (Stillwater, Minn.) 1887-1894, March 23, 1893, Image 3

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Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn86063465/1893-03-23/ed-1/seq-3/

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THURSDAY March 23. 1893,
EDWIN DUNN. President Eyota.
JAS. s. O’BRIEN Stillwater
¥. W. TEMPLE Blue Earth City
M. O. HALL Duluth
F. H. LEMON Deputy Warden
K. A. O BRIEN Clerk
B. J. MERRILL Physician,
MRS. H. A. WALKER Matron
J. H. ALBERT Protestant Chaplain
CHARLES CORCORAN Catholic Chaplain.
—Population, 323,
—Received, 9. No one discharged,
—Get your Easter eggs from Steward Benner.
—I,OOO biscuits are supplied to the men every
Sunday morning.
—Mr. and Mrs. C. A. Daigh were guests of
Engineer .Tones Sunday.
—For the six months, ending February 28, the
monthly average of prisoners in this prison was
—Col. Chambers, our prison agent, interviewed
several of the boys last Thursday regarding their
—Guard Forrester was summoned home by
telegraph Tuesday on account of the illness of
Mrs. Forrester.
—Mr. A. Heglen, who is making the excelsior
mattresses, says ttiat he is trying to deliver the
entire lot this week.
"—The months that have 31 days are called the
“ growler months ”by some of the boys. It does
sound kind of pat, don’t it?
—Mesdames Day, Peterson, Smith, and Sinclair
•f Fairmont visited The Mirror office on
Thursday as guests of Senator Day.
—J. Pluvius is the best street cleaner that we
have after all. So let him descend to wash away
the balance of the snow in our yard.
—Statement of population March 23: Working
tor Thresher Co., 152; working for state, 103; sick
and infirm, 8, Total population, 323.
—The numerous friends of Alderman John
Mutton congratulate him on his reappointment of
deputy inspector of boilers of this district.
—The Gazette says that the South Stillwater
brass band, a new organization, is spoken of as
furnishing excellent music. Keep them away.
—Guard Lester Bordwell’s daughter Celia has
keen seriously ill, and is still suffering' from what
Is supposed to be attacks of neuralgia of the
—Usher Kenyon is now wearing a black silk
skull-cap. Such a solemn head gear makes a
fellow almost say dowinns vobixcum or requicxcat
irn pace
—“There is one golden quality that man pos
sesses,’’ said an official to us referring to a keep
er; “he never speaks ill of any man.” Golden
quality indeed!
—All the activities of the prison were carried
•n as usual during the past week, and the genial
weather exercised a pleasing influence upon the
spirits of the prisoners.
—New Man: “ Will you please hand me a cup
•f coffee with milk and sugar?” And the night
guard in accents sweet answered with the old
•hestnut, “ I’ll see about it.”
—DeputySherifTH.lt. Armstrong of Duluth,
and Sheriffs Leon Houde of Morrison county
and J. C. Thom of Nobles county, were visitors
at the prison this week.
—George has been elevated to the position of
right bower in Storekeeper Stilkey’s department.
His beautiful form adorns “Sandy’s” old stool
with the dignity of a Donnelly.
—Deputy Lemon is still suffering from the ef
fects of his recent illness. He complains of
shooting pains on one side of his face which are
at times anything but pleasant.
—U. S. Marshal J. C. Donahower brought in
two prisoners from the U. S. Court for selling
liquor to Indians. They will enjoy our balmy
breezes for 1 year and a months each.
—The old friend of Thk Muikoh, Mr. 11. Jud
sonof St. Paul, accompanied by Hon. K. T. Sadley
and the Misses Sadley of Princeton, were escorted
through the prison by Warden Wolfer.
—Mr. Charles F. Kilgore, foreman of the pat
tern department of the Thresher company sent
in his resignation on the 14th. We understand
that Charlie has got a “yob” in Minneapolis.
—The latest telegraphic information received
from Guard Mclntire’s post reads: “ The assault
made by Mclntire on a particular rib of pork,
from a particular bean pot, is correct. He will
—Editors are noted for being invulnerable—at
least, so thought Foreman Jerry Sullivan when
he tried to explain to us the number of revolutions
that his pet grindstone was at the moment mak
ing. A crowbar stood near by—ten thousand
suppressed but the editor walked out
unscathed from the fiery furnace.
