Does anyone remember the girls reform...
Catherine

Des Moines, IA

#25 Nov 10, 2009
If she was at Mitchellville, there may have been a hearing at the court house and an order signed by a judge stating the reason for the sentence. Try researching the court house records, which are kept forever and are probably open to the public, at the county where she lived at the time of her sentence.
Darcy Birch

Marlborough, CT

#27 Nov 11, 2009
Sorry, I believe I was there in the 70's. Wow, that shocked me to re-read mine. I had to really think about that. I got out in 1980 I think.. sorry about that. So any one there in the 70's that remembers Darcy Birch please contact me. I think we should start a whole page on Mitchellville bring us all together. That is where I went to school.
Darcy Birch

Marlborough, CT

#28 Nov 11, 2009
stephanieG76 wrote:
My mom was at the reform school in Mitchellville in the 70's, she has told me so many stories of her crazy times there.
I would love to know who your mother is? I have a 17 yr old son and have not told him any thing about me being in Mitchellville. How does that make you feel about your mother? Thank you, Darcy
Darcy Birch

Marlborough, CT

#30 Nov 11, 2009
Amy wrote:
My mom was in there in the early 70's. It wasn't a very good time in her life. She has told me some things. She said she remembers the counselors,Sage and Hanover. She claims the staff never helped her. She ran off from there a couple times, got caught and brought back. My mom is a 52 year old who has had 6 kids, and has lived a good and healthy adult life. My dad adores her. She doesn't feel shame anymore for what happened to her in her childhood,but she did for a long time. All she really did was run away from home because she was sexually abused. She never told anyone about the abuse back then and only came to terms with it in middle age,. From what I hear the place was rough and was for girls who were considered delinqent. I can Not image my mom going thru that!!
Hi, Could you tell me your mothers name? I might of been there with her and would love to connect with some of the people there to see how their life is now. My life is great now, Back then was a different story.
Thank you, Darcy Birch
jackson

AOL

#33 Nov 11, 2009
Yes, Cathy Cornell actually took me out on a pass and took me to a bar and bought me drinks. I was so drunk I passed out in the bathroom. She got some pot from her sister andsmoked pot with me and then took me to her house and we had sex. She and I had an affair and her husband broke into the bedroom one morning and caught us. I was only 17 yrs old, she was 25 yrs old. She also had an affair with a girl nameed Ione Young and I suppose other girls.
Darcy Birch

Marlborough, CT

#34 Nov 11, 2009
jackson wrote:
Yes, Cathy Cornell actually took me out on a pass and took me to a bar and bought me drinks. I was so drunk I passed out in the bathroom. She got some pot from her sister andsmoked pot with me and then took me to her house and we had sex. She and I had an affair and her husband broke into the bedroom one morning and caught us. I was only 17 yrs old, she was 25 yrs old. She also had an affair with a girl nameed Ione Young and I suppose other girls.
WOW, Ok if you were there in 73 / 74 that was a few years before me. I remember Kathy I am pretty sure. This is crazy huh. I had a guy that worked there share with me he was in love with me. His name was Craig. His dad worked in the furnace buld. Can't remember his nick name?? But I was not that kind of girl,(not there any way). Do you feel comfortable sharing your name? I don't think we were there together though.. So your a girl right?? sorry, there was boys in cottage 3 when I was sent there. thanks for your responce!
jackson

AOL

#37 Nov 12, 2009
rose wrote:
hi debby. i was there around 70 or 71. first i had mr and mrs jones as house parents and i think the cook was mrs denton. then i was moved to another cottage. the cook there was miss leta schlosser. there was a lot of debs. the one i remember most we nicknamed rooster.
I think that was cottage four. I was there in 1972-73.
jackson

AOL

#38 Nov 12, 2009
No I had not had sex with a girl before Kathy Cornell. I have since transitioned to male about 10 years ago. But at that time in my life I was perceived as female adn she was my first female. I was really in love with her. Then I went on to college and she used to come up there and meet me in my dorm room and we'd have sex. She wanted to run away with me to Oregon, but I said no because I had just started college. Then one time I went to see her and this is when her husband caught us in bed together. But then I found out she had had sex wiht other girls in the institution too. Her husband was a state ombudsman for the prisons in the State of Iowa .
Reader

United States

#40 Dec 8, 2009
n early reform school for girls was in Mitchellville. For 17 years Lorenzo and Angie Lewelling, ran the school at Mitchellville. The Lewellings were Quakers. Lorenzo was a minister. The Lewellings taught and guided the girls. Even after the girls left the school, Angie wrote to them. In the school's first 30 years, 804 girls lived at Mitchellville. Most of the girls were called "incorrigible."

