1893 Wayne County Poor House

Wayne County Poor-house, was visited by Commissioner Craig, accompanied by the superintendent of the poor and Rev. A. Parke Burgess, D. D., of Newark, the chairman of the county visitors of the State Charities Aid Association, and also in company with the matron, Mrs. Albert Shepard, and in part with the keeper Mr. Shepard, July 7, 1893.

The population of the poor-house, on the day of the visit, was 85; of which 52 were men and 32 were women, and one was a baby under 2 years old; three males and two females, were idiots or feeble-minded; one man and two women were epileptics; and 12 inmates were insane; but none were children between 2 and 16 years of age.

The inmates were housed as follows: In old building 14 women and 6 men; in new building, lately used for the insane exclusively, 31 men, and 18 women, and the one child, making 49 inmates, including the 12 insane.

Of the insane, 7 were men and 5 were women, and their names are given as follows: Stephen D. Howell, Charles E. Bender, William Everson, William Codman, Byron Jones, Jacob Legner, John Merrigan; Hannah Crisby, Alice Pulver, Caroline C. Lyman, Lucy Goldsmith, Elsie A. Van Epps.

With the exception of John Merrigan, who was released from the State hospital on bond, all of the said insane persons were inmates of the insane department of this poor-house, under the exemption granted by the State Board of Charities prior to the passage of the State Care Act; but were not included among the patients who were transferred to the Willard State Hospital, May 13, 1892.

After the objection made by Dr. Hoyt, the secretary of the State board, to such exception of the eleven inmates from such transfer to the State hospital, the overseers of the poor of their respective towns were appointed committees of the persons of these insane inmates, respectively on one and the same day, to wit., on the 28th day of November, 1892.

These 12 insane inmates are kept on the same wards with sane paupers, in the building formerly used for the insane department; but there are no paid attendants or employes on any of these wards, except one woman attendant. The man in charge of the bath-tub and the bathing, and of the cleaning of the ward of the insane men with sane paupers is one of the said insane inmates, though the keeper states that all of the same is under his own supervision. But the facts remain that no person other than this insane man is in immediate charge of this ward having insane men, and the keeper resides in another building.

Among the insane inmates Charles Bender is, sometimes, disturbed and violent, according to the statement of the keeper.

There are no proper systems of water supply or plumbing or sewers. The sewage is conducted into the Erie canal.

The building formerly occupied for the insane department is now devoted to paupers and the said twelve insane inmates, the total census of which, was fifty on the day of inspection. The lack of proper water supply is here felt, in the bathing arrangements; where, in the male ward, six persons are bathed successively, in one tub and the same water.

The buildings of the old poor-house proper have no facilities for bathing, and are filled in winter to overcrowding with paupers, the population of which, on the day of the visit was 20. One of its dormitories is occupied by old women. Another dormitory without proper ventilation, is occupied by beds, which are twenty-six in number, and double the normal capacity of the room, which are, the matron states, all used in winter. This is a great abuse.

The hospital is a detached building, being an old structure, the walls of which harbor bed bugs and cock roaches. The bedsteads in the hospital are wooden, and with the straw beds, covered with old comforters or quilts, invite the bugs from the walls, but prevent thorough measures for their extermination. The sink in the hospital empties through a pipe directly into the privy vault immediately outside, and is without trap or ventilation, converting the hospital into a chimney for the vault, especially in winter when, as Silva Parmenter, the pauper inmate in charge, states, the consequent odor is very repulsive. There is no bath-room or bath tub or other facility for bathing in the hospital. There is no attendant or paid employe in this hospital. Its census on the day of visitation was fifteen men.

The food prepared for the different tables on the day of inspection was examined. It appeared to be of good quality and sufficient, consisting of fried pork, potatoes, green peas, bread and tea or milk. It was stated that each patient could choose between tea and milk. The dietary reported by the matron is as follows:

Breakfast – Pork, potatoes and bread with tea, coffee and milk, quite often beef instead of pork.
Dinner – Roast or corned beef, potatoes and some other vegetables besides, bread and butter, pie or pudding, tea and milk.

Breakfast – Same as Sunday.
Dinner – Soup, meat and potatoes, bread, tea and milk.
Supper – Fried potatoes and meat, bread and butter, tea and milk and occasionally cottage cheese.

Breakfast – Same as Sunday.
Dinner – Bean soup, baked beans and pork, potatoes and bread, tea and milk.
Supper – Cold beans and pork, fried potatoes, bread and butter and cookies, tea and milk.

