North Carolina - Acts on Education Topics

An Act in Relation to the Establishment of Children's Homes in the Several Counties of the State and the Maintenance Thereof.

1891 Public Laws: Chapter 337

Public Laws of the State of North Carolina Passed in 1891 - Pages 364-368.

The General Assembly of North Carolina do enact:

Section 1. That the board of commissioners of any county of the state may, in their discretion, establish and maintain by taxation one or more children's homes for the purpose of supporting, reclaiming and educating indigent children of such county, and when any such institution shall be established and organized as herein provided, the same shall be a body politic and corporate under such name and style as the board of commissioners shall designate, and shall be under the management of a board of five directors, at least two of whom shall be ladies, who shall be biennially appointed by the board of commissioners, and shall hold for two years and until their successors are appointed, and shall serve without reward, save their traveling expenses necessarily incurred in the discharge of their official duties: Provided, that three of the directors first appointed after the establishment of such institution shall hold for only one year, but when their terms shall expire their successors shall be appointed for two years.

Sec. 2. The board of directors shall organize by electing one of their number president and one secretary, and shall meet at stated times not less than once in each month [and] at such other times as they may deem necessary.

Sec. 3. The powers of each of said corporations when so established and organized shall only be exercised by its board of directors, and all actions or proceedings by or against the same shall be in the name of the said board.

Sec. 4. The board of directors of each of said corporations shall direct and manage the affairs of their institution, and shall for its purposes have power to adopt a common seal, receive, hold, manage, convey or otherwise dispose of in the name of their institution all such property or estate as may be given, devised, bequeathed or otherwise conveyed to their corporation, and also to erect all necessary buildings, make improvements, or in general do all matters and things which may be beneficial to the good government and proper conduct of the institution, and to this end may make by-laws for the government of the same consistent with the laws of the state.

Sec. 5. The board of directors of each of said corporations shall annually elect a superintendent of their institution, and such assistants as may be necessary, and prescribe their respective duties, and with the advice and consent of the board of commissioners of the county shall fix their salaries and compensation.

Sec. 6. The board of directors shall have power to remove the superintendent or any assistant or employees of their institution for immorality, neglect of duty, cruelty to or neglect of inmates, or any other good and sufficient cause, and to fill all vacancies which may occur for any cause.

Sec. 7. The county treasurer of the county in which any such institution shall be established shall be ex officio treasurer of said institution, and shall report to the board of directors and the board of county commissioners at such times as either of said boards may call on him, showing the amount received on account of the institutions, amount paid out and the amount on hand.

Sec. 8. The board of directors of each of said institutions shall make a report to the board of commissioners of their county at least once in every three months, showing the number of inmates, how employed, their health and condition, the expenses incurred, and the condition of the institution in its various departments, and at the same time shall make a like report to the clerk of the superior court of said county, and shall, from time to time, give any information either the board of commissioners or the clerk of the superior court may require.

Sec. 9. Said institution shall at all times be open to the visitation of the board of commissioners and the clerk of the superior court of the county by which the same may be established or maintained, and it shall be the duty of said board of commissioners and clerk of the superior court to visit the same at least once in every three months.

Sec. 10. The board of commissioners of any county of the state in which an industrial school or children's home has been or hereafter may be established and put into successful operation for the exclusive purpose of supporting, reclaiming and educating indigent children of such county, may provide by taxation and appropriate from the county treasury a sufficient sum of money to pay in full or in part such reasonable and necessary expenses as may be approved by the said board of commissioners for the maintenance of such industrial school or children's home: Provided, that such industrial school or children's home shall be open to the visitation of the board of commissioners and the clerk of the superior court of said county: And provided further, that the directors, trustees or managers of such institution shall make report to the said board of commissioners and the clerk of the superior court, as required by this Act in case of such institutions as may be established under the provisions of this Act by the board of commissioners of any county: And provided further, that the provisions of this section of this Act shall in no case apply to any industrial school or children's home which is sectarian in its character or conducted by or in the interest of any religious sect or denomination.

Sec. 11. Indigent children within the meaning of this Act shall include: first, all orphans whose estates are of so small value that no person will maintain or educate them for the same or the income therefrom; second, any poor child who is or may be chargeable to the county, or shall of necessity beg alms; third, any child whose father has deserted his family leaving them without sufficient support; fourth, any child whose father shall become an habitual drunkard and shall neglect to provide for his family sufficient support and the mother is unable to provide such support or neglects to provide the same; fifth, any child who has no father and whose mother is of bad character or suffers her children to grow up in habits of idleness without any visible means of obtaining an honest livelihood; sixth, any child whose parents have no visible means of support and do not habitually employ their time in some honest, industrious occupation and suffer their children to grow up in idleness and vagrancy.

