J. Frank (James Frank) Hanly.

Messages and documents of J. Frank Hanly : Governor of Indiana, January 9, 1905-January 11, 1909 online

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Online LibraryJ. Frank (James Frank) HanlyMessages and documents of J. Frank Hanly : Governor of Indiana, January 9, 1905-January 11, 1909 → online text (page 1 of 42)
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January 9, 1905 January n, 1909



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Messages to the General Assembly



JANUARY 9, 1905.

Gentlemen of the Senate and House of Representatives:

A generously partial and confiding people by a verdict more
nearly approaching unanimity than any ever before rendered by
them, have confided to our care, for a time, the interests of the
State, in so far as government agencies can affect such interests.
Such an unexampled and unprecedented expression of trust and
confidence by them creates, by the inexorable law of compensation,
obligation for us, without example or precedent. Their action
rightly and accurately understood is a demand for the strictest pos-
sible accounting for our every official act a call to the "better
angels" of our natures, and in no instance is it to be construed into
license to follow selfish or personal purposes either of our own or of
others. Public reasons should underlie and impel every public act.
That much the people demand. Less than that they will not long

The oath of office which I have just taken here in your presence,
in the presence of this concourse of our fellow citizens, and in the
presence of Almighty God, like unto that so recently taken by each
of you in your respective chambers, is a most solemn and binding
obligation one well calculated to impel whoever takes it to high
and patriotic service. Cherishing as I do a belief in the existence
of a just God, in the teachings of the Christ, and in the immortality
of my own soul, the words "so help me God" frame the most sacred
pledge my lips can utter or my mind conceive. That oath now lies
upon my conscience, and there it shall continue until the commis-
sion I have received shall be returned to the people who gave it.
If I fail, and in some things I may fail, not one of my countrymen,
including all those who have so generously trusted me, will be so
deeply grieved as I myself shall be.

I congratulate you upon the happy auspices under which we
begin our public service. We are assembled under conditions of


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unsurpassed material wealth and prosperity. Field, mine and fac-
tory have yiefaed rich reward to the efforts and industry of the
wealth producers of the State. Labor is employed and hopeful.
Farmers have witnessed a steady increase in values and in the ac-
cumulation of their savings. Merchants have enjoyed a growing
and profitable trade. Manufacturers have held old markets arid
have gained new ones. Transportation companies have closed a
year of unequaled profit, and the banking and financial institu-
tions, both state and national, that have to do with the savings and
investments of the people, are upon sound and satisfactory footing.
There have been few failures within the lines of legitimate busi-
ness. Mismanagement and speculation in some instances have
brought disaster. Some private banking institutions, for the su-
pervision of which there has been in the law no adequate provision,
and a few national banks have closed their doors, but none of these
have substantially affected general business or financial interests.


Usually fortunate in the administration of State affairs, we
have been especially so during the last twelve years. In that time
there has been no malfeasance in any public office of the State.
Governor Matthews set a high standard of executive efficiency and
excellence, and the late Governor Mount raised that standard yet
higher and inaugurated many wise and improved business methods
in the handling and expenditure of the public revenues. Today
Governor Durbin goes out of office after four years of executive
service unexcelled by either of his immediate predecessors. He
carries with him into private life the good-will and kind wishes of
our best citizenship, and he may justly feel that he has earned the
confidence and the gratitude of his countrymen.

During his administration the public debt has been rapidly de-
creased and the annual interest charge materially lessened. Hon-
esty and economy have characterized every department of the gov-
ernment. The correctional, penal, benevolent and charitable insti-
tutions of the State have received from him considerate care and
efficient management. These institutions have been placed upon a
plane far above partisan politics, and there this administration in-
tends to keep them. There shall be no backward step. Above all
personal and party obligations, however sacred and binding they
may be, I hold the good of the State and the welfare of its unfor-
tunate wards. There shall be no removals of persons holding posi-
tions in any of such institutions except for the good of the institu-

tions themselves. Upright and efficient service will guarantee con-
tinued tenure of position. Negligent and incompetent service will
insure immediate removal.


The policy of the administration in regard to the institutions of
the State shall involve strict but sane economy. Value received
shall be required for money expended. Necessary improvements
will be insisted upon. Needed repairs will be made. To refuse
actual needs is not economy, but extravagance. This applies to the
educational institutions with the same force that it does to the other
institutions. In the days of hardship and privation our fathers
established these schools. Shall we, their children, in our day of
ease and plenty, refuse to provide for their needs or let them
languish or deteriorate for want of means? Not so. Having
established and maintained them until their usefulness has been
successfully demonstrated and their fame has spread over the land
to such an extent as to fill them to overflowing with an eager and
virile student life, we can not abandon them now, and to refuse to
recognize or provide for their necessities is a step toward abandon-
ment. I do not believe we intend to take that step. And I there-
fore urge full and careful consideration of their wants to the end
that their capacity, equipment and facilities shall correspond to the
growth and development of the State, and shall equal at all times
the demands made upon them.


