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BEDFORD-Supt. Cessna: The County Institute was a most interesting educational meeting. All but eleven of the 278 teachers were present. Every session was crowded with an interested and appreciative audience. The schools, in a general way, are doing well-as well as during any former year, if not better.

BUCKS-Supt. Slotter: Middletown built a school-house at Eden. Lower Wakefield furnished three rooms with new furniture, Solebury two, and Milford one.

CAMBRIA-Supt. Cramer: One great drawback to the progress of the schools in this county is the want of apparatus, which is especially felt in country districts where the tax is low. New furniture, however, is being added wherever found necessary. The percentage of attendance, except where sickness has been prevalent in the districts, has been excellent, and the efforts of the teachers in this direction are commendable. The district institutes, in most places, are well attended. The exercises consisted principally in methods of teaching.

CARBON-Supt. Snyder: Banks township has improved the school grounds of Jeanesville and Leviston, by enclosing each with a neat and substantial fence. This township has a wideawake school board, and the result is good schools, well furnished, and comfortable houses with large and well fenced grounds. The directors of Lansford have used excellent judgment and displayed much taste in changing their school building into one of ten rooms, by erecting a large bay window on the one side of the building. The rooms are well lighted, comfortably furnished, and are still large enough for all practical purposes. The building is heated by steam, and the people and directors are to be congratulated on having as comfortable and pleasant school rooms as any in the county, outside of Mauch Chunk. The County Institute was unusually successful. Every teacher was present, and the average attendance was 99%1⁄2 per cent. The plan of dividing the morning sessions into classes, and devoting the time strictly to practical school work, was highly appreciated by the teachers. The afternoon and evening sessions were largely attended by the citizens, more so than at any previous Institute, showing an increased interest in the Institute and the cause of education which it represents.

CENTRE-Supt. Wolf: The County Institute is considered a success, as regards attendance, interest, and enthusiasm. The Directors' Association held its second annual meeting, at which a number of practical topics were discussed and committees appointed to prepare work for the coming year, to report on county uniformity of

text-books, and to take measures to secure a proper grading of studies in all the schools.

CHESTER-Supt. Walton: A new brick schoolhouse has been built at Sadsburyville. It is nicely finished, and is supplied with good slateboard and noiseless, automatic furniture. Reading Circles have been organized in various parts of the county-giving evidence of a desire among teachers to become more familiar with the literature of their profession.

CLARION-Supt. McNutt: The County Institute was an interesting meeting, and much good work was done, the attendance being larger than heretofore.

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CLINTON-Supt. Brungard: Success seems to be attending the efforts of our teachers with few exceptions. The County Institute was well attended, and harmony and the best of good feeling characterized all its deliberations. The Teachers' Sociable, held at the Court House on Monday evening, brought together teachers and friends of education, and to it was owing in large measure the warm social feeling that prevailed throughout the sessions. With the co-operation of directors, teachers and friends of education, we expect to make encouraging progress in the elevation of our schools.

COLUMBIA-Supt. Grimes: W. J. Wolverton, ex-Superintendent of Northumberland county, has been elected principal of the Bloomsburg schools. I have found nearly all of the schoolhouses scrubbed and whitewashed-a marked improvement in this direction over former years.

CUMBERLAND-Supt. Beitzel: The session of our County Institute was highly successful, the attendance of citizens being the largest in our history. Of 247 teachers, only four failed to report. The instruction was very practical and gave general satisfaction. On Directors' Day there was a large attendance, and the convention was addressed by Dr. Higbee. The schoolhouses of Middlesex have all been remodeled and are now comfortable and attractive. The young trees at the Anderson school have been boxed to protect them from injury—a measure of precaution which is always wise in the case of young trees.

DELAWARE-Supt. Smith: The Directors of Rutledge, feeling that Ridley township does not furnish them with suitable school accommodations, have raised sufficient money by subscription to enable them to rent a room, employ a teacher, and furnish free text-books for the balance of the school year. All children within the borough limits will be permitted to attend free of charge. A teacher of several years' experience has been engaged and good results are expected.

