Newspaper Article

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July 15, 1904 (Progress)

The Pauper Question

There has of late been considerable discussion on the pauper question in Lexington and on various days The Progress man has listened to curbstone statements, pro and con, which may or may not be worthy of repetition. We do not purpose advancing any suggestions, but simply to put in black and white opinions which else might vanish in thin air. Much of the talk alluded to was provoked or we might more accurately say, precipitated by the removal of Miss Bettie Jacobs to the poor house.

Several months ago Miss Jacobs, daughter of the late Ben F. Jacobs, was given quarters in the W.C. McHaney block, and the County court made an appropriation of $8.00 per month for her support and this amount was supplemented by the efforts of some ladies, who ceased their labors after perhaps two or three months. Miss Jacobs was attended day and night by her aunt, Mrs. Nancy Daws, for something like a year, and when Mrs. Daws broke completely down, there was no one to care for Miss Jacobs, even temporarily, until Mrs. Daws could rest. In justice to Messrs Jinks and John Daws, we state it was not possible for them to take Miss Bettie into their house.

When Miss Bettie was carried to the county poor house, it was thought that she could not be given the attention necessary to one in her low and helpless condition, and the Court order allowed $8.00 per month appropriation and we are informed that the poor house steward has provided a special nurse for her.

Now come a criticism: One citizen, who is ordinarily liberal, and always willing to give his part, says that the appropriation of $8.00 a month for Miss Jacobs is an unlawful discrimination against other inmates who are allowed but $2.50 per month. Another citizen contends that Miss Jacobs is exactly the kind of person for whom the county should care, but made no kick on the monthly allowance. The last named citizen says that the payment of so much money per month for the keeping of paupering and working of these paupers by the poorhouse steward is a system of peonage as reprehensible as the cases recently brought to the attention of the United States government.


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