Broome County Poorhouse
the Poorhouse Story
NY Poorhouse History by County

Here we found a website with a magnificent photographic history of this poorhouse!  

The notes below have been abstracted from the following reports.
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the Poorhouse Story

the Poorhouse Story
1824 LAW (required establishment of poorhouse vs. exempted):  Required
the Poorhouse Story

This house is located three miles from Binghamton, and consists of three buildings, two of them of the following size, 34 x 40 and 20 x 24 feet, affording seventeen rooms for the occupancy of the paupers, but without ventilation and no provision for bathing. It is warmed by stoves. The number of inmates was thirty-seven--fourteen male and twenty-three female; three foreign and thirty-four native born, including five children under sixteen years of age. From one to six beds are placed in a room. The average number is forty-five. They are under the care of one keeper, who with his wife provides for the wants of the family, and with the assistance of the paupers work also a farm of 130 acres.

The inmates are supplied with plain substantial food, which is purchased by the keeper, who also regulates and determines the amount and quality of food. The sexes are kept in different buildings but meet during the day in the performance of their respective duties--at night the separation is complete. One of the superintendents of the poor is a physician, and has charge of the medical treatment of the family. During the year there has been one birth and one death. The children are sent to the district school, and when of suitable age are bound out by the superintendents. The house is supplied with bibles, but enjoys no other religious privileges specially.

The weekly cost of the inmates is $1.08 each, aside from the products of the farm, estimated to be worth $800 annually. One third of the inmates come here consequent upon habits of inebriation.

Twenty-one of the paupers are lunatics; eight males and thirteen females, not one of whom has been cured or improved during the year, nor do they receive any special attention as insane, more than the other paupers. All are locked in cells at night, only one constantly in confinement, no other restraints are employed. The most of the insane are mild and inoffensive, some of them verging upon idiocy.

To the twenty-one lunatics out of the thirty-seven in the house, eleven are to be set down as idiots, three males and eight females, several of whom are promising subjects for Dr. Wilbur of the state idiotic asylum.

The buildings are insufficient to meet the varied wants of such a family, but have the appearance of being well kept.

Transcribed by PHS-Volunteer, Cheramie Breaux in Louisiana
the Poorhouse Story

the Poorhouse Story

"The co. poorhouse is located upon a farm of 130 acres 3 mi. N. of Binghamton. The average number of inmates is 45, kept at a weekly cost of $108 each, exclusive of the products of the farm, which are estimated at $800 per annum. The children are sent to the district school, and when of proper age are bound out. No religious instruction is afforded. The sexes are kept in separate buildings, and the general arrangement of the institution is such as to secure the health and comfort of the inmates."

Above quote is from
Broome County Local History Page From: French's Gazetteer of the State of New York., p. 178-180

the Poorhouse Story

"I have been able to find my great grandfather Benjamin Westgate in the original Broome County Poor House books. They are located at the Broome County Library and are quite extensive.  If you would like me  to look up anyone at the Library -- just e-mail me."  
     Linda Dabulewicz 

List of Residents of the Broome County Poorhouse from the 1850 Census  
           (Corrected & Completed 3/8/2002)

List of Residents of the Broome County Poorhouse from the 1860 Census  

Microfilm Series A1978  Roll Number(s) 8-11
  more information
the Poorhouse Story

the Poorhouse Story

We are hoping to build this base of information about the poorhouse in BROOME county through the helpful participation of readers. All are requested to submit items of interest by sending e-mail to The Poorhouse Lady.

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