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Owatonna State Public School Records Request

Price is based on the options you select. See your price below.

For this research service, Library Staff will search for one child's case file.  

Price:
$40 for MN residents
$50 for non-MN residents
Shipping and copying fees are included in the price
MNHS Members receive 10% discount at checkout

Turnaround: Usually ships within 30 business days.

About This Research Service:  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 State Archives of the Minnesota Historical Society Library preserves records from the state orphanage, including the case files that were maintained for each child.

Contents of case files vary greatly, but may contain some or all of the following:

  • Admission documents
  • Family history and/or reasons for placement
  • Data on medical conditions and/or medical services provided
  • Records of academic progress
  • Contracts/agreements for "placing out" with families
  • Adoption papers
  • Photographs
  • Letters to or from family members
  • Baptismal certificates
  • Follow-up reports from state investigation agents about placement or adoptive families
  • Correspondence when the child was at Owatonna
  • Correspondence after the child was discharged (often about later work/life or from family members searching for the child)
  • Death notices or certificates for children who died while under the facility's jurisdiction

Restrictions on access: Owatonna State Public School records contain private information about individuals and access to many of them is restricted.  

If additional permission/paperwork is required for your specific order (for all children born in 1900 or later), you will have the opportunity to upload the application form and supporting documents during the ordering process.  If you prefer, you may also email, mail, or fax your form and documents to us.  Please include your order information with your paperwork, so that it can be connected to your order after it arrives.  

Email: reference@mnhs.org
Fax: attn to OSPS Request 651-297- 7436
Mail: MNHS Library, attn: OSPS Request, 345 W. Kellogg Blvd., St. Paul, MN 55102  

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