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State Agent's Report

602 Dayton Ave., St. Paul, Minnesota
September 20, 1905

To the Superintendent of the State Public School,
Owatonna, Minnesota

Dear Sir:

The following is a statement of the facts, as far as they can be ascertained, regarding Mary Ellen Clark, aged 12 1/2 years, one of the wards of the State Public School, living with Charles Mullan, in Ramsey county, whom I have this day visited. Recommendations and remarks:

Before receiving Mrs. Lewis's phone message, I had visited Mary and discovered that there is dissatisfaction.

The real trouble is that their own three children, ranging in age from three to eight years, are little tyrants in the home. I noticed Mrs. Mullan's inability to control her children when I visited the home before Mary went there. Mary likes her home in every way except that she is unable to get along with the children whom she is, of course, expected to care for more or less.

I talked very frankly with Mrs. Mullan, who of course does not acknowledge that her children are faulty, tho she claimed that the boy of eight years is so very mischievous that they think of sending him to "The Brothers" (a Catholic boarding school). Once Mrs. M. left Mary with the children & this boy set fire in the house three times. Mary's efforts to control him brought a neighbour to the rescue each time. I told Mrs. M. that I would not be willing to have Mary left alone with all three children again - that I considered a boy of eight, with such wilful tendencies, far beyond the power of a girl of twelve years, etc. I advised that Mary be given more of the housework & less of the childcare to do.

Mary says Mr. Mullan can make the children mind but that they never mind his wife. This is a trouble which will hardly right itself but I do not think Mary should be blamed if she fails in this home.

She is willing to try again, & Mrs. M. will keep her for another trial. There were lesser complaints but nothing serious.

Mrs. M. is to start Mary to school next Monday. Said she did not start her because she did not expect to be able to keep her.

Mary attends church & S.S. (Catholic) regularly.

It is an excellent home, except for lack of control of the children.

Hannah Swindlehurst,

Letter, 1905-09-20

A report from Hannah Swindlehurst, State Agent, to Galen Merrill, Superintendent of the State Public School.

Owner/SourceMinnesota Historical Society
Date20 Sep 1905
AlbumsMary Ellen Clark

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