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The firemen are drilled, and good and sufficient fire regulations have been promulgated.
The engineer department was satisfactory. The power houses were especially clean, the walls white
washed, and the machinery and boilers painted. The various shops of the engineer department are as follows: The pipe and plumbing shops, centrally located under barracks Nos. 25 and 35, the machine and carpenter shops southwest of the camp and south of the laundry, and the paint and tin shops on the west side of the camp. They all appear to be suitably located.
Water is supplied by a pumping and standpipe system. Water is obtained from a plant of steam-blown wells and local springs, and when these sources of supply are inadequate, from the Dayton waterworks. The serious results from the deficient water supply has been remedied by connecting the pipes of the Home with those of the water company at Dayton, and a very equitable arrangement was made by which the Home purchases water at such times and in such quantities as it may require at 10 cents per 1,000 gallons. These purchases are made only when the Home supply is deficient. There is a gravity system of drainage and sewerage in good condition.
The lighting plant consists of electrical and gas works which originally cost $29,590.27 and $10,000, respectively. It cost to maintain them during the year: Gas plant, $7,038.23; electric plant, $6,536.29. There are 22 arc lights and about 3,450 incandescent lights, and about 6,600 gas lights.
The cold-storage and ice plant consists of 1 single-acting refrigerating and ice-making machine, including a Corliss engine; 2 singleaction ammonia-compressing pumps; freezing tank containing 182 cans, and the necessary machinery for providing distilled water for making ice. There are 7 cold-storage rooms. The plant, it was said, cost $29,000, and it was maintained during the past fiscal year at a cost of $5,169.40. There are about 34,000 cubic feet of air space to be cooled. The plant has a 30-ton capacity, and makes ice at a cost of about 50 cents a ton.
The steam plant consists of 32 high-pressure boilers, and it is used for furnishing steam for heating buildings, cooking, power for shops, pumping station, gas and electric light, and ice plant. "It cost $115,593, and during the past fiscal year was maintained at a cost of $99,256.57, or a cost per horsepower of about $42.15. There are about 7,800,000 cubic feet of air space to be heated.
The bakery, dining hall, and kitchen, as well as the Commissary depart- basement, were in a very clean condition and entirely
free from roaches, bugs, or other vermin. When the age and size of the building are considered, to keep it so clean is no easy task, and credit is due for the very satisfactory condition in which it was found. The dining room has a capacity for seating 2,044 men, and the tables are set twice for each meal. It was said that the dining hall and kitchen are inspected occasionally by the surgeon at irregular intervals, and also by the commissary of subsistence and the inspector, and on Sundays by such officers as may be assigned for the duty. The facilities seemed ample for receiving and taking care of supplies and for cooking and serving meals.
Subsistence supplies are stored in the central part of the the property building; and it was stated that no articles had deterio
rated or become valueless during the past year on account of poor storage.
The average cost of a ration, per month, including vegetables, fruit, and milk produced on the Home ground, was reported as $4.82, including service. No meals, it was said, were given to transients not officially connected with the Home. The average cost of the hospital ration, including extra diet, per man, was $0.1681. The average number of pieces of crockery broken, per man, during the year, was reported as abont 4.75; and it was said that the breakage was principally due to constant use, and to accident. No members receive outdoor relief in subsistence or other allowances at this Branch. The method of purchase, issue, cooking, and serving, is said to fix responsibility at each step, and to insure accurate accountability and record of stores.
It was reported that during the year there was an average number of 219 persons permanently employed in the dining hall, and 56 in the kitchen. In addition there was an average of 45 temporarily detailed for duty in the kitchen, and none in the dining hall.
The following is the bill of fare for the week ending June 28, 1902, viz: Sunday.
Breakfast: Ham, potatoes, bread, oleomargarine, coffee.
Supper: Stewed prunes, sugar cookies, bread, oleomargarine, cheese, tea.
Breakfast: Pork or bacon and beans, bread, oleomargarine, coffee.
Supper: Boiled rice and raisins, syrup, biscuit, oleomargarine, tea.
Breakfast: Beef fricassee, mush, bread, oleomargarine, coffee.
Supper: Stewed apples, cake, bread, oleomargarine, cheese, tea.
Breakfast: Corned-beef hash, bread, oleomargarine, coffee.
Supper: Rice pudding, bread, oleomargar ine, tea.
Breakfast: Irish stew, bread, oleomargarine, coffee.