ELK-Supt. Swift: Our County Institute was a decided success. Steps were taken and committees appointed to arrange for the holding of several district institutes. As a result of the Institute meetings, the teachers seem to be more enthusiastic and bent on doing better work. Much has been done in different parts of the county in the line of building and repairs. I am glad to say that educational matters have an air of progress about them throughout the county. FOREST-Supt. Kerr: Our Institute sessions

were very satisfactory. The attendance was the largest ever secured in Forest county. The new law, allowing pay to the teachers, had a good effect, and they showed their appreciation of it by being present the first day and staying till the close. Everything passed off pleasantly and we have a balance in the treasury with which to commence our next Institute. Most of the Directors in this county are lumbermen, and it is almost impossible to get them to attend the Institute or to visit the schools.

FRANKLIN-Supt. Slyder: Besides the new school-houses previously reported, two more were built; one in Washington township, and one in Antrim. My time is now principally employed in visiting the schools. I find the majority of the teachers alive to their duty. So far as I know, the schools of "old Franklin" are moving along very nicely. I am proud to say, the county has an energetic corps of teachers, and I trust they will, ere long, be more substantially rewarded in dollars and cents for the good work they are doing.

INDIANA-Supt. Cochran: Our County Institute this year was a success in every way. The attendance was better than at any previous meeting. Only ten teachers were not enrolled, and all but three of these were sick. The schools, so far as heard from, are doing good work. A large majority of our teachers expect to attend our Normal School during the coming summer. Several townships are holding the usual number of district institutes. These meetings do much to enlighten our people on educational questions.

JEFFERSON-Supt. Hughes: The instruction given, the interest manifested on the part of teachers and citizens, and the attendance at our County Institute, were the best we have ever had.

JUNIATA-Supt. Auman: Mifflintown has supplied three of its schools with ample slate surface. The County Institute was in every respect satisfactory. The attendance was the largest in our history, and the interest manifested by teachers and citizens has never been surpassed. The work done by the instructors was practical and to the point. We expect to see marked advancement in our schools as a result of this meeting.

LEHIGH-Supt. Knauss: During December we held three Local Institutes, viz., at Lynnport, Emaus, and Jordan Reformed Church. At the last named place we were favored with the presence of Dr. Higbee, who gave us very valuable aid. The meetings were well attended and successful. The school attendance is good.

MCKEAN-Supt: Eckles: A very marked improvement is noticeable in the interest of Directors as to the condition of their schools and school-houses. There is an evident desire on the part of a great many of them, to supply the places of the "school keepers" with school teachers.

MERCER-Supt. McCleery: Some needed repairs were made in the houses of Jefferson township. The attendance at the County Institute was the largest ever known in the history of the county. A two years' course of reading for teachers was arranged and adopted by the

Institute. As to the instructors, it is sufficient to say that they held the interest of the Institute till 4 P. M. on Friday.

MIFFLIN Supt. Myers: I have visited all the schools once, and some the second time. Where the grounds were suitable the teachers observed Arbor Day, and a number of trees have been planted. A number of districts have held local institutes--others to follow. In some places Directors do not take the requisite interest in providing out-buildings, etc.--a very important


MONROE-Supt. Paul: The attendance at our Annual Institute was very good; of the 130 teachers, only five were absent. Popular interest seems to be on the increase, as it is impossible to get a room large enough to hold the people. The instruction given was just such as we need most in this county. We hope that the seed sown during Institute week may bring forth good fruit, thirty, sixty, an hundred fold.

MONTOUR-Supt. Steinbach: Our Annual Institute was one of the most interesting in the history of the county, the average attendance of teachers also being the best we have yet had.

NORTHUMBERLAND-Supt. Bloom: Of our County Institute it may be said, that an unusual interest was manifested in the work done. The instruction was practical and highly appreciated by the majority of the teachers. The evening lectures were exceptionally good, and were attended by large and attentive audiences. The Directors and teachers of the county, and the people of Sunbury and vicinity, deserve much credit for their liberal patronage, as well as their presence at the Institute.

