Lewis County Poorhouse
the Poorhouse Story


Caption:  Lewis County Home, Lowville, N.Y.


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the Poorhouse Story
Click here to read the section of this historic report which deals with LEWIS county.
the Poorhouse Story
1824 LAW (required establishment of poorhouse vs. exempted): required
the Poorhouse Story

This building is built of stone, forty by sixty feet, in height two stories above the basement, and has been erected for nine years. The basements are occupied for culinary purposes, and also contain two dark cells for offenders and the insane. Connected with the house is a farm of fifty-nine acres, yielding an annual revenue of $600. The building contains eleven rooms, or wards, and is heated by furnaces. It is partially ventilated by registers in some of the windows. The number of inmates is fifty, thirty males and twenty females. Of these, three-fourths are foreign born. Of the inmates there are twelve under sixteen years of age. The sexes are separated at night and partially during the day. They are under one keeper. Sometimes as many as twelve paupers are placed in one room. The average number of inmates is ninety-three, supported at a weekly expense of ninety-seven cents each, aside from the products of the farm. The paupers are employed on the farm, so far as able, and in domestic matters and the manufacture of clothing for the house. The supervisors have visited and inspected the house twice during the past year. It is supplied with Bibles and a Sabbath school is sustained. No other religious instruction is afforded. During four months of the year a common school is taught. The superintendents of the poor furnish supplies and impose rules for the government of the house and regulations for the system of diet. The food furnished is good and wholesome, equal in quality to that which a majority of the tax payers themselves eat. A physician, who visits the house four or five times each week, and oftener if necessary, is employed at a salary of $200. There are no facilities for bathing.

During the last year one birth has occurred in the house and nine deaths. No contagious disease has visited the house. The lunatics number only four, two males and two females. All are paupers, and, as a remarkable fact, one of them was found lying on a feather bed. Two have been admitted within the year. They have no particular medical or other attendance, and none are confined or in any way restrained. There is no case of improvement or cure. The superintendents of the poor alone exercise the power of discharge.

There is in the house one idiot, a female about twenty-two years of age; also one blind and one deaf and dumb. The house can be kept comfortable in winter. The proportion of pauperism here caused by intemperance is estimated at one-half. The house appeared to be very well kept.

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

the Poorhouse Story


This one is really FUN!
Here is a bill  
"Horace Bush
Druggist & Apothecary
And Dealer in Everything Pertaining to the Business"
No. 88 State-street
Lowville N.Y.

purchased for the LEWIS COUNTY POORHOUSE

November 31, 1867 through February 19, 1868 


    And here is another (1890) poorhouse invoice -- for  fish !! 

Caption: Lewis County Home, Lowville, New York

"Just looked at your picture.Brings back memory of driving by it. Road goes onto Gardner Road going North out of Lowville NY,  if I am correct."
          Rich Allen (b. Lowvlle 1941) RICHFROG2@aol.com 

the Poorhouse Story

List of Residents of the Lewis County Poorhouse from the 1850 Census

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


Microfilm Series A1978  Roll Number(s) 71-72  more information
the Poorhouse Story

the Poorhouse Story

We are hoping to build this base of information about the poorhouse in LEWIS 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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