West Virginia Industrial Home for Girls

Clarksburg Telegram
May 26, 1899

The Owl's 'Who's There'?

Grated upon Their Ears and Two Girls at The Industrial School at Salem Determined to Make their Escape and go where the Songs of Birds are Heard.

They Jumped from a Window

And Fled Westward Through the Woods. By use of the Telephone they were Caught Near Long Run and Brought Back.

Two of the girls committed to the Girls' Industrial school at Salem made their escape Sunday evening about 6 o'clock. Supper was on but some of the girls had not gone into the dining room, but remained in the sewing room. These two had, evidently, had a pre-arranged understanding and awaited only their opportunity to break from the confines wherein the purpose is to train them in the ways of noble womanhood. That opportunity came and they were swift to take advantage of it. They jumped out of the window for the sake of desperation, though they could have easily flown through the open door. The act of scaling the walls on a suspended rope from a third-story window would have been a much more daring feat, but the timidity of their hearts probably deterred them from such an undertaking. They were gone fully five minutes before their deserted companions informed the authorities of the escapade. To trail them was useless as they had already been swallowed up by the heavy woods beyond. The telephone, however, was used with good effect and Collie Ford, who was at Long Run, was communicated with. Later in the evening the girls were cut short in their tramping career by being taken into custody in the neighborhood of Long Run. They were held over-night there and brought back to the home on Monday morning's accommodation, we imagine, thoroughly repentant for their rash act.

When caught one of the girls obstreperously protested, saying she was tired of living out there among owls.

The grounds were unfenced and the matter of escape is easy, unless the closest vigilance be employed.

A Sunday or two ago some Salem boys treated the girls to cigarettes, having induced them to evade the vigilance of the school authorities. Since then stricter rules have been enforced and notices have been posted offering a reward of $5 to any one finding a girl off the grounds.

The management of the institution for the sake of the inmates has requested us to withhold the girls' names, a request the Telegram is glad to comply with so long as it will be of benefit to the institution.

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