View Full Version : Missouri Training School for Boys in Boonville


mawells
11-27-2004, 05:54 PM
I am a writer seeking former inmates of the boys reform school in Boonville and the people who worked there. I also am looking for information about deceased former inmates of the school and for any photos taken of the facility before it became a men's prison in 1983.

I am researching to write a book about the experiences of these young men and boys incarcerated there, and possibly an overview of the history of Missouri's juvenile corrections system. Any help is appreciated.

Mike Wells
Contact me at Email address edited out by Administrator. Please see PTO Policies and Rules - email addresses are not allowed on the open site.

irisheyes66
11-27-2004, 06:25 PM
Mike, my fiance spent many years in the Missouri juvenile system.....I just PMed you.

mawells
11-29-2004, 09:49 AM
I apologize for posting my email address. It was a first-time user mistake on my part. Anyone with information about the reform school is welcome to private message me using this website. Thanks,

Mike Wells

mwells
03-10-2006, 07:24 AM
I recently relocated to Florida and I have re-registered on this site with a new username. (I misplaced my old password.) I am still searching for former inmates of the facility. -

mwells
08-25-2008, 03:32 PM
I am still researching this school for a possible book and would appreciate contact from any former students/inmates, employees or their family members.

Thank you,

Mike Wells

LFP
08-28-2010, 05:58 PM
Mike, are you still interested in this? My grandfather ran the school in the 1940's. I am researching this school myself, for multiple reasons and would very much like to speak to you.

Thanks,

L Parker


I am still researching this school for a possible book and would appreciate contact from any former students/inmates, employees or their family members.

Thank you,

Mike Wells

mikewells
10-22-2010, 11:08 AM
I am still looking into the history of this facility and the people who were housed there and worked there.

twistedhippy
11-26-2010, 01:52 AM
twistedhippy here............... did 7 mos. 14 days...........B cottage. 1963-64

ECHO0o
01-15-2011, 01:10 PM
I am a writer seeking former inmates of the boys reform school in Boonville and the people who worked there. I also am looking for information about deceased former inmates of the school and for any photos taken of the facility before it became a men's prison in 1983.

I am researching to write a book about the experiences of these young men and boys incarcerated there, and possibly an overview of the history of Missouri's juvenile corrections system. Any help is appreciated.

Mike Wells
Contact me at Email address edited out by Administrator. Please see PTO Policies and Rules - email addresses are not allowed on the open site.


Hi Mike,
I am your Golden Goose buddy! I got into some trouble when I was 11 years old, and , was sent to a halfway house in St. Joseph, Mo. I was subjucted to "child slave labor" cleaning up the demo site for The Rebedeau Hotel. I was abused by my "group members" under staff supervision. I was also mistreated by the gym teacher at the public school we went to. 200 push ups for accidently stepping on the court with street shoes, I was pushed. The next day I couldn't bend my arms to feed myself. Have you ever heard of PPC? I know, I hadn't either. It means posative peer culture. I know it word for word....and backwords. More details later, moving on, three of us ran away, one was caught that night. A boy named John Reardon and I caught a ride with a CF, (Consolidated Freightways) truck to North Kansas City. We found our way to his family home, which was abandoned, for sale. We lived on frozen food in the freezer, which included Holloween candy, ham steaks, and tv dinners. We could not cook, no gas, so we ate it all cold. Good John hand fed me because I could not bend my arms yet. We found a chevy key, and aparently it would start early 60's model impalas, every time....how wierd. He stold three of them, and we were joy riding at night for somthing to do. By then my arms started working, albeit with pain and stiffness. I got to drive, but was pulled over for not looking old enough. I told the officer that my dl was at home. He agreed to follow us home. We went in the front, and ran like hell for the back door. We eluded foot persuit, and helocoptor. We hid in the woods for two days, then returned to the house. We needed to eat. That is when the door burst open and we were freakin! It was a NKC police officer, my friend John's dad. Bumber! He smacked us both arround....ALOT!
You wanna know about Boonville. That's where we both ended up. I was there from 12, to, 17 years old, except for 18 mos total. I lived in Corum Cottage, most of the time. Ron Rare was a caring honest staff member, Ray Freeman was a molester, Joan Seaver was a sadistic bitch. Mr. Brenakey was an excelant math teacher, he prepared me for my GED. I passed with exceptional scores. I finished all of the books that they had for me, so they made me an assistant teacher. I taught several boys to read, and write. That is the only thing that I can look back on and say, well...at least there is that. I remember, in detail, the grounds, the buildings, the ppe system, and the sad life stories of so many boys. No, Realy! It was required that we all tell our life story, and remember the life story of our group members. You could not be released unless you could accuratly repeat the life story of eack group member, in front of the whole group and a staff group leader.
Wanna know more? Contact me, we'll talk. I got tons of exact, very clear memories.
I was at Missouri School for Boys from 1972 to 1977 (except for 18 mos)
I am anxious to know what you have found, and where you want to take this. I realy just hope that your work can do somthing positive for this generation of troubled youth.

