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Owatonna State Public School Records Request

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  • Usually ships in: Up to 30 business days

The State Archives of the Minnesota Historical Society Library preserves historical state and local government records, including records from the state orphanage. The Owatonna State Public School was established by the Minnesota legislature in 1885 as a public institution for dependent and neglected children between the ages of 3 and 14 (Laws 1885 c146). The primary record series for this institution is the case files.

Restrictions for Access

Owatonna State Public School records contain private information about individuals and access to many of them is restricted. Please see the More Info tab on this page for more information.

Research Prices

  • $40.00 per request (for MN residents)
  • $50.00 per request (for non MN residents)
  • Pre-payment is required.

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Owatonna State Public School Record Research (usually ships in 30 business days)

The State Archives of the Minnesota Historical Society Library preserves historical state and local government records, including records from the state orphanage. The Owatonna State Public School was established by the Minnesota legislature in 1885 as a public institution for dependent and neglected children between the ages of 3 and 14 (Laws 1885 c146).

The primary record series for this institution is the case files. A case file was maintained on each child committed to the jurisdiction of the Owatonna State Public School. The case file for an individual may contain documents surrounding the admission of the child, including substantial data about his/her family history, reasons for placement, and medical conditions. It also may include records of the student's academic progress at the institution, contracts and agreements for the placing out of the individual with families, adoption papers, and data on medical services provided to the child. Photographs, letters to or from family members, baptismal certificates, and other records documenting the child's life at the facility also may be found. Follow-up reports from state investigation agents into the placement or adoptive families are frequently present. Some files contain correspondence from long after the child was discharged, either relating the child's future work and life or from family members searching for the whereabouts of the student. Death notices or certificates for children who died while under the facility's jurisdiction also may be found.

Restrictions for access

Many children who were placed in Owatonna were eventually legally adopted. In the state of Minnesota, adoption records are closed for 100 years from the date of adoption. Any Owatonna case file for a child that was adopted is also closed for 100 years from the date of adoption. Records for an individual who was adopted less than 100 years old may be viewed only with a court order from the judge of the district court in which the adoption occurred. Please see our Restricted Records FAQ Page for more information on this process.

Children who were not adopted: These files contain private information about individuals and are generally restricted. If a child was not adopted, their record is open 100 years after the date of admission. You should apply for permission to access records that are less than 100 years old. Please see our Restricted Records FAQ Page for more information on this process

Research Prices

  • Library staff will search for one name.

$40.00 for MN residents
$50.00 for non-MN residents

Researchers who visit the Library may conduct research within this record group with any necessary assistance from Library staff, request records, flag documents within a record and request individual copies of these documents at a cost of .25 cents per page. This option is not available to off-site researchers.

  Please Select

Child's name
Birth Date (mm/dd/yyyy):
Date of Death (mm/dd/yyyy)
Admission Date
Discharge Date

Owatonna State Public School Records Request