Want Young Boys Kept Off Streets

   Posted by: admin   in People

The Fort Dodge Messenger: June 28, 1905

Want Young Boys Kept Off Streets

Prominent Citizens Advocate Plan to Cure Growing Evil.

Curfew Has Been Proposed

Claimed That Hundreds of Growing Boys and Girls are Going to Ruin in City – Citizens of the City Say That Practice is a Menace to City.

Recent consideration of the conditions that exist within the city of Fort Dodge on summer evenings, by a number of prominent men and women of the city has caused them to express a desire that some remedy be proposed to curtail the appearance of young boys and girls upon the streets and avenues of the city at all times of the night.

It is a well known fact that in Fort Dodge more than in any other city in the state young boys and girls are to be seen walking the streets or loafing in undesireable localities at most unseemly hours.

At anywhere from six in the evening until ten, crowds of boys aged from ten to fifteen or sixteen may be seen loafing in doorways or alleyways, congregated in pool and billiard halls, gathered before a slot machine dropping in their scanty earnings or in some most lamentable cases hanging about the entrances of saloons waiting for unscrupulous persons to carry out liquor to them.

Later on in the night and extending even into the small hours of the morning many of these same lads are to be found still inhabiting the down town places that still remain open. All night cafes and places of the kind are to be seen with their chairs, counters, etc., occupied with loafing youths who should be at home securing the hours of repose so necessary to the proper development of mind and body of the growing boy. Girls who should be at home under a mother’s care are to be seen walking the streets in crowds of three and four, openly giggling, laughing and otherwise acting in a manner which though decidedly improper is but the natural inclination of those of their age.

The fault of course rests with the parents, but it is a recognized, though deplorable fact, that the average parent cannot, or at any rate does not, control the action of the growing boy and girl in this respect. Left to themselves it is but natural that the fascination that the streets at night hold for them should be indulged in o (sic) the fullest extent. As the result, the sober minded thoughtful citizen does not need to be told that hundreds of boys and girls are growing up right within the city of Fort Dodge who will become grafters, deadbeats, ne-er-do-wells and disreputable women.

Several people well acquainted with the situation and realizing the need of action have stated that some action should in their opinion be taken by the officials of the city and that some means should be devised for protecting the growing men and women of the city from the demoralizing influence that evil habits and improper associations gathered from frequenting the city’s streets at night will surely have upon them.

Some have suggested an ordinance making it a misdemeanor for any boy or girl to be found on the street at night without being able to show an excellent excuse. Others advocate the ringing of a curfew at nine o’clock in the evening, whose sound would call every boy and girl of sixteen or younger to their homes.

The proper installation and enforcement of such a system would in their opinion do much to curtail the growing evil which at the present time menaces the future of the city. The system of course has its disadvantages. An extra policeman or two whose sole duties would be to gather in and send to their homes all violators of the rule would have to be appointed by the city. A bell with a sufficient volume of sound and carying (sic) power to make it heard all over the city would have to be purchased and set up  in a central location and many other arrangements necessary to the proper operation of the plan made. The need is imminent, however, and some plan should it seems be proposed and place (sic) in operation as soon as possible.

Tags: ,

This entry was posted on Tuesday, June 28th, 2011 at 6:00 am and is filed under People. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

Comments are closed at this time.