Poor House Report; 1857

1857 Poor House Report

This house is built of brick, forty by eighty feet, three stories high, connected with which is a farm of one hundred and seven acres, yielding an annual revenue of $721. The house is not ventilated. No provision for bathing except a shower bath. The basement to a limited extent, is occupied by the paupers, but mostly for domestic purposes. It is warmed by stoves. The number of inmates was forty; twenty males and twenty females, of whom sixteen were foreign and twenty-four native born, including eight children. Twenty-six rooms are appropriated to the use of the paupers in which as many as eight are sometimes placed in a single room.

This house is under the care of a keeper, aided by an assistant. The keeper is also superintendent of the poor, who purchases supplies for the house, prescribes rules regulating the diet, which are submitted to and have received the sanction of the county court. During the past year he has bound out sixteen children, leaving only one of suitable age to be bound out in the house. The paupers labor in the house and on the farm to the extent of their ability. The average number supported is fifty-nine, at a weekly cost of $1.15 each. The house is supplied with Bibles, and religious services are maintained every Sabbath. The children of suitable age are sent to the district school. The supervisors have visited the house once this year.

A physician is employed by the year at a salary of $100. There have been five births and three deaths the past year. Of the inmates seven are lunatics; two male and five female, and all paupers. Two have been received, and one recovered and has been discharged. Three of the lunatics are confined in a hall opening into a yard; one is restrained by wearing mittens and one muffs. They are looked after by a pauper attendant, but receive no special medical attention. There are two idiots, both females; and one deaf and dumb.

Four-fifths of the whole number come to want consequent upon habits of inebriation.

References

Annual Report of the State Board of Charities for the Year 1903, Volume 1; 1904.

Poor House Report; 1857