ANNUAL REPORT showing continuation of Stock and Produce SALES Report
Here The Poorhouse Lady must admit that bookkeeping is NOT something she understands very well!
But even to someone not well versed in the subject, it appears that during 1891 the Town (Poor) Farm came pretty close to being self sufficient -- one of the primary goals of the poorhouse system. There appears to have been a "balance against the farm" of only $327.79 for the year.
One problem with analysis of the success of poorhouses in this regard involves the way statistics were kept. Because of this, we cannot tell how many residents were served during this period of time ... or what the averaged number of residents per day was over the year.
|While we are given a listing of
"Poor On Town Farm Feb. 1, 1891" ... the entry is confusing. (Were the deaths & discharges noted there prior to that date or after that date?) And we are not given a subsequent "Poor on Town Farm Feb. 1, 1892" for comparison.
|Even if we were given the ability to compare the census of residents on two dates a full year apart ... that would still leave us unaware of the volume of temporary residents who may have come and gone between those two dates.|
|And it must be remembered that the cost of maintaining the
poor in a poorhouse (or ... in this case ... on the Town Farm) was not
always the only type of assistance given to the poor.
(See next page.)
|Note: By 1875 there had been created in most states a State Board of Charities. In New York state this organization was given the responsibility of coordinating the various county poorhouses, requiring annual reports from them, and submitting the summarized reports to the Secretary of State for NY (who then published the report for the state legislature). This report gives us a better picture of how many poor people were served in each county each year. Currently we have not yet been able to learn whether or not Maine had such an organization or did such reporting. PHL|
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