Wayne County, NY

November 15, 1825
Voted, that a committee of three be appointed to receive proposals for the purchase of a farm for the county poor house until the first day of May next and after that time to purchase a farm, and that Luther Fillmore, Ananias Wells and James P. Bartle compose said committee.

November 10, 1829
Voted, that Messers, Whipple, Ashley and Cuyler be a committee to examine into the propriety of erecting a poor house in this county and to receive proposals for the purpose of purchasing a farm and to report at the next meeting of this board.

November 9, 1830
Voted, that the sum of $7000.00 be raised on the real and personal estate in this county to defray the expense of the purchase of a farm for a poor house and the erection of a poor house to be levied by the following instalments; $2000.00 in the year 1831, the like sum in 1832 and the residue in 1833.

November 16, 1831

Voted, that $2000.00 heretofore directed by the Board for the purchase of a farm for a poor house be levied.
Voted, that $2800 be levied for the support of the poor of this county.
Voted, that the Treasurer of this county is authorized to loan at the credit of the county sums not exceeding $3000.00 in the whole for the support of the poor for the ensuing year.
Voted, that the fee of collection be added to all sums to be levied.
Voted, that Messrs. Wilber, Hecox and Lyman be a committee to investigate the account of the keeper of the poor house and report at the next meeting of this Board.
Voted, that this Board appoint the superintendents of the poor and that it be by ballot. In balloting for such office it appearing that Lynus Smith, Lyman Dunning and Jonathan Boynton had the greatest number of votes they are duly elected superintendents of the poor of this county.

January 31, 1834
On motion of Mr. Durfee Resolved, "That it is expedient for the Superintendents of the Poor to send Alexander White, a Lunatic, now in the poorhouse of this County to the "New York State Lunatic Asylum in the city of New York to be there supported by this County (expense of sending estimated at $79 by superintendents).

November 18, 1837 Mr. E. Durfee introduced the following resolution - "Resolved: That a committee of three from this board be appointed to asociate with the Superintendants of Poor for the purpose of examining the propriety of selling a piece of land from the poor house farm, which lies North of the canal and purchasing one upon the south side for the convenience of timber and if in their opinion the interest of the country can be promoted by such sale and purchase that they be authorized to effect it provided the purchase shall not exceen an expense of five hundred dollars to be paid one year from the first day of February next; this resolution was so far amended as to give the committee liberty to examine and purchase any lands not exceeding the above amount there they shall think it most convenient for the Poor house farm; after which it was adopted and the following persons were appointed as said committee: Messrs. Wells, E. Durfee and Borradaile.

Mr. Roe from the committee appointed to visit the poor house made the following report "From an examination of said house together with the condition of the paupers and the premises at large" that in their opinion the affairs of the same are prudently and properly conducted. Accepted.

The committee to associate with the Superintendants of the Poor upon the subject of purchasing a timber lot to convene the County Poor house made the following report: "That they have accepted the terms of Reuben H. Foster to purchase of him twenty and one fourth acres of land adjoining said Poor house farm upon the South side of the canal for twenty five Dollars per acre to be paid to him one year from the first day of February, next with interest, and we have further authorized the Superintendants to sell what land lies North of the canal supposed to be near fifteen acres as in their discretion will best promote the interests of the county. Report Accepted.

January 25, 1839
On motion of Mr. Durfee, Resolved, That this Board authorize the Superintendants of the poor of this county if they think proper, to remove Harriet Langdon, a lunatic pauper now in the poor house, to any lunatic Asylum, or other place more comfortable, and administer such medical attention as in their judgement would seem expedient, taking into consideration the expence.

January 28, 1841
On motion of Mr. Bradish, Resolved: That it be recommended to the several members of this Board to lay before their constituents at their next annual town meeting the subject of selling the county poor house and farm and distributing the proceeds of such sale among the several towns of this county in proportion to their several valuations; and that, the several towns support their own poor as formerly; and of authorizing the next Board of Supervisors to petition the Legislature for a Special Act to be passed to carry out the above measures.

On motion of Mr. Hubbell the following resolutions were adopted. Resolved, that the Board of Supervisors recommend the purchase of another piece of land containing forty three acres lying on the South side of the Poor house farm at a price not exceeding twenty six Dollars per acre, and that the Superintendants of the Poor be authorized to negotiate the same; and loan money on the credit of the County to meet the purchase money.

