the Poorhouse Story


the Poorhouse Story

the Poorhouse Story

Marie Beckman's wonderful  "Bedford Co. TN Research" website has all of the lists of the residents of the Bedford County Poor House from the federal Census Reports from 1850 through 1930.


the Poorhouse Story

"My great-grandfather's sister, Mary Jane Carson, who was a dwarf, was in the Poor House in Bedford county TN late in the 1800's or early 1900's. After going to Shelbyville, TN, we discovered the poorhouse was gone, but when a
family tried to build a new home, the cemetery for the poorhouse was discovered. According to people at the courthouse an article was put in the local paper asking if relatives wanted to "claim remains" before the graves were moved. There was supposedly a list of the dead which must have included a cemetery location of individual graves or else the article would not have asked for relatives to come forward and claim the remains. [Note: That is not necessarily a correct assumption.  We know of several such announcements which have been made even when the only documentation available was a  list of known buried -- with no grave markers.   PHL ]  No one knows where the list is. I checked the Commissioner's Reports, which pertain to the Poorhouse, mentioning hay, watermelons, etc. sold for revenue. There is a mention of how many "inmates" died within a certain period, only stating
whether they were male or female. I was told that no one came forward and the graves were removed to an unknown location. WHERE ARE THEY NOW? Even if there is only a mass grave somewhere, I would like to know where they are." 
      Dalena J. Nichols 

the Poorhouse Story

We are hoping to build this base of information about the poorhouse in Bedford 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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