OTHER SCHOOLS AND LITERARY INSTITUTIONS.
AN ACT to incorporate the Ferris Reform School.
WHEREAS John Perris late of the -City of Wilmington, deceased, by his last will and testament bequeathed to his executor, and trustee, therein named the residue of his estate in trust for such charitable objects or institutions as the said trustee may select, with the suggestion that such residue might be applied, at the discretion of the said trustee, "to aid in establishing what is known mostly as a House of Refuge or place for bettering wayward juveniles;" and whereas the said trustee is willing and .desirous of applying the said residue towards establishing and supporting such an institution; and whereas by the laws of this state no special ,provisions now exist for the reformation of this class of persons, and it would be in accordance with a wise and humane policy to provide means for their reclamation and improvement; therefore,
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the State of Delaware in General Assembly met (two-thirds of each branch thereof concurring):
SECTION 1. That Caleb Harlan; M. D., John H. Adams, Lewis P. Bush, M. D., Thomas F: Bayard, Edward Bringhurst, Edward Belts, James Bradford, John G. Baker, Sewell C. Biggs, Thomas Bird, .Edward T. Bellah, Peter N. Brennan, William N. Canby, George S. Capelle, Swithin Chandler, M. D., S. M. Curtis, Joseph L. Carpenter, Jr., Henry DuPont, James A. Draper, M. D., Ziba Ferris, Henry Ferris, Allen Gawthrop, J. Taylor Gause, Richard P. Gibbons, George Gray, Anthony Higgins, David W. Harlan, Joshua T. Heald, Washington Jones, Job H. Jackson, Charles B. Lore, George G. Lohdell, William C. Lodge, Preston Lea, Samuel N. Pusey, J. Parke Postles, William T. Porter, George Richardson, Henry C. Robinson, William C. Spruance, Lewis,Thompson, Joseph Tatnall, James Ware; Stansbury J. Willey, Leonard E. Wales, C. Wesley Weldon, Alfred D. Warner, Joseph H. Watson, and all who shall contribute to the support of the said corporation, as hereinafter provided, be and they are hereby incorporated and made a body politic in law, under the name and title of The Ferris Reform School, and by that name shall have succession for
the period of twenty years, and they shall be and are hereby made able and capable in law, to have, take, purchase, receive, possess and retain to them and their successors, for the use and lawful objects of the corporation, any estate, real or personal, (provided that the annual income of the entire estate held shall not exceed fifteen thousand dollars,) and the same to sell, grant, demise, alien or dispose of, to make contracts relative to the objects of this incorporation, to sue and be sued, implead and be impleaded in all courts of law and equity, to have a common seal, and the same to alter at pleasure, to establish by-laws and rules for the regulation of said corporation, (provided the same be not repugnant to the constitution and laws of the United States or of this State,) and generally to have the privileges and franchises incident to a corporation or body politic.
SECTION 2. Every person who shall pay to the said corporation the sum of forty dollars, or eight dollars annually for the term of six years, shall become a member thereof during its existence, and every person paying the sum of two dollars annually shall be a member while he continues to contribute the said sum, and such payment shall be made at the time and in the manner to be prescribed in the by-laws of the said corporation.
SECTION 3. The estate and concerns of the said corporation shall be managed by a board of twenty-one managers, of whom five shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business. The Mayor of the City of Wilmington, the Judge of the Superior Court resident in New Castle County, and the President of the Levy Court of said county, shall be ex officio members of the said board. The other eighteen managers shall be elected by the members of the corporation. The corporators shall meet in the City of Wilmington on the first Wednesday in April next after the passage of this act, or as soon thereafter as practicable; and shall from themselves elect eighteen managers, residents of New Castle County, to serve until the second Wednesday of January, A.D. 1886, on which latter day, and on every succeeding second Wednesday of January, the members of the corporation shall hold a meeting for the election of eighteen managers for the ensuing year, at such place in the City of Wilmington as the managers shall appoint, of which meeting the president of the board, or in case of his omission or refusal to do so, the secretary, or any member of the corporation; shall give notice in two newspapers published in said city, and at such meeting shall elect by a plurality of ballots the managers aforesaid, to serve until the next annual election and until their successors are chosen, but a failure to elect on the day appointed shall not therefore dissolve the corporation, but the managers shall, as soon thereafter as practicable, call another meeting of the members of the corporation, at which the election shall be held; and in case two or more persons receive an equal number of votes at any election, the board of managers shall decide which one or ones shall act as managers, so far as it may be necessary, in order to complete the legal number of the board. Any vacancy in the office of manager shall be filled until the next election by the board, who shall select some member of the corporation. The board shall, out of their own body, appoint a president, two vice-presidents, a treasurer, and a secretary.
