Jen's Photo Scrapbook

of

the MILWAUKEE COUNTY POORHOUSE


This page takes quite a while to load because of scanned photographs.


[Note: The quotes below consists of excerpts from a newspaper article published in the Journal Sentinal on August 19, 2000. Click here to read the article.]
"Inside a chain-link fence, amid grass and weeds grown knee-high, sits a rusting sign with small white letters . . .
Milwaukee County Cemetery."
It doesn't look like a cemetery. Tall grass obscures the few upright gravestones. Other stones are said to be buried beneath several inches of dirt. Unlike Forest Home Cemetery, which invited the public to its 150th anniversary last week, the county cemetery has no visible paths, no carpets of neatly-trimmed grass and 
few visitors."Just looks like a prairie back there," says William Heinemann, the county's director of public works.

     

       above ground

         overgrown

    sunken

     
"But these four acres that resemble a prairie - on N. 87th St., about a block north of Watertown Plank Road - are actually the final resting place for thousands of poor infants and adults whose families could not afford the price of burial. Some call it the pauper's cemetery or potter's field."
"[David] Zepecki, the director of economic development, says an estimated 7,500 people were buried in the county cemetery between 1882 and 1974."

Click here to see a map of the cemetery grounds.

~~~~~~~~~~

The Milwaukee County Almshouse was started in 1852. Due to the fact that the Almshouse was overcrowded, the Milwaukee County Poor Farm Superintendents decided to build a building for the children (Home for Dependent Children). Both of these buildings were on the Milwaukee County Poor Farm.
           Jen

 

                             See right >>>>

[Note: Neither the original poorhouse building nor this county home for dependent children are still standing. PHL ]

To the immediate right is a picture of one of the playgrounds used for the orphans. This is how it looks today. I am pretty sure it is going to be razed in the short future.

To the far right is one of the two stone staircases on the county grounds. The staircases were connected by a stone pathway. This was set up as a park setting for use by the inmates for leisure activities.
                            Jen                                                           

 

 

The attached graphic is a picture of the Milwaukee County General Hospital that was built in 1929. It
was built as a hospital to treat the inmates of the
poor farm. (The first hospital burned down in 1881.
 It was rebuilt that same year. That building was replaced with this building.)

Jen

 


[Note: In most communities, the poorhouse served as the very first public hospital. It was not  common for most people to receive hospital care during the 1880s. Rather, until poorhouses provided infirmaries for inmates and later the general population ... only more well-to-do people had access to private infirmaries.  PHL ]

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