Sincerely
Robert D. Mitchell

ECHO0o
01-15-2011, 01:17 PM
PS. Thanks for asking, and, thank you for listening

jc3
02-06-2011, 04:30 PM
My father in law was sent to boonville when he was 17 ,he won't say much about it I do know he learned to box there and he said it was a life lesson.. He often refers to it as his collage

dylanosmom
03-03-2011, 10:00 PM
Hi Mike,
My father was sent to Booneville from 1960-64. As a child I remember him talking about his time there however, I never heard anything bad untill I became an adult. The one man I do remember was Mr.Cooper he was the one adult who treated my dad kindly somewhat like his own son. As for the rest of the adults and his time there was very abusive, he mentioned another man named Mr. Carmichael who is decesed now but not a nice man! He will not tell me the specifics although I gather the worst! If you are interested in speaking to him you can contact me first as I do believe he would be willing to discuss some things with another inmate so to speak!!!!
Thank you much and good luck with your book.
Stacy

Rebecca Archer
03-16-2011, 03:11 PM
Mike, my fiance spent many years in the Missouri juvenile system.....I just PMed you.

Hi, Irisheyes...

I, too, am researching/rewriting a book related to Boonville.

I'm specifically looking for info on the Superintendent that was there from the early 60's through '73 when he was fired:

Walter S. DeClue

Also looking for info in relationship to

Judge James Rooney, Clay County (7th) Circuit Court
He was on the bench from 1939 thru 1973 and a juvenile judge from '52 through '58

And

Deputy Juvenile Officer Frank McCracken, Clay County/Liberty Mo
Only info on him is that he was employed there in the spring of '64.

I would be VERY interested to hear from anyone that may have been in boonville in '63 or '64 or anyone that sentenced to boonville from '64 to '73.

Also...I would will also be researching a doctor from the St. Joseph Psychiatric Hospital (#2)....Dr. Minor - only info on him, so far, is that he was employed there in the summer of '64.

would your fiance be willing to PM me? Would love to hear from anyone on this, including the the author that started this thread!

Thanks in advance!

RA

Rebecca Archer
03-16-2011, 03:14 PM
Mike, are you still interested in this? My grandfather ran the school in the 1940's. I am researching this school myself, for multiple reasons and would very much like to speak to you.

Thanks,

L Parker

Hi, LFP....

I would also love to hear from you about Boonville, but am looking at a later time period. There's a LOT of info out there on MTS/Boonville from the 40's...just curious who your grandfather was, as well.

I can recommend a couple of books, too, if your interested.

RA

Rebecca Archer
03-16-2011, 03:20 PM
twistedhippy here............... did 7 mos. 14 days...........B cottage. 1963-64

Twistedhippy.....

Would LOVE to talk to you about Boonville...the book I'm researching is about a kid sent there in May of '64....uh...have to go back to my notes to figure out what cottage he was in, but I know he worked on the "Weed" brigade/detail doing grounds (& some agricultural) work and then moved to the bakery.

I'm having a really difficult time getting info on the Superintendent -
DeClue, but am interested in ANYthing about the facility you might wish to share.

Also interested in anyone that may have spent time at the St. Joe Psychiatric hospital during that time period.

Thanks!

RA

Rebecca Archer
03-16-2011, 03:31 PM
Hi Robert,

would you be willing to talk to me about boonville as well? I'm currently involved in co-writing the rewrite of a book called "Escape from Boonville' by Bob and Don Hughes and getting it ready for the screen writers. I've only got a couple months left to get it done. (The oldest brother had been very ill, so it's slowed us down a bit). When it was first written a draft was sent to the publisher for other reasons and it was published "as is". unfortunately. So - we're fixing and greatly expanding it.

I would particularly like to know about DeClue and/or any of the guards that you remember. If you don't mind I'm going to email your post to Bob and see if he remembers any of the same guards.

Also - I recognize your story. I've read about you somewhere on the internet over the past few weeks...I'm certain it was in one or another newspaper archive, but don't know which one...specifically remember because your arms were so sore you couldn't eat and then went on to escape, etc.

Hope you are well!

Becky

Rebecca Archer
03-16-2011, 03:38 PM
Hi Stacy,

I would love to talk to your Dad as well...or if he preferred - he could possibly talk to the man I'm co-writing this (revised) book for if he were more comfortable with that.

If you look at my previous posts in this thread, it explains why.

Thanks!

Rebecca

dylanosmom
03-16-2011, 04:25 PM
Rebecca,
I would love to speak with you but this site is somewhat tricky and hard to manage how can I get a hold of you elsewhere?
Stacy

Rebecca Archer
03-18-2011, 03:03 PM
Rebecca,
I would love to speak with you but this site is somewhat tricky and hard to manage how can I get a hold of you elsewhere?
Stacy

i sent you a PM, Stacy.

Thanks
Rebecca

John Roberts
03-18-2011, 04:45 PM
Have information on MTS in Boonville. Will provide offline due to nature of some of information and chance of easily being identified by it.


I witnessed many things that got swept under the rug that, if it were occurring in systems today with boys this age, would result in most of the staff going to prison. Walter S. DeClue was the worst of them all for allowing all the abuse, covering it up, and reinforcing it with his horrible leadership. How he kept his professional credentials after being pushed out of his job is way beyond my comprehension, much less how he stayed out of civil court for decades after all the abuse he allowed under his watch.

Thanks, and good luck with the search for information.

slbilva
02-21-2014, 12:50 PM
My grandfather was in Boonville sometime before 1928. Are there any records still out there and any suggestions on where to find them?

lisainengland
02-23-2014, 04:37 AM
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