I imagine Minnesotans back in the day thought the Minnesota Home School for Girls was a great thing. A place where delinquent girls would learn how to be upstanding women as they served time for their crimes.

Turns out, some of those girls were as young as 8 and many had committed no crime. In fact, they could go thru the courts, be convicted of no crime, and get incarcerated in the "school" (which was part of the Minnesota penal system). Why? For being immoral (or likely to become immoral).

We've seen movies like this, where inside the institution young people were treated very poorly. But this is one close to home. In Sauk Center. And Hamline University Professor Sheila O'Connor brought this story to life Wednesday the 4th on KROC NEWS. Click play to hear the interview.

Author Sheila O'Connor
Author Sheila O'Connor

We had a wonderful conversation as we talked about her book, "Evidence of V: A Novel in Fragments, Facts, and Fictions." A book she wrote after finding out her own grandmother had been incarcerated there in 1935 for being...pregnant.

Click the link above to buy her book on Amazon, or see all her books here. Sheila O'Connor will soon be in Winona, here's her schedule.

Winona State University

Monday, March 23rd

  • 2 p.m. - 3 p.m. Literature & Environment Class
  • 5:30 p.m. Public Reading - Stark Auditorium

Tuesday, March 24th

  • 2 p.m. -3:20 p.m. - Intro to Women’s & Gender Studies - Somsen Auditorium

Winona County Historical Society

Wednesday, March 25th

  • 12:05 pm. Winona Co. History Center Book Chat

All events are open to the public, though anyone interested in attending Dr. Elizabeth Oness’s Literature and the Environment class should inquire first by contacting her: Eoness@winona.edu

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