JUDGE TAKES PART OF RUNAWAY GIRLS. ~ Homes Have Been Found for Ava Jewell and Hattie Hayes.

December 11, 1910

Homes Have Been Found for
Ava Jewell and Hattie

"I told them 'If you never do anything worse than sit on a rock pile and crack rock for papa you will be queens on a thrown with jewels in your crowns.' "

T. W. Jewell, 920 Cambridge avenue, Sheffield, made this statement in the juvenile court yesterday afternoon after admitting that he had required his daughter, Ava Jewell, 16 years old, and his stepdaughter, Hattie Hayes, 15 years old, to crack rock in his quarry "because they were useless to their mother in the house."

About three weeks ago both girls ran away from their rock cracking work, Ava going to Kansas City, Kas., and Hattie Hayes getting employment at a cracker factory. For the past week she had been working as a domestic in a Sheffield hotel. She was taken into the juvenile court on the request of her mother and stepfather.

"Why did you put these girls, young women, I might say, to work on a rock pile?" asked Judge E. E. Porterfield earnestly.

"It was honest labor," said Jewell, "nothin' of which they should be ashamed. They might o' done far worse. You tell him how it came about, mamma," concluded Jewell, addressing his wife.

"Well, they just wouldn't do the housework right," said Mrs. Jewell. "It kept me continually following them about doing the work over again. I knowed somethin' had to be done to keep 'em busy, so I asked papa if he could use 'em in the quarry on the rear of our lot. 'Yes,' says he, 'I can use 'em breakin' up the small stones. Then he put 'em to work down there. That's all.'

"They was there about two or three weeks," said Jewell, "not over three at the outside, and all the work they done could be did in ten to twenty hours. I built 'em a nice platform on which to work. All they had to do was gather the small rock, carry it to the platform and break it. It sells for $1 a yard, judge. It's valuable."

"You know what they done, judge?" asked Jewell in apparent surprise, "they hammered holes in their skirts and kept me busy putting handles in the stone hammers. They would strike over too far and break the handles, just for meanness. Why, there mamma used to come down there just to encourage them, you know, an' she would crack more rock in an hour than they'd crack in a whole day. Mamma liked to crack rock, didn't you mamma? All the time them girls was a complainin' and talkin' o' runnin' away, an' one day both of 'em up and run away."

"I am surprised that they waited so long," said Judge Porterfield when Jewell had finished his explanation. "They should have gone the first day you put them there. A stone quarry, using a hammer and a drill, as this girl says she had to do, is no place for young women."

It was at this point that Jewell delivered himself of the tender sentiment about "jewels in your crowns."

"That sounds nice," suggested the court, "but it doesn't go with me. Any place on earth for a girl or woman but the rock pile, whether it be for papa or in jail. I do not approve of it. this girl will be made a ward of the court and a place secured for her. Working promiscuously in hotels and factories is not the best place for her, either, so long as she is not remaining in the home."

Hattie, who was 15 in October, was turned over to Mrs. Agnes O'Dell, a juvenile court officer, who will secure a place for her in a private family. Her stepsister, Ava Jewell, has a place as a domestic in Kansas City, Kas.