Most of the girls were from poor families and had lost one or both parents through death or divorce. Sometimes when families had sudden problems, such as a lost job or a death in the family, a daughter was sent to Mitchellville because the family couldn't afford to keep her. One girl was from a wealthy family. She had tried to poison a stepparent. Most of them were 13 to 15 years old, though there were some as young as seven. Many of the girls had once lived on their own as maids or workers in button, candy or cigar factories. Three had traveled with acting groups.
Good and Bad Experiences

Reform schools in Iowa provided a place for children with problems. In some cases the young people who attended the schools had no place else to go. Some of the children who were forced to attend Iowa's reform schools had good experiences and ended up having good lives as adults. But for others the reform school experience was bad. The reform schools of the past were the beginnings of the juvenile court system in Iowa.
Adapted from original article in The Goldfinch 12, No. 2 (November 1990). Iowa City: State Historical Society of Iowa.
© State Historical Society of Iowa, Des Moines, Iowa
dylan

Minneapolis, MN

#41 Dec 8, 2009
Nancy Bass wrote:
I would like to find out about some of my old girl friends and also Bev. and other staff to see how they are doing,
HI Nancy, I was there when you were there I'm thinking. Your name sounds familiar. I was there in Bev's cottage from Nov 1973 to may 1974. You can email me at [email protected] and I can provide more info to you but not posting in public. Thanks.
dylan

Minneapolis, MN

#42 Dec 8, 2009
Peggy, it makes sense that women/girls would have been sent there in the 40's. During that era that would have made sense and also the comment about infant graves there would correlate with girls being there, being pregnant and giving birth. Good luck in getting more info from that time period. But I would guess your questions would be verified as it being a home for pregnant girls back around 1940's.
dylan

Minneapolis, MN

#43 Dec 8, 2009
Bev was a counselor in cottage 4 She was very strict but no not fat or greasy hair. She was very thin. I ended up connecting up with her after leaving the institution in 1974 as I went to University of Iowa to college after leaving the institution and she ended up moving to Iowa City with her kids and going to law school there.

Kathy Cornell was the security guard. I was actually quite in love with her. She was a married woman and we had an affair. Her husband caught us in bed after I had been released from there and came back to see her when I was in college in Iowa City.

Does anybody remember Bea Baines? She was a really good friend of mine there. Also Ione (kathy had a thing with her too). Then there was a really tall girl too Ione and her were friends. Then Kim LaFayette. Nice girl. Let's see. Who else. I remember Mrs. Jones, but no Mr Jones and the cooks someone mentioned. Man, this all brings back memories. Yes I remember lock up too. I got put in lock up for going into town and drinking in the local bar. I think with Ione actually. Then we brought beer back to the school and snuck it in.

I left there May 1974 and went to University of Iowa where I earned my bachelor's degree in Social Work and sociology graduating from college December 1977. I went on to earn a master's degree in Social work from University of Wisconsin in Madison several years later.
rose

Creston, IA

#44 Dec 10, 2009
dylan wrote:
Bev was a counselor in cottage 4 She was very strict but no not fat or greasy hair. She was very thin. I ended up connecting up with her after leaving the institution in 1974 as I went to University of Iowa to college after leaving the institution and she ended up moving to Iowa City with her kids and going to law school there.
Kathy Cornell was the security guard. I was actually quite in love with her. She was a married woman and we had an affair. Her husband caught us in bed after I had been released from there and came back to see her when I was in college in Iowa City.
Does anybody remember Bea Baines? She was a really good friend of mine there. Also Ione (kathy had a thing with her too). Then there was a really tall girl too Ione and her were friends. Then Kim LaFayette. Nice girl. Let's see. Who else. I remember Mrs. Jones, but no Mr Jones and the cooks someone mentioned. Man, this all brings back memories. Yes I remember lock up too. I got put in lock up for going into town and drinking in the local bar. I think with Ione actually. Then we brought beer back to the school and snuck it in.
I left there May 1974 and went to University of Iowa where I earned my bachelor's degree in Social Work and sociology graduating from college December 1977. I went on to earn a master's degree in Social work from University of Wisconsin in Madison several years later.
mr jones was the minister besides being a houseparent with mrs jones. i was there march 72 thru aug.72. i only new of 2 lesbian relationships at that time. debbie freeborn was one of them.
moi