Breakfast – Same as Sunday.
Dinner – Meat pie or potpie, potatoes and some other vegetables bread and tea and milk.
Supper – Cold meat and fried potatoes, bread and butter tea and milk, raw onions.

Breakfast – Same as Sunday.
Dinner – Fried pork, potatoes and some other vegetables, bread and tea, milk.
Supper – Fried potatoes, cold meat, bread and butter, cookies, raw onions, tea and milk.

Breakfast – Same as Sunday.
Dinner – Boiled or baked potatoes, fried pork and fish, and some vegetables as side dish, bread, tea and milk.
Supper – Fried potatoes, cold meat, boiled rice, with sugar, bread and butter, tea and milk.

Breakfast – Same as Sunday.
Dinner – Usually have some kind of “boiled dinner,” using the different vegetables, in their seasons, bread, tea and milk.
Supper – Baked potatoes, cold meat, bread and butter, and occasionally milk toast or cottage cheese, etc., tea and milk.

In their seasons, all the different vegetables are supplied to the inmates in abundance, without restriction. The same is true in regard to cherries, strawberries, raspberries, and all fruits.

The redeeming feature of this institution is its matron, who is energetic, devoted to the welfare of its inmates and self-sacrificing in their behalf.

There is no resident physician, but Dr. John W. Robinson of Lyons, is the regular visiting physician, and makes stated calls as often as three times a week and special calls when needed.

The only paid attendant or employe on the wards or in the dormitories is one in the women’s department of the old asylum building; and there is but one cook or paid employe in the kitchen which provides for the inmates.

Annual salary of keeper $ 1,000, and of physician $400, exclusive of cost of medicines, for which $270 was expended last year. Weekly cost of keeping inmates, per capita, one dollar and forty-six cents, exclusive of farm products.

Conclusions and Recommendations.
I. The buildings of the old poor-house should be destroyed or radically renovated.

II. A proper system for an abundant supply of pure water should be established.

III. The system of plumbing and sewers should be examined by a competent and trustworthy plumber whose reputation is established, and all defects supplied and sanitary and adequate construction and appliances secured.

IV. The pollution of the waters of the Erie canal should be stopped and prohibited by the proper authorities; and following the example of Livingston county, some approved system for the disposal of sewage adopted by the board of supervisors.

V. The insane should be removed to the Willard State Hospital.

VI. Until an abundant supply of water shall be secured, the bath tubs should be replenished for each inmate bathed with fresh water from the adjacent Erie canal, if no better source is sufficient.

VII. The old bedsteads and beds should give place to iron bedsteads and wire mattresses, in order to secure freedom from bedbugs, and to insure proper cleanliness.

VIII. The care already exercised to separate the worthy poor from the vicious pauper, should be carried still further, and so far as practicable.

IX. It is evident that the building formerly used for the insane department, is, with the old poor-house buildings, inadequate for the inmates of this county institution; and, therefore, that there is no occasion for the appraisal of the same under chapter 461 of the Laws of 1890.

X. The superintendent of the poor and the keeper and matron at the poor-house, as well as the chairman of the local visitors, should be invited to co-operate in all practicable measures for reforms and remedies of abuses and evils suggested in the foregoing findings of fact and general conclusions.”

SOURCE: Annual Report of the State Board of Charities for the Year 1893, Transmitted to the Legislature February 1, 1894, Albany: James B. Lyon, State Printer, 1894, Pages 480-485. 


PUTMAN / PUTNAM – Dutch Roots

Johannes (Jan) Pootman (Putman, Potman, Poutman) landed on the shores of New Netherland in the year 1661. He is the progenitor of my Dutch “Putman” family. I don’t know if he was an orphan upon one of the many ships from Holland to New Netherland bringing poor children to be “bound out” as servants, but he was about the age of sixteen when he arrived as an indentured servant working as an apprentice in “Beverwyck.” He was born in Leiden, Holland, Netherlands in 1645. In 1661, at age 16, he was apprenticed to Phillip Brower of Albany, New York, for a three year period. On September 14, 1661, he signed his own name to these papers after arriving in America. It was common in those days to become an apprentice in exchange for passage to America. In 1662, he moved with Brower and was one of the early settlers in Schenectady, New York. Brower died in 1664 and Jan became a free man. Sometime in the early 1670s, Jan married Cornelia Bratt, a daughter of Arent Andres Bratt, the Vice Governor of Renselaerwyck. Jan was Deacon of the Dutch Church and was a Justice of the Peace under the Leyster Administration. Both were very important positions at the time. He remained in Schenectady all his life. He owned considerable lands in the area. Years later, one of his sons sold some of the land and Union College was founded on that property. On the night of February 8, 1690, the Indians made a surprise attack on the white settlers. Both Jan and his wife were murdered in the Schenectady Massacre. He was forty-five and Cornelia was thirty-five at the time of their deaths. In 1715, the following children of Jan and Cornelia are listed: Arent, Maritje, Victoor, David, Cornelis, and Catalyntje. (SOURCE: Bill Putman at www.billputman.com)

