Page images
PDF
EPUB

Home cemetery.

hospital was 85 members and 15 civilians, who received on an average $191.37 each per annum.

The cemetery at this Branch, which has always been a cause of much trouble and expense on account of

the rock underlying it, is to be changed from the rocky bill, where the graves have to be prepared by blasting, to a site beyond the “ Meadow," where no rock will be encountered, and which is now being graded.

In the old cemetery there are still many headstones required for the graves.

The inspection of the accounts and records of the Branch show the following:

The time books were not in a very satisfactory condition owing to erasures after the record had been made. As the quartermaster is charged with the duty of keeping the time of the employees and record of the duty upon which they are employed, would it not seem more in line for that officer to make up the pay roll and certify it to the treasurer for payment, who could certify as to its payment, the only fact known to him! This method would save duplication of work in the treasurer's office.

In very many cases the amount turned over to the treasurer as money found on the person of the deceased members was in even dollars.

Owing to breaking down of the cash register at the store the receipts reported from there could not be tested by it.

As it is usual for the clerk who issues the transportation coupons to make the record and to check them when returned for payment, it would seem advisable that all moneys paid for such coupons be paid directly to the treasurer or some other official.

The balance of pension fund on hand on June 30, 1902, was $10,569.56. Of this amount only $4,006.91 was held for members now in the Home; $1,820.80 was a balance due to former members whose whereabouts, after diligent inquiry, could not be ascertained. Some items have been outstanding since 1891, and none later than 1898. The remaining sum, $4,741.85, is interest accrued on bonds in which the surplus pension money had been invested, as these bonds bave long been sold and there are no claimants for the amount.

The practice, found at this and some of the other Branches, of entering on the pension cash book only the total of pension agents' abstracts, and posting to the pension ledger the credits of each pensioner direct from the abstract, seems to be expedient, less liable to error, and much less laborious than the practice at some of the Branches of entering the abstract in full in the cash book.

The general-fund ledger seems to be a duplicate as to entries of the journal. Why should not the total purchases or receipts under each Head for each day be posted to the ledger in one sum? The purpose of a ledger in the scheme of keeping accounts is to show balances, while that of the journal, when kept as a day book, is to show the items that make up the account.

A large amount of clothing seems to be on hand awaiting the action of an inspector; 192 pair of shoes are reported as lost or destroyed since August 23, 1899, and no action seemed to be taken to relieve the record. The manner in which the record of the imperishable property should be kept does not seem to be understood.

There seemed to be no check upon the bakery. The daily report of the baker, a mere memorandum slip, was accepted as to the quantity of articles fabricated in the bakery, and apparently no test was made as to whether all material turned over to the bake shop was accounted for. It was noted that the amount of bread, etc., fabricated each ten days was always issued during that period, no balance on hand being shown.

Possibly the variations in the following statement from the record may be explained:

[blocks in formation]

It would seem from the above that it cost only about $20 more to fabricate 3,800 more pounds of bread in September than in July, and $10 more to fabricate over 4,000 less pounds in December than in September

The record book for applications for admission is used not for the apparent purposes of the record applications for admission, but the names of all persons admitted, and thus duplicating data necessarily recorded in the historical register. Applications for membership are kept on a memorandum slip. All data recorded in the burial record is also recorded in the historical record. This latter record seems to be the logical record for matters pertaining to the member's history, and the entry of such facts elsewhere seems to be an unnecessary duplication of clerical work and cumbersome to the files.

Matters not commented upon were found to be satisfactory.

No. 2.-REPORT OF AN INSPECTION OF THE BATTLE MOUNTAIN SAN

ITARIUM FOR DISABLED VOLUNTEER SOLDIERS, MADE AUGUST 4, 1902.

