Gratiot County Poor-Farm     Gratiot County, Michigan

From: "  Portrait and Biographical Album, Gratiot County, Mich.
containing Portraits & Biographical Sketches of Prominent and Representative Citizens of the County ... "
Chicago: Chapman Brothers, 1884

Submitted by:    Dale and Linda 


     The Gratiot County Poor-Farm is valued at $7,000.

     The poor-house is located in the township of Newark, one and one fourth miles from Ithaca.  It consists of a main building 22 x 50 feet, two stories high, containing 16 rooms, -- 11 bedrooms, two sitting rooms, one dining room, one bath-room and one room for the insane.  There is also a wing, 28 x 30 feet containing two sitting-rooms, one kitchen, one pantry, and six bed-rooms, used for the females. 

     For bathing purposes there is one small room, where tubs are used.  The building is warmed by stoves, and ventilated by doors and windows.  The paupers are well treated.   Food consists of bread, butter, meat and vegetables, with coffee or tea twice a day.  Meals are served three ties a day except on Sundays.  The clothing is very good and warm, mostly woolen.  The sick have good medical attendance, which is furnished by the superintendents.  The nursing is done by the keeper.  Have no accommodation for the insane and idiotic, except one room for the violently.  All are sent to the asylum that they will receive.  Have not children to educate.  All that are old enough are sent to the State Public School.  They let the keeping of the paupers to the lowest responsible bidder.  In 1883, $900 was paid for keeping of the paupers, the keeper having the paupers’ labor and the use of the farm, and furnishing all help, food, clothing, and nursing for the sick.  When the number exceeds ten, the keeper is to receive $1.50 per week for each and every such excess, and to deduct from said $900, $1.50 per week for all under the stated number.  The medical attendance is furnished by the superintendents. 

     The average number of paupers is 20 ˝ persons, although the present number exceeds that amount.  Gratiot takes good care of her poor and the reports of the Superintendents of the Poor for 1883 show the expenditure of $5,791.10 for their relief, of which $2,266.06 was paid for temporary relief of persons not inmates of the county-poor house.  Wm Marlow, Parmer R. Phillips, M.W. Martin, Superintendents. 

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