Sunday, January 10, 2016

On This Date in Minnesota History: January 10

January 10, 1911 – Minneapolis will no longer force the homeless to crouch in dark stairways and pillow their heads on snow drifts while the icy wind rattles the signs over the sidewalks and showers their shivering bodies with sleet. The new municipal lodging house will open its doors tonight to the derelicts offering them the opportunity to be warmed, fed, bathed and fumigated. The first two are permitted, the last two required.

The old police station has been scraped, scrubbed, fumigated, had its floors torn up and new ones put in. Gas pipes, water pipes, air pipes and fumigating pipes have been run about its interior regardless of protesting brick and timber, and shiny new partitions have been erected on the second floor in geometrical precision.

Tony Schaible, who is to be the host of the new lodging house, was at the building yesterday, filled to the brim with enthusiasm, congratulations and directions to the workingmen who were still fussing about the fumigator. He opened mysterious doors and drew forth new blankets to be admired, also gaudy pink and blue flannel nightshirts, “robes de nuit” is barred from the polite vocabulary of the guests. Shiny coffee pots, cups and spoons were spread on polished tables.

The guest of the city will step into a small office when he opens the door.

Then he will be escorted to a room, where his clothing will be removed and placed in a sack, to be fumigated. The shivering guest will then be led out on a stone floor, where he will stand and a shower of hot water will suddenly deluge him.

This will be followed by a cold shower. A rub-down and then a spurt to the dormitory, where he will be given one of the gaudy nightshirts, a corn husk tick, some blankets and a place to sleep. The room will be heated with steam.

About 100 men can be accommodated. If the night is very cold, an additional fifty more men might be crowded in.

The Minneapolis Morning Tribune; “Minneapolis Bath for Each Hobo Fee (sic) for City Lodging. Before He Gets Free Bed, Derelict Must Strip and Stand Under Shower. Clothes Will Go in Bag and Be Subject to Thorough Fumigation. First Institution of Kind in Minneapolis Will Open at Once.”; Jan. 10, 1911; p. 1.

Photo taken by Pamela J. Erickson. Released into the public domain Jan. 10, 2016,
as long as acknowledgement included.


If you are interested in finding out more about your family history in Minnesota, I specialize in researching  genealogical and historical records in Minn. and western Wis., including:
census records,  birth records,  death certificates, obits, grave site photos, ship passenger lists, marriage records and declarations of intent/naturalization records.  I will visit locations to research local history and county records, as well as take photos. Quick turnaround on MHS records.  Both short searches and family history reports.

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