The following act of Congress provides for the location of a national sanitarium which is to be under the control of the Board of Managers of the National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers:

Be it enacted by the House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That one hundred and fifty thousand dollars be, and the same is hereby, appropriated for the erection of a national sanitarium for disabled volunteer soldiers at Hot Springs, in the State of South Dakota, which shall be erected by and under the direction of the Board of Managers of the National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers, which sanitarium, when in a condition to receive members, shall be subject to such rules, regulations, and restrictions as shall be provided by said Board of Managers: Provided, That such sanitarium shall be erected on land donated to the United States by the people of Hot Springs, South Dakota, and accompanied with a deed of perpetual lease to one or more of the medical or hot springs for the use of the above-named sanitarium, the location and area of the land and springs of hot water to be selected by the Board of Managers of the National Home for Dis

abled Volunteer Soldiers, or such persons as they may appoint to make the selection of location and hot springs, and that exclusive jurisdiction shall be vested in said Board of Managers over the premises occupied by said sanitarium as over other realty held by said Board until further enactment by the Congress of the United States.

Sec. 2. That the further sum of twenty thousand dollars is hereby appropriated, to be used for the transportation to and from said sanitarium of such patients as may be ordered to said sanitarium by said Board of Managers and for equipping and maintaining said sanitarium, subject to the aforesaid rules and regulations of said Board of Managers: Provided, That any member of the National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers who shall be certified to said sanitarium by the medical and legal authorities of said Board of Managers shall be admitted and treated thereat until discharged therefrom or returned to some Branch of the National Home by order of said Board of Managers. Approved, May 29, 1902.

The town of Hot Springs is one of the principal towns of Fall River County, S. Dak., and is in the extreme southwestern portion of the State near the Black Hills.

After a careful personal inspection of the ground by the Board of Managers, a site was selected which was locally known as the “Central Site,” which the people of Hot Springs, Š. Dak., had offered to donate and which was located to the north and east of Eleventh street. A deed of perpetual lease to one or more of the hot mineral springs, located near the site, which was also offered, was accepted by the Board.

The site contains over 100 acres of land, is very near the town of Hot Springs, and can be reached by two lines of railroads, viz, the Fremont, Elkhorn and Missouri Valley Railroad, and by the Burlington and Missouri River Railroad. It is on a commanding bluff over 100 feet above the town, along the main street, from which the surrounding country is in full view, and is very convenient, being practically in the town.

The landscape surrounding the town is very attractive, and after the completion of the buildings this site will equal in beauty any of the Branches of the National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers.

The springs are said to have strong curative properties, especially for rheumatism and skin diseases, and will undoubtedly prove beneficial to the many members who are now suffering from rheumatism at the various Branches of the National Home. No. 3.-REPORT OF AN INSPECTION OF THE PACIFIC BRANCH, MADE

AUGUST 7 TO 10, 1902.
Soldiers' Home, Los Angeles County, Cal.
Maj. William Bonsall

, Los Angeles, Cal., is local manager of this Branch. His term of office expires in 1904.

Governor, Gen. O. H. La Grange; treasurer, Maj. T. J. J. Cochrane; surgeon, Maj. H. E. Hasse; quar

master and commissary, Capt. S. F. Reber. These are the same officers who were on duty at the time of my inspection of this Branch in 1901, except that Capt. S. F. Reber had succeeded Maj. J. H. Simpson (resigned) as quartermaster and commissary. Captain Reber's appointment took effect on October 1, 1901. In area this is next to the largest of the Branches.

The reservation consists of 737 acres of land. The Groundsinand build- general appearance of the Branch, including grounds,

roads, and buildings, was satisfactory. Many new trees have been planted on those portions of the grounds which for

Post-office.

Local manager.

Officers.

merly were bare, or not otherwise occupied, and these have added very materially to the attractive appearance of the grounds. The new gutters along the roadways, which were in process of construction at my preceding inspection, have been completed, and they serve a very useful purpose in carrying off the surplus water from rains, thus affording a good drainage, and affording the grounds a more rapid means of recovery from the ill effects of rain storms than would otherwise be possible. Fifty new iron benches, it was stated, are soon to be placed about the grounds in convenient locations, and these will undoubtedly prove a very satisfactory improvement. A large aviary has recently been constructed, and has been stocked with quite a number and variety of birds.

The barracks, nine in number, are of wood, and were found in a condition much improved over that of last year, being more clean, neat, and orderly. There are beautiful gardens of semitropical plants and flowers on the grounds in front of each barrack, and there was a noticeable effort among the occupants of the various barracks to the end that their particular gardens should be the best and most attractive of all. One objection was noticed, however, to the otherwise very satisfactory condition of the barracks, and that was in those having the unceiled attics a number of smoking pipes were found under the eaves of the roofs, adding much to the danger of fire. Until these attics are plastered, smoking in them should be forbidden. I have been informed by the governor that instructions would be issued to prohibit smoking in the attics so long as they are unceiled.

