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The following information was extracted from the book, History of Perry County Pennsylvania; H. H. Hain; Hain-Moore Co.; Harrisburg, Pa.; 1922.  Chapter XVIII.

"From the vortex of the Sectional War, while it was still being waged with all the energy of two equally red-bloodied antagonists, save that one was not burdened with the taint of secession, there arose in Pennsylvania the beginning of a system of Solders' Orphans' Schools, which has always stood abreast of the most advanced states of the Union.  In fact, in the annals of the centuries there is not prior record of any state or nation adopting as their wards all the dependent children of slain and injured defenders.  As two of the early institutions devoted to the education of these orphans were located within the limits of Perry County it is a matter of interest to record a word of their start.  

"On his way to church on Thanksgiving Day, 1862, Governor Andrew G. Curtin was met upon the street by two children asking aid.  Being of a sympathetic nature he stopped and inquired their condition and the reason for it.  Promptly came the reply, "Father was killed in the war."  He gave them a liberal contribution and passed on into church; but the Thanksgiving sermon grated harshly upon his ears, as he thought of the children of soldiers fallen while fighting for the preservation of their country begging upon the streets.  That was the beginning of Solder Orphan Schools.  In a few weeks the Pennsylvania Legislature met and in his message Governor Curtin said:  "I commend to the prompt attention of the legislature the subject of the relief of the 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 them, they should be honorably received and fostered as the children of the commonwealth."

"The legislature refused to adopt a measure that might bind the state for heavy expenditures, but authorized the governor to expend $50,000, which the Pennsylvania Railroad had contributed for use in any way deemed best for the prosecution of the war, the governor to use his discretion in its expenditure.  Thus there came from tat great corporation the money which provided the beginning of that heroic institution--the Soldiers' Orphan School.  To what better project could it have been devoted?

"Section 2 of the rejected bill gave any school then in existence the right to apply to be recognized as a suitable school for the instruction and training of destitute children, and Section 6 provided that in no case must the cost per child per annum exceed $100.  With this slender appropriation at his command Governor Curtin appointed Thomas H. Burrowes, LL.D., superintendent, on June 16, 1864, and from it grew the wonderful result.  The intention at the beginning was to have a school in each of the twelve State Normal School districts.  Provision was also made that the children should be neatly clothed in uniforms well fed, and trained in employment as well as intellectually.  Several institutions in the state had already taken up work in the same line on their own responsibility, but the first schools to come to the aid of the systems after its beginning were those at Paradise, McAllisterville, Mount Joy, Quakertown, and Orangeville.  The legislature of 1865, appropriated $75,000 to continue the work.  By January 1, 1866, that amount was utterly exhausted and the legislature delayed passing any act, quibbling over various differences.  It was then that Governor Curtin executed a shrewd move.  On March 16th three hundred and forty-five soldiers' orphans from McAllisterville, Mount Joy, and Paradise arrived at Harrisburg on the noon trains and, neatly uniformed, gave an exhibition of their training before the surprised legislators, with the result that $ 300,000 was appropriated, four times the amount of the previous year, and from that day their existence was assured.  Among those who spoke was Master Frank A. Fry, of McAllisterville, he who later edited the Newport News for many years.  By the end of 1866, twenty-four schools in the state were caring for the younger children and twelve for the older ones.  Of these the Andersonburg School and the Loysville Home were Perry County institutions.  Of the smaller children the former had 32 boys and 22 girls, and the latter, 66 boys and 52 girls.  

"In 1867 a general statute, covering every phase of requirements for these schools, passed the legislature.  During that year the cost of the larger pupils was $150 per annum, with $25 additional for clothing, and that of the smaller ones from $105 to $125, including clothing."


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