Minnesota State School Childrens Cemetery

540 W Hills Circle
Owatonna, Steele County, Minnesota, 55060 USA
Phone (507) 774-7369
Memorials 205 added

Search Minnesota State School Childrens Cemetery:

Florence Avenue
Owatonna, Steele, Minnesota

Established by the Minnesota legislature in 1885 as a public institution for dependent and neglected children between the ages of 3 and 14.
The orphanage was not intended to include infants, but the State Public School did admit children younger than 3 under exceptional circumstances.

Goals were to educate the students under its jurisdiction, to find adoptive families for them, and to enable the students to be self-supporting upon discharge.

The school was the state's public orphanage and adoption agency.

The facility received its first students in 1886.

Children at the school received moral training, religious instruction, and manual training, such as cooking and sewing for girls and farming and woodworking for boys. Occasionally, older students took high school classes at the Owatonna High School.

The school also practiced indentured placement, where children were placed in homes on contract to do work or to learn a trade in exchange for a payment to the state.

Children who were not adopted or placed out were discharged when they became self-supporting, reached the age of majority, 18 for girls and 21 for boys, or when their parents were able again to care for them.

By 1945 state public welfare officials believed that early foster or adoptive placement was preferable to institutionalization and admissions ceased.

In 1947 the State Public School was officially abolished and all its lands, buildings, property, and funds were transferred to the newly established Owatonna State School, which provided academic and vocational training for the mentally retarded until it closed in 1970.

Today the property is still owned & used by the city, including the cemetery. There is also a museum on site dedicated to the history of the facility.

On grounds of the Minnesota State Public School Orphanage Museum

GPS Coordinates: 44.09017, -93.23977

  • Added: 11 Jan 2018
  • Find A Grave Cemetery: #2658459