—Mr. F. E. Heiustreet in charge of the me
chanical engineering department of the Thresher
company, is also in charge of the pattern depart
ment vice Mr. Kilgore who tendered his resig
—Last Saturday the genial face of ex-Guard
John Noonan was seen around the prison. The
numerous friends of Mr. Noonan were delighted
to see him again. He was the guest of Ass’t
Deputy Glennon.
—“ Wayne ” is an inveterate chess player. The
pawns, kings, queens, bishops, etc.. In* has manu
factured out of paper. His opponent is himself;
and next week he expects to take part in a soli
tary grand tournament.
—The guards were paid off this month on St.
Patrick’s day. That shows the confidence that
is placed in our guards. A true Hibernian deco
rated the pay day notiee with a generous supply
of green ribbon. ’Rah for the G. O. M!
—One of the boys who was telling a very won
derful story to a friend, said: “Why, my dear
fellow, I never would have believed it if 1 hadn't
seen it myself.” “Ah! just so,” replied the
friend. “ but you mnst recollect I did not see it.”
—We never tire of looking at the great fly
wheel in the engine room. Eng. .Tones informs
us that the wheel is 20 feet in diameter and
weighs 15 tons, and that its revolutions in ten
hours is equivalent to its traveling a distance of
407 miles per day.
—The two Horatios at the gate have been kept
busy chopping the ice around their vicinity,
building canals, dams and roadways to protect
themselves from any sudden floods. We notice,
however, that Guard Crandall is the fellow that’s
doing all the chopping.
—Prisoners received. — St. LrjuisCo. l for Rape,
15 years; 2 Robbery 3d degree, l year 3 months
and 1 year and 8 months. No hies Co. l Grand
Larceny 2d degree, 2 years 3 months; 2 for As
sault 2d degree, 2 years each. Morrison Co. i
Manslaughter Ist degiee, 7 years.
—Our old friend “ Sandy ” is now a member of
The Mirror stair. He is bashful; and he would
not say a word in his own behalf even were he
the only inhabitant of the earth. But his friends
are not built that way, and will insist on saying
that he is a true friend of the “boys.”
—That young man by the name of Harvey is on
the hard side of his luck. His broken arm was
getting along nicely, but through his slipping
down the entire length of the outside steps of the
twine factory it lias again been placed in a sling.
We can only imagine what the pain must have
—Frank, the greatest hustler in the universe
and the greatest worker in this prison, took
charge of building the bonfires that consumed
the old straw 7 that w T as used in time past for our
beds. The satisfaction that Frank took in the
work was a positive answer to what he thought
of the entire allair.
—Just think of anyone getting ahead of a
watchmaker! But according to Guard Stilkey’s
statement that’s what. He has had four main
springs thus far placed in his watch, and his
friend the watchmaker says that he is running
behind on his bank account through the extraor
dinary behavior of Mr. Stilkey’s watch.
—The prison’s contrubution to the World’s
Fair is now ready for shipment, and the articles
are packed in a beautiful glass case built under
the supervision of and painted by Deputy Lemon.
On the front of the case the words Products
or the State Prison. Stii.lwatkk Minn.,
are painted. The contents are samples of hemp,
—when ready for spinning and when ready for
drawing—and the twine manufactured from the
same. A tub and a pail, three dolls dressed in the
three different suits representing the grades,
together with samples of the cloth, completes the
case. Sample copies of The Mirror were sent.
Teaching at the Concord Reformatory.
Why did not John Howard put education down
on his programme for “ the amelioration of the
condition of prisoners?” Probably he never
dreamt of such a thing ever forming a part of the
purpose of a prison.
Had he prophesied the reformatories of today,
says the Boston Globe, with their schools anil
libraries and a multiplicity of other advantages
for the mental and manual training of their in
mates, it is likely he would have come near to
receiving a term in one of the terrible insane asy
lums of his time. Today education is ,the reform
atory creed, and the prison school is gradually
forcing its way even into purely penal institu
No more fallow field can be found for the study
of criminal characters than the prison school.
In the Massachusetts reformatory, where an
evening school has been conducted ever since
the inception of the institution, eight years ago,
the pupils, who range in age from 15 to 35, present
a complex condition of mental development.
