The Poorhouse Story NEWSLETTER   02/24/2002 (Fourteenth issue)


Well, I'll be ... on time for the first time in recent memory! This (so-called now) bi-monthly newsletter is coming out two months to the day from the last one. I may break my arm patting myself on the back. (And try to forget all the times it was late.) 

If you have visited The POORHOUSE STORY website recently ...  you may have noticed something new. 

It is something I thought about (agonized over, actually) for a long time.  We are strongly committed to keeping this website non-commercial.  To me that means that all of the data is available for free to anyone who comes here to learn poorhouse history. And it also means we don't want visitors to be plagued with those obnoxious advertisements popping up all over the place. Finally, and maybe most importantly, it means that no corporation gets to dictate our editorial policy.

All of those conditions still prevail -- but now we are accepting and soliciting advertising and affiliation with companies whose advertisements we will post very discretely at various places on the website. We had no choice but to do this. Frankly, the project is becoming expensive and very time-consuming. And the paradox is: while the growth in usage of the site demonstrates its value, that very growth threatens our ability to maintain it without some financial assistance.

So here is what we are doing. On most major pages we now have a box that looks like this:

Only if a reader chooses
to click on that box will 
they find any advertising 
on our website. 
Of course, we very much 
hope that those who wish 
to support and maintain
will do that!.
Update: This did not bring in any money!
So we have discontinued it. 5/2003
Please help us keep this website going with your patronage of these businesses.  PHL
These boxes can currently 
be found on the homepage, 
the RECORDS page, the 
CEMETERY page, and the
page with the Table of States.
Additionally, they are now on 
a few state and county pages
We hope you will take a look 
at them soon.
If you click on the links to state and county pages (above and to the right) you will see some
examples of the type of  local advertising  opportunity we are currently offering.

There are two ways in which you and other viewers can help us with this project. First, whenever you have the need to purchase any books or genealogy services on-line -- consider coming first to The POORHOUSE STORY to click on one of our affiliate links to   or  or BARNES & NOBLE  (or our future affiliates.) And you can encourage friends and family members to do the same.  When you do that,  our website receives a small commission.  

Secondly, many of you who regularly read this newsletter own local regional publishing companies (which specialize in local history and/or genealogy) or are professional genealogists.  An inexpensive advertisement on one of our state or county pages may help you make your business better known to just the specific audience whom you are trying to reach. If you would like to consider this, please e-mail me at to discuss how we can best create a win/win situation.

In future newsletters we hope to keep you advised (in the stats section) of the success of this project.  Of course, if we succeed in raising enough to replace the equipment or software we need -- we may be jumping up and down with joy in this section!

Linda ( & Maddie, too )

Red Face Report: 
In the last newsletter we made the following statement:  "
We recently passed the quarter million mark for the number of visits which have now been made to the website!"  Well ... turns out that was a really embarrassing dyslexic senior moment. 
It goes something like this -- "You mean 225,000 is not a quarter of a million?"  Duh.    But  ... NOW we have  passed that milestone! 


The New York Times
February 19, 2002
Welfare Chief Is Hoping to Promote Marriage


...  "Dr. Horn 
[the Bush administration official who oversees the welfare program] 
...  does want the federal government to promote and encourage marriage more aggressively among low-income people, and the administration is proposing to spend $100 million a year to do just that."

Click on the link above to read the
full on-line text of the article.

The POORHOUSE STORY -- Newsletter 13
December 24, 2001

"This is an amusing 1863 newspaper blurb!"
Rutland Herald
January 5, 1863


By reference to the marriage notices in our columns this morning, it will be seen that a rather remarkable marriage is reported to have taken place in Pittsford not long ago; the happy bride and bridegroom being respectively 67 and 54 years of age, and both town paupers. The reason, says our informant, given by the overseer of the poor for this proceeding is that he was crowded for room and gained the use of an apartment by the operation. Our informant further suggests that as a matter of economy it might be well for other towns to follow this example.


SMITH-MILLINGTON - In Pittsford, October 1, 1862, by M.C. Bogue Esq., assisted by R.R. Drake, Esq., Titus Smith and Mary Millington, both town paupers, the bridegroom being 54 and the bride 67 years of age.

Table of STATISTICS and NEW ITEMS ADDED to The PHS Website

E-mail Subscribers to Monthly Newsletter
as of 12/24/2001 --  693 
as of 02/24/2002 -- 721 (28 new)


-- since last newsletter's stats (ended 12/22/02)  
  over 9 weeks (63 days) = 802/day
-- Total (as of 2/23/02) since 5/8/2000 -- 280,545

(recent mainstream newspaper articles)

More and more frequently lately, we are being consulted by newspaper reporters wishing to obtain background information for articles they are writing about their own local poorhouse issues. We will share these with you & hope you will give us a "heads up" when you spot such material in the media. 

