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Reports of Principals | List of Sixteeners | List of Orphans Leaving in 1888



Tressler Home is situated at Loysville in Perry county, about seventeen miles west of Newport on the Pennsylvania railroad.  Newport being the nearest railroad station, a drive over the country road is necessary to reach this point.
This school is under the care of the English Lutheran Church, General Synod in the United States of America, and is managed by Rev. P. Willard and family.
I made my first visit on the 7th day of October, remained over night in the institution and completed my inspection on the next day.
Tressler Home has about forty acres of ground in excellent order surrounding the buildings.  The buildings consists of two or three fine large brick houses, connected, two stories high, and in very good repair.  There is also a large frame building used for wash house, bake house, with other smaller outbuildings.  Everything about the buildings and on the grounds is kept in good condition, with very few exceptions.
The location is a grand one.  An extensive view of the village and miles of the beautiful surrounding country can be had from almost any point on the farm.  The ground is high, dry and clean, the air pure and the water excellent, the latter being forced into the buildings by a hydraulic ram from a spring below.  The children have abundant room for play and sport, with many pleasant places to walk, talk and study.
A large orchard of apple, peach and other fruit trees is located within a shot distance from the school buildings and furnishes a large amount of good fruit yearly for the supply of the school.
I expected to visit this place again in February or March, but the "blizzard" came in March and prevented me, and I did not reach it until the last day of April, 1888, to attend the examination, beginning the 1st day of May.  On my way there I had the pleasure of the company of Hon. A. D. Glenn, of the School Department, and Mr. Joseph Pomeroy, chief clerk in the Department of Soldiers' Orphan Schools, who assisted with the examination.
Governor Beaver was present during a great part of the examination and took quite an interest in it.  He then made a very close and careful inspection of the grounds, buildings, kitchen, dining room, dormitory, beds and bedding, clothing and everything in the entire  institution, expressing great satisfaction when pleased, and recommending changes when not satisfied.  He was the first Governor that ever visited this school.  All were much gratified at meeting him and expressed a great desire that he might repeat his visit.
Prof. E. U. Aumiller, superintendent of the common schools of Perry county, was also present and took an active part in the examination of the pupils.  He expressed himself as well pleased with the result.  The children in this school are far advanced in their studies and proved to the large attendance of citizens and Grand Army of the Republic men that their time has been well husbanded and their minds greatly improved.  They generally answered with promptness and showed an eagerness to be questioned, that is not often seen in children of their age.  They have learned to study and are much in advance of children of the same age in our common schools.
The educational department is under charge of Prof. Samuel Willard--six good teachers are employed to assist him.  Their method of teaching proves that they have been selected on account of their qualifications for the position.  The moral and religious training of these little fellows is of an excellent character.  Rev. Willard seems to have given his heart and hand to this work.  All the children call him "Papy."
Ninety-three children answered at roll call by Mrs. Attick, the inspectress, who was present during the examination.  All were in good health, none sick or in the hospital, and but one death in the last year.
They were all neat, clean and well dressed with good fitting clothing.  The boys all had their brass buttons brightened up and coats buttoned, shoes blacked, clothes clean and were polite and mannerly.  The girls were all very neatly and well dressed, presenting bright, shining faces, erect bodies and intelligent expressions.  On inspection I found the clothing good and comfortable, the beds clean and soft, the dormitories large and well ventilated, the dining-room in good order, the provisions abundant, substantial and generally well pared.  The furniture in the boys' dormitories is much better than that of the girls.  The dormitories are provided with chairs.
The lavatories are very good.  Each child has its own brush, comb, tooth brush and towel.  A new pool has just been completed in which the boys bathe and the girls bathe in bath tubs.
Thirteen persons are employed in the institution.  In addition to the soldiers' orphans, some seventy church orphans are supported here.  They eat at the same table, and have privileges in common, and all are clothed alike.
A library with a large number of books and periodicals is open to the scholars.  Vocal music is taught, and they treated the persons present at the examination to some very fine singing.
After dinner was over the boys had military drill and performed very well.  Calisthenics not taught or practiced.
The boys assist at work upon the farm and do some work about the school, but this is all.  No mechanical instruction is given.  The girls do general work about the buildings, sew, knit and do needle work.
The fire escapes are not what is desired.  An improvement in this line was suggested and promised by the principal.  Some other suggestions and recommendations were made, and I have no doubt of their being responded to promptly.
I agree with General Wagner, my predecessor, in saying:  "As a whole this institution ranks high."

(The above information was taken from pages 56-58.)
Inspector and Examiner.


TRESSLER ORPHAN HOME--Rev. P. Willard, Superintedent.