Sec. 12. The directors of any institution which may be established by the board of commissioners of any county under the provisions of the first section of this Act, or the directors, trustees, or managers of any industrial school or children's home to which the board of commissioners of any county may lend aid, under the provisions of the tenth section of this Act, shall take under their guardianship and receive into their institution, if the same shall afford sufficient accommodations for them, all indigent children of such county imder the age of fourteen years who may be committed to their care and custody in either of the following modes: First. Children who may be committed to such institution by the board of commissioners of the county by which the same may be established or aided on the ground that they are chargeable to the county. Second. Children who, upon the application of the directors, trustees or managers of such institution or of any two respectable citizens of the county, may be committed to the care and custody of the directors, trustees or managers of such institution by the clerk of the superior court of such county as hereinafter provided on the ground that the same are indigent within the meaning of this Act.

Sec. 13. On application of any person to have a child committed to any such institution it shall be the duty of the clerk of the superior court to inform himself of the circumstances of the case, and for this purpose he shall cite before [him] one or more of the directors, trustees or managers of such institution and also the parents, parent or guardian or next friend or other person having the custody of such child, and shall carefully by affirmation examine such persons as he may deem proper as may be offered as witnesses, and the evidence taken by him he shall commit to writing and shall file the same, together with his findings of facts and his adjudication thereon, as a record of said court, and shall record his final judgment or order in the case in a book to be kept by liim for that purpose. If he shall adjudge such child to be indigent within the meaning of this Act he may issue to the directors, trustees or managers of such institution under the seal of said court a commitment of said child to their care and custody, and such commitment shall be received in all courts of this state as proof of the guardianship of said directors, trustees or managers over said child and their right to retain the said child in their custody under this law: Provided, that no white child shall be committed to any such institution established or maintained for colored children, and no colored child shall be committed to any such institution established or maintained for white children: And provided further, that no child shall be committed to any such institution unless such child shall have acquired a legal settlement in the county by which such institution is maintained or aided as is now required in case of paupers.

Sec. 14. Any party to such proceeding before the clerk of the superior court of any county may appeal from the decision of the clerk on any issue of law or legal inference to the judge of said court as now provided by law for appeals from the clerk in other cases.

Sec. 15. The directors, trustees or managers of each institution shall have the custody and guardianship of such children as shall be committed to them in the manner herein prescribed till such male children shall attain the age of twenty-one, and such female children the age of eighteen years, and may appear before the clerk of the superior court of the county in which such institution is located and consent that any of said children may be apprenticed by indenture in the name of said clerk, as now provided by law for apprenticing indigent children, and may also consent to the adoption of any such child or children by any person as fully and completely as the parents or guardians of any such child or children could do were they present and capable to consent thereto, and if for any cause the indenture by which such child or children shall be apprenticed shall be cancelled, the said directors, trustees or managers shall resume the custody and management of such child or children, and shall have the same powers and authority over it or them as before the indenture was executed: Provided, that the said trustees, directors or managers may, with the consent of the clerk of the superior court, return any child committed to their custody and guardianship to its parents when in their judgment the best interests of the child will be subserved thereby, or they may discharge it to care for itself when they shall deem it capable of doing so.

Sec. 16. The trustees, directors or managers of any institution established under the provisions of this Act or to which the board of commissioners of any county may lend aid under such provisions shall cause to be entered in a book to be provided by them for that purpose, the age, parentage, place of residence and present condition of every child received into such institution, and also the time when, the place where and the persons to whom any of the inmates of such institution have been placed or indentured or caused to be adopted, at the time when and the reasons why discharged from such institution.

Sec. 17. The board of directors, trustees or managers of such institutions shall so manage and conduct the same as to make them as nearly self-supporting as is consistent with the purposes of their creation, and for this purpose shall have power to employ the inmates thereof for such time as they may deem proper in any respectable and useful occupation, art or trade, and shall as often as [is] expedient cause the inmates to be apprenticed as hereinbefore provided to some tradesman of a useful art or mystery.

Sec. 18. That this Act shall only apply to Buncombe County.

Sec. 19. That this Act shall be in force from and after its ratification.

Ratified the 6th day of March, A.D. 1891.

Daniel G. Fowle, Governor
Thomas M. Holt, Lt. Governor and President of the Senate
Rufus A. Doughton, Speaker of the House of Representatives

State of North Carolina,
Office Secretary of State,
Raleigh, June 13, 1891.

I, Octavius Coke, Secretary of State, hereby certify that the fore-
going are true copies of the original acts and resolutions on file in
this office.

Octavius Coke,
Secretary of State.



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