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The inspection of the accounts and records of the Branch shows the following:
It seems that on August 31, 1901, Maj. W. B. Shockley relinquished the office of treasurer at this Branch to Maj. W. W. Martin, but the cash books do not disclose this fact, as there was no record therein to show that Major Shockley turned over to his successor the balance for which he was accountable. The check-book stubs showed the transfer from one officer to the other of amount subject to check, but there was no record of the cash transferred, nor was there any record on the stubs to show there was any change in the officer by whom the checks were issued. It is suggested that when a change of bonded officers is made, the cash book should clearly show not only the date when the outgoing officer's responsibility ceased, but also that he had fully accounted for all balances for which he was then accountable, supported by proper vouchers. It is also suggested that each check book show by notation thereon the name of the officer by whom the checks were issued.
The record of transportation coupons issued was found incomplete; no notation was made of the coupons paid that the amount of outstanding liabilities in that account might be as ertained.
In returning to the ward fund the sum advanced for the building of the Home hotel and store, the transfers claimed to have been made to the president of the board, namely, $4,200, were not supported by vouchers, as is usual in all other disbursements or transfers.
The fabrication and issue of bread seems to be without regard to the number of persons present. Thus, in February, 1902, 28,800 pounds were fabricated and issued, as shown by the perishable property Iedger, while the average present was reported as 2,817; and in July, 1901, 32,200 pounds were fabricated and issued with an average present during the month of 2,385, or 3,400 pounds more for 432 less men. During December, 1901, January, March, and May, 1902, the record showed the same amount for each month, 32,400 pounds, as fabricated and issued, while the members present during these months were 2,790, 2,811, 2,666, and 2,519, respectively.
The shop accounts were not satisfactorily kept, and seemed to be of no practical value.
All matters connected with this Branch, and not commented upon in this report, were found in satisfactory condition.
No. 5.-REPORT OF AN INSPECTION OF THE NORTHWESTERN BRANCH,
AUGUST 22 TO 24, 1902.
National Home, Milwaukee County, Wis.
Col. John L. Mitchell, Milwaukee, Wis., second vicepresident of the Board of Managers of the National
Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers, is still the local manager of this Branch; his term of office will continue to 1904.
The officers of this Branch have not been changed since my last inspection, and are: Governor, Col. Čor
nelius Wheeler; treasurer, Maj. J. E. Armitage; surgeon, Maj. Almon Clarke; quartermaster and commissary of subsistence, Capt. W. W. Rowley; adjutant and inspector, Capt. H. A. Valentine; chaplains, Rev. E. P. Wright, D. D., and Rev. A. Hayden, S. J.; matron, Mrs. Annie Knox.
WAR 1902-VOL 8-9
The general appearance of the grounds at this Branch gives a very pleasing impression of the comfort and
care given here to the old veterans. They are wellkept grounds, with an abundance of large and bandsome shade trees, but in some places there appears to be an overabundance of shade, so much so, as to interfere with the growth of the grass. The area of this reservation is 3824 acres, which, although below the average in size compared with some of the other Branches, makes up for this in its general appearance and attractiveness. The effects of recent rains were observed on some of the roads, which were somewhat washed. The tracks of the Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul Railroad, which run through these grounds at grade, continue to be a menace to the lives and limbs of these old men. The large number of deaths at this Branch from the result of accidents, much larger than at any other Branch, being over twice as many as the largest number reported by any other Branch, is doubtless due partly to this cause,
and some steps should be taken to afford greater protection against this danger. The lake, with its boats for the use of the members, adds greatly to the attractive appearance of the grounds, which form one of the objects of interest to the residents of the city of Milwaukee, which is but 4 miles distant and is connected with the Home by two lines of electric cars and handsome driveways. It is needless to say that they prove a popular resort for the citizens.
As a rule the buildings here were found in an excellent state of repair and in good condition generally.
