TRESSLER ORPHANS' HOME
ANNUAL REPORT OF THE SUPERINTENDENT
OF THE SOLDIERS' ORPHANS, 1885
REPORTS OF PRINCIPALS.
TRESSLER ORPHAN HOME-- P. Willard, Superintendent.
In making our annual report, it becomes us to express our unfeigned
gratitude to God for the paternal care with which He has watched over and
prospered us during the year.
The health of the school has been remarkably good. We have had no
sickness worth naming in the school since we had the measles amongst the
children eighteen months ago, and no death to record for over four years.
The progress of the children has been commendably good, and especially so
when we take into consideration the bustle and noise of the workmen in
finishing up the new building during the first month and a half of the
school year. Though the school and recitation rooms were completed
and ready for use before the return of the children on the first of
September, there was considerable to be done in the dormitories, and the
fixtures for washing and bathing in the basement, which produced
considerable confusion and interruption in the school, caused by some of
the hands, who were neither the most learned nor wise and discreet in
their intercourse with the children when an opportunity was presented.
Our annual examination took place on the 28th of May. As the State
Superintendent found it impracticable to be present, according to the
programme, Colonel James L. Paul, chief clerk of the Department, was
deputized to appear in his place, whom we are always glad to see, and
Professor E. U. Aumiller, superintendent of the schools of Perry county,
who assisted in conducting the examination. Honorable I. Sheibley,
editor of the Advocate and Press, and Mr. Fry, editor of the Newport
News, were also present, together with the largest concourse of
visitors we had ever seen at the Home on the day of examination. All
expressed themselves as highly pleased wit the promptness and correctness
with which the questions propounded were answered. The time allotted
was too limited to admit an extensive examination of the first, second,
third, fourth, and fifth grades, so that we were compelled to give each of
these classes only a few minutes, and pass on to a more rigid course with
the sixth, seventh, and eighth grades, each of which acquitted itself
nobly and gave full satisfaction to all present. The eighth grade
was thoroughly examined by the County Superintendent in the various
branches of study through which they have passed, and he expressed himself
in the highest terms concerning their proficiency, and said that if their
age and size would justify it, he would have no hesitancy in giving each
member of the class a certificate of qualification to teach in any of the
common schools in the county. The system of details introduced by
the Department is still carried out and we are still of the opinion that
it works well.
The military drill is rigidly adhered to, and our boys gave a practical
exhibition of their skill in military tactics, to the satisfaction of the
examiners and a crowd of visitors.
The religious exercises of the institution are still kept up as in former
years. The children are required to attend church in the village
every Sabbath morning unless the weather is too inclement, in which case
divine services are held in the school-room, led by the
superintendent. We have Sunday-school regularly every Sabbath
afternoon, Sunday evening prayer meeting, together with reading and
expounding the Holy Scriptures and Bible class every Sabbath morning
before going to church, besides family worship every morning before
breakfast and in the evening before retiring. Fourteen of our
children united with the church during the spring by the solemn rite of
The morals of the children are quite as good as we could expect under the
circumstances. The discipline of the school is entirely
parental. If we can get a child to stand upon his sense of right and
honor, he needs no coercion, and it is only when all other means are
futile and vain that physical force is applied as a moral duty, and that
should be done with calmness and reason.
Our new buildings, with their surroundings, will be completed before the
first of September, when we will have as commodious, convenient, and as
well ventilated apartments for the school and recitation-rooms and
dormitories as any other orphan school in the State. Our capacity at
the present time is ample for the accommodation of two hundred and
We have employed for the coming year those who are competent, faithful,
and experienced in the art of teaching, and anticipate a greater progress
in the development of the minds of the children under our care than we
ever had in the past. We have employed a teacher of instrumental
music, who is competent to give lessons on the piano or organ, and she
will instruct such as desire it, and are far enough advanced to give time
to practice without interfering with their regular studies in the school,
free of charge.
LIST OF "SIXTEENERS."
Below will be found the names of the children, with their present
residence and occupation, as far as could be ascertained, who having
arrived at the age of sixteen, were discharged from the several schools
during the year ending May 31, 1885.
TRESSLER ORPHAN HOME.
1. Fields, John H., at home, McVeytown, Pa.
2. Flood, Frank W., learning trade, Huntingdon, Pa.
3. Kauffman, Anna V., at home, Spruce Hill, Pa.
4. Manshake, Louis, with guardian, Williamsport, Pa.
5. Mort, Servian S., farming, Andersonburg, Pa.
6. McClintock, Samuel G., in iron-works, Duncannon, Pa.
7. Reader, Ambrose K., farming, Peru Mills, Pa.
8. Ressler, Malinda, at home, Georgetown, Pa.
9. Springer, Mary Ida, at home, Selinsgrove, Pa.
10. Stump, Anna, doing house work, New Germantown, Pa.
11. Warren, James D., in a store, Fox Chase, Philadelphia.
12. Williamson, Henry H., at State Normal School, Millersville.