NOTE: Unfortunately most of these articles, when they are even included on the on-line edition of the paper, are only kept on-line for a limited period of time. Please let us know if the links here are not currently working.  Some of these papers require that you subscribe to their on-line edition in order to be able to access the articles; the subscription may be free or very nominal in price.  PHL

                NEW YORK TIMES  -- February 4, 2002, Monday
"Forsaken in Life, Forgotten in Death"

     ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH -- February 11, 2002, Monday
"Paupers' Cemetery Rises from Neglect"

(based on readers submissions)

We are delighted to have finally obtained (through the generosity of OCGS) an intact copy of a set of the original Rules & Regulations of a county poorhouse! It seems likely that these were similar for all of the counties in New York at that time
Orange County NY -- 1831 

Wouldn't you know it!
My own state ... Texas ... has proven to be
especially difficult to research for poorhouses.
So we have put together sketchy data from various documentary and published sources.


Table    "Showing the Number of Paupers in the State, 
by Counties, how Kept, and the Average Cost per Month of Supporting Them

But Look Here ! 
On another page by Linda Ogborn --
" There are over 4000 on this list from public records of the 
Pauper's in the "Poor House" in Delaware County." 

Linda Ogborn, September 6, 1998

This lady should get a trophy! What a huge work!  PHL

This is a very exemplary way                     >>>
to pay tribute to those who are buried in Potter's Fields or Poorhouse Cemeteries. This community has gone the extra mile and researched the names of those who had no names recorded on their gravestones -- and included that on the plaque at the entrance.
Here is a wonderful Photo Album of the DeKalb County IL Cemetery
This was both a poorhouse cemetery and what is often called a "Potter's Field" -- a cemetery for the burial of indigent people -- often transients to the community.
We are delighted to share a wonderful article which was written by Don Darling ... who spent some of his childhood on the Dickinson County Poor Farm, where his grandfather was the superintendent. 
It is a great read!  

"The Poorhouse Revisited"


(We didnít create them; 
we just show them!)

A  great website article about the history of social services for the poor in North Dakota.  
(i.e. Cass County Poor Farm.)                >>>



Food for the hungry, shelter for the poor
By Ellen Crawford
The Forum - 10/17/1999

Jackie Corr has written a piece of creative non-fiction (and if you don't know what that term means, just click to see a wonderful example) which uses the vehicle of an imaginary interview with the author, Charles Dickens, to present some thoughtful insight into the history of the Silver Bow County Poor Farm in Butte MT.  Don't miss ... 
The Charles Dickens Interview

 ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH -- February 11, 2002, Monday
"Paupers' Cemetery Rises from Neglect"  

Recent DISCOVERY OF REMAINS from the POOR FARM CEMETERY in Meade County SD      (for what was allowed to be done in the past)
                                  (for what they seem to be well on the way to
                                                  doing to make amends now)  posted Feb. 2002

Here is a wonderful Photo Album of the DeKalb County [Illinois] Cemetery  
  (See above in FEATURE PROJECTS)

HONORED STATES current Illinois now has a table of separate county pages.
  previous Illinois/Kansas/Ohio/Pennsylvania/Tennessee
 Picture Postcards/Photos/Illustrations
  CA Fresno
   IL DeKalb
   IN Jay / Vigo
    MI Bay
   MN Lake
  MO Cooper
(only a link; could not get consent to copy)
NY Cattaraugus / Erie / Putnam / Tompkins
    OH Athens / Henry / Lucas / Pickaway / Preble / Union
    WI Columbia / Jefferson / Milwaukee (2)
Notes: from Readers/Local/Historical    
  AL Randolph
  CO Adams / Arapahoe / Denver
  IL DeKalb
  KS Dickinson
  KY Jefferson
  MD Talbot / Worcester
  MI Houghton
  MT Silver Bow / Park
  NE Adams
  ND Richland
  NJ Camden / Gloucester
  NY Erie / Greene / Monroe / Montgomery
  OH Ross
  PA Fayette
  TN Madison
  TX Galveston / Gonzales / Grayson / Waller / Wise
  WV Mercer / Monroe

Historical Documents     

1852 -- 1898
ME Oxford

WPA Interview with Matron     

ND Richland

Poorhouse Rules & Regulations  -- 1831
(See in Featured Articles above.)   

NY Orange

 Yates Report (1823)  

NY Delaware
Historical Memorabilia    

Historical Markers     

TX Anderson / El Paso / Galveston / Hill / Kaufman
Navarro / Parker / Wise
Poorhouse Records    
  IL DeKalb
  NY Delaware / Queens / Tompkins / Wayne
 A record book from the Cairo Almshouse covering the period 1887-1905 NY Greene
  OH Union
Cemetery Lists (or notes)    
  CO El Paso
  IL DeKalb
  NC Madison
  NY Delaware / Erie / Putnam
  SD Meade
  TX Wise
  VA Rockingham
Poorhouse Resident lists from CENSUS
new material or off-site links to the web)
   1850 GA Gwinnett
   1880 IA Dubuque
   1790 MD Dorchester
   1870 MI Hillsdale
    1880 MI Hillsdale
   1910 MO Cole
  1900 OH Hocking
     1880 TN Decatur
  1880 TX Coryell
    1850 VA Madison
The Poorhouse in Literature
Didn't have any time to read any new books!   PHL
STATE ARCHIVES Holdings new  none added
  previous Delaware/Illinois/Michigan/Minnesota/Ohio/Oregon
New York/Pennsylvania
Thanks for your continued support.
Linda Crannell                                                        
(aka=The Poorhouse Lady)

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