Both schools were located in Jefferson County. The military-style boys' school put youngsters to work learning farming, masonry, blacksmithing, printing, woodworking, tailoring, and other industrious tasks that would allow them to learn a trade and make a living off of the streets. The girls, on the other hand, learned the domestic arts at their school, preparing them either to run a household or to enter into domestic service.
Biennial reports of the schools for selected years from the 1890s to the 1940s are available from our library and can be viewed online. They provide a fascinating picture of the lives of juvenile corrections inmates, including what they studied and, in some cases, what they wore and ate. The reports feature statistical and financial information on the school, as well as numerous photographs. The boys' school even printed the reports in their print shop. These reports are valuable resources for any researcher studying the Progressive era in Colorado and the institutions of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
|A student at the State Industrial School for Boys, from the 1909-10 biennial report.|