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by exclaiming: "He is the best warden that we ever had." It was an unusual scene at the prison, and those present were much impressed by the sentiment shown by the prisoners.

No prisoner ever left the prison without going to the warden's office and thanking him for his kind treatment. The scores of letters received from, the boys on the outside go to prove that Warden Melick, as well as Mrs. Melick, will never be forgotten by those unfortunates who happened to come to Lancaster.

On the last day of Warden Melick's administration a minstrel show was given in honor of the members of the legislature, at the close of which Doctor Harmon, on behalf of the inmates, presented to the warden a silver service enclosed in a massive chest. Upon each piece of the service the warden's initials were engraved. The boys had taken up a collection among themselves. When the list was sent to my office, I noticed that


several men had put down all the money that they had on deposit. I took the list and called on these men, who told me that they wanted to give all they had, and would like to give much more had they only possessed it. They said that they wanted to give the warden a present that he would be proud of as long as he lived. After much discussion pro and con, I finally made them understand that it was the spirit of the gift far more than the money value that the warden would appreciate. The contributions were then reduced to only a few cents per inmate. In his presentation speech Doctor Harmon said: "In the future, that whatever honor fortune or merit showers upon you, you will be remembered by these men as the best warden they ever had.'.'

"He who misfortune's hand has viewed
Upon his fellow man
With kindly thoughts his heart imbued
To lift it if he can;
He stands a prince among his kind,
At home or everywhere
Who deals with him will always find
This man is on the square."



In other chapters I have told my readers how the discharged prisoner is turned out into the world with only five dollars in money, dressed in a six dollar suit, a dollar and a quarter hat and a two dollar pair of shoes. It matters not whether he has served one year or twenty, nor whether his home is in Lincoln or in the extreme western part of the state. It is five dollars to one and all; and if that amount is insufficient to take them to their home, they will have to walk, fly, beg or steal. If they choose the latter and are caught; it will cost the state some more money in keeping them and bringing them back to Lancaster.

I have also told you how the paroled men are turned out into the world, with no money whatever. They are not even furnished a suit of clothes, but have to depend upon the prison officials for old clothes or go out into the world in their convict garb.


I appeal to you, good people of Nebraska, to do all you can to remedy this. A law has been passed to properly equip the outgoing inmates; but the legislature forgot to appropriate funds for this purpose, and the convict gets nothing, not even a credit memorandum for what is due him. There are plenty of other funds; and, especially do I call my reader's attention to the general repair fund of twelve thousand dollars, of which amount over one-half will perhaps not be used, and at the end of the biennium returned to the state. And while this fund was appropriated for general repairs, I believe that the board of commissioners for the state institutions has the authority to change these funds as they see fit. At any rate it would be well to take the matter up and have the attorney general pass on it. If this cannot be done, the matter must be taken up with the legislature. Some one should be on hand in the legislative halls to see that it is attended to.