PERRY-Supt. Aumiller: I regret to say that the schools in the rural districts are not fairly represented (numerically) before the holidays. It is a difficult task to persuade our farmers that a boy's work at school is worth more than a boy's work in the corn field or on the threshingfloor. A district institute was held at Marysville. The attendance was not so large as it should have been, but the discussions were practical and interesting.

POTTER-Supt. Kies: Many of our teachers are doing good work, while a few are falling short of their mission. Our school-houses are generally good, substantial buildings, but the Directors have failed to supply them with essential apparatus. In my visitations I find but few schools which have access to an unabridged dictionary, and where such a book is found it is generally the property of the teacher. The semi-annual Teachers' Association met at Harrison Valley.

SNYDER--Supt. Herman: The Annual Institute was held with only two of our 116 teachers absent. An unusual degree of interest was manifested in the work of the meeting. A halfday was devoted to the discussion of our graded schools. Schedules of studies were arranged and adopted. I hope to see more system in our schools next year. Teachers are satisfied that more and better work can be done, even in the rural schools, by a well-defined system of work than without it. We lack in uniformity of matter and method, and vigorous efforts will be

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made to get school boards to adopt the schedules approved by the Institute. Spring township remodeled one of its buildings, and supplied two with the best of patent furniture. This township now has good houses and good furniture. West Beaver is contemplating the purchase of furniture for one of its houses. Henry C. Schaffer, for nine years a Director of Chapman township, died very suddenly at his home a short time ago.

SOMERSET Supt. Berkey: At the County Institute held in December, 251 teachers were present out of 261 employed. About thirty Di rectors were present on Directors' Day-the extremely cold weather preventing a general


SULLIVAN-Supt. Black: During the month Cherry township completed a new school-house, and placed new patent furniture in several other houses. We held a successful local institute at Dushore.

TIOGA-Supt. Cass: Having examined about half of my schools since the meeting of the County Institute, I am pleased to say that the work done in the Institute has found its way into many of our schools, and its power is being felt throughout the county. I also wish to report the fact that more patent furniture has been placed in the school-houses this year than in any former year of our history, and in most instances care and judgment has been shown by the Directors in making the selection. Much depends upon the choice made. None but the best should be purchased. Let the good work 'go on.

VENANGO-Supt. Lord: A very pleasant and profitable local institute was held at Salina. Sixteen teachers, five Directors, and a good audience were in attendance during the day sessions, and, considering the weather, a large audience was present at the evening meeting. Our Annual Institute held a very satisfactory session. The interest was sustained to the close, and scarcely an absent or late mark given to a teacher throughout the week. Several teachers have expressed the wish that they could have another week of the same instruction.

YORK-Supt. Brenneman: Our County Institute was pronounced a decided success. The attendance was very large and a very appreciative interest was manifested in the work. On Directors' Day there were 82 Directors present, representing nearly every district in the county. Among the questions discussed by them, were the following: Free text-books; the best practical method of grading teachers; the value of Directors' visits to the schools; light, heat, and ventilation; and the advisability of adopting a graded course of study for York county. After considerable discussion on the last named subject, the sense of the convention was taken and found to be in favor of a graded course by an almost unanimous vote.

NANTICOKE- Supt. Monroe: Our schools closed for the Christmas vacation with public exercises of a literary and musical character. All but one of our teachers attended the County Institute. Miss Ella Flynn, who has been eminently successful in teaching numbers to begin

ners, gave a class exercise before the department of primary teachers at the Institute. We have given special attention to the matter of "Busy Work" with very satisfactory results.

NEW CASTLE-Supt. Bullock: An evening school has been opened by a combination of the School Board and those interested in Y. M. C. A. work. Vocal music in primary and intermediate grades as a regular study is proving quite successful. Teachers and School Board join in a social banquet, with the design of getting better acquainted--a good time, and profitable as well.

