Open main menu
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

lock-outs, to issue subpoenas for the attendance and testifying of witnesses, and “to adjust strikes or lock-outs by mediation or conciliation, without a formal submission to arbitration.”

The employment of children under 14 years of age in factories or mines, and working employees under 16 years of age for more than 60 hours a week, are forbidden by statute. The state has an excellent “Juvenile Court Law,” which came into force on the 1st of July 1899 and has done much good, especially in Chicago. The law recognized that a child should not be treated like a mature malefactor, and provided that there should be no criminal procedure, that the child should not be imprisoned or prosecuted, that his interests should be protected by a probation officer, that he should be discharged unless found dependent, delinquent or truant, and in such case that he should be turned over to the care of an approved individual or charitable society. This law applies to counties having a minimum population of 500,000. The legal rate of interest is 5%, but this may be increased to 7% by written contract. A homestead owned and occupied by a householder having a family is exempt (to the amount of $1000) from liability for debts, except taxes upon, and purchase money for, the same. Personal property to the value of $300 also is exempt from liability for debt. Grounds for divorce are impotence of either party at time of marriage, previous marriage, adultery, wilful desertion for two years, habitual drunkenness, attempt on life, extreme and repeated cruelty, and conviction of felony or other infamous crime. The marriage of cousins of the first degree is declared incestuous and void. In June 1907 the Supreme Court of Illinois declared the sale of liquor not a common right and “sale without license a criminal offence,” thus forcing clubs to close their bars or take out licences.

The charitable institutions of the state are under the management

of local trustees appointed by the governor. They are under the supervision of the Board of State Commissioners of Public Charities (five non-salaried members appointed by the governor); in 1908 there were 18 institutions under its jurisdiction. Of these, seven were hospitals for the insane—six for specific parts of the state, viz. northern at Elgin, eastern at Kankakee, central at Jacksonville, southern at Anna, western at Watertown, and general at South Bartonville, and one at Chester for insane criminals. The others were the State Psychopathic Institute at Kankakee (established in 1907 as part of the insane service) for systematic study of mental and nervous diseases; one at Lincoln having charge of feeble-minded children; two institutions for the blind—a school at Jacksonville and an industrial home at Marshall Boulevard and 19th Street, Chicago; a home for soldiers and sailors (Quincy), one for soldiers’ orphans (Normal), and one for soldiers’ widows (Wilmington); a school for the deaf (Jacksonville), and an eye and ear infirmary (Chicago). The Board of Charities also had supervision of the State Training School for (delinquent) Girls (1893) at Geneva, and of the St Charles School for (delinquent) Boys (1901) at St Charles.

The trustees of each penal institution are appointed by the governor, and the commissioners of the two penitentiaries and the managers of the state reformatory compose a Board of Prison Industries. There were in 1908 two penitentiaries, one at Joliet and one at Chester, and, in addition to the two reformatory institutions for young offenders under the supervision of the Board of Charities, there is a State Reformatory for boys at Pontiac. The indeterminate sentence and parole systems are important features of the treatment of criminals. All but two of the counties have almshouses. In 1908, in some counties, the care of paupers was still let by contract to the lowest bidder or the superintendent was paid between $1.00 and $1.80—seldom more than $1.50—a week for each patient, and he paid a small (or no) rent on the county farm. Complete state control of the insane and the introduction of modern hospital and curative treatment in the state asylums (or hospitals) are gradually taking the place of county care for the insane and of antiquated custodial treatment in and political control of the state asylums—changes largely due to the action of Governor Deneen, who appointed in 1906 a Board of Charities pledged to reform. By a law of 1905 all employed in such institutions were put on a civil service basis. In 1907-1908, $1,500,000 was spent in rehabilitating old buildings and in buying new land and erecting


Education.—Public education in Illinois had its genesis in the land of the North-West Territory reserved for educational purposes by the Ordinance of 1787. The first state school law, which provided for state taxation for public schools, was enacted in 1825. The section providing for taxation, however, was repealed, but free schools supported by the sale of land reserved for education and by local taxation were established as early as 1834. In 1855 a second school law providing for a state school tax was enacted, and this is the foundation of the existing public school system; the constitution of 1870 also requires the legislature to provide a thorough and efficient system of public schools. In 1907-1908 the total school revenue, nine-tenths of which was derived from local taxation and the remainder chiefly from a state appropriation (for the year in question, $1,057,000) including the proceeds derived from permanent school funds secured by the gift and sale of public lands on the part of the United States Government, was $39,989,510.22. The attendance in some school of all children from 7 to 16 years of age is compulsory, and of the population of school age (1,500,066) 988,078 were enrolled in public schools. The average length of the school term in 1908 was 7.8 months, and the average monthly salary of teachers was $82.12 for men and $60.76 for women.

The state provides for higher education in the University of Illinois, situated in the cities of Champaign and Urbana. It was founded in 1867, through the United States land grant of 1862, as the Illinois Industrial University, and received its present name in 1885; since 1870 it has been co-educational. Associated with the University are the State Laboratory of Natural History, the State Water Survey, the State Geological Survey, the State Entomologist’s Office, and Agricultural and Engineering Experiment Stations. The University confers degrees in arts, science, engineering, agriculture, law, medicine, pharmacy, dentistry, music, and library science; besides the usual subjects, it has a course in ceramics. The University publishes Bulletins of the Agricultural and Engineering Experiment Stations; Reports of the State Water Survey, of the State Natural History Survey, of the State Geological Survey, and of the State Entomologist’s Office; University Studies; and The Journal of English and Germanic Philology. The schools of medicine, pharmacy and dentistry are in Chicago. The faculty in 1907 numbered 408, and the total enrolment of students in 1907-1908 was 4743 (of whom 991 were women), distributed (with 13 duplicates in the classification) as follows: Graduate School, 203; Undergraduate Colleges, 2812; Summer Session, 367; College of Law, 186; College of Medicine, 476; College of Dentistry, 76; School of Pharmacy, 259; Academy, 377. In 1908 the University had a library of 103,000 volumes. The trustees of the institution, who have legislative power only, are the governor, the President of the Board of Agriculture, the State Superintendent of Public Instruction, and nine others elected by the people. There were in 1907 more than forty other universities and colleges in the state, the most important being the University of Chicago, North-western University at Evanston, Illinois Wesleyan University at Bloomington, Knox College, Galesburg, and Illinois College at Jacksonville. There were also six normal colleges, five of them public: the Southern Illinois State Normal College at Carbondale, the Eastern Illinois State Normal School at Charleston, the Western Illinois State Normal School at Macomb, the Chicago Normal School at Chicago, the Northern Illinois State Normal School at DeKalb, and the Illinois State Normal University at Normal.

Finance.—The total receipts for the biennial period ending the

30th of September 1908 were $19,588,842.06, and the disbursements were $21,278,805.27; and on the 1st of October 1908 there was a balance in the treasury of $3,859,263.44. The bonded debt on the same date was $17,500; these bonds ceased to bear interest in 1882, but although called in by the governor they have never been presented for payment. The system of revenue is based upon the general property tax; the local assessment of all real and personal property is required, with the aim of recording all kinds of property upon the assessment rolls. Boards of Revision and Boards of Supervision then equalize the assessments in the counties and townships, while a State Board of Equalization seeks to equalize the total valuation of the various counties. The tendency is for property valuations to decline, the estimated valuation from 1873 to 1893 decreasing 27% in Cook county and 39% in the other counties, while the assessments from 1888 to 1898 were in inverse ratio to the increase of wealth. There has also been great inequality

in valuations, the increase of valuation in Cook county made in