The proposition to establish a State hospital for the scientific
treatment of tuberculosis promises so much in the way of the im-
provement, the cure and the prevention of that dread disease as to
deserve serious consideration. Experiments in New York, Rhode
Island and Massachusetts have demonstrated the value of such an
institution, and have turned the best thought of our own people to
the consideration of our duty in that behalf. In 1903 one death
out of every four that occurred in the State from preventive causes
was due to consumption. Deaths from that cause that year num-
bered 4,876, and for the year just closed deaths from such cause
have not been fewer in number. There is high authority for the
statement that scientific treatment under the favorable conditions
to be secured in a State hospital will save to useful lives 49 per cent,
of the persons treated, and bring improvement to 43 per cent, of
the others. Such a work appeals to every humanitarian impulse of


our people. The condition of the finances, however, is such as to
preclude an appropriation by you for the immediate establishment
of such an institution. But something can be done. An initial
step can at least be taken. I recommend that a commission be cre-
ated composed of five members, one of whom shall be a member of
the Senate, two of whom shall be members of the House, and two
of whom shall be practicing physicians of the State. Such com-
mission should be invested with authority to investigate the subject
and report the results of its investigation, together with such recom-
mendations as it shall deem wise, to the next General Assembly for
its consideration.


The institutions for the insane have become inadequate to house
this most unfortunate class of our population. They arc daily
refused admission to such institutions because of sheer lack of room
to receive and care for them, and arc, therefore, remanded either
to the care of their own friends, or to the poorhouses and jails
of the several counties, where they remain without proper care or
treatment, a charge upon the county in which they live. Under
such conditions the question of cure, or even of improvement, is
practically eliminated from the problem. Irremedial and hopeless
insanity is often the result, when under humane surroundings and
rational scientific treatment, improvement or even recovery might
be assured. Left in the poorhouses and the jails, without medical
treatment or intelligent care, many of them become permanent
charges upon the public, when a short term in a State institution
would effect a cure and enable them to return to their families and
become self-supporting an asset to the State instead of a liability.
There are said to be 226 of such unfortunates in the State who
have been committed upon inquisition to the hospitals for the in-
sane, but who have not been received for lack of room, and 434 more
who are proper subjects for inquisition and treatment.

In view of these conditions there can scarcely be dispute or de-
bate as to the duty of the State. Its obligation is plain and im-
perative. A new hospital should be constructed. The people
can act only through you, their chosen representatives. It is for
you to say whether this condition shall continue. I can only sug-
gest, but you can act. In behalf of the 660 neglected ones who
sit in mental darkness amid unsanitary conditions and unwholesome
surroundings, without medical or humane treatment, and without
hope in the hearts of the friends who love them, I appeal to you.

And lest you do not hear the appeal, or hearing, you forget, I beg
you to remember the words of the great Teacher, for surely He
must have thought of such unfortunate, stricken ones as these
when He said: "Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the
least of these, my brethren, ye have done it unto Me."

It has been suggested, and with some reason, that additions to
existing hospitals should be built, rather than to enter upon the
construction of a new one. The basis for such contention is that
it will cost less money to build additions and afford more imme-
diate relief. I am still of the opinion, however, that it will be
better to establish a new hospital than to undertake to build such
additions. If additions be built to the present institutions it will
be necessary, at least in one instance and possibly in two, to en-
large the lighting and heating plants at such institutions. The
enlargement of such institutions until they will have sufficient
capacity to care for a thousand patients each, will only meet
present necessities. The total number that can be provided for
in that way is 679. There are practically that many now who
ought to be cared for by the State. A new institution will not
only answer present demands, but it will provide for future needs
and its establishment will cost but little, if any more, than the
three proposed additions.


Closely connected with the question of an additional hospital
for the insane is another matter of equally grave importance
the establishment of an institution for epileptics. Of these there
are said to be 381 who are in the hospitals as insane. There are
many others in the jails and poorhouses, and still others at large;
in all 920 who ought to be receiving the charity of the State in
a properly appointed institution. A number of States have estab-
lished such institutions. In Ohio, New York, Massachusetts and
New Jersey epileptic colonies or villages have been in successful
operation for a considerable time, varying from three to fourteen
years. In such States the matter is no longer an experiment, but
has become a part of the established policy of the State. The
history of these institutions is most interesting. Five to 10 per
cent, of all patients received are cured, and there is marked im-
provement in many others.

