Saturday, December 13, 2014

A Hundred Years Ago in Hudson

On December 11, 1914, a new school opened in Hudson. It was described as a "book school," and it was part of the New York State Training School for Girls. Ten years earlier, in 1904, the Girls' Training School succeeded the Women's House of Refuge as the institution occupying the buildings that now comprise the Hudson Correctional Facility. 

The following is the article that appeared in the Hudson Evening Register for December 12, 1914, reporting the opening ceremonies.

Yesterday afternoon the State Training School celebrated the opening of their new book-school building. The whole school assembled in the chapel at 2 o'clock. There Dr. Bruce told them how the celebration was to rejoice in the disappearance of the old prison building as well as in the possession of the new school building which replaces it. Miss Reiffert, one of the managers, told them how each is responsible for the success of her own life and how the using of what what they learn here is like the polishing of the jewel which will be set in their crowns at the Great Day to reflect God's smile. Mrs. Allen, another manager, spoke of the book-school as the head school and said it is given the central position among the buildings because the head leads the hands and feet. Dr. Wilson, who has been so long on the board, expressed his lasting interest in the school and reminded the girls that the best way to use what they learn here is in helping others. Miss Hinkley, the president, spoke of the new building as a gift to the girls from the taxpayers of the State, and showed them how the spirit which they carry into the building and hand on to those who come after them will dedicate the building and make it a place of joy and hard work.
The girls sang "America," "The Star Spangled Banner," and "Fatherland," and saluted the flag. The most impressive part of the ceremony was the reciting of the Declaration of Independence by the twenty girls of grades seven and eight. The preamble was spoken in unison; then one after one, twenty girls added each an item to the reasons why the rule of the British king had become intolerable and liberty indispensable. And then came the sonorous close in unison.
After this the whole company went across to the new building, where they inspected the Christmas gifts made by the girls for each other and for their one hundred companions out on parole, looked at the building and wound up with a reception to the three hundred girls and sixty-five officers by the following members of the Board of Managers: Miss Hinkley, Dr. Wilson, Mrs. Allen, Miss Reiffert, Mr. Brennan and Mrs. Peabody; and by Dr. Gertrude E. Hall, of Albany, and Mr. Rowley, of Hudson.

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