In giving our nineteenth annual report of the above named Home, we acknowledge a kind and over-ruling Providence watching over us and directing all things, with a wise reference to the glory of God and the prosperity of the school.  When we took charge of it in the spring of 1869, it was a primary school.  It has been advancing step by step, in point of thoroughness in all the branches taught in the various orphan schools, until it has become second to none in the State.
The State Superintendent, Dr. Higbee, on account of indisposition, not being able to be present, the examination was conducted by the male and female inspectors, assisted by Messrs. Pomeroy and Glenn, Clerks of the Department at Harrisburg, and Prof. Aumiller, superintendent of public schools of Perry county.  We were highly gratified with the pleasure of entertaining His Excellency, Governor Beaver, who also manifested considerable interest in the examination.  We were, as usual, on these occasions, favored with the presence of Hon. J. Shively, editor of the People's Advocate and Press, together with a number of representatives from the different Grand Army Posts a number of representatives from the different Grand Army Posts of the county, besides a numerous crowd of visitors from the community and other places.
The whole number of soldiers' children who have been under our care (besides the children of the church), since we have charge of the Home, has been three hundred and twenty-five, of whom we have had to record three deaths in nineteen years.  The health of the children during the year has been remarkably good.  We have had a few cases of catarrhal fever and two cases of pneumonia during the month of October last, but these cases yielded very readily under medical treatment, and since that time, with the exception of an occasional cold, the health of the children has been without interruption.
The progress of the children in their various branches of study has not only been remarkably good so far as they went, but practical and thorough.  This was evinced by the general satisfaction with which the examiners expressed themselves, not only with the progress, thoroughness and general appearance of the children, but with everything they saw in and around the Home.
The morals of the children are quite as good as we could reasonably expect, when we take into consideration the early training of many now under our care.
The detail system is still adhered to, and some of the boys spend their two hours on the farm, others in the garden, and others again in the laundry, making fires and working the washing machine and wringer, and when thee is nothing for them to do some spend their time in play, whilst others go to the carpenter shop and spend their two hours in exercising their ingenuity in making toys and playthings.  The girls are distributed in the sewing-room, kitchen, wash-room, ironing-room and patch-room, whilst those who have nothing to do use their spare moments in using the crochet needles and learn to make fancy work.  They are also shifted every day or two from one to another, so that they learn to feel at home, and have an idea of all kinds of housework.
The children, as in former years, attend Divine service in the village church every Sabbath morning, except when the weather is too inclement for them to turn out, on which occasions the Sabbath morning services are held in the school room by the superintendent.  We have Sabbath school regularly every Sabbath afternoon, and prayer-meeting every Sabbath evening, in connection with reading and explaining the Holy Scriptures.  We feel encouraged to believe that these various means of presenting truth, in connection with prayer, has not been without its effect, as a number have made a profession of their faith and united with the church during the year.
The government of the school is modeled after that of a well regulated family, and seeks the highest good of each child, morally, intellectually and spiritually; each child is taught to stand upon his or her own sense of right and honor, and no coercion is used until all moral suasion has proved a failure.
The military drill has been regularly attended to during the year, whenever the weather has not been too cold and inclement for the boys to stand in ranks.  On the day of examination the boys were highly applauded, both by the examiners and the numerous crowd of visitors, for the correctness with which they passed through the various evolutions of the military drill.
During the past year we purchased a small tract of land contiguous to the Home, and with it secured the right to a stream of water running through the premises, which turns a wheel, which is connected with a force pump, by which we take the water from a never-failing spring not over one hundred yards distant from the Home, and force it under ground to the base of the building, and thence inside to the third story into a large tank, from which we have more than an abundance of water, not only in the kitchen, but also in all the various washing and bathing departments throughout the building, and in the laundry, and still there is an overflow sufficient to supply the stock at the barn with spring water.  In addition, by attaching a hose to the tank on the third story of the building, we can convey a stream of water to any part of the Home.
Our buildings occupy an eminence, sloping on all sides, so that it is always dry, and yet we have pure atmosphere at all times, surrounded by a park of trees, vines and shrubbery of all kinds, with arbor vitae hedge on the south and west, affording a cool shade during the sultry months of summer, and yet from the third story of the buildings we have a panoramic view of the valley and the surrounding mountains, at a distance of from ten to fifteen, and at some points, over eighteen miles, making it one of the most attractive and desirable sites for a school in the State.

(The above information was taken from pages 87-89).


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, 1888:


Butler, Susan M., in book store, Huntingdon, Pa.
Carmen, Nellie G., in book store, Huntingdon, Pa.
Feister, Mary A., at service, Mechanicsburg, Pa.
Flood, Jennie Mc., teaching, Tressler Orphan Home.
Hart, Israel L., at school, Concord, Pa.
Henderson, Annie B., with mother.
Hostetter, John Melvin, drug store, Harrisburg, Pa.
Kleckner, Harrison, at school, Eschol, Pa.
Lehman, Oliver G. L., with mother, New Germantown, Pa.
McFarland, Ida C., Huntingdon, Pa.
Messner, Carrie E., with mother, Williamstown, Pa.
Mort, Naura B., at service, Andersonburg, Pa.
Saylor, William A., at school, Somerset, Pa.
Williamson, Catharine W., with father, Liverpool, Pa.


HARRISBURG, PA., January 2, 1888.

The following is a complete list of all the soldiers' orphans now in schools under the care of the State, who will become sixteen and be discharged during the current year. The list is arranged in schools, and there has been added the date at which each child will be discharged. Copies of this list will be sent to each Post of the G.A.R. in the State, and to numerous soldiers and citizens. The object had in view is to interest as many as possible in obtaining homes and employment for the orphans upon leaving school. All desiring it can obtain the home addresses of the children, and information concerning their character, requirements, and desires with reference to future avocations, from the principals of the several schools, whose addresses are given at the head of the lists.

P. WILLARD, Superintendent, Loysville, Perry County, Pa.

1. Catharine W. Williamson; January 17, 1888
2. Jennie McC. Flood; February 10, 1888
3. Carrie E. Messner; March 20, 1888
4. Mary Ann Feister; April 5, 1888
5. Oliver G. L. Lehman; April 24, 1888
6. Ella Jane McCullough; July 1, 1888
7. George H. Graham; July 19, 1888
8. William B. McClintock; September 2, 1888
9. Robbie H. Robins; September 4, 1888
10. Annie Harper; September 20, 1888
11. John M. Schnure; September 20, 1888
12. Arthur H. Mumper; September 23, 1888
13. Sarah J. Kauffman; October 15, 1888
14. Millie Ellen Farley; October 25 ,1888



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