This collection contains photographs documenting Grant and Emma Thornton's lives and time at the Chicago Parental School and St. Charles School for Boys, now the Illinois Youth Center, as well as a few publications regarding the two institutions.
The Chicago Parental School (1902-1975) and St. Charles School for Boys (1904-Present) were reform institutions with the goal of providing social support and education to delinquent children. The boys were housed in cottages with couples acting as mothers and fathers in each cottage to simulate family life.
The collection includes postcard-style prints of photographs dating from 1912-1918. The photographs mostly depict the boys at the two institutions, but also included are photographs of the Thornton, Grant and Emma family. There are also annual report publications for the Chicago Parental School and one issue of St. Charles School for Boys' publication The Boy Agriculturist. There is also a strip of Sperry and Hutchinson Co. Green Stamps expiring January 1, 1919.
This collection was gifted to the Illinois Historical Survey, predecessor to the Illinois History and Lincoln Collections, by John Jakle of the Geology Department prior to 1975 and was previously housed in the Graphics Collection.