I was shocked and saddened to read the accounts of my seventh great-grandparent’s tragic deaths. This is where reliable, documentary proof is essential to back up the story of your ancestors. Whenever you find relevant information that you want to keep, make sure that you include your sources in your notes, otherwise, your discovery means nothing. Even if you aren’t up on the latest and ever changing source citations, at least copy and paste the internet address into your database as your source. If you can cross reference or find multiple sources, do it. It is also common courtesy to acknowledge the people who have taken the time to document your ancestors’ lives. Give credit where credit is due by listing the person or persons who have done the research. In the case of Johannes Pootman, I was lucky enough to stumble upon the work of Warren T. Putman who had recorded the genealogy of the Putman family with articulate notes and reliable sources. If not for his work and the help of Bill Putman, I never would have found my seventh great-grandfather, nor would I have found another branch of my family tree, the Mudge family. (Warren T. Putman’s work is located at www.billputman.com: “ANCESTORS AND DESCENDANTS OF JOHANNES PUTMAN OF HOLLAND”).

Pootman, Potman, and Poutman became Putman. For some unknown reason, in the early to mid 1800’s, my third great-grandfather, James Putman, decided to change the family name to Putnam, which is an English surname. Some descendants continued with the original spelling of Putman, others went with Putnam, and my grandfather, Jarvis Mudge Putnam / Putman, apparently used both which made the searching of my ancestors very confusing. My grandfather was named after his grandfather. The marriage certificate of my grandparents shows the surname as PUTMAN, while the headstone of Jarvis and Bessie (Griswold) Putnam reflects the surname as PUTNAM. As far as I know, all descendants of my grandparents were given the surname of PUTNAM. I have no idea as to why my grandfather did this. This explanation also shows why I have the spelling of Maggie’s last name as Putnam (Putman) in my book, The Inmates of Willard 1870 to 1900 A Genealogy Resource.

According to the “PennYan Democrat” newspaper dated August 17, 1928: PUTNAM-At the State Hospital in Willard, Monday, August 13, 1928, Mrs. Margaret Putnam, aged 76 years. She is survived by one son, Jarvis Putnam, of PennYan. The funeral was held from the Thayer Funeral Home Wednesday afternoon, Rev. W.A. Hendricks officiating. Burial in LakeView cemetery.” 

The headstone of my great-grandfather, Richard T. Putman, who was buried in the Pine Grove Cemetery, Tribes Hill, Montgomery County, New York, reflects the spelling of Putman; while my great-grandmother, Margaret A. Putnam (Putman), who is buried in an unmarked grave in the Lakeview Cemetery, Penn Yan, Yates County, New York, reflects the spelling of Putnam in the cemetery records. Although they are buried in different towns and in different cemeteries, I have no idea why the spellings of their names are different as they were married for forty-one years.

Richard and Maggie lived their entire married lives in Montgomery County, New York. Richard died and was buried there in 1924. Maggie moved in with my grandparents, who lived in Penn Yan, Yates County, New York, sometime after my great-grandfather’s death. About the year 1925, she was committed to Willard State Hospital and died there in 1928. When I sent Form OMH 11 to the Greater Binghamton Health Center requesting Maggie’s medical records from Willard, I wrote her name as “Margaret Orr-Putnam.” The letter that I received from them clearly stated “that they were unable to locate the requested file” of “Margarett Putman.” It is very clear to me that the New York State Office of Mental Health is no longer allowing the release of medical records of former “mental patients.” It would have been greatly appreciated if they would have told me the truth before I took the time and effort to have my physician fill out and mail in all the required paperwork.

I have shown below some of the sources that I used to document the life and death of Johannes Pootman. His property sat on the north corner of Union and Ferry streets which is now the site of Union College in Schenectady, New York.

POOTMAN (PUTMAN) JOHANNES (Jan), sixteen years of age in 1661, was apprenticed by Jan Hendrickse Van Bael for three years to Philip Hendrickse Brouwer for his food and clothes. He married Cornelia, daughter of Arent Andriese Bratt and Catlyntje De Vos. His home lot, in the village, was on the north corner of Union and Ferry Streets, having 100 ft. frontage on the former street; later he purchased the 100 ft. lot next west, of Jan Roeloffse, son of the celebrated Anneke Janse. On the fatal night of the 8th of February 1690, both Pootman and his neighbor Roeloffse with their wives, were slain by the French and Indians. The following children were living in 1715, when they received their mother’s portion of her father’s estate (101 pounds, 13, 4): Arent; Maritie, married Stephen Bedeut; Victoor; David; Cornelis; Catalyntje, married Cornelis Post.”

