Minnesota Historical Society

Owatonna State Public School Records Request

$ 5.00

For this research service, Library Staff will search for one child in the Owatonna State Public School (state orphanage).

Owatonna State Public School Records Requests are usually completed and sent via email within 60 business days after payment has been processed.

Index Search Only: $5
Full Case Files: Not Currently Available

MNHS Members receive 10% discount at checkout

Research is usually completed and sent via email within 60 business days.

About This Research Service:

At this time, only an index search is available. Staff are currently working on a more extensive records search service that will be available sometime in the future.

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.

Index materials of this nature include varying types of information. Most include:

  • Full Name
  • Admission Date
  • Discharge Date
  • Student Number
  • Names of any siblings also admitted
  • Information about foster or indenture placements

Full Case Files are not currently available, but when they are, you can expect contents to vary greatly. They 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.

Children's records are generally restricted for 75 years from the date of the last entry on the record, or 100 years from the date of any adoption or illegitimate birth. If restricted information is present, it will be clearly redacted. If the item is fully restricted, staff will contact you about next steps.

Questions? Email: reference@mnhs.org

Mail: MNHS Library, attn: OSPS Request, 345 W. Kellogg Blvd., St. Paul, MN 55102


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