Winfield State Hospital
JANUARY 20, 1881.
A STATE INSTITUTION. In his message to the legislature, the Governor states that there are, according to the census returns, 134 feeble minded or idiotic persons in the State, of whom 66 are under 21 years old; that thus far the State has made no provision for this class of unfortunates; that a school for such is no longer an experiment, but that in other States thousands of such have been brought from this almost hopeless state to a condition that enables them to care for themselves; that they cannot be educated except in an institution especially fitted for the purpose; and that it is the duty of the State to provide such an institution. Seizing upon this recommendation, Senator Hackney has prepared a bill to organize and establish such an institution at Winfield, which provides 1st, that $50,000 be appropriated for the purpose; 2nd, that it shall be located on a healthy site within two miles of the Winfield courthouse, the site to embrace at least twenty acres, with a clear title without expense to the State; 3rd, five commissioners to select the site; and 4th, cause to be prepared full plans and specifications for the building, which shall be three stories high and have capacity to accommodate two hundred persons; 5th, Cowley stone to be used in the construction.
[REPORT FROM "CARL" ON TOPEKA LEGISLATION.]
JANUARY 27, 1881.
Among the bills of interest are House Bill 174, which provides for a geological survey of the State; 179, for protection against prairie fires, and providing a fire tax which can be worked out; 181, by Joel, Moody providing for the erection of an asylum for feeble minded children, and to be located at Lawrence. As you know, Mr. Lemmon has introduced a similar bill, the institution to be located at Winfield. It is No. 118. This is, of course, the bill that ought to pass, but as to whether it will pass, I couldn't venture an opinion. The governor has recommended such an institution, and some papers have made favorable mention of it.
There is one bill reducing the salary of county clerks. That's the worst one on the calendar. Bill No. 130 provides for a bounty of $1.00 on every rattlesnake killed. I think that is a good bill, and if it passes, I will buy a good snake farm and stock it. There are four bills providing for the taxation of dogs as a protection to sheep. Mr. Lemmon has introduced a bill in relation to county superintendents, but I have not learned its import. The two subjects important above all others for consideration this session are temperance and railroads.
MUCH MORE! I SKIPPED!
From the report of the legislative proceedings in the Topeka Commonwealth, we note that Senator Hackney, in the senate, and Representative Lemmon, in the house, have each introduced a bill for the establishment of an institution for the feeble minded and idiots; said institution to be located within two miles of Winfield, in Cowley county. We are not accurately informed as to the strength of the greenback vote in Cowley, but we believe it will be cheerfully conceded that a large measure of expense in the way of car fare would be obviated by locating the proposed asylum in a community which is strongly tinctured by the soft-money fallacy. Emporia News.
Joe Conklin went to Topeka Friday. He is interested in Hackney's idiot bill. His presence will be a powerful argument in favor of its passage.
[REPORT FROM "CARL" ON STATE LEGISLATIVE MATTERS.]
FEBRUARY 3, 1881.
TOPEKA, KANSAS, January 30, 1881.
The Senate committee on ways and means reported the Winfield Feeble Minded Asylum bill for passage, with some amendments.
["FEEBLE MINDED CHILDREN BILL" - HACKNEY.]
FEBRUARY 24, 1881.
The "Feeble minded children bill" which has passed the senate provides that the institution shall be started in the old college building at Lawrence and appropriates $16,000 to run it there for two years, but permanently locates the institution at Winfield to which place it shall be removed when our citizens shall have made the state a clear title to twenty five acres of land within two miles of the Winfield courthouse, and when suitable buildings shall be erected by the state. The bill as passed the senate does not make an appropriation for the buildings but should it pass the house, it is hoped that such appropriation may be made in the general appropriation bill. It was with difficulty it passed the Senate without being loaded down with the appropriation and it is thought that it will be much more difficult to pass the house.
[ARTICLE ABOUT HACKNEY...ASYLUM FOR FEEBLE MINDED CHILDREN.]
MARCH 3, 1881.
Commonwealth: The effort made by Senator Hackney and Representatives Lemmon and Mitchell, to secure the location of the Asylum for Feeble Minded Children at Winfield, yesterday afternoon, was one of the most earnest and determined that has been made during the session. Senator Hackney left the Senate Chamber to assist the delegates from his county, and if hard work will locate it, Winfield will get it. The bill would have been defeated had it not been recommitted to the Committee of the Whole.
Arkansas City Republican, August 15, 1885.
The contract for the construction of the asylum for imbecile and idiotic youths near this city was let last Thursday to John Q. Ashton of Arkansas City and J. E. Conklin of Winfield, the latter furnishing all the stone and brick. The entire amount of the appropriation, $25,000, will be exhausted in the work, and of course, our people will be active participants in the exhausting process. Winfield Telegram.