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Minnesota Home School for Girls at Sauk Centre

The Sauk Centre Home School for Girls was established in 1907 as the State Industrial School for Girls, to provide for the care, training, and education of girls who had been declared delinquent and committed by the courts. The school was built on a site in Sauk Centre, Stearns County and opened in 1911 as the Minnesota Home School for Girls. Girls who had been inmates at the State Training School for Boys were transferred to the facility. The school facility then included an administration building, hospital, chapel, pumping plant, farm building, and cottages to house 160 girls.

All of the policies of the State Training School in Red Wing relating to inmate commitment, education, training, and general operations were applied to the Home School for Girls as well. Girls were committed when convicted by the court of a crime. Entering inmates ranged in age from eight to sixteen years, and remained at the school until they reached age twenty-one, or were discharged. Girls received common school education and instruction in sewing, cooking, laundering, general housework skills, and farming.

In 1951, a temporary residence for the care of severely retarded children (the Sauk Centre Home for Children) was established at the Home School for Girls. It occupied three cottages on the site, and salaries and maintenance costs were divided between the Home School for Girls and the Home for Children.

In 1959, the commission and the school became part of the newly created Corrections Department, under its Youth Conservation Division. In 1967, it changed its name to the Minnesota Home School and expanded its programs to include some delinquent boys. The school became the Minnesota Correctional Facility--Sauk Centre in 1979 serving as a reception, diagnostic, and treatment center for male and female juvenile offenders between the ages of twelve and eighteen years from the western region of the state.

From 1911 to 1960 the school’s superintendents were women.

The school was closed on July 1, 1999, with all residents being transferred to other facilities.

A History of the Minnesota Home School, 1911-1976, by Joan McDonald.
Sauk Centre, Minn.: Minnesota Home School Citizens Committee, 1976.
MNHS call number: HV9106.S462 M565

Records for the Minnesota Home School for Girls at Sauk Centre can be viewed in person at the library or ordered online from our Correctional Institution (Prison) Records Request

Inmate Records

To order prison records for an individual visit our State Correctional Institution Records Request

Discharged Resident Cards, 1911-1998
In two alphabetical sections: master index cards, [ca. 1911 - ca. 1998], and Youth Conservation Commission index cards, [ca. 1947]-1978. The master index cards (bulk 1930s-mid 1990s) may provide data on the following areas: name, OID number, birth date, date of nineteenth or twenty-first birthday, date received at the school, home county and town, religious affiliation, residence cottage as the school, offense, names and addresses of relatives, and discharge or parole date. Some cards may also contain social security numbers and IQ figures. The Youth Conservation Commission cards contain the same type of data.
MNHS call number: Digital Finding Aid

Case Files, 1903-1978
In two groups: 1903-1951, arranged alphabetically by inmate name; circa 1950-1978, by chronologically assigned file number. Basic files documenting the incarceration of individuals at the facility. The early files, 1903-1951, include those of inmates transferred from the State Training School for Boys when the Sauk Centre facility opened in 1911. The later files, circa 1950-1978, have large gaps and it is presumed that the missing numbers were for individuals incarcerated elsewhere within the correction system. They also contain files for male inmates beginning in 1967.
MNHS call numberDigital Finding Aid

Patient Registers and Indexes- Sauk Centre Home, 1910-1924
Part of the Minnesota Division of Public Institutions Series
Alphabetical index by inmate name, and statistical record that may include admission date, inmate's name and residence, relative, gender, age, and history. 
MNHS call numberDigital Finding Aid

Register of Maternity Patients, 1921-1926, 1930-1950.
Information recorded may include: mother’s name, address, admission date, age, race, birth place, religion, marital status, and number of children; father’s name, address, age, race, birth place, religion, marital status, occupation, and physical condition; child’s name, sex, legitimacy, birth date, physical condition, and destination; attending doctor and nurse signatures; and a history of the case.
MNHS call number: Digital Finding Aid

Note: These records include private information about individuals. Records containing information about illegitimate births are closed for 100 years from date of the birth.  Researchers must apply for permission to use these records.  Click here for more information on accessing restricted records. 

Birth Records, 1916-1986.
Several compilations of information on babies born to residents of the home school. Information recorded may include the following data: name of mother, date of birth or admission with mother, date left with mother, transferred to the Owatonna State School, or died. One card file (ca. 1919-1968) includes all infants born at St. Michael’s Hospital in Sauk Centre during that time period.
MNHS call number: Digital Finding Aid

Note: These records include private information about individuals. Records containing information about illegitimate births are closed for 100 years from date of the birth.  Researchers must apply for permission to use these records.  Click here for more information on accessing restricted records. 

Admission Registers, 1910-1970
1910-1937  and 1937-1970, each containing chronological listings of date, number, county, and name.
MNHS call number: 109.H.6.7B

Medical Record Cards, 1906-1911
Cards dating from the time period when girls were committed to a separate "department" at the Red Wing Training School. They were transferred to the home school upon its opening. The cards contain a personal description, brief summary of medical history, and results of initial and subsequent examinations and treatments. There is also a list of inmates, numbers 132-287, presumably the ones for which there are cards.
MNHS call number: Digital Finding Aid

Statistical Records, 1092-1915
One-page forms containing information on the history of each inmate and her record of conduct after commitment to the school. Forms dating prior to 1911 are from the time period when girls were committed to a separate "department" at the Red Wing Training School. They were transferred to the Sauk Centre school upon its opening.
MNHS call number: Digital Finding Aid

Inmate Records, 1937-1998
Records containing information on individual inmates, including Pioneer Cottage isolation reports (1937-1946); Youth Conservation Commission numerical admission record (1948-1966); runaway activity log (1965-1997); resident grievances (1981-1984) and discipline hearing appeals (1991-1998) files; weekly administrative duty officer reports on resident behavior and status of the cottages (1981-1984, 1992-1996); discipline and Sullivan Cottage (security/isolation) treatment program log book (1981-1998); time-out journal (1982-1993); and special incident reports. The latter, which cover 1965-1984 and 1993-1998, are detailed reports of daily occurrences and how the staff dealt with the situation. They cover everything from minor events such as a cut finger or sprained ankle to serious psychological, emotional or sexual behavioral problems.
MNHS call number: Digital Finding Aid

Note: These records include private information about individuals. Records with private information are closed for 75 years from date of last entry in the record. Researchers must apply for permission to use these records.  Click here for more information on accessing restricted records. 

Employee Records

Employee Record Cards, 1911-1998
Alphabetical series of cards recording employee name, birth date, employment date, transfer or retirement date, positions held, and salary data. Some cards also contain home addresses and social security numbers.
MNHS call number: 114.F.2.1B-1

Payrolls, 1911-1940
Divided by departments, including administrative, clerical, medical, supervisory, educational, engineering, and farm and garden, these generally record the following information: name, title, board, rate per month, days required, days employed, overtime, net earnings, signature, retirement, deductions, and remarks.
MNHS call number: Digital Finding Aid

Minnesota Department of Public Institutions Personnel Service Records- Sauk Centre Home School for Girls, 1934-1938.
Cards listing employee name, address, position, salary, brief statement of duties, data on previous state service, education, training, and personal and family information.
MNHS call number: See the finding aid in the library (Social Security Department: Public Institutions Division).

Note: These records include private information about individuals. Records with private information are closed for 75 years from date of last entry in the record. Researchers must apply for permission to use these records.  Click here for more information on accessing restricted records. 

Other Records

The Bulletin
Sauk Centre, Minn: Home School for Girls, 1965.
Nov. 12, 1965
MNHS call number: FOLIO HV9475.M62 S3849

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