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such purpose would also be greatly diminished. I respectfully suggest it would be entirely proper for the General Assembly to memorialize Congress in favor of such legislation.
SOLDIERS' AND SAILORS' HOME.
The act of 1885 for the establishment of the Soldiers' and Sailors' Home, has been carried into full effect. The commissioners, appointed under the act, selected a site for the home in Adams county, near the city of Quincy, on the bank of the Mississippi river; a beautiful and commanding location, well adapted in every respect for a home. The trustees appointed under the act entered promptly and vigorously upon the performance of their duties; selected and adopted a plan and specifications, approved by the Governor; employed a competent architect; advertised for and accepted bids for all work and materials, and have substantially completed the home. The plan contemplates a main or headquarters building, and a system of cottages, each one a home for thirty-three soldiers. On the 20th of October, the home was dedicated with most imposing ceremonies, and I am informed by the trustees will be ready for occupancy
as appropriations shall be made for the care and support of the worthy objects of this State benefaction. The report of the trustees gives information in detail upon all matters connected with the subject. Provision is made for the comfortable accommodation of 264, and temporary accommodations can be provided for about 150 additional inmates. Estimates made by the Board of Trustees will require for two years, For the several items named.
171,600 For ordinary expenses for 1888.
Total for two years...
$650,900 The total seems large, but it must be borne in mind these estimates are made with reference to the large number of old soldiers, 1,100, whom it is supposed will desire to avail themselves of the privileges of the home. Should the expectations of the board in this respect fail of realization, although the suggested appropriations be made, they will be drawn against only
to the amount of $156 for maintenance and support of each soldier and sailor registered in the home. I recommend that appropriation be made at the earliest possible day for ordinary expenses for 1887. Other appropriations may be postponed until a later period in your session, by which time actual experience may more clearly indicate what further amounts may become necessary with reference to additional cottages and ordinary expenses for 1888, when such necessary sums may be provided.
STATE BOARD OF HEALTH.
The State Board of Health continues to discharge most faithfully the very responsible duties imposed upon it by law. This board has in keeping the health and lives of the people of the State-most important duties. It puts into practical execution the medical practice act, and all laws relating to sanitation and the public health. It superintends vital and mortuary statistics, and looks after all the details which pertain to sewerage, drainage, inspection of private residences, and the general policy as to the violations of health laws and accumulations of filth, the sure and certain source of many of the alls which befall a people, who, in this respect, are sure to suffer from a disregard of the moral laws of cleanliness and good and decent habits. The efficient agency of this board has not only restored, but has fixed medicine upon a higher plane by comparatively eradicating empiricism and quackery, and remitting them to the limbo of public disgust. In its field of usefulness it has been compelled to encounter criticism and cant. It has, nevertheless, kept steadily on its course, vigilantly looking after and protecting, as far as possible, the public health and the lives entrusted to its care and supervision. It is by no means certain we are to escape the threatened invasion of Asiatic cholera. It is nearer to us than two years ago, when it was thought prudent to place at the disposal of this board, contingently, $40,000 to resist its threatened invasion. It is true that fund has not been touched. This fact alone does not show such appropriation was unnecessary. It does satisfy us, however, that when such a fund for the prevention of invasion of any serious contagious or infectious epidemic, or to become epidemic, disease, has not been needlessly drawn upon, it will be both wise and prudent to make a similar provision for the future. I recommend that liberal appropriations be made to enable the board to meet all the necessities of its creation, and to continue its usefulness to the State.
BOARDS OF PHARMACY AND DENTAL EXAMINERS.
Nearly allied to the Board of Health in importance and in the nature of the subjects under their respective control, are the Boards of Pharmacy and Dental Examiners. Neither of these Boards draws any support from the State Treasury in executing the interesting and delicate trusts committed to their care. Both have in charge, to a large extent, the public welfare, and both look after the health and comfort of the public. The Board of Pharmacy deals exclusively with the compounding and preparation of medicine under prescriptions from practicing physicians, as well as directly with all people who are obliged to purchase drugs and medicines in the daily affairs of life. It is extremely important that none but the most skilled and competent should be permitted to mix and compound medicines and to deal in the infinite variety of stuffs that are supposed to constitute a well regulated drug store. It is quite
proper the State should regulate, through competent boards provided with ample powers, such agencies of public health. No doubt amendments to existing law upon these subjects are necessary, and it is well worth consideration if the State ought not to afford more substantial aid than heretofore to their efficiency and encouragement.
The object of the law in dealing with fish in the waters of the State is to encourage the cultivation and distribution of this desirable and substantial food, and, to favor and enlarge its consumption at reasonable rates by the mass of the people. It was believed no class or limited number of people had special privilege to appropriate this natural gift and source of pleasure and wealth to their use and profit only. Wholesome provision has been made to protect this valuable industry. An intelligent and unselfish Fish Commission has had the subject in charge for years, without cost to the State. The result of its valuable labors may be seen in the report of its operations for the last two years. I call special attention to the suggestions of the Commission as to proposed amend ments to existing law upon the whole subject. I favor, and have no doubt such modifications will greatly aid the Commissioners in still more effectively carrying out the object of the law, and recommend that more liberal appropriations be made to enable them to do so.
