Owatonna in Steele County, Minnesota — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
There Were Many...I Was But One
Each child has their own story to tell; I can only speak for myself. My memories are many of a vast, strange place that took me in from poverty's door, housed, clothed, fed, and educated me. During these years, I fully accepted the State Public School as a fulfilling home.
As an adult, I came to realize the institutional environment did not provide certain needs a child craves. Although the environment made us physically strong, it left many of us emotionally deficient. Emotional starvation is inseparable from institutional life. Due to its size, individual attention was minimal; consequently, the children suffered from lack of attention, appreciation, recognition, and love needed for a healthy childhood. For many, it left scars that would last a lifetime.
The school did provide me with many playmates,
In my opinion, the legacy of the State Public School for Dependent & Neglected children is that the environment generated in a large institution is not conducive to raising emotionally healthy children. Let the orphanage museum and this outside memorial forever serve as a reminder of that truth and as a remembrance for every child who passed through these doors and their struggle to overcome the scars left by this institution.
Yet, it was my home and it gave me an identity that set me apart. I'll always feel a real sense of pride in saying, "I was a State School kid!"
Ward of State 1932 - 1943
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Charity & Public Work • Education. A significant historical year for this entry is 1932.
Location. 44° 5.369′ N, 93° 14.285′ W. Marker is in Owatonna, Minnesota, in Steele County. Marker is on West Hills Circle, 0.1 miles west of State Avenue, on the right when traveling south. Located at the Minnesota State Public School Orphanage Museum and Owatonna City Hall. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 540 W Hills Cir, Owatonna MN 55060, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. State School Buildings and Grounds (here, next to this marker); State Public School for Dependent & Neglected Children 1886 - 1945 (here, next to this marker); Main Building (a few steps from this marker); Minnesota State Public School for Dependent and Neglected Children (within shouting distance of this marker); State Schoolers U.S. Military Memorial (within shouting distance of this marker); History of State School Rock Garden (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); History of the State School Root Cellar (about 700 feet away); History of the State Public School Children’s Cemetery (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Owatonna.
Credits. This page was last revised on April 30, 2022. It was originally submitted on April 30, 2022. This page has been viewed 89 times since then and 9 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on April 30, 2022.