Houghton County, Michigan Poor House 1881

Submitted by    Richard Jilbert  rjilbert@oh.verio.com

    The Poor House and Farm. This humane institution of Houghton County is located in Hancock Township, on the south shore of Portage Lake.  The farm which is ample in size, but of poor productive quality, was purchased several years since. The buildings thereon were soon erected, are ample in size, in good condition. There seems, however, to be one great defect in their construction the want of ample bathrooms. The only facilities for cleanliness in this respect are ordinary washtubs. The buildings are warmed with wood stoves and well ventilated with tin ventilators in the windows. Three meals of vegetables and meat are provided each day. with tea twice a day. The invalids are fed under the direction of the county physician. The clothing of the inmates seems warm and suited  to the climate. The hospital is under charge of the county physician, and all the inmates are reported by those in charge to be well treated. The county has no accommodations for the insane; they are sent to the State Asylum. Six months' schooling during the winter is furnished the children, where there are a sufficient number. The whole number of poor maintained in the poorhouse, for the year 1881, were thirty eight. Of these, fourteen were Americans, two English, seven Irish, nine Germans and five Canadians. There was during the year 1881, but ,one death. The total number of persons who received assistance in any form from the county, during 1881, were 650, of which 150 were permanent paupers maintained outside of the poorhouse, and 450 temporarily relieved outside the poorhouse, with 10 maintained at the State Insane Asylum.
     The total amount expended by the county for the support of its poor, for the year 1881, was $13,955.97, all paid from its poor fund. The total expense of the poorhouse and farm, for 188l, was $3,284.50; of which $750 were paid to the keeper: $76 for clothing; $1,509.65 for food purchased: $120 for medical attendance; $450 for buildings erected, and $229.38 for improving the farm.
     The following compose the present Board of Supervisors, by whom the general county affairs are managed:
     John Duncan, Calumet Township; Joseph Gregory, Schoolcraft Township; Daniel Kloeckner, Quincy Township; Arno Jaehnig,  Franklin Township; A. J. Scott, Hancock Township; William Tonkin, Adams Township; James B. Sturgis, Portage Township.

The above is extracted From: “History of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan” 1883, page 252.  This publication is no longer in print.
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