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REPORT OF THE TRUSTEES.
IOWA INSTITUTION FOR THE DEAF AND DUMB.
Iowa City, December 4, 1869.
To His EXCELLENCY, SAMUEL MERRILL, GOVERNOR OF IOWA:
The Trustees of the Institution for the Education of the Deaf and Dumb of the State of Iowa, at the close of another biennial period, would submit to your Excellency, as the law requires, their report upon this most interesting public charity that has been under their charge.
We can say, in general, that the institution has been highly prospered. A remarkable degree of health attests the faithfulness of those in charge. The over-crowded state of the building renders sanitary regulations difficult, and demands extra care, which has evidently been given. The officers and teachers are laborious and devoted to their work, and only need proper facilities to attain the best results of which the unfortunate class under their charge are capable.
The appropriation made at the last session of the Legislature for repairs on the building was expended to the best possible advantage, and the building was thereby rendered comfortable:
The appropriation for current expenses has been ample. On the first of November there was in the treasury $4,818.76. This was subject to salaries for the current quarter, ending January 1st, $987.50, and current expenses for November and December (including rents due December 1st), estimated at $2,250; in all $3,237.50, leaving an estimated balance, January 1st of $1,581.26.
So long as the Institution remains at this place, the present rate of appropriation is abundant; but we would ask the special attention of the General Assembly to its prospective needs, on its removal to
Council Cluffs. The matter of the building and its furnishing is committed to other hands. We would only urge in their behalf that they be afforded sufficient means to make it comfortable at first. This will be far better economy than partial work, which will render the building uncomfortable for a time, and require a larger sum in the end than for thorough work at first,
We would ask that ample means be furnished for the removal and for current expenses at the new location. It will cost much more to run the Institution there than here. The size of the building will make increased expense. Fuel will be a heavy item. It is better to give liberal provision, which in the hands of prudent men will be safe, rather than have the Institution suffer for lack of means.
We refer to the full and able report of the superintendent for particulars respecting the institution, and for suggestion of improvements in modes of educating this interesting class of persons. We trust his suggestions in reference to mechanical pursuits will receive full attention from the proper parties. When provided with suitable facilities, we expect to see the Deaf and Dumb Institution of Iowa take rank with the foremost in the land.
Respectfully submitted, By order of the Trustees,
N. H. BRAINERD, President. BENJ. TALBOT, Secretary.
REPORT OF THE SUPERINTENDENT.
To His ExcELLENCY, SAMUEL MERRILL, GOVERNOR OF Iowa.
In the discharge of my official duty, as Superintendent of the Iowa Institution for the Deaf and Dumb, I have the honor to submit to you, for transmission to the Legislature, the Eighth Biennial Report.
In so doing, it becomes me to testify, with sincere gratitude, that a kind and merciful Providence has blessed the work of the institution during the past two years with so much success; and that so little has occurred to mar the happiness, or hinder the progress, of those gathered here for instruction.
Fifteen years have just passed, since Mr. Ijams, (who had been a teacher in the Illinois institution), opened a school for the deaf-mutes in Iowa City, as a private enterprise ; in the hope that the next General Assembly would make it a State Institution. This hope was speedily realized, by the passage of “An Act to establish a State Institution for the Deaf and Dumb;" approved, January 24th, and made valid by publication, January 31st, 1855, The formal organization and opening of the Institution took place on the third of February, with twenty pupils, most or all of whom had belonged to the private school above mentioned.
From this promising beginning, the Institution has advanced to its present degree of prosperity ; retarded only by the lack of suitable buildings, and such other drawbacks as are necessarily found in a young State like Iowa. Two hundred and forty-five pupils have here found mental quickening, and moral and religious instruction; have laid up stores of wisdom, both earthly and heavenly; and have thus been fitted, in part at least, to meet the duties of life and the solemnities of eternity. To most of them the institution has been a pleasant and a profitable home; and they will ever cherish grateful recolections of the kind care and useful knowledge here received through the bounty of the State.
One hundred and twenty-five of these pupils entered the Institution under Mr. Ijams, and one hundred and twenty since his retirement. The present superintendent has had under his charge one hundred and eighty-three of the deaf and dumb children of Iowa.
Among these there has of course been great diversity in disposition and mental capacity, but we believe that even the dullest and worst disposed have received somne profit from their stay here; that those of average intellect have gained or are gaining a fair education; and that some bright minds have been here developed, which would have remained for all time shrouded in darkness, but for the efforts put forth under our guidance. This belief goes far towards rewarding the officers and teachers for all their care and toil and anxiety; and warrants still further and more liberal expenditure on the part of the State in behalt of this unfortunate portion of its youth.
Only two changes have been made in the corps of officers since the date of the last report-one among the teachers and one among the supervisory officers. Mrs. Askew, the assistant-matron, was constrained by ill health to resign her duties in November, 1868; and, after months of suffering, departed to a better world, June 21st, 1869. Her associates here can do no less than thus publicly express their high appreciation of her worth, and their hearty sympathy for her friends ; especially for her orphan danghter, then and now a pupil in this school. Mrs. Askew's place was happily filled, after proper inquiry, by the appointment of Mrs. Mary E. Vanderburg, of Marion, Linn county, who entered upon her duties in February of the present year.
To the vacancy in the corps of teachers, occasioned by Mrs. Turton's resignation, which took effect, October 1st, 1869, the trustees appointed Mr. John C. Hummer, of Johnson county, a young man of promise, who besides his seven year's stay in this Institution has spent two years in the National Deaf-mute College, at Washington, D. C.