Supper: Mush, syrup, biscuit, oleomargarine, tea.
Breakfast: Mackerel, potatoes, bread, oleomargarine, coffee.
Supper: Stewed apples, cake, bread, oleomargarine, cheese, tea.
Breakfast. Corned-beef hash, bread, oleomargarine, coffee.
The hospital was satisfactory, and in much better Medical department. condition than at the last inspection. Much new plumb
ing of an excellent quality has been introduced, until the entire main building has been thus equipped. Wire screens have been placed at all of the windows. This
hospital, with all of its outside wards, is by far the largest at any of the Branches, and its administration is correspondingly onerous. It is easily apparent that the surgeon tries to personally look after many details. This, with all the professional duties, are too much for one man to do well; and it is believed that better results would be obtained if more responsibilities
were placed upon the assistant surgeons, and that these be held responsible for the proper discharge of their duties. Statements were made that the nurses are considerably annoyed by the noise made by the unloading of coal from the cars immediately in rear of their cottage.
The hospital is composed of the main building, containing executive offices, kitchen, dining room, 7 wards, and dispensing department; 1 double two-story brick building, 1 two-story brick building, 2 twostory brick buildings, 4 one-story frame buildings, and the nurses' cottage. There are also quarters for convalescent companies. The hospital has a capacity for 650 patients, and the convalescent quarters has a capacity for 284. The system of ventilation in the hospital is open grates with natural-gas fires, hot and cold air flues with registers. The basements are used for storage and baggage rooms, with a limited number of sleeping quarters for employees. The attics in the main building were not used; those in the hospital annex are used as sleeping quarters for employees.
The daily average number of sick at the Branch was reported as 983, of whom 465 were in the hospital, 258 in convalescent companies, and 260 in barracks or sick call. The average daily number at sick call was 252. The total number of patients treated during the last fiscal year, including sick-call patients, was 6,617, and on an average each was treated forty-two days. The total number of patients admitted to the hospital during the year was 1,883, and the total number of deaths was 416, of whom 312 died in hospitals, 2 died in convalescent companies, 17 died elsewhere on the reservation, and 85 died outside the reservation. The deaths from natural causes were 325, from suicide, 4, and from the result of accident, 1, of those who died at the Home. Their average age at death was 68.67 years, and the death rate
thousand of the whole number cared for was reported as 59.86, and of the average present and absent, 72.34. Three hundred and eight members were buried in the Home cemetery during the year. Coffins are made at Aurora, Ind., and cost $5.70 and $5.75 each. Members are buried in a full suit of Home clothing.
The principal chronic diseases prevailing during the year were reported as bronchitis, cardiac hypertrophy, cardiac hypertrophy and dilatation, constipation, cystitis, gastritis, naso-pharyngeal catarrh, nephritis, and rheumatism. The principal surgical diseases were abscesses, amputations, cataract, hydrocele, retention of urine, tumors, and ulcers. The principal acute diseases were alcoholisni, bronchitis, enteritis, gastritis, and rheumatism. It was said that there were no diseases of local origin, and the infectious or contagious diseases that prevailed were erysipelas, gonorrhea, and syphilis.
The facilities for bathing in the hospital consist of 4 bath tubs in each ward, and there are from 28 to 40 patients to each tub.
The average number of persons employed in the hospital was reported as 184—33 civilians and 151 members, and the cost for the year $32,697.43—the members receiving $19,345.23, and the civilians $13,352.20. The average of patients per employee was said to be 5.42, and the average cost per employee in wages $177.70.
The number of drugs, preparations, etc., used in the dispensary during the year was reported as 345, of which 245 were purchased and 10 were prepared at the Home. The amount expended for drugs, etc., during the past fiscal year was said to be $10,584.08.
The demented are cared for by special attendants None of them were sleeping under the level of the
ground. They are quartered or confined in the frame wards in the rear of the main hospital. The only recreation afforded them is open-air exercise with attendants, and carriage drives for the harmless ones. Six were in close confinement, but none in padded cells The only conveniences or provisions supplied them is separate rooms in the wards. The harmless demented always varying in number and degree of harmlessness) are permitted to mingle with the other members.
It was reported that during the year 215 members showed indications of disordered minds, and of these 45 were considered permanently insane. The principal classes of illusions were: Senile, paralytic, and alcoholic dementia and chronic mania, all more or less demented. During the year 24 were sent to the Government Asylum for the Insane at Washington. The average sent to the asylum annually for the past five years has been 52. None, it was stated, are sent to State or other asylums.