Thomasville, GA

#46 Jan 1, 2010
stephanieG76 wrote:
My mom was at the reform school in Mitchellville in the 70's, she has told me so many stories of her crazy times there.
My sister was there mid 70's and was sexually abused there.
Sharla

Alleman, IA

#47 Mar 7, 2010
My grandmother worked at the school for many years. I know she retired in the late 70s or early 80s, but I'm not sure what exactly what year. Her name was Margaret Ward and she taught girls to work in the greenhouse. From what I remember, she really liked her job and enjoyed spending time with the girls.

I spent a lot of time there with her as a young child - I seem to remember there was a swimming pool? And we played a lot of badminton in the gymnasium. Her house was right across the street to the East and I know girls that ran away frequently broke in there for clothes and stuff. I don't think she was ever too mad about that and they knew she wouldn't do anything if they got caught.

Anyway, just wondered if any of you remembered her. She passed away in October 2008 at 96 years of age. She was still living by herself in the same little house across from the school (now prison) that she always did.
Chris S

Los Angeles, CA

#48 Mar 29, 2010
peggy wrote:
i was wondering if any one has any info on the girls training home back around 1947-1950 era. i know my mom was there sometime in late 40's but do not any other info on the whole facility. why she was there. she has passed on so not able to get much info from any family, seems to a bit of a taboo to talk about back in those days.. my siblings & i are wondering if girls were ever sent there due to being pregnant. we have heard a few family rumors our mom went there & she also had a baby back then.trying to get any info on the place in that era of time..
Hi Peggy,

My mom was also in this place from 1946-1948 what was your mothers name and I will ask her if she knows her. She has told me soooo many stories about this place and it was horrible. Let me know and I will make sure to ask her right away. A Mrs. Carter was the Supervisor and she was a royal sadistic woman, Mrs. Kirk was the Assistant Superintentant, Doctor Ellen was the physician.
Chris S

Los Angeles, CA

#49 Mar 29, 2010
dylan wrote:
Peggy, it makes sense that women/girls would have been sent there in the 40's. During that era that would have made sense and also the comment about infant graves there would correlate with girls being there, being pregnant and giving birth. Good luck in getting more info from that time period. But I would guess your questions would be verified as it being a home for pregnant girls back around 1940's.
Hey Dylan,
My mom was there between 1946- 1948 and she said there were NO pregnant gals there during the 27 months she was there.
Yvonne

Key West, FL

#50 Apr 4, 2010
My mom would have been there in the approx. 1943- I don't know. She just so refused to talke about it. Her name was Dorothy McCutcheon. Please help me to understand the conditions and how that must have been. My mom is now deceased.
CANDI

Richmond, VA

#51 Apr 27, 2010
I am an alumni of IOWA reform school years 1975-1978 I was there when annie/urbandale was there i was in cottage 2 della was cook sun-thurs and a centerville iowa lady thurs-sun erymatrude was weekend houseparent barb beckley ART D. TOM/INDIANOLA WAS COUNSELORS THERE WAS RITA/BECKY FROM CRESTON CHICO (LORI LINDA kathy)SISTERS FROM DES MOINES BETTY(waterloo) I BELIVE BETTY ALSO HAD COUSIN THERE RHONDA (FORT DODGE)LITTLEJOHN MADONNA SHAWN P DODI(ottumwa)CAROL O. ELLEN? CYNDI P. LYN M. KIM S. meishara I WAS THERE WHEN COTTAGE THREE WAS GIRLS ( NO MALES DURING THE YEARS I WAS THERE)
rosalia_29

Columbia, MO

#52 Jun 9, 2010
Did Mitchellville let some of the girls attend class at Simpson College and live on campus? I remember some of the girls were from Mitchellville when I was at Simpson from 1975-1980.

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