SECTION 4; The said board of managers shall provide a suitable building or buildings, with all the necessary land and appurtenances, to be located in New Castle County, for the use and occupation of the said The Ferris Reform School, and shall establish such by-laws, ordinances and regulations relative to the religious and moral education, training, employment, discipline, management, government, instruction, safe-keeping and the disposition of the inmates, not contrary to law, as they may deem expedient and proper; may appoint such officers, agents and servants as they may deem necessary to transact the business of the said corporation, and may prescribe their duties; and, upon the application and recommendation of the said board, the Levy Court of New Castle County shall appoint and commission an employee or officer of the said school to be a special constable thereof, and such officer shall take an oath of office, and shall have power to protect the property of the said school, to suppress riots, disturbances and breaches of the peace, and to enforce all laws for the preservation of good order; and may, upon view, or information, without warrant arrest any person trespassing upon the ground or destroying the property belonging to the said school, and bring such person so offending before any Justice of the Peace in the said county, to be dealt with according to law. The appointment of such constable shall be made annually, and whenever there shall be a vacancy in the said office by death, resignation, or otherwise, for the unexpired term; and the county shall not be chargeable with any fees or cost for or on account of the services of any constable appointed under the provisions of this act.
SECTION 5. It shall be lawful for the said board, in their discretion, to receive into the said The Ferris Reform School minors, residents of New Castle county, when committed to their custody in the following modes:
First. When committed by the Municipal Court of the City of Wilmington, or any Justice of the Peace of New Castle County, on complaint and due proof made to the said court or justice by a parent, guardian, or next friend of such minor, that, by reason of incorrigible or vicious conduct, he cannot control such minor, and from regard to his morals and future welfare it is requisite that he should be placed under the guardianship of the managers of The Ferris Reform School.
Second. When committed by the authorities aforesaid, upon complaint and due proof that such minor is a proper object for the guardianship of the said managers in consequence of vagrancy, or of incorrigible or vicious conduct, and, that from moral depravity, or otherwise, of a parent, guardian, or person in whose custody such minor may be, such parent, guardian, or other person having custody of the minor is incapable or unwilling to exercise the proper care and discipline over him.
Third. Males, not over sixteen nor under nine years of age, committed to the custody of the said board by the Court of General Sessions of the Peace and Jail Delivery for New Castle County, the Municipal Court for the City of Wilmington, or any Justice of the Peace in said county, upon conviction of vagrancy, or other criminal offense, before them, or, upon the acquittal of such minor, if the court, or magistrate, upon the testimony, shall consider him a proper object for the said school. And it shall not be in the discretion of the said board to reject any such minor committed to their custody on conviction of a criminal offense, excepting the offenses of homicide, arson and rape; and any such minor against whom a crime, other than murder, arson, or rape, is charged before a grand jury, if the charge is supported by sufficient evidence to put him on trial, may, on the recommendation of the grand jury, and without presenting an indictment, be committed by the court to the said school. The board shall have power to place the minors committed to their custody at such employments and cause them to be instructed in such branches of useful knowledge as may be suitable to their years and capacities; and they shall have power, in their discretion, to bind out the said minors, with their consent, as apprentices, during their minority, to such persons and at such places, to learn such proper trades and employments as in the judgment of the said board will be most conducive to the reformation and amendment and will tend to the future benefit and advantage of such minors. And the court, or justice of the peace, shall endorse on the writ by which any minor is committed to the custody of the said board the names and residences of the witnesses examined and of any complainant in the case.
SECTION 6. Any person who may believe that any minor has been committed to the custody of the said board without sufficient cause by the said Municipal Court for the City of Wilmington, or any Justice of the Peace, may, on behalf of such minor, or the minor may appeal to the Associate Judge of the Superior Court resident in New Castle County, who shall rehear the case, and for that purpose shall cause the minor to be brought before him, and the witnesses in the former examination, and other witnesses the judge may think proper or the minor may request, to appear and testify; and upon such rehearing, if it shall appear to the judge that such minor was without sufficient cause committed to the custody of the said board he shall be discharged, otherwise remanded to their custody; or, if he had been committed on conviction of a criminal offense, without remanding him the judge may, in his discretion, direct that the penalties prescribed by law for the offense be enforced, and such judgment shall be final; provided that nothing in this act shall repeal any of the provisions of Chapter 115 of the Revised
Statutes, entitled "Habeas Corpus."
SECTION 7 The board shall present to the members of Annual the corporation at every annual meeting for election, a report for the last year of the number of persons received by them into the school, the disposition made of the inmates in their instruction and employment therein and in binding them out as apprentices, the receipts and expenditures of the board, and generally all such facts and particulars as may exhibit the management of the said school and the results thereof.
SECTICiN 8. The Levy Court of New Castle County shall have authority to make an appropriation or appropriations annually to the said corporation for the purposes of its incorporation.
SECTION 9. The estate, real and personal, of the said corporation, and for the purposes of its incorporation, shall be free from state, county, and city tax.
SECTION 10. Any misnomer of the said corporation shall not defeat or annul any gift, grant, devise or bequest to the said corporation; provided it sufficiently appear by the will, conveyance or other writing, that the party making the same intended to pass or convey thereby to the said corporation the estate or interest therein expressed or described.
SECTION 11. The power of revoking this act is hereby reserved to the Legislature of this State, and it shall be
deemed and taken to be a public act.
Passed at Dover, March 10, 1885.