Resolved: That the Clerk of this Board transmit a copy of the foregoing resolution to the members of Assembly from this county, requesting them to use their exertions to procure the passage of a law authorizing the Superintendants of the Poor, and Board of Supervisors to make such, or any other purchase; so that the said Poor house farm shall not exceed two hundred fifty acres.

Resolved: That the above purchase shall not be made until duly authorized by law.

November 12, 1841
Resolved, by the Board of Supervisors of Wayne County that the Legislature of this State be respectfully requested to pass a Law allowing said Board to Sell the Poor House & farm attached belonging to said County & providing that each Town in Said County shall support its own poor.

Feb. 2, 1842
On motion, Voted, That a Committee of Three Members of this Board be appointed to examine and report as to the propriety of petitioning the Legislature for an Act authorizing the Sale of so much of the poorhouse farm as lies north of the Erie Canal. Whereupon Messrs. Allen Hyde & Waterbury were appointed such committee.

Feb. 2, 1842, afternoon
The Committee to examine & Report as to that propriety of petitioning the Legislature for a Law authorizing the sale of so much of the poorhouse farm as lies north of the Erie Canal, as said Canal now runs. Report. That in their opinion it will be for the interest of the County to sell the same at the price which has been offered by Calvin D. Parmeter viz $200 there being about 10 acres not of very good quality & they submit the following resolutions, Resolved by the Board of Supervisors of Wayne County that so much of the poor house farm as lies north of the South bounds of the Erie Canal, containing about Ten Acres may be sold & conveyed at a fair price without material injury to said farm and that it will be for the interest of the County so to sell & convey the same. Therefore, Resolved, that said Board recommend the passage of a Law authorizing the Superintendents of the poor of said county to sell and convey said land subject to the right of the State, for a sum not less than two hundred dollars. Which when received shall be paid into the County Treasury for the benefit of the poor fund. Resolved that a certified copy of the foregoing resolutions be transmitted by the Clerk of this Board to the Members of Assembly from this County with a request that they use their endeavors to procure the passage of the Law mentioned therein. Said Report & Resolutions were adopted by the Board.

Feb. 3, 1842
The following Resolutions were offered by Mr. Reed and seconded by Mr. Archer.

Resolved by the Board of Supervisors of Wayne County that the Legislature of this state be respectfully requested to pass a Law authorizing said Board to sell the Poor House & farm attached belonging to said County and providing that each Town in said County shall support its own poor. Whenever the said Board shall be thus instructed by the several towns of said County.

Resolved that a copy of the foregoing resolutions be transmitted to the Members of Assembly from this County and that they be requested to use their influence to procure the passage of such Law.

November 18, 1842
The Committee to visit the Poor House made a Report which was unanimously accepted as follows to wit:

That they here attended to that duty and upon a thorough examination of the condition of the house and the situation of its inmates, they find the house creating that appearance of cleanliness and order not usually found in such houses. The paupers also exhibited a great degree of neatness and appeared to be cheerful and orderly. The sick and feeble were well attended, and we think Mr. Hyde deserving of much praise for this, and also for the moral and mental culture of the children by means of the school which he has established in the house for that purpose, that this is not only economy, but that the moral effect will be salutary. That they find the farm has been well attended to the past seasons, the crops all secured, and the stock belonging to the farm in a good condition.

November 22, 1843
Resolved by the Board of Supervisors of Wayne County, that the Legislature of this State be requested to pass a law, authorizing said Board, to sell the Poor House and farm attached theret belonging to said county; and providing that each town in said county shall support its own Poor.

Nov. 15, 1844
The Committee to visit the Poorhouse made a report, which being considered, was adopted as follows:

The Undersigned Committee, appointed by the Board of Supervisors of the County of Wayne, at their annual meeting in November 1844, re visit the Poor House of said county respectfully report.

That we have performed the duty assigned us. That we found the House in good condition, and the farm attached thereto well taken care of. The paupers appeared to be comfortable in every respect, cleanly in appearance & orderly in their deportment. There is a school kept in the House, and the children are well behaved, and from information received of those who were acquainted with the fact are steadily advancing in mental improvement.

Mr. Hyde, the keeper, has well performed the duties devolving upon him, and merits the warmest thanks of all citizens, for his exertions in benefiting the condition of the unfortunate of mankind. We would fail in our duty if we did not favorably recommend him for his services to the County during the past year.