Fifty of the members were totally blind, and 158 had their eyesight so impaired as to be unable to read.
The totally blind require attendance, and all of them are read to twice daily by readers employed for that purpose. They need no other assistance, it is said, except such as is ordinarily furnished by a nurse.
cent of totally blind to the average annually present was reported as 0.086.
The inspection of the accounts and records at this Branch show the following:
In the examination of the checks issued by the treasurer of this Branch many appeared drawn on one fund in favor of another fund. This practice does not seem to be in accord with section 3620 of the Revised Statutes and the Treasury Regulations of August 14, 1897, based thereon, which limit all checks drawn on official deposits to be in favor of the party by name to whom the payment is to be made. The accounts are kept by the depositories in the name of the disbursing officer in each capacity, and when it is desired to transfer funds from one account to another the check should be in favor of the treasurer, by name, of the fund to be credited. A check so drawn is not negotiable without the treasurer's indorsement, and the indorsement of all checks affecting the treasurer's accounts should always remain with that officer. Nor is it deemed even ordinary care of the funds intrusted to him for disbursement to sign checks in blank and leave them in the custody of an employee or other person. The better the funds are safeguarded the fairer it is to the employee. Many contracts were noted as made very near the close of the fiscal year for articles and services that apparently were not for the services of that fiscal year, though the vouchers when presented in the next fiscal year were charged back to the prior year. The Comptroller has repeatedly decided that such charges are proper only against the appropriations of the year for the services of which the articles or services are used or rendered.
A number of checks were found for which there were no vouchers present, due to the practice of issuing and transmitting to the payee checks for unsigned vouchers. It has been found to be the safer rule in all Government business not to issue a check until a complete and satisfactory voucher has been received. A payee may embarrass a disbursing officer by delaying the return of a receipted voucher until
after the lapse of period when the accountable officer's accounts should be forwarded.
The quartermaster keeps but one time book, and it seems to answer all the purposes for which two are kept at other Branches.
If the amount of the large pension abstract was taken up in one item much time and labor would be saved, and it is possible now, since the pensioners are paid on a roll, to also, by entering each roll as a voucher, reduce the volume of work heretofore expended on these records. A small discrepancy appeared between the balance of the pension cashbook and that of the ledger.
When members are readmitted on condition that they pay for the clothing charged to them at time of leaving the Home, it is stated that the quartermaster sells to the member and delivers to him the clothing to replace that not produced, then charges the company commander with the clothing, and takes it up on the property ledger as “gained.” Would it not be more direct to avoid fictitious entries, as there is no property “gained,” by directing the treasurer to take up the money paid by the member as paid by the member for clothing lost?
There does not seem to be any authority to sell the Home clothing, but on the contrary paragraph 222, Home Regulations, provides that “no issue shall be construed as a surrender of the right of the Home to control at all times such clothing." If the property is sold, the Home certainly surrenders its right to control it.
There was no general inventory taken of property on hand June 30, 1902, except such property as was on hand in the various shops.
There was some difficulty in verifying certain articles of clothing reported as on hand at date of inspection. The baker's report of baking is not checked. It is reported that the bread account in the ledger shows as “ fabrication ” the amount that was issued, and as “expended” the amount reported on the mess requisitions (Form No. 72).
In the adjutant's office the members' papers are filed alphabetically. In the Branches where they are filed numerically corresponding to the member's Home number, the papers seemed to be more readily accessible. When a paper is taken from the files, a slip filed in its place, with a notation showing by whom taken and when, would lead to its more prompt recovery. Papers of this character should habitually be on file, except when withdrawn for immediate use.
All matters connected with this Branch, and not Concluding re
commented upon in this report, were found in satisfactory condition at the time of inspection.
No. 9.-GENERAL DEPOT.
One of the principal features of the Central Branch is the general depot, where the uniform clothing, underwear, bedding, etc., are manufactured for distribution to the various Branches of the National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers.
The management and supervision of this depot is under the charge of Mrs. E. L. Miller, whose efficiency has long been recognized and is apparent in this well-managed establishment.
The average number of employees who received salaries during the year was 46 members and 2 civilians, the latter being employed as superintendent and assistant superintendent, the former as clerks, foremen, orderly, laborers, packers, porters, suspender maker, trimmer, cutters, sewing-machine operators, engineer, and watchmen. They