Epilepsy is hereditary. Competent authorities estimate that
one-third of those afflicted with the disease have inherited it and
are therefore bearing the "blight of ancestral sins and woes." For


these there is little or no hope of recovery. They are children of
the State in the fullest possible meaning of the term. In two-
thirds of the cases, however, the disease is said to be due to other
causes than heredity, and in most of such cases there is hope of im-
provement and often of a full return to intellect and strength.
The nature of the malady is such that those who are afflicted with
it must be denied the usual privileges of schools, entertainments,
society and employment, and are compelled to grow up into adult
life, ignorant, idle, isolated and neglected. Outdoor life, consistent
diet, scientific and skilled treatment, congenial occupation and a
sympathetic companionship which lessens the sense of neglect and
isolation that weighs so heavily upon them in the world of normal
men, are essential to their improvement or recovery. These can
best be had in institutional life. A village or farm colony, where
its inmates may find opportunity to turn to useful account such
faculties as have not yet been destroyed or impaired, and which arc
capable of development, and where something of home life and its
sympathies may be had and enjoyed, affords the best plan for such
an institution. The establishment of such an hospital can be jus-
tified also on economic grounds.

The insane and the epileptics in the poorhouses and jails of
the several counties are already public charges, and unless cared
for by the State, are destined to remain so indefinitely. There,
they are costing from 40 to 50 cents a day for maintenance. They
can be maintained in a State institution at a cost of from 17 to 20
cents a day. If the first cost of such an establishment be elim-
inated, State care is much more economical, considered from a
money standpoint alone, than jail or infirmary custody. It is also
more humane and scientific, and it precludes the epileptic from be-
getting his kind, a thing of incalculable future benefit to the race.

I am persuaded that the time has come in Indiana when we
ought to take these worthy and dependent children of the State
out of the poorhouses, the jails and asylums, where they are a
burden to the public and a horror to themselves, and care for
them in a State institution as becomes our wealth and rank among
the great "States of the Union. The first appropriation need not
be large. It is believed that $150,000 will be sufficient to purchase
a farm and start the institution. To this, in the beginning, there
should be sent only that class of epileptics most calculated to re-
spond to treatment and best qualified to assist in the work of the
construction and improvement of the institution.

The law providing for the establishment of an additional hos-


pital for the insane, or of an epileptic institute, should provide for
the appointment of a commission of not less than five persons
to select and purchase sites for them, under such restrictions as
to cost, area and location as, in your judgment, shall seem wise.


For twelve years we have been engaged in debt-paying. The
record of the late administration in that regard is without prece-
dent in the history of the State. There now remains but $1,207,000
of the bonded foreign debt ; $407,000 of that sum is represented
by 3 per cent, school fund refunding bonds of the issue of June,
1889. These bonds arc payable at the pleasure of the State, but
will not be due until June, 1909. The sinking fund tax rate of 3
cents on the $100 will produce this year a fund something more
than sufficient to discharge this issue of bonds in full ; $300,000 of
the bonded foreign debt consists of 3V> per cent, funding bonds
of the temporary loan of the issue of April, 1895. These are
payable at the pleasure of the State after April, 1910, but will
not be due until April, 1915. The remaining $500,000 of such
debt consists of 3 1 /> per cent. State House temporary funding
bonds of the issue of May, 1895, payable at the option of the State
after May, 1910, but not due until May, 1915.

The present sinking fund tax rate of 3 cents on the $100
produces an annual sinking fund income closely approximating
$450,000. This tax should be reduced to a rate sufficient only in
amount to meet the bonded foreign debt when the same becomes
payable in 1910. More than that is not needed and will only ac-
cumulate as idle money in the State treasury unless we go into the
market and purchase bonds before our option to pay matures, a
thing Ave ought not to do, to the extent which the present rate will
make necessary if it be continued. Indeed, the present necessities
of the State which can be met only out of the general fund, are
such as to justify us in reducing the sinking fund tax rate to 1
cent on the $100. Such a rate will produce something like $750,-
000 by 1910, or within $50,000 of enough to redeem the entire
bonded foreign debt the day the option to pay it matures, and five
years before it is actually due. The repeal of the sinking fund
tax in its entirety has been suggested, but that ought not to be
done. Some provision should be left for the payment of the debt,
and it should be sufficient in amount to meet it by the time it be-
comes payable under the terms of the loan.