In the main building general repairs have been in progress, new floors being. laid, woodwork painted, and walls calcimined. This building is now in first-class condition, although some of the windows needed cleaning: A new elevator has been installed, which is a great convenience to the old men. The other barracks were in process of repair and their condition was generally satisfactory. The allowance of toilet paper was reported as not being sufficient to last the full time for which issued, as was the case last year, and that newspapers were found to be in general use, to the danger of stoppage of the drainpipes. The chapel, surgeon's and adjutant's quarters, the treasurer's and quartermaster's quarters, and the band quarters have all been reshingled. A new bridge has been built for the main roadway. Chaplain's quarters, at a cost of $2,439.13, and nurses' quarters, at a cost of $7,302.61, have been built. The vegetable barn has been altered into barracks.
The extension of the electric-light plant, a new greenhouse, at a cost of $15,700 for the former and $6,000 for the latter; an elevator in the hospital to cost $6,100; an addition to the quartermaster's storehonse, at $8,500, and cement walks and crossings, at $8,000, are contemplated for the coming year.
The following improvements have been asked for in the estimates for appropriations for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1904: Cement walks and crossings, at $8,000; addition to quartermaster's storehouse and equipment, at $8,500, and an elevator in the hospital, at $6,100.
At present there are 12 barracks, occupied by 1,688 men, and 165 men were sleeping in basements—this and the Western Branch being the only ones where this occurred. The combination or old men's barracks, of which there are two at this Branch, seem to be a success
and retain their popularity among the old members, who very generally reported themselves as well satisfied.
The total average number of officers and members Population. present and absent during the year was 2,616, or 32
less than last year, the average present at the Home being 2,146, or 46 less than last year. TH number of average present at this Branch seems to have steadily decreased for the past five years, excepting during 1901, when there was a small increase. The highest number present during the year was on January 9, 1902, when there were 2,252, and the smallest number present was on March 12, 1902, when there were 1,984. The highest number absent was 643, on May 14, 1902, and the lowest number absent was 349, on June 17, 1902. The average temporarily cared for was 23, and the total cared for during the year was 3,327. The average age of the memhers during the year was 64.09 years, or 1.59 years younger than last year.
The average age of the members admitted during the year was 62.50 years.
There is but a small proportion of Spanish war members at this Branch, as is the case at all the Branches, and on June 30, 1902, the total number of them was 28, or nearly twice as many as were at the Home the same time last year. During the year 2 died, 8 were discharged, 2 dropped from the rolls, and i transferred. The total number admitted during the year was 26.
The review of the officers and members, which was preceded by an inspection, was held on August 23, 1902, and presented a most creditable appearance, the clothing and shoes were in a satisfactory condition, appearing to be well cared for. The officers marched in review with the men. The number in line, including the band, was 1,120, or 52 per cent of the present in camp. There were 349 excused, 279 sick, and 400 on extra duty.
The per cent of members at this Branch who comDiscipline. mitted no offenses during the year way 84.33. During
the year the principal offense was drunkenness, for which there were 305 trials. Absence without leave was the next, for which there were 298 trials, which was the next to the largest number tried for this offense at any of the Branches. There were 56 trials for fence jumping and 189 trials for other offenses. The greatest number drunk in one day was on April 17, 1902, subsequent to a pension day.
The old veterans at this Branch are well supplied with amusements of different kinds, from which they
derive much pleasure and pastime. The theater, with a seating capacity of 850, and in which different kinds of light drama, vaudeville, lectures, and concerts by the band are given, is one of the principal sources of amusement. No charge is made for these entertainments to the members of the Home, but others are charged from 15 cents to 25 cents each.
There is a good band of 15 pieces, all civilians, at this Branch, who gave 260 concerts during the year, the total cost of which for the year was $5,294.75, which included their subsistence and other allowances of civilians, and was at the rate of $20.37 per concert, or $2.46 per member of the average present at the Home, and is much below the average cost of the Homes. The average cost per musician for the year was $352.98 each, which is the lowest cost per musician of all the Branches. The music played by this band is well performed, varied in character, with popular music predominating; the national airs are
played at every concert. They are reported as being very well attended.
An excellent library of 9,641 volumes, conveniently located, and with a circulation of 30,459 books, is maintained at this Branch. It takes 87 papers and 24 periodicals, and its average daily attendance is 150. The class of reading most in demand was fiction.