Genealogies of the First Settlers of Schenectady – Contributions to the Genealogies of the Descendants of the First Settlers of the Patent and City of Schenectady, from 1662 to 1800 by Jonathan Pearson (1873) is one of the standard works on early Schenectady genealogy, pages 142,143.

“List of ye people kild and destroyed by ye French of Canida and there Indians at Skinnechtady between Sat. and Sun. ye 9th of February, 1689/90. Joh. Pootman kild and his wife kild and her scalp taken off.”
SOURCE: Notes of Warren T. Putman at http://www.billputman.com.  Callaghan, E.B.; Documentary History, State of New York; 1849, Vol 1; p. 305.

“They are both buried under a boulder in the ‘Old’ Cobblestone Church Yard, Rotterdam, Albany County, New York.”
SOURCE: Notes of Warren T. Putman at http://www.billputman.com.  Putman, C.W.; Unpublished manuscript; 1914; p. 1; Schenectady Historical Society.

ROELOFFSEN, JAN (De Goyer), son of the famous Anneke Janse, removed from Albany to Schenectady about 1670, in which year he accidentally killed Gerrit Verbeeck in the former place, for which he was pardoned by the Governor. His lot in Schenectady was on the north side of Union Street 100 Amsterdam ft. west of Ferry, the same lot now owned by Mr. Giles Y. Van der Bogart; this he sold to Jan Pootman, his neighbor on the east, reserving a life interest in the same for himself and wife. On the fatal night, Feb. 8, 1690, both were slain with their wives. Roeloffse left no children.”
SOURCE: http://www.schenectadyhistory.org/families/firstsettlers/r_sh.html

“In 1661 being then a resident of Beverwyck, he was apprenticed by Jan Hendrickse Van Bael for three years to Philip Hendrickse Brouwer. He was then sixteen years of age. (138-1) On Brouwer’s removal to Schenectady in 1662, Pootman became a resident here and shortly after married Cornelia, daughter of Arent Andriese Bratt. His house lot was on the north corner of Union and Ferry streets, having a front of 100 feet on the former street; later he purchased the 100 feet next west, of Jan Roeloffse, son of the well known Anneke Janse. (138-2) On the fatal night of Feb. 8, 1689/90, both Pootman and his neighbor Roeloffse with their wives were slain. Three of his sons, – Arent, Victoor and Cornelis arrived at maturity and had families. On the 6th April, 1709, Arent Pootman, the eldest son, conveyed to his brother Victoor, ‘a certain lot of ground being part of the lot now in my possession and occupation, bounded on the east and south by the common highway (Ferry and Union streets) and on the north and west by the other part of the lot of said Arent Pootman; in length on the east and west sides 217 feet and in breadth on the north and south 69 feet 4 in., wood measure.’ (138-3).

Notes: (138-1) 14 Sept., 1661, “Soo heeft Jan Hendr. Van Bael besteet ende Philip Hendr. Brouwer aen genomen Johannes Pootman, jong gesel out jegenwordich omtrent sestien jaeren, to serve said Brouwer, van drye achtereen volgende jaaren. Jan Pootman signed his name to the indentures in a clear and beautiful hand. Brouwer engaged to pay him 80 gl. a year in lieu of outfit, for his services.”
(138-2) Toll Papers; see also Roeloffse.  (138-3) Old deed.”
SOURCE:http://www.schenectadyhistory.org/resources/patent/pootman.html.  A History of the Schenectady Patent in the Dutch and English Times.  7: Adult Freeholders-Jan Pootman (Putman)  Prof. Jonathan Pearson.  [This information is from pp. 137-138 of “A History of the Schenectady Patent in the Dutch and English Times”; being contributions toward “A History of the Lower Mohawk Valley” by Jonathan Pearson, A. M. and others, edited by J. W. MacMurray, A. M., U. S. A. (Albany, NY: J. Munsell’s Sons, Printers, 1883).

