Chillicothe Missouri State Industrial Home for Girls
State Training School for Girls
The State Industrial Home For Girls was approved by the Thirty-Fourth General Assembly of Missouri on March 30, 1887. Based on a cottage management plan and a domestic industry instruction program required by law, $50,000 was appropriated and the commissioners of the governor, attorney-general, and register of lands to secure a location. The Board of Trade of Chillicothe raised $5,000 for the commissioners' to build the Home in the city. On June 15, 1888, the cornerstone was laid for the first building, Marmaduke Cottage, named after Governor Marmaduke. Under the supervision of the Board of Control of five members working with the Governor, the institution opened on January 22, 1889, and began receiving the first convicted girls between the ages of 7 and 21. By 1893, about 33 inmates were sentenced to the Home. Some children were orphaned or abandoned when sent to the institution.
Three more cottages were erected on the grounds as known as Missouri Cottage in 1894, Slack in 1901, and Folk in 1905. They are brick structures made with plaster and wooden frames. Each contains similar living spaces: a living room, lodgings, a dining room for house managers, a girls’ dining room, and a cooking area on the first floor. On the second floor is another space for managers, a lavatory, and sleeping quarters. In 1895, the jointly connected two-story brick school building and the chapel were constructed. A boiler house was erected between 1901 and 1902. In 1905, a large two-story brick Administration building located across the street from the institution provided residency for the superintendent, assistant superintendent, and housekeeper. Other structures were built such as a barn on 155 acres of land for farming. A laundry building and a new two-story brick school that was known as Hyde High School was built in 1922.
By acting in accordance with the law, education and domestic housework training were provided for the girls to dissuade their immoral habits by promoting Christian, disciplined, and proper young girls instead of criminal punishment. Students were required to spend three hours of learning in the afternoon and one and one-half in the evening. Craft arts, gym activities, and elementary education are offered to those under the fourth grade. Grammar school consisted of fifth through eighth grade and a four-year high school course. The girls are taught basic training in home economics in washing and ironing laundry, cooking, baking, cleaning, and sewing and knitting various textiles. They also gathered produce and planted in the garden and dairy products from the farm. Cosmetology beauty training was instructed in the basement of the High School. Recreational activities consist of music programs, school auditorium events, motion films in theaters, chaperoned walks in the city, or leisure time at the cottages. On Sundays, Protestant and Catholic church services are held in the auditorium. There were no psychiatric or psychological examinations, however, the Industrial Home provided dental and medical services.
During the Great Depression, the State Industrial Home underwent a building program. In 1935, the Slack Cottage was removed and in its place, the two-story brick Stark Cottage building had a downstairs wing for a hospital and dental clinic with a dormitory for thirty was erected. The girls who formerly resided in the Slack Cottage were moved temporarily to the first school building. About 170 girls now occupy four cottages. In 1937, a food and supplies store was constructed. Between 1937 and 1938, the Park Cottage was built and the administration building was renovated. The name of the institution was changed to the State Training School for Girls in 1947. The next year, the Marmaduke Cottage had been sitting empty and unused until it was torn down for the Donnelly cottage on the site that will house 37 girls. It opened in 1950. In 1956, the Missouri Cottage was torn down. Under a bill made by Governor Forrest Smith actively on October 9, 1951, eighteen African-American girls with four staff members were transferred from the Tipton Training School for Negro Girls to the State Training School in Chillicothe. The girls were temporarily residing in the Stark Cottage until the construction of increasing the size of the Park Cottage was completed. In 1957, The Tipton Training School became inoperable and all of its former girls relocated to Park Cottage.
The three-story brick Folk Cottage which eventually served as a storage space was razed in 1964 to be replaced by a storage building. On June 30, 1981, it was the last day for the girls at the State Training School as it closed its doors. They are in the process of moving to their new location in Lee Summit. The next day, the first of July, the Missouri Department of Corrections acquires the site. Some of the staff of the school reassigned their employment to the Corrections and start working immediately. Remodeling begins in the Administration building as it is transforming into a residential care facility for juveniles in July. The rest of the Corrections staff will work in October and the first prisoners arrive in November. The Administration building yard sign, the original cornerstone from 1888, and other items belonging to the School were sent to the Grand River Historical Society Museum in Chillicothe. Between 2015 and 2016, all of the buildings on the site were demolished. It is currently still under construction for a future project.