1864 Chenango County Poor House

“There are seventy paupers in the Chenango county house. Twenty are insane. Ten are males and ten are females. They have been admitted since 1840. Fifteen of the cases are mild; about one-third have received treatment at Utica, Eight are capable of some labor. Some effort is made to amuse those who do not labor. Three are destructive to their clothing, one requires constant restraint. The leather muff is used for such purpose. The institution has two bathing tubs in the department for the sane poor, with a full supply of water. It is designed that all shall wash every day, hands and face; but the violent do not always. The building is apart from the one used for sane paupers, is a fine building, has sixteen rooms; ten of them are provided with beds; four cells are provided with bunks fastened to the wall and floor; one and two sleep in each bed; the straw in the beds is changed each month, or every year, according to its use. All the inmates go to a common table. The building is heated with stoves, which through ventilators from the halls, warm the rooms occupied. There are no accommodations for the various grades of the insane. A man and a woman are employed by the year to take care of the lunatics. The rooms appear clean, and the air good as can reasonably be expected. The institution receives recent cases, and will accommodate from twenty to thirty, though never more than twenty have been confined at any one time. Two were removed by friends during the year, and one was transferred to the sane department. The lunatics have no regular medical attendance nor care with reference to ultimate recovery.”

SOURCE: Documents of the Assembly Of The State Of New York, Eighty-Eighth Session, 1865, Volume 6, Nos. 199 to 112 Inclusive, Albany: C. Wendell, Legislative Printer, 1865, Pages 186-187.

New York State County Poor Houses
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