Chenango County Poorhouse
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POORHOUSE HISTORY by county


The notes below have been abstracted from the following reports.
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YATES REPORT      1824 LAW      1857 REPORT EXPLANATION
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YATES REPORT:
ANNUAL REPORT of the STATE BOARD of CHARITIES                                         p  975-976
A TABLE showing the number of Paupers supported at the public expense in the county of CHENANGO during the twelve months preceding April 21, 1823, with other particulars, derived from public documents and reports furnished the Secretary of State. [*** Indicates "No return (filed)" ]
TOWNS Total number of paupers
supported during the
whole of the last year.
Total number relieved
during a part of the last year.
M
A
L
E
S
F
E
M
A
L
E
S
C
H
I
L
D
R
E
N
Total expenses of supporting and relieving paupers (including fees and expenses of officers, removals and appeals) for the last year.

Dolls.    Cts.

Expenses and cost of officers and appeals during same period.

 

Dolls.   Cts.

Number of paupers removed during the last year.
Bainbridge ***                
Columbus 0 3 1 2 1 45.56 5.45  
Coventry ***                
Guilford
***
               
German 
***
               
Greene 
***
               

Lincklaen ***
               
Macdonough 0 1 1 0 0 10.00 4.00  
New Berlin ***                
Norwich 3 3 2 3 0 250.00 45.00  
Otselic 0 1 1 0 0 22.50 20.00  
Oxford 
***
               
Pharsalia 0 1 1 0 0 30.00 Not stated.  
Plymouth ***                
Preston 
***
               
Sherburne 8 13 8 13 11 433.19 15.31  
Smithville 0 0 0 0 0 0.00 Not stated.  
 Smyrna 1 1 0 2 0 31.33 Not stated. ...
   Sums of money raised in the county of Chenango by tax, for the support of the poor, in the years 1816, 1817, 1818, 1819, 1820, 1821, 1822.
     In the year 1816,           $493.95
                      1817,          1,681.34
                      1818,          2,383.72
                      1819,          2,055.34
                      1820,          1,482.19
                      1821,          1,639.46
                      1822,             735.35
                      TOTAL   $10,471.35

   In the town of Columbia, there is an overplus of $113.82, of poor monies in the hands of the supervisor.  In the town of Macdonough there is a fund of $330 at interest for the support of the poor.  And in the town of Smithville a like fund of $156 at interest.

NORWICH

   My opinion is, that the cheapest and best method of supporting the poor would be, to erect a county poor-house in each county, and compel all who are able, to labor to the extent of their ability. There are but few who are wholly unable to contribute something toward their support, and certainly the industrious class, should not be compelled to support the idle vagabonds who can, but will not work.  [Letter from the supervisor of Norwich.]

 

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1824 LAW (required establishment of poorhouse vs. exempted): required
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1857 INVESTIGATION:

This house is located at Preston, and consists of a number of buildings, as poor and broken as the inmates they contain, entirely unsuited and insufficient properly to answer the ends for which they are appropriated. It was stated that during the last winter some of the apartments were so open as to admit the snow. It was further stated that the board of supervisors for the last few years had discontinued their visits to the house. These buildings have twenty-nine apartments appropriated to the use of the paupers, but with no special provision for ventilation, and in which from one to twenty are placed. Nor is there any provisions for bathing. It is warmed by stoves. Connected with the house is a farm of one hundred and seventy acres, yielding an annual revenue of $800. The number of inmates was eighty; thirty-five male and forty-five female; seventy-three native and seven foreign born, including twenty-five children. The paupers commingle freely throughout the day, but at night the males and females are placed in separate departments. All are under the care of one keeper and his wife, assisted by the paupers.

The superintendent of the poor purchases the supplies for the house, and imposes rules regulating the diet of the inmates. The food furnished is plain, substantial fare. The weekly cost of the support of the paupers is fifty-six cents each. Religious services are held once in two weeks. The house is but partially supplied with Bibles. A school has been taught in the house six months the past year. A physician is employed, who charges for his services by the visit. There have been nine births during the year, (six of them illegitimate) and ten deaths. The average number of the inmates is about ninety. Of the inmates, eight are lunatics, three males and five females, and all paupers. Three have been received during the past year. The lunatics have no special attendants, and receive no special medical attention. One has recovered, and four are kept constantly confined in dark filthy cells. The modes of restraining adopted are the straight jacket, handcuff, and the confinement in cells. The house does not admit of the classification of the insane. The "fool house" as it was called, was disgusting in the extreme. Will not some humane member of the board of supervisors espouse and plead the cause of the poor lunatics? Seven of the paupers are idiots, and two of them under twenty years of age.

Three-fourths of the recipients of public charity in this county become so consequent upon habits of inebriation

Transcribed by PHS-Volunteer, Cheramie Breaux in Louisiana
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PERSONAL NOTES FROM READERS:

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LOCAL NOTES:

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RECORDS:

Poorhouse INMATE REGISTRATION CERTIFICATES
Microfilm Series A1978  Roll Number(s) 18-19
  more information
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CEMETERY:

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