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State Agent's Report

St. Paul, Minnesota
November 2, 1905

To the Superintndent 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, formerly living with Charles Mullan, in Ramsey county, whom I have this day visited. Recommendations and remarks:

I called today to see if Mrs. Mullan would take another girl. She tearfully told me why they had sent Mary back. Mrs. Mullan was at the station with the girl, intending to bring her to the school and tell you why they could not keep her, when she was sent for from his office.

Mary slept on the third floor, the children of the home on the second. A few days before they returned her their seven-years-old boy was very sick & on calling a physician, he told them that the child had been physically abused by someone, possibly by himself. They were unable to get anything in the way of a confession, till his father told him that he could not live unless he would tell them, as they could not tell how to treat him till they knew. He then told them that Mary came down to his room every evening while Mr. & Mrs. Mullan were still down stairs (They put all the children to bed very early). They have operated upon him, but his condition is still serious & the doctor comes daily.

The day before Mary returned she came in hastily & asked Mrs. Mullan if she might go into a yard almost next door to talk a minute with some girls who were calling for her to come over. Mrs. M. stepped out to see just who the girls were, but no one was in sight. She made a hasty investigation & found that five large boys were in the vacant old house near by and had gained Mary's consent to come to them.

I recommend that she be carefully placed with watchful people. She was given no opportunity to be in bad company while in the Mullan home, but the will was not lacking.

Hannah Swindlehurst

Letter, 1905-11-02

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

Owner/SourceMinnesota Historical Society
Date2 Nov 1905
AlbumsMary Ellen Clark

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