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Home for Wayward Boys

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A Home for Wayward Boys: The Early History of the Alabama Boys’ Industrial School

Category: HISTORY / United States / 20th Century
Format: Trade Paper, 200 pages
Pub Date: Spring 2015
Price: $24.95
ISBN: 978-1-60306-345-6
eBook available for Kindle, Nook, iPad
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When reformer Elizabeth Johnston walked among the convicts in an Alabama prison mining camp, she was stunned to see teenage boys working alongside hardened criminals. She vowed to remove youngsters from such wretched conditions by establishing a home for wayward boys. With the support of women across the state, she persuaded the legislature to establish the Alabama Boys' Industrial School in 1900. After several difficult years, Johnston and her all-female board hired a young Tennessee couple, David and Katherine Weakley, as superintendent and matron. United in their Christian faith, their love for the boys, and some basic principles on how the boys should be molded into men, Johnston and the Weakleys labored together for decades to make the school one of the nation's premier institutions of its kind. A Home for Wayward Boys is the inspiring story of the school, its leaders, and the boys who lived there.