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Board of Administration - RG 351 | Illinois State Archives

Name: Board of Administration - RG 351

Historical Note:

In 1909 the Board of Administration succeeded to the executive and administrative responsibilities formerly exercised by the trustees of all state charitable institutions (L. 1909, p. 102). In addition to appointing the managing officers of all state charitable institutions the new full-time five-member board was required to visit and inspect each institution under its jurisdiction. After investigating the treatment given to inmates and examining physical facilities and records, visiting board members made a report on institutional conditions at the next board meeting. The Board of Administration cooperated and consulted with the new Charities Commission which assumed the functions of the Board of State Commissioners of Public Charities and which had concurrent investigative authority for the whole system of public charitable institutions in the state (L. 1909, p. 110). The Charities Commission was made up of five members appointed by the Governor. They served without compensation with only their travel expenses being reimbursed.

The Board of Administration also exercised a wide range of powers in the area of social welfare, such as the authority to investigate, inspect, and license institutions and facilities in which individuals were treated for nervous or mental diseases; to examine institutions which cared for dependent, neglected, or delinquent children; to visit children placed in family houses; to certify home-finding associations; and to inspect and investigate correctional institutions in order to collect statistics and gather information on the treatment of the insane.

The Board of Joint Estimate, composed of the Board of Administration's fiscal supervisor and the managing officers of the charitable institutions, was established within the Board of Administration to provide for the purchase of large quantities of institutional supplies. Approval of bids and emergency purchases were handled by the three-member Purchasing Committee of the Board of Joint Estimate.

In 1917 the Board of Administration was abolished and its responsibilities were transferred to the Department of Public Welfare (L. 1917, p. 2). The following institutions were under the jurisdiction of the Board of Administration:

Alton State Hospital

Anna State Hospital

Chester State Hospital

Chicago State Hospital

Elgin State Hospital

Illinois Charitable Eye and Ear Infirmary at Chicago

Illinois Industrial Home for the Blind at Chicago

Illinois School for the Blind at Jacksonville

Illinois School for the Deaf at Jacksonville

Illinois Soldiers' and Sailors' Home at Quincy

Illinois Soldiers' Orphans' Home at Normal

Illinois Soldiers' Widows' Home at Wilmington

Illinois State Colony for Epileptics

Illinois State Psychopathic Institute at Chicago

Illinois State Training School for Girls at Geneva

Illinois Surgical Institute for Crippled Children

Jacksonville State Hospital

Kankakee State Hospital

Lincoln State School and Colony

Peoria State Hospital

St. Charles School for Boys

Watertown State Hospital


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