While one end of the institution’s population,
about 50 in number, are purely illiterate, the other
end, comprising not more than a dozen men, have
been academically trained previous to commit
ment. Connecting these extremes is a bulk of
over 700 inmates, who betray peculiar educational
A former teacher in this school referring to the
difficulties which the instructor is forced to over
come in guiding the minds of this latter class,
told the writer of the peculiar case of a pupil who
was one night assigned to his class. The young
man could read easily enough, but he had never
learned to write.
The uniqueness of his case grew intense, when
one night the teacher discovered him reading an
essay by Ernest ltenan, behind the raised cover
of his desk. In some way, known only to prison
ers, lie had secured the book, for Kenan is a pro
scribed author in the reformatory section of Con
This pupil of infidel tendencies knew no other
meaning of a sentence except the one the court
gave him. He was surprised when informed
that the earth is a globe and revolves around the
sun, and lie had only an instinctive knowledge of
Until they are made to feel the weight of au
thority the prisoners do not take kindly to the
school. They offer all sorts of reasons to be ex
empt from attendance. Defective eyesight is the
most common resort. Such excuses as “ I never
went to school before,” “I can’t remember any
thing I learn,” ‘‘l couldn’t learn when I was out
side.” are continually made in all faith.
One self-satisfied pupil once sent the following
communication to the school officer:
dear Sir i though i rite u thease fue lines too
teell u that i Would like too be in My room all the
time if you Will please take from choole i am
satffed Witli My hiring i think that i have a miff
i am perfetly Willing that My techer thinks i am
a lunk Head i am a ver sober Man i never sho My
luring i keap it all to Myself and sho now one My
Wits i come hear foer foitrgreay i was sent hear
foer too doo My time and i didn think that i am
compell too choole.
It is needless to say that this appeal was un
Some of the lazier pupils resort to all sorts of
subterfuges to escape the work of the school
room. even to inflicting self-injuries. A pupil,
who had a distaste for writing exercises, appear
ed in his class one night with liis right forefinger
in a bandage.
The teacher was suspicious of a trick, but on
investigation discovered that the pupil had re
ceived a painful wound on the end of the finger.
When three weeks went by, and the wound show
ed no sign of healing, the young man was locked
in a “punishment room,” and that week the
linger healed.
The life of a dunce ifi this prison school is far
from enviable. His classmates find in him a butt
for their contempt and ridicule. One such fellow
earned for himself the strange nickname of
•* Concord Junction” under very amusing circum
stances. The study of grammar was his bete
He could never remember tiie grammatical
term “ Conjunction,” arid the teacher, try as hard
as lie could, was for a long time unsuccessful in
fixing that word in the dull scholar’s memory.
Finally, the pedagogue iiad one of those happy
inspirations that come in such emergencies, and
the close proximity of the institution to Concord
Junction furnished it.
“ Now, Tom,” he said, “ you can always remem
ber the word conjunction by thinking of Concord
Toni's face beamed, for he felt that at last he
had caught the bothersome word, and the teach
er was likewise happy that his trouble in that
direction at least were ended.
Col. Tufts, the former superintendent of the
institution, had a habit of suddenly appearing in
the class rooms without previously giving notice
of his coming. One night, with some distinguish
ed visitors, he visited the pupils of the teacher in
The teacher having a natural weakness to show
off his class, at once changed the exercises, which
were going very badly, to those in which he
thought his pupils were letter perfect. He called
upon Tom to analyze the following sentence:
“ Washington is called the father of his country,
and was the first president of the United States.”
Tom got along very well until he came to the
word “and ” when he hesitated, Jlnd the perplex
ed look in his eyes sent a chill through his teach
er. He glanced at the floor, and then at the ceil
ing. and as his face brightened with a look of
intelligence, he burst out,
“And—and is a Concord Junction.”
Sometimes the ignorance displayed by these
men on most commonplace matters of knowledge
is appalling. After a recent examination, a
teacher in the school was amazed to find this re
markable statement.
“(Jueeu Victoria was the mother of George
Farther down on this same paper he was stiil
more astonished to read:
“ Waterloo was the last war in the Revolution.”
In the illiterate department of the school some
of the answers of the pupils would be amusing if
they were not pathetic for displayed ignorance.
One pupil, 25 years old, defined a circle as “a
wide line.” And another described an angle as
a “straight curve.”
