Actually the census taker was a wannabe poet/philosopher :
"This is the House of Refuge for children young and small
And if they stay here very long and feed on prison fare
They'll lose their strength and manliness and grow up tall and spare"
See GoogleBooks (free)---"The Dead End Kids of St. Louis :
Homeless Boys and the People Who Tried to Save Them"
start w/p. 58, but it's interesting before + after.
Listed in various STL City Directories @ Ancestry.com.
Also, the "Annual Report of the House of Refuge, 1893"--p.41
The "Genealogy in St. Louis" site has a good explanation.
1908 Sanborn Fire Ins. Map = "St. Louis Industrial School",
located On Louisiana Ave., bet. Gasconade & Osage.