The Dutch Reformed Church in America kept great records. There are a number of websites where volunteers have transcribed these church records dating back to the 1600’s in New Netherland. The Dutch used a system of naming their children called patronymics that used the father’s first name as the child’s middle name and in some cases, eventually, the father’s first name became the family surname. (Matronymics is the use of the mother’s or female ancestor’s name). The use of the beginning of surnames differs from country to country but the Dutch used patronymics in America and in the Netherlands into the 1700’s. Patronymics is a tool to convey one’s lineage. The father’s first name would be accompanied with different endings such as: zoon, sz, se, s and sen, which basically translates into “son of” or “daughter of” as you can see using Jan’s employer-master as an example: Philip Hendrickse Brouwer, means Philip son of Hendrick Brouwer. The problem with Johannes is that he had no patronymic middle name which is very rare considering the Dutch traditions. It is possible that his lineage wasn’t Dutch, maybe he was indeed an orphan and didn’t know his father, or perhaps, he didn’t like his father and wanted to distance himself from him. Attempts to find Jan’s father will be very difficult indeed.

Garret Putman General Store

Garret Putman General Store

Putman’s Lock Grocery

The Erie Canal

New York State Office Of Parks, Recreation & Historic Preservation

Putman General Store Located at Yankee Hill Lock Location: 553 Queen Anne Street, Amsterdam, NY 12010: Garret Putman opened this store in the early 1850’s. Putman’s Store began as a family run business. Garret and his son John were listed as grocers in the 1855 NYS census. By 1860 the Putman’s returned to farming while neighbors ran the canal store for them. In 1892 he was once again a storekeeper. By 1900 (or 1905 at the latest) it was no longer in operation. The store carried dry goods, fresh meat, poultry groceries, liquors and literature.”

Owners of the Putman General Store located on the Erie Canal were my third great-grandparents: GARRET VICTOR PUTMAN: Born September 19, 1793, North Mohawk, Montgomery County, New York. Died February 16, 1875, Yankee Hill, Montgomery County, New York.  At the age of 81 years, 4 months, 28 days; and MARIA DOUWSE HANSEN: Born 1795, New York. Died December 5, 1866, Yankee Hill, Montgomery County, New York.  At the age of 71 years.

Daughter of Garret and Maria Putman was: Deborah A. PUTMAN, born 1826 in Fonda, Montgomery County, New York; died 25 Apr 1898 in Tribes Hill, Montgomery County, New York. Age 72 years. Buried April 1898 in Tribes Hill, Montgomery County, New York, Pine Grove Cemetery. She married on 23 December 1847 in Montgomery County, New York, Jarvis Mudge PUTMAN, born 29 March 1827 in Tribes Hill, Montgomery County, New York; died 16 December 1883 in Amsterdam, Montgomery County, New York. Age 56y/8m/17d. Son of James PUTNAM (PUTMAN) and Catalina (VAN BUREN) PUTNAM.

My second great-grandparents, Jarvis Mudge Putman and Deborah Ann Putman were third cousins.

The line for Jarvis Mudge Putman is: Jarvis Mudge> James (Putnam)> John Arent> Arent Victor> Victoor Janse> Jan Putman (Pootman).

The line for Deborah Ann Putman is: Deborah A.> Garret Victor> Victor Jacob> Jacob Victor> Victoor Janse> Jan Putman (Pootman).

Jarvis Mudge Putman is 34 NY, a shoemaker, living with his wife, Deborah Ann 34 NY, sons; Garrett 9, Richard 6, Charles E. 3, Marcus H. 1.” SOURCE: http://www.billputman.com:  According to the New York State Census of 1860.

Jarvis M. (Mudge) Putman: Amsterdam, Montgomery County, New York. He is a farmer, 44, NY, Debra (also a Putman) 44, NY, Garret H., 19, NY, Richard T., 16, NY, Charles E., 12, NY, Martha F. (Marcus), 11, NY, and Minnie, 7, NY.” SOURCE: http://www.billputman.com:  According to the New York State Census of 1870.

Jarvis Mudge Putman I & Family

Jarvis Mudge Putman I & Family

Seated are Jarvis Mudge and Deborah Ann Putman. Standing are sons: Garret H.; Richard T. married Margaret A. Orr ; Charles E. married Lydia A. Barber and Elizabeth Mosher; and Marcus H. (I do not know who is who). Seated is daugher Minnie Estella who married Francis McCabe.

The only child born to Richard T. and Margaret A. (Orr) Putman was my grandfather, Jarvis Mudge Putman (Putnam). He was born on February 4, 1884 in Amsterdam, Montgomery County, New York and died on January 29, 1965 in Penn Yan, Yates County, New York, at the age of 80.

Jarvis Mudge Putman about 1894

Jarvis Mudge Putman about 1894

Jarvis is standing on the bottom, far left corner of this photograph. He has a flower in his lapel. Montgomery County, New York about 1894.

Wedding Certificate