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 Orange County Poorhouse
the Poorhouse Story

The notes below have been abstracted from the following reports.
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YATES REPORT (1824)      1824 LAW      1857 REPORT EXPLANATION
the Poorhouse Story
ANNUAL REPORT of the STATE BOARD of CHARITIES                                         p 1024-1025
A TABLE showing the number of Paupers supported at the public expense in the county of ORANGE during the twelve months preceding April 21, 1823, with other particulars, derived from public documents and reports furnished the Secretary of State.  [*** indicates No Return (submitted) ]
TOWNS Total number of paupers
supported during the
whole of the last year.
Total number relieved
during a part of the last year.
Total expenses of supporting and relieving paupers (including fees and expenses of officers, removals and appeals) for the last year.

Dolls.    Cts.

Expenses and cost of officers and appeals during same period.


Dolls.   Cts.

Number of paupers removed during the last year.
Bloomingrove 8 0 3 5 2 460.00 51.00  
Cornwall ***                
Crawford 11 0 5 6 2 460.00 Not stated.  
Deerpark 2 5 3 4 5 169.98 14.50  
*Goshen 10 20 12 18 10 760.00 42.80  
Minisink ***                
Montgomery 15 8 13 10 8 1349.83 41.75 1
Monroe ***                
Newburgh 18 50 38 30 25 1,327.57 200.00 5
New-Windsor 21 Not stated. 9 12 6 1,128.6? 51.00  
Walkill ***                
Warwick 19 14 13 20 7 799.11 70.00 2
*The return from Goshen did not state the number of paupers, this was obtained from another source.


   From the last estimate that I have been able to make I think the average cost of paupers, for the year, was about 50 cents per week.  Our poor house has been a great saving in two ways, they are kept cheaper, and it has prevented some from applying for relief, who otherwise would.  It is more humane, for they are undoubtedly better taken care of, than in the families of those who have heretofore kept them, for it has generally been those who were needy themselves, who would take them.  [Letter from the supervisor of Goshen.]


   We have no poor-house nor house of industry in this town:  The poor are kept by contract with different persons.  We have no doubt, but that much might b saved from the present plan, by the erection of such houses, particularly in the price of boarding, making of clothes, and bills of physicians.  [Letter from the supervisor of Montgomery.]


   This town owns a lot of ten acres and a half of land, with a poor-house on the same, valued at $2,000.  The poor-house is under the management of a superintendent, and he receives $50 per annum, for his services and there are at this time thirteen paupers in the poor-house, being 11 males and 2 females.  [Letter from the supervisor of Newburgh]
   By the report of the overseers of the poor of the town of Newburgh, of monies received and expended from March 26, 1822, to March 25, 1823, it appears, for victualing and clothing persons in the alms-house, &c. was expended $427.40 -- for wood, $94 -- for keeping poor-house, $50 -- physicians's bill, $45.04 -- total $616.44 -- nearly $700 were expended for reliefs, and all other expenses.  This last amount includes costs, fees, funeral expenses, doctors' bills, &c.


   This town rents a house for $60 per annum, and pays a keeper to take charge of the same at $120 per annum.  Eleven paupers are supported in the house, and six adults, and four children, are supported out of the house.  I would suggest the propriety of having a county poor-house, which would in my opinion, lessen the expense of pauperism.  [Letter from the supervisor of New Windsor.]


   The county of Orange, as well as some other counties, labor under a grand disadvantage, in not being placed on the same footing with the state of New-Jersey.  Many of her citizens remove into our state and pay taxes, or serve in an office one year, or rent a tenement of the yearly value of $30, and return to New-Jersey, where they become poor, and then are sent back to this state.  There are about twelve different ways, in which a settlement may be gained in this state and not more than three or four in New-Jersey.  Why are we not placed on the same footing with that state?  This is one of the burthens we groan under.  I am also of opinion that dissipation and idleness occasion our heavy taxes; a grievance not easy to get rid of.  [Letter from the supervisor of Warwick.]

the Poorhouse Story

1824 LAW (required establishment of poorhouse vs. exempted): Exempted
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This is a building constructed of stone, 100 by 40 feet, three stories in height, and is connected with a farm of 265 acres, yielding a revenue of $2,000. The basements are occupied only for domestic purposes. There are about sixty rooms in the several buildings, warmed by a furnace and stoves but not at all ventilated. The number of inmates was 138, fifty males and eighty-eight females. Of these one-half are of foreign birth and forty are under sixteen years of age. Not over ten are placed in the largest rooms. The sexes are kept separated at night. There is but one keeper. The average number of inmates is 200, supported at a cost of $1.04 per week each. As far as they are able the males labor on the farm and the women about the house. The supervisors have inspected the house once during the past year. It is supplied with Bibles and sometimes religious services are performed. A competent teacher is employed in the house during the entire year, to give instruction in the common English branches. The superintendents of the poor bind out the children on arriving at a suitable age, furnish supplies and discharge lunatics. The fare of the paupers is very good though plain. A physician is employed by the year who tends to the sick when his services are required. No facilities for bathing exist. Six births and twelve deaths have ocurred during the past year. No contagious diseases have prevailed. This establishment has a good pest house.

To read the rest of this report click on  this link.

Transcribed by PHS-Volunteer, Cheramie Breaux in Louisiana
the Poorhouse Story
GOOD NEWS ALERT! On Saturday (June 10th 9:AM to 12:00 noon) Volunteers did
  a great job: a clean-up of the Newburgh Poorhouse cemetery.
the Poorhouse Story


This is a fascinating read for anyone who wishes to understand how the poorhouse system really was intended to work in daily life! 
We have featured this document 
on our HISTORY page.  

Orange County NY

Newburgh Poorhouse History & Timeline

the Poorhouse Story


City of Newburgh:   AVAILABLE ALMS-HOUSE MATERIALS -- list   

Microfilm Series A1978  Roll Number(s) ?160-164  more information
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ORANGE COUNTY POORHOUSE cemetery (in Goshen)
A compilation of the individuals buried at a paupers cemetery as determined by a reading of their respective
tombstones.  The cemetery is located off of Quarry Road, Goshen, NY.

RECENT PHOTOGRAPHS -- If you thought people who lived in poorhouses died young
                                                  here is a surprise!  

the Poorhouse Story

We are hoping to build this base of information about the poorhouse in ORANGE county through the helpful participation of readers. All are requested to submit items of interest by sending e-mail  to The Poorhouse Lady.

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