The picturesque lakes on the grounds prove an endless source of amusement, both in winter, when there is excellent skating, as well as in summer, when they are used for boating. Seven boats are kept for the use of the members, without charge; others are charged at the rate of 5 cents per half hour.
Four organized societies have branches at the Home, the total membership of which was 302, and their effect upon the discipline was good. They are as follows: A post of the Grand Army of the Republic, a post of the Old Guard, the Union Veteran Union, and a social club. The social hall includes a billiard room with 3 billiard tables, 3 pool tables, 2 bagatelle tables, and 1 pigeonhole table, and is a popular resort for recreation by the old soldiers. There are also other amusements, such as numerous card tables, checkers, and chess.
The religious services are held weekly and someReligious services. times oftener at the Home chapel, which has recently
been reroofed and put in good repair. It has a capacity of 350, a large organ, and is well lighted by electricity. There are two chaplains at this Branch, one Catholic, who held 134 services during the year and resides in Milwaukee, Wis., the other Episcopalian, who held 92 services during the year and who resides on the Home grounds, new quarters having recently been built for him at a cost of $2,439.13.
The number of acres under cultivation as a farm, was 240, which was quite large in proportion to
the size of the reservation compared with the other Branches, being 63 per cent of the whole, not including 10 acres used as a garden. It had 16 buildings, which were found generally satisfactory, 33 public vehicles, and 20 public horses, but the method of cleaning the harness continues which was formerly reported, it being cleaned only when it goes to the shop for repairs. The drivers should frequently, at least once a week, clean the harness used by them.
There were 4+ cows kept on the farm, which furnished 31,078 gallons of milk during the year. The price of milk in the nearest town was 16 cents per gallon. The total value of the stock on the farm was $4.065.
There were 27 members and 2 civilians employed on the farm. The following statement shows the farm account for the year: Turned into commissary
$5, 647. 85 Fed to stock
651. 65 Cost of maintenance: Farm proper.
4, 485.00 Lawn and flower garden.
2, 375.00 Credit for use of transportation not known.
The treasurer's oflice, books, vouchers, etc., were Disbursements.
examined from the period of my last inspection, September 4, 1901, to August 20, 1902, and the transactions in the three different funds were found to be correct, and they were as follows:
The First National Bank of Milwaukee, Wis., the depository for this Branch, held the above balances on deposit.
The total expenditures under all subheads of the general fund amounted to $287,433.40 for the year,
and was $13,674.86 more than last year. The total receipts were $323,964.75. There were no expenditures in cash, all having been made by check.
The largest item of expenditure was for subsistence, which amounted to $124,169.23, or $2,482.53 greater than last year. The receipts by the posthumous account amounted to $91.69 more than last year and were the next to largest of all the Branches, being 60 per cent larger than the average. The amount of this money paid out was but $3,033.70, and $9,319.88 received.
The daily average number employed under this fund was 488, or 51 more than last year, and were as follows: 5 officers, 17 noncommissioned officers, 430 members, and 38 civilians. The total amount paid them as salaries during the year was $83,293.78, and was $761.29 less than last year, and was an average of $170.52 per employee. The average salary per employee was $21.83 more last year than this year. About 60 per cent of the total amount expended for salaries was paid to members.
The average number of members per day who worked without compensation was 255. The average cost per capita for maintenance for the year was but $129.52, the next to the lowest cost of all the Branches, and is $7.80 less than the average cost of the Home.
The receipts from sales under this fund amounted to $35,831.49, or a falling off of $6,423.49 from those of
last year. The balance on hand June 30, 1902, was $6,315.86, or $642.63 less than the balance left over on the previous year. The principal source of revenue to this fund was from the sale of beer to the members, the receipts from this source for the year amounting to $19,245.40, the smallest amount of any Branch where beer is sold, and the per cent of profit was 116+ per cent. This is next to the smallest per cent of profit from this source of all the Branches, and is 18 per cent less than the average of the Home. The glass in which this beer is sold is capable of holding 16 liquid ounces, and the number of liquid ounces sold in it for 5 cents was 14, or 14 ounces more than the average amount of the Home. This may in part account for the small profit at this Branch from this source.
The beer-check system is not satisfactory, as these checks are taken