The estimated expenses for the State government for the fiscal
year ending October 31, 1905, including specific appropriations
now available and the estimated cost of the present session of the
General Assembly, arc $463,000 in excess of the estimated rev-
enues accruing to the State within such fiscal year. This condi-
tion of the finances will become an actual embarrassment to the
treasury before the end of the current year. It can be met only
by borrowing money outright or by anticipating the revenues for
the next fiscal year. It is due to two causes. First, to the large
appropriations made by the last General Assembly; second, to a
substantial invasion of the general fund for the purpose of making
payments on the State debt. The sum of $140,379.45 has been
taken out of the general fund during the last two fiscal years,
$416,703.25 in three years and $521,091.59 in four years, and
applied to the payment of the State's indebtedness not yet due, at
a time, too, when the general fund was already overdrawn, and
when the revenues accruing to such fund were being anticipated far
in advance. Bonds were bought in the market with money from
the general fund in the face of the fact that there was sure to be a
heavy deficit in that fund at the close of each fiscal year. Debt-
paying is commendable, but the present embarrassment could have
been saved by conserving the general fund and applying only the
sinking fund to the payment of the debt, especially so as such fund
would have been ample to meet the entire bonded foreign debt long
before it would have become due. The revenues for the present
year have been anticipated to the extent of $529,649.03.

The estimated revenues accruing to the general fund for each
of the years 1906 and 1907 from the present levy, such estimate
being based upon last year's receipts, will be $2,971,157, or
$5,942,314 for the two years.

The regular expenditures for the administration of the State
government, including the maintenance of the several State insti-
tutions, and not including specific appropriations for such insti-
tutions, based upon the year just closed, will be $2,364,630 for
each of the years 1906 and 1907, or $4,729,260 for the two years.
This would leave a balance in the treasury to the credit of the
general fund of $1,213,054, from which specific appropriations
for the years 1906 and 1907 might be made were it not for tin*
fact that the expenses of the present vear will exceed the revenues,
as heretofore shown, something like $463,000, which deficit must be
supplied either by borrowing money or by anticipating the rev-


enues for 1906. Deducting the deficit of '$463,000 from the bal-
ance of $1,213,054, left in the treasury after paying the regular
estimated expenses of the two years, we have a balance of $750,054
from which specific appropriations can be made, whereas the insti-
tutions already established seem to be actually in need of specific
appropriations for the two years of $1,174,596, or $424,542 in
excess of the money that will be available for that purpose.

In addition to the needs of the present State institutions, there
is urgent need, as before suggested, for the construction of an
additional hospital for the insane, and for which, if it be estab-
lished, there will have to be appropriated not less than $500,000
for the two years. There is also a like need for the construction
of an epileptic institute, for which not less than $150,000 should
be appropriated.

If these two institutions are established and appropriations made
as suggested, and we make the provision that the existing State
institutions actually require and make good the deficiency for this
year, it will necessitate specific appropriations for the two years
aggregating $2,287,596, or $1,074,542 in excess of the estimated
revenues available for that purpose within the two years.


These facts make it apparent that we must either fail in our
present responsibility to the institutions already established and
refuse to construct either of the new hospitals suggested, or we
must provide additional sources of income for the general fund.
After much thoughtful consideration I am persuaded that we
ought to adopt the last course, rather than the first, and I there-
fore recommend that the sinking fund tax rate be reduced to 1
cent; that the 2 cents taken off of that rate be transferred to the
levy for the general fund and that the tax rate for the general
fund be increased by an additional levy of 1% cents on the $100.
The 2-cent levy transferred from the sinking fund to the general
fund will produce, approximately, $600,000 in two years, and the
additional levy of 1% cents will bring into the treasury substan-
tially $450,000. These sums, together with the $1,213,054 re-
maining to the credit of the general fund after the payment of the
regular expenses of the two years, will aggregate $2,263,054, or
within $24,542 of the total expenses for the"two years, with exist-
ing institutions properly cared for and with two new and much
needed institutions substantially established and the present deficit
made good. I make this recommendation with unfeigned reluct-


ance, because of the great expenditures involved and of the increase
of the State tax levy which such expenditures make imperative,
but I have been able to devise no other way, as satisfactory, to
meet the confessed institutional needs of the State. While we
have been debt-paying at an unprecedented rate the needs of
the State's institutions have been multiplying and can not longer
be deferred. It will be better to meet these needs now frankly
and boldly than to shirk our responsibility by refusing to recog-
nize them and leaving the helpless and unfortunate wards of the
State in poorhouses and in jails, charges upon the respective coun-
ties where they live. A rich and prosperous people will respond
generously to the one policy, but I am persuaded that they would
be slow to forgive the adoption of the other. Nor will the increased
burden long continue. The 1% cents added to the general levy
may be removed in two years, and in six years the remaining 1 cent
sinking fund levy may also be removed, for at the end of that
period there will remain no bonded debt to be provided for or paid.
For these reasons I most earnestly recommend the adoption of
the plan herein mentioned, and sincerely hope it will meet with your
approval upon full consideration and debate. The deed, if done,
will square itself with the years.


An act of the General Assembly, approved March 11, 1903,
created a prison commission composed of the warden of the State

Online LibraryJ. Frank (James Frank) HanlyMessages and documents of J. Frank Hanly : Governor of Indiana, January 9, 1905-January 11, 1909 → online text (page 1 of 42)