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State Public School for Dependant and Neglected Children

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The State Public School for Dependant and Neglected Children opened in Sparta, Wisconsin in 1885. This institution operated for 89 years, impacting thousands of Wisconsinites. For adults in Monroe County, this school offered employment opportunities. For orphans and abused/neglected children across the state of Wisconsin, it provided room, board and education. Some of these children would eventually return home. Others would be adopted or put in what we'd now consider foster homes. Some stayed until they "aged out," and others spent their last days here.

While this institution provided children with adequate food and a safe place to stay, many of the "inmates" were not happy to be there. They missed home and the life they knew. Siblings were often separated from each other and had limited contact, causing further trauma. Children who were adopted often lost track of their families of origin.

My goal for this project is to memorialize the people who lived and worked here.

Resources

The Wisconsin Child Center / The State Public School for Dependant and Neglected Children

Rootsweb: State of Wisconsin School for Dependant Children

Find a Grave: Child Center Cemetery

11th Biennial Report of the State Public School for Dependant and Neglected Children, ending June 30 1908