HISTORY of the ERIE COUNTY ALMS HOUSE

 from  
Our County and It's People; a descriptive work on Erie County New York,
Thomas C. White, 1898
     The first steps taken toward providing Erie county with an alms house were under an act passed by the legislature March 20, 1828, which directed the commissioners of the land office to cause the sale of certain lots of land in the village of Black Rock to the supervisors of the county for a site for the institution.  The certificate of sale was directed to be given to John G. Camp, Elijah Leech, and Josiah Trowbridge, who were appointed commissioners to build the alms house.  The numbers of the lots on which the institution was erected were 118 to 125 inclusive, and 135 to 143 inclusive.  This institution was completed in January, 1829, and Dr. Josiah Trowbridge, Reuben B. Heacock, D. P. White, Abraham Miller, Robert Person, O. R. Hopkins and Joseph Clary were superintendents; Dr. Cyrenius Chapin, physician, and John D. Harty, keeper.  For the year 1830 the total expense of conducting the institution was $3,653.54, an average cost of eight three cents per week for each inmate.1                                              p. 300
   1This provision for the care of the indigent poor of the county sufficed until 1851, when the buildings became inadequate and measures were adopted to secure more commodious accommodations.  A tract of land comprising 153 acres, then situated in the town of Black Rock, but now partly within the city limits on Main street, was purchased and a new structure erected thereon at a cost of about $20,000.  The main building was burned in 1855, and rebuilt in the same year.  Since that time extensive improvements have been made in the institution.  An insane asylum was built in 1865-66, at a cost of $43,000, which was enlarged in 1874 and again in 1878.  A consumptive hospital building was erected in 1895, and a new boiler house at about the same time. When the care of insane persons passed to the State in 1803 and they were removed to State institutions, the asylum became the Erie County Hospital.  This institution is supplied with a large medical staff and is in every respect efficiently and successfully conducted.  The total value of the alms house and property is about $230,000 for the land and about $550,00 for buildings and improvements.                                                                                          p. 300-301
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