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Two Brothers at Industrial School

On this date in 1915 Esburn and Louis Chafin, ages 10 and 8, were residents of the Poor Farm in DeWitt County. Since the Poor Farms were not meant to house minors, the court of Will County sent these brothers to McLean County's Industrial Home, which was available for their care. As he committed these boys to the home, the judge commented that although they could stay in the home until age 21, it was unlikely that these boys would remain together. The likelihood of adoption by the same family was remote and although their mother would have liked to have kept them, her ability to do so was unlikely to change. The grandparents were the ones who ultimately commended them to the Poor Farm. Their father had never shown any interest in them.

The 1920 census recorded that Esburn was living in Will County on the farm of George and Amanda Mark. Esburn was working there as a hired hand. Other records indicate that Esburn married in Michigan in 1924 to Jessie LaLonde. However, she died seven years later.

Louis Chafin did not appear in the public record again until 1926 when he married Lois Allen in Indiana. Louis died in 1939 in Indiana.

Until 1919, boys were accepted at the Industrial Home. In 1919 the Victory Hall was created and the thirty boys who were currently living at the Industrial home were transferred to Victory Hall, on Hovey Avenue in Normal. Boys were only kept at the home until age 14, at which time they were put out into the world.

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