Many of these men. however, display remark
able aptitude for study.. A case in point is that
of a young man who, three years ago, entered
the primary division of the school. He remained
in this division for seven weeks and was pro
moted to the intermediate grade.
At the end of two years, when he was discharg
ed from the reformatory, he gained 72 per cent,
from a paper which had been given to the gradu
ating class in a Concord grammar school.
Another pupil who some years ago graduated
from this prison school began his new life in a
Western State, where he now holds a responsible
municipal position in the town where he lives.
There are many disadvantages which this
prison school naturally labors under, which are
rapidly being overcome to the satisfaction of the
reformatory management.
Supt. Scott says that while it is not claimed
that education reforms criminals, it certainly
provides them with an effective help in their
future life.
He (piotes many instances of men who have
been turned to right living through the acquisi
tion of knowledge gained at the Massachusetts
Do You Know
That lettuce produces opium ?
That trees are felled by steam?
That a clock will run ten years?
That ventilated hoots are worn ?
That Uncle Sam has I (5,(XX),000 cows ?
That glass was our first manufact
That England uses 250,000 brick a
year ?
That there are aluminum tobacco
pipes ?
That in 1892 18,000 patents were
issued ?
That Massachusetts built our first
canals ?— Ex.
Bids SIOO for a Queer Cane.
In the seclusion of a Montana prison
cell a convict made a World's Fair cane
and sent it to Lyman .1. (Jage, with the
request to sell the walking stick at auc
tion and send him the proceeds to pay
the expenses of a trip to the fair. The
convict's term expires soon. Mr. (lage
delivered the cane to Secretary Ed
monds, who keeps it locked in the vaults
of the exposition. The cane is a remark
able piece of workmanship. The faces
of the entire board of directors, forty
five men. are carved on the stick. The
work is well done, the vignettes of Ferd
W. Peck, Hen Lutterworth and Milton
\V. Kirk being especially good.
“Let's help the poor fellow along,”
said Arthur Dixon yesterday. “He
must have worked months in making
the stick. “I’ll give sloofor it myself."
Xo other bids have been received.
Secretary Edmonds didn't know when
the auction would be held. Chicago
The public school system of the Unit
ed States is not equalled by that of any
nation. Xo system described in history
was ever superior to it. The public
schools of the United States, however,
may properly be criticised. They have
defects. There are defects which ought
to be remedied. Frank, fair, intelligent
criticism is always in order. The insti
tutions of a free people thrive in the
light. No man should be accused of
attacking the system of public schools
when he shows how they may be im
proved. He is a public benefactor who
shows how any application of the energy
of steam, electricity, or intellect, may
be improved upon. In mechanics im
provements are patented, liiches and
honor often come to those who can point
out defects in the working of machinery
and suggest the remedy. In equal honor
should be held every intelligent and
fair-minded man who can give the re
sult of his observation at home or
abroad, and can show how the best
things may be brought to bear upon the
education of our boys and girls. The
truth is we are just at the beginning in
matters of education. When we have
come to the best, the boys and girls of
America will be brought into the socie
ty and under the influence of the most
gifted and highly cultivated men and
women. The poorest will have the ad
vantage of the best; but that statement
implies the possibility of improvement
which will leave our present methods as
far behind as are the stage-coach and
the spinning-wheel. Christian Regis
Little Dick C got into trouble
with a school-fellow the other day,
and agreed with him to “have it out’’
before school next morning. That even
ing when Dick knelt by his mother's side
to say his prayers before going to bed, he
delivered himself as follows, after the
usual “Now 1 lay me:”
“ And. O God, please make xne strong
as lions an’ things, ’cause 1 got to lick
a boy in the morning—Amen!”—!?#.
A Philosopher rises to remark that
“no man ever yet has been convicted of a
crime committed with a cigar or a pipe
in his mouth.” The weed seems to lend
to thoughtful contemplation. If you
feel like getting mad light your pipe or
touch a match to your cigar, and its
soothing effect to the base of the brain
is at once perceived. Even the wildest
savage knows this fact. — St. Joseph
{Mo.) Gazette.
Herr Poliak, a Hungarian now living
in New York, can talk at the rate of
500 words a minute.
Why St. Patrick Is Revered.
The snakes he drove from Erin’s shore*
And banished them remote;
But—bless his name for evermore! —
He left the antidote.
—John Ludlow, in Puck.

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