ILLINOIS AND MICHIGAN CANAL.
The Illinois and Michigan canal continues still to be the property of the State. The generous offer of this valuable commercial artery of trade by the people of the State has not been accepted by the United States thus far. It continues to have a fair share of the carrying trade of our country, and contributes largely towards the regulation and cheapening of railroad transportation. It greatly benefits the region of country penetrated by it in this respect, and, although the minimum of tolls has been about reached, it still continues to afford revenue sufficient from its earnings to relieve the State treasury from all charge on account of neccessary maintenance and repairs. For the year just closed the receipts from the canal and river show a balance over all expenditures of $50,547.25. Notwithstanding this creditable showing the Commissioners ask, and I recommend, that the usual annual contingent fund be appropriated, as a safeguard against unforeseen and not impossible contingencies.
The report of the State Superintendent of Public Instruction embodies all the information necessary to a full understanding of our free school system. In fact, the system is so familiar to the public, and its utility so universally admitted and approved, that but little occasion exists for any detailed statement in connection with its operation in a paper of this character. I, however, invite special attention to the suggestions and recommendations of the Superintendent, contained in his last report. The impartial and efficient administration of the duties of his office, I feel, justly entitle his views to careful consideration.
The University of Illinois continues substantially to meet the hopes and purposes of its establishment as a State institution of learning. It may not be practical to carry into full effect the extravagant expectations of its earlier and more enthusiastic friends. It was never intended, some crudely supposed, to become a school for farmers and mechanics. It is only intended to teach branches of learning akin, and, as nearly as possibly, related to these practical industries. This it does most faithfully, and, besides, encourages the pursuit of knowledge in all other departments of learning. If properly sustained, I see no reason why it may not at an early day become really a University in all respects honorable to the State and to the friendly public opinion which sup
The State and Southern Normal Universities present evidences of substantial usefulness as institutions of learning. . Both are steadily adding to the army of teachers so needful to the youth of the State, fulfilling to some extent, in this respect, the purposes of their creation.
The Southern Normal will, in a few days, be comfortably reestablished in the new building erected upon the foundation of the old one destroyed by fire in November, 1883; and, what is most gratifying, is in a more flourishing condition than ever before, notwithstanding the many discouragements encountered after the disastrous fire which drove faculty and students out in the streets in early winter. Under the judicious management of the Board of Trustees, the appropriation of the last General Assembly has been found sufficient to complete and furnish the new school building
STATE CHARITABLE INSTITUTIONS.
But little need be said upon the subject of State Charitable Institutions. The policy in regard to them is fixed, and embodied in the public heart. Legislation in relation to them has become a system as well understood and as generally approved as any in our State. It is undoubtedly true that large annual appropriations are required to suitably sustain and support them. Necessarily such appropriations must increase from year to year, as the population which seeks shelter in such institutions steadily increases. There seems to be no sure defence against the inroads of the large class of ailments which continue to afflict mankind, mental and physical. All we can do is to ameliorate the sad condition of many of them, and afford all needful remedy to the curable and more hopeful cases.
It seems that $1,000,000 annually will be required for such purpose for the next two years. In addition, some $800,000 will be asked for purposes of enlargement of capacity of the respective institutions, and other special appropriations amounting to about $700,000, a total for two years for ordinary and special purposes of $3,500,000. In explanation of the large sum requested, it may be said that pressure upon the various Boards of Trustees and Superintendents for admission into the various charitable institutions is so intense and ceaseless, that they feel obliged to bring to the attention of the legislature the imploring and beseeching appeals of the unfortunate for assistance and protection. Nearly all of them therefore ask for more room and more means to support the largely increasing numbers seeking State aid.
In connection with the foregoing subject it is thought proper to allude to other charitable subjects which many good citizens feel, and will doubtless urge, should receive State recognition and aid. A State training school for girls, and a home for juvenile offenders, for the maintenance, discipline and reformation of girls, and an institution, to be established in Chicago, where the blind shall find employment under the auspices of the State. The commendable objects which the friends and advocates of these proposed institutions have in view, will meet with universal favor. It is a matter of serious consideration, however, as to whether the State is prepared at this time to carry them into practical execution.
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE.
Agriculture is the favorite pursuit of our people. It will always command attention from any department of the State government. The recommendations and suggestions of the Agricultural Board will, from their conservative character, enlist your favorable consideration. I will favor increased appropriations for extending the benefits both of agriculture and horticulture, whenever in your judgment such appropriations become necessary.
RAILROAD AND WAREHOUSE COMMISSION.
Under the intelligent and efficient management of the Railroad and Warehouse Commission the laws applicable to and controlling the railroads, State inspection of grain and warehousing systems have been made completely effective. No complaints are made of railroad extortion; none of unfair or impartial inspection of grain, and the few instances where complaints were made of unjust discrimination were all settled without the expense or delay of lawsuits. The authority of the State is fully recognized by railroad companies; a better and more harmonious feeling exists between such corporations and the Commission than ever before. where “pooling” is resorted to, the rates fixed are always below the maximum rates fixed by the Commission. The suit pending