We would respectfully suggest as an improvement in the farming department, a rotation of crops on the hill land, of wheat and clover alternately with use of plaster. Signed by the Committee.

November 24, 1853, Thursday
The committee to visit the Poor House made their report and read on motion of Mr. Graves the same adopted as follows:

The committee to visit the Poor House report that they have in pursuant of their duty visited the Poor House and taken a general, but rather superficial view of the farm and the buildings thereon. They are of the opinion from the best evidence they have that the farm has been managed in a workmanlike manner. The past season and the results has been as favorable as could be expected. The statement of the Superintendents shows the amount of the produce of the Farm in the different kinds of grain, hay and stock which amounts to the aggregate of $1882.23 by estimate. The Committee observe that the Farm and fencing material are very deficient on the farm. That the east Barn and the Horse Barn are in a very bad state, boards loose and off and the Buildings settled out of shape for the want of proper underpining. A view of the inside of the House produced a very unfavorable impression upon the committee. It seems to the committee that it is impossible for the Superintendents considering the construction of the House and the dilapidated state of the walls and floors and the furnature theirin to keep the inmates in a neat and comfortable condition. The plastering on the walls put on in the first place in a rough and unworkmanlike manner is charring off owing in some degree to the leaking of the roof heretofore. The floors in the first place unsubstantial and worn to such a degree. That they are in some places holes that will let through cats in search of game. Some of thresholds of the doors are worn out and some of them untimely gone for the above reason. The committee are of the opinion that they could not conscientiously recommend it as model house nor worthy of the first agricultural and fruit growing county of the state.

November 25, 1854, Saturday
To the Board of Supervisors of the county of Wayne the Com. On the Poorhouse report that they have visited the Poorhouse and farm and are of the opinion that management of the Farm and the Superviion of the house has been creditable to the keeper. That the house is out of repair and its internal arrangements bad in as much as the rooms in the basement in which it is necessary to keep & lodge paupers is damp and not well warmed and ventilated. That they have examined the keepers books and compared the same with his report to the Board of Supervisors and find the same correct.


I. The Buildings.
Value $25,000. Capacity 120.
Recent Improvements.
Shingled roofs of barns, and painted all iron roofs.
Contemplated Improvements.
By steam for main building. Hot air for others.
By windows and transoms, fairly good except in some rooms.
Water Supply.
From 2 wells on the hill, each having windmill and pumping into Reservoir. Another
Well near house, and 2 small cisterns each having hand pump.
Bathing Facilities.
For men, 1 iron bath tub, 1 for women, 2 in the Hospital.
Not sufficient for such an Alms House.
Laundry Appliances.
A good Troy steam laundry with 2 washers and 1 extractor, one drying rack.
Ironing by hand, no mangle.
By tiledrains (6 inch pipe) to canal.
Precautions Against Fire.
Some hose, much of it out of repair, but the water supply is soon exhausted.
Need is a steam pump to get water from canal, and extinguishers (chemical). Also more water.
Means of Escape in the Event of Fire.
One outside stairway from 2nd floor for women. All others inside. No fire escapes, and
Somewhat difficult exits. Something much better is greatly needed. (See special notes)

II. The Farm.
Value, $6,000. 196 acres.
Number of Acres of Land and Adaptability of the Soil.
Rocky hill land mostly, with two good tillable lots. 26 acres in wheat, 18 in oats,
13 of corn, 7 in potatoes, 5 in garden, 10 of orchard, 40 acres grass, 5 acres house grounds, remainder in pasture.
Dairy, and the Disposal of its Products.
15 cows, 6 head young stock. Get about 25 gallons milk daily.
Use it mostly for inmates. A little butter only made.
Employment of the Inmates.
The men work on farm and in garden and about the grounds, and the women at
Housework, as far as they may be able.

III. The Census.
Number of Inmates: Males 43, Females 38, Total, 75
Children under two years old: Males 2, Females - "2
Children between 2 and 16 years, none.
Number of Idiots, none.
Number of Epileptics: Males none, Females 2 "2
Persons over seventy years old: Males 23, Females 9 "32

These notes are on file at the Office of the County Historian, Lyons, NY.

The site coordinators have no information about the poorhouse or the individuals named. We thank you in advance for not emailing us with questions but directing ALL inquiries to the Office of the County Historian.

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Created: 12/8/06
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