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Saturday, February 22, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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100 years ago in Spokane: Hutton Settlement praised for top-notch facilities

Louise M. Sergeant wrote an editorial essay in the Spokane Daily Chronicle on July 12, 1919 extolling one of the most highly anticipated endeavors in the region: the Hutton Settlement orphanage east of Spokane. (Spokesman-Review archives)
Louise M. Sergeant wrote an editorial essay in the Spokane Daily Chronicle on July 12, 1919 extolling one of the most highly anticipated endeavors in the region: the Hutton Settlement orphanage east of Spokane. (Spokesman-Review archives)

Louise M. Sergeant wrote an editorial essay extolling one of the most highly anticipated endeavors in the region: the Hutton Settlement orphanage east of Spokane.

Sergeant went out to visit the nearly completed compound and she was overcome with what she found. Levi W. Hutton believed that the children deserved the best of everything.

“This means an excellent sewerage system, a perfect boiler plant, buildings of the stoutest brick and plaster, sanitary kitchens complete in each detail,” she wrote. “It means mouse-proof closets and corners so plastered that sharp teeth cannot penetrate, it means cross-drafts in bedrooms, it means sunshine and fresh air let in through every possible health-giving device, and with it all there is a ‘humanness’ to Mr. Hutton’s plans!”

In each of the four cottages there was to be a playroom, and if possible, a piano.

As for the grounds, there were 288 acres of fields already in crop and pasture. The children themselves would seed, weed and water, “because it is Mr. Hutton’s belief, as it is the belief of all successful men, that what we work for we must appreciate.”

Were the children to be Presbyterians? Methodists? Lutherans?

“It does not matter,” she wrote. “They are boys and girls … the welcome is for all.”

All of this was made possible “through the wide charity of one man, who, himself, knew what it meant to be an orphan.”

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