COUNTY POOR HOUSE
This house is built of
brick, fifty by thirty feet and two stories in height.
Connected is a farm of 116 acres yielding an annual income of
$1,200.00. The basements are not
occupied by paupers. In the house
are twenty-eight rooms, warmed by stoves but not at all ventilated.
These rooms are small and the ceilings not more than seven and a half
feet high. Never more than four
paupers are placed in one room. The
number of inmates was fifty-six, thirty-one males and twenty-five females. Of these one-half are foreign born, and twenty under sixteen
years of age. The sexes are kept
separate. There is but one
keeper. The average number of
inmates is seventy-five, supported at a weekly cost of eighty-four cents each.
Able paupers are employed on the farm and about this house.
During the year the supervisors have inspected the house once.
It is supplied with Bibles and on the Sabbath religious services are
held. From eight to nine months
of the year a school is taught in the house.
The superintendents of the poor regulate the government of the house
and it's system of diet; furnishes the supplies and discharges the insane.
A physician to attend the paupers is employed by the year.
There are no arrangements for bathing.
During the year have occurred one birth and three deaths.
No contagious disease has prevailed.
For such an event a pest house is provided.
Of the inmates three
are lunatics, one male and two females, all are paupers. Two are confined in cells, which is the only means of
restraint in use. None are
reported improved or cured. They
receive no different attendance, medical or other, from the sane paupers. Seven of the inmates are idiots, three males and four
females, one a boy, is under sixteen years of age.
No corporal punishment
is administered to the paupers. It
is estimated that nine-tenths are brought here directly or indirectly by
habits of intemperance. This
house is badly constructed and decidedly unhealthy.
"The poorhouse is located on a farm of 116 acres, on the Albany Road,
just e. of the city. It has, on an average, about 75 inmates, and the farm
yields a revenue of $1,200." "History
of Schenectady County, New York" (1860)
[Text entered from Gazetteer of the State of New York, 8th
ed., by J. H. French, LL.D., (R. P. Smith, Publisher, 1860) by Betty Fink,
Nov. 1998. Footnotes refer to the original page numbers.]
quoted from the on-line version of:
found at http://www.schenectadyhistory.org/resources/french.html
on the THE
SCHENECTADY DIGITAL HISTORY ARCHIVE
(a service of the Schenectady County