Boys Republic Records

Accession Number: 
6.75 linear feet (10 MB, 2 OS)

Boys Republic was originally incorporated in 1890 as the Home of Industry with the express purpose of providing food, clothing, shelter and employment to prisoners discharged from Michigan correctional institutions. Around 1909, the Home acquired the unofficial name, Ford Republic. This reflected both the generosity of Mrs. E. L. Ford and her daughters, who provided money for a dormitory, power plant and water and sewage systems at the Home's new 70-acre farm northwest of Detroit (now Farmington Hills), and the treatment theories of its new superintendent, Homer T. Lane, a proponent of self-government and character building in the institutionalized care of problem boys. It was officially renamed Boys Republic in 1944. The records of Boys Republic document the history of Lane's innovative approach to the institutional care of anti-social and emotionally disturbed children. They also provide insight into the social and moral issues raised by the debate, especially among members of the social welfare establishment, over the cause and treatment of juvenile delinquency.

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