the Poorhouse Story

"Yes the George Maloney Home did exist at the Maloneyville location from about 1939 until the closing of Hillcrest Nursing Institute in 1986. Basically Knox County Pauper records policy was to destroy all records after seven years, but some records have been spared over the years. There is an unconfirmed rumor that Hillcrest Beverly has some of the patient records but refuse to release them to the County Archives because of the Privacy Laws. I do have partial records for burials from three separate cemeteries which were and are located at the farm. By the way the cemeteries are not on the jail property, but on the adjoining Golf Course. And also George Maloney was not the first workhouse/Poor House, There are mentions of at least four others dating back to the 1850's. Hope this helps some one!"
     Robert McGinnis 
From the KnoxCoTN e-mail list on 7/3/200

the Poorhouse Story


"I know there was a poorhouse in KNOX County, Knoxville, Tennessee. My g-grand father was there from abt 1930-34. It was called  'The George Mahoney Home'  in a place called Mahoneyville, Knoxville, Tennessee.  I went there and a state prison is there now.  I went to the McClungs Library in Knoxville and a helpful Librarian said yes, there was a place BUT no records were kept. I feel like there should have been some kind of records somewhere."

     "You wrote about the Knoxville Poor House and I have a little information that may help with some leads. I cannot back up the information with documentation, as I no longer am able to travel.
     My great great grandfather, Elijah Humphrey and his second wife (believed to be called Sarah) were residents of the Poor Farm in Knox County, according to family lore. I was able to find them on the 1910 census and am convinced that their location on the census was the old Poor Farm.
Others may find their own family there, as well.
     Elijah Humphrey was a Rebel soldier during the War Between the States. He hailed from Sneedsville, TN, but ended up in Knoxville after the Civil War. I don't know how long he and his wife, a Native American woman, lived at the Farm. They are supposed to be buried at Ebenezer Cemetery."
                                                                  Lian Thomas

     "Yes, there was a poorhouse in Knoxville. I visited there when a boy with my mother. We had a friend, a Granny West, who had lived in a room of my cousin’s house on West Scott Street before going out there.
     I remember my mother sent me to take food and wood to her when I was a boy. I used to sing and talk to her and try to cheer her up. Her children had all deserted her. She had a daughter as I recall. Her name was Annie. Mrs. West reminded me of the old song “Rocking Along In an Old Rocking Chair” by Eddy Arnold. She gave to me a little song book which her father carried with him when he was a boy. It was her most prized possession. I was greatly honored.
     I met an old Cherokee man there, I remember his last words to me. He said, “My son, I don’t know if we will ever meet again in this life. If we don’t, let us meet up above (heaven).” He was a beautiful person with long white hair down to his shoulders. I will never forget him or Granny West.
     I don’t know why there are no records of the Home or the people there. I would like to know all about my friends there and where they are buried. If any one finds out, will you please let me know."
Chuck Ballard

the Poorhouse Story



the Poorhouse Story

the Poorhouse Story

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