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council, conference, or the decisions of a Ulema, are alike power-
less before our laws. It acknowledges no government external to
itself; no ecclesiastical or other organization as having power over
her citizens, or any right to dispense with the obligations of its
laws. The doctrine is the supremacy of the people, and that all
government is founded on their authority, and instituted for their
benefit. We defend our common schools. They are our Alma
It is the enviable lot of the age in which we live, to see

“The church and state that long had held
Unholy intercourse, now divorced.
She, who on the breast of civil power
Had long reposed her harlot head,
(The church a harlot then when first she wedded civil

And drank the blood of martyred saints,
Whose priests were lords,
Whose coffers held the gold of every land,

Who held a cup—of all pollutions full.” In the early settlements the school preceded the church, and the educational position now held by our county is an enviable


We refer with pleasure to the fine school edifices of Havana, Mason City, Bath, and the one now in process of erection at the pleasant village of Easton. These splendid buildings are very justly the pride of their respective localities.

The building in Havana, erected in 1875, at a cost of only $30,ooo, is that city's best ornament.

Our people are under obligations to our excellent School Board for assuming the high position they did in the erection of that building, that not only meets the present wants of the city, but will do so for many years to come. The architecture, the mechanical execution, and all the details of ventilation and heating are on the most approved scientific basis. Our School Board, composed of Messrs. Isaac N. Mitchell, Jacob Wheeler and Judson R. Foster (we would like to name each one first in the list to give each a special prominence) will long deserve the consideration of our citizens, not only for the building, but for placing our schools in the control and management of the very able corps of teachers that have and will hereafter assume its management. In selecting

female teachers, they sought for ability, experience and adaptation, and one year last passed has proven the wisdom of their selections.

The female teachers are Miss Gertie Chase, Miss Katie Kemp, Miss Kissie Wright, Miss Theresa Burnell, Miss Sadie M. Hutchins, Miss Nellie M. Beane, Miss Jennie E. Hutchins. Under their superlative management for the year last past, the schools have made such fine progress that the entire corps have been retained for the coming year. And while the Directors wrote dignoir after the names of each of the other teachers, it is no disparagement to them that they wrote dignissimus after Miss Burnell's. Mr. Thos. W. Catlin, a graduate of Yale College, is employed as Superintendent for the coming year.

The schools of Bath are supplied with a competent and efficient corps of teachers, and so satisfactory have been their services that they too have been retained for the coming year. Their fine and commodious edifice is creditable to the very laudable ambition of the town to excel in her educational interests.

We have been unable to obtain data of the schools of Mason City to enable us to give the facts in reference to their managements and prosperity. We have made frequent applications to the county superintendent therefor, but have failed up to this date to receive them. We have learned, however, from individuals of that city, that their very fine and commodious edifice is well and competently occupied by an able superintendent, and corps of teachers, to whose faithfulness and abilities the people feel themselves indebted. Another edifice has been spoken of, to be erected in the eastern part of the city.

We would refer in detail to every school house and every teacher in Mason county could we do so, and did space permit, but we must forbear that pleasure and simply state that all are very competently supplied, and the class of school buildings throughout the county are creditable to those who have their charge. We cannot express advantages of our system of schools. It is a fact observed by all, that the best and most vigorous and comprehensive minds of our country have arisen from the masses—from the common people This is a rule, and not an exception, and exceptions to this rule are very rare.

This is attributable to our school system. It is ability and power that makes the progress and advance


ment, and ultimately attains eminence in politics, law and scientific attainments.

The same is true of the most successful manufacturers, merchants, mechanics and farmers. It is the poor man's son, dependent on his own individual energies, that is successful in life; a most emphatic commentary on our school system, and our governmental institutions.

We once attended a noted school examination where the son of an Irish laborer carried away first honors in all his recitations, and

, the son of a wealthy citizen and high official was excused, after he had made repeated failures, from further examination. Móney, position and influence will not buy talent, energy, perseverance and application. Some of these results are attributable to the exercise and muscular-physical development which are predominant in the poorer people.

“There is a bird, God bless its feet,
That chirps a music very sweet,

Upon the snow.
Let other warblers come in spring,
Amid the flowers their notes to sing,

And plumage show.
But give me yet that little bird
Whose cheerful voice is often heard

In winds that chill.
Blest emblem of God's child of grace,
Whose soul the storm of life can face,

And carol still."


While it is true that “man's inhumanity to man makes countless thousands mourn,” it is also true that in no age or country has the poor unfortunates of God's creatures been cared for as in the United States; and not one of the states of this Union has the facilities for caring for its unfortunates as does the State of Illinois. There is no more commendable object to which the millions can be applied that are expended on the noble edifices in which the deaf, dumb, blind, insane and feeble-minded are housed and fed, and tenderly cared for.

For the unfortunate poor of our own county, the authorities have most amply provided.

In contrast with the present, we here insert a description of the Parish Poor House in England. We quote from an old work issued from the press nearly one hundred years ago:

"Behold yon house that holds the parish poor,
Whose walls of mud scarce bear the broken door;
There where the putrid vapors flagging play,
And the dull wheel hums doleful through the day;
There children dwell who know no parent's care,
Parents who know no children's love, dwell there,
Heart-broken matrons on their joyless beds,
Forsaken wives, and mothers never wed;
Dejected widows with unheeded tears,
And crippled age with more than childhood's fears;
The lame, the blind, and far the happiest, they
The moping idiot, and the mad-man gay.
Here, too, the sick their final doom receive,
Here brought amid the scenes of grief to grieve;
Where the loud groans in some sad chamber flow,
Mixed with the clamors of the crowd below;
Here sorrowing they each kindred sorrow scan,
And the cold charities of man to man;
Whose laws, indeed, for ruined age provide,
And strong compulsion plucks the scrap from pride;
But still that scrap is bought with many a sigh,
And pride embitters what it can't deny.
Such is that room, which one rude beam divides,
And make the rafters form the sloping sides;
Where the vile bands that bind the thatch are seen,
And lath and mud are all that lie between;
Save one dull pane that coarsely patched gives way,
To the rude tempest, yet excludes the day.
Here on a matted flock with dust o'erspread,
The drooping wretch reclines his languid head;
For him no hand the cordial cup applies,
Nor wipes the tear that stagnates in his eyes;
No friends with soft discourse his pain beguile,
Nor promise hope till sickness wears a smile."

Instead of the conditions above described the poor of Mason county are most amply cared for. A commodious home is provided them. A most healthful and a most beautiful country farm, in the best surroundings in the county, is their location. Ample amount of healthful food is provided them. The best medical attention is furnished those who may need it, and cleanliness, quiet and order is the characteristic of all their ample appointments.

This feature of American philanthropy finds no counterpart in any country in the world, however boasted its civilization or its advancement. And it is with no feeling of regret that we can record that the United States, Illinois and Mason county are high up on the roll of humanitarians. To the objects of these charities the question is never asked, How came ye here? Enough for the public, who is the dispenser of this beneficence, to know that the subject is needing their assistance.

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