An experiment has been tried here to prevent the introduction and keeping, against orders, of unauthorized articles under the beds, such as gripsacks, valises, boxes, and other articles, and the experiment has been found to work successfully. This practice of keeping unauthorized articles under the beds has been found a troublesome one at many Branches. At this Branch, after due notice, if the orders are violated the articles are taken from the owner, and kept from him for a limited time. A second or third similar offense increases the time during which the owner is deprived of the possession of his property. This course has proven successful in making the members keep such articles in the authorized storeroom provided for them, which is abundantly large and conveniently located, and has added to the sightliness of the appearance of the barracks.

The barracks are of frame, two stories and an attic; and while they were originally intended to accommodate 100 men, each of them was actually occupied by 175. Five of them have basements, which are used as storerooms. None of the members were sleeping in basements, or on floors, or in other places not originally intended for sleeping, except that 331 men were sleeping in attics. The dormitory floor space per man in square feet is, highest, 100.6; lowest, 68.7; average, 80.1. The dormitory air space per man in cubic feet is, highest, 1,190.6; lowest, 672.2; average, 897.5. The dormitory window space per man in square feet is, highest, 15.5; lowest, 5.6; average, 11.3. Five of the barracks have 3 bath tubs each, and 4 barracks have 4 bath tubs each-all conveniently located for the use of the members; and there are no other bath tubs for barrack use. The average number of men to each bath tub is 58; and as a rule the men bathe about once a week. There are 5 toilet rooms and urinals in each barrack; average number of men to each urinal, 34; to each hopper, 18.

The system of ventilation of the barracks is open fireplaces, globe ventilators, and registers connected with air shafts. They are heated by steam, indirect radiation; and they are lighted by electricity obtained from Santa Monica, incandescent and arc lights being used.

The condition of the beds and lockers was found to be good. The following permanent improvements for this Branch were completed during the year: Addition to hospital dining room and kitchen, $10,939; cement conduit, $4,425; reflooring two barracks, $3,147; remodeling 75-horsepower engine, $369; laying pipe to cemetery, $475; total, $19,355.

The following constructions have been estimated for for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1904, viz, two additional barracks at $61,000, additional wing to hospital and detention ward at $25,000, new boilers and pumps at $16,100, band stand at $3,000.

A conservatory, although not needed to protect plants and flowers from cold, still is needed for propagating purposes. The present conservatory is a very old and dilapidated wooden building, and is unsightly, and something better is needed.

As compared with the close of the preceding fiscal Population. year, the total present and absent on June 30, 1902,

showed a net gain of 90 members. The gain and loss in membership may be indicated as follows: Gain: By first admission..

304 By readmission

100 By transfer from other Homes

11

415 Loss:

By transfer to other Homes..
By discharge...
By honorable discharge
By dropped from rolls
By death ..
By transfer to insane asylums

325 Net gain.

90 The average number of officers and members present and absent during the year was 2,639, of whom 1,832 was the average present and 807 the average absent. The average number present during the year was greater by 100 members than for the preceding year. The greatest number of members present at any one time was 1,909, on December 10, 1901, and the lowest was 1,709, on June 29, 1902, giving an extreme range of 200 members. The highest number absent during the year was 941, on June 19, 1902, and the lowest was 721, on March 4, 1902. There was an average of 33 members temporarily cared for—much the largest of all the Branches-- and the total number cared for during the year was 2,997, and they were of an average age of 61.82 years—the youngest of all Branches.

The number of men admitted to this Branch from the Spanish war and Philippine insurrection is 86, of whom 15 have died, i has been transferred, 12 honorably discharged, and 2 dropped from the rolls, leaving a total of 56 borne on the rolls, at the time of inspection, as against 45 for the preceding year.

At the time of inspection there was a total of 1,790 officers and members present and 928 members absent. A review was held on

19

103

4 20 175

4

« PreviousContinue »