NORRISTOWN-Supt. Gotwals: On the Friday preceding the Christmas vacation, the schools participated in exercises having reference to the time. The anniversary of Whittier's birthday was celebrated by the pupils of the High School. The exercises consisted of essays, recitations, extracts from the author's works, and music.

OIL CITY-Supt. Babcock: The two school buildings, which have been in course of erection during the past year, are now almost completed. They are of brick, contain four rooms each, and are very well adapted for school purposes. The Smead system of ventilation and dry closets is used in them, and gives promise of being nearly perfect. The cost is about $13,000 for each.

SHAMOKIN-Supt. Harpel: The results of examinations in the high school and first grammar grades are quite encouraging, and indicate some improvement over the first term's work of last year. All of our teachers attended the County Institute. The programme was interesting and practical, and Supt. Bloom is to be congratulated upon the signal success of his first Institute. A fine set of physical maps has been added to the high school apparatus by purchase of the Board.

YORK CITY--Supt. Shelley: Our city teachers with but few exceptions attended the County Institute; and our semi-monthly City Institute is well attended. I can report fair educational progress. Our Board is sufficiently liberal to allow me to visit any schools elsewhere in the State or county, to visit other Institutes, and to use my time generally to the best advantage of our schools.

HAZEL TWP. (Luzerne County)--Supt. Fallon: Our teachers attended all the sessions of the County Institute. The Institute was a grand success. Some of the most prominent educacators of the country lectured. Good results in our schools must come from such meetings.

MIFFLIN TWP. (Allegheny County)-Supt. Collier: Continuous hard work, so directed as to eventually establish a uniform grade throughout the township, has been the principal aim of our teachers during this term. We have come to the conclusion that the so-called "ungraded schools" can be benefited by plan, system, and grades, as well as the city or borough schools.

PLYMOUTH TWP. (Luzerne County)-Supt. Gildea: A District Institute was held at Avondale. Class drills in language and arithmetic were given, and several essays read and discussed. All our teachers attended the best County Institute ever held in Luzerne, and received benefit, we trust, accordingly.

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TO HIS EXCELLENCY JAMES A. BEAVER, Governor of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania:


IR: As required by law, the Superintendent of Soldiers' Orphans respectfully submits the following report for the year ending May 31, A. D. 1887:

Sufficient public attention has been directed during the past year to the character and management of the soldiers' orphan schools of the Commonwealth to warrant a more extended report than usual. Such a report, also, we regard as only the more necessary because so little seems to be known of the origin and history of these schools and the method of their management from the beginning to this present time.


As early as July, 1862, when an urgent call was made for three hundred thousand men to enter the Union army, the Pennsylvania Railroad Company proffered Governor Curtin fifty thousand dollars to aid in the organization and equipment of Pennsylvania troops. Having no legislative authority to accept or use this gift for the object specified, the Governor, by earnest efforts, secured the consent of the donors to apply it to the erection of an asylum for disabled soldiers, and in 1863, by special message, he urged the Legislature to appropriate the gift to this end.

The Legislature, however, took no action.

The Governor, changing his purpose, and by still more persistent efforts, secured from the Pennsylvania Railroad Company permission to have the proffered sum paid into the Treasury of the State, as a fund to be used in educating and maintaining destitute soldiers' orphans; and early in 1864 further urged the matter upon the attention of the Legislature in the following memorable words, showing that already, in his own mind, the conception of a system of schools for soldiers' orphans had been fully formed:

"I commend to the prompt attention of the Legislature the subject of the relief of poor orphans of our soldiers who have given, or shall give, their lives to the country during this crisis. In my opinion, their maintenance and education should be provided for by the State. Failing other natural friends of ability to provide for them, they should be honorably received and fostered as children of the Commonwealth. The fifty thousand dollars heretofore given by the Pennsylvania Railroad Company, referred to in my last message, is still unappropriated, and I recommend that this sum, with such other means as the Legislature may think fit, be applied to this end, in such manner as may be thought most expedient and effective. In anticipation of the adoption of a more perfect system, I recommend that provision be made for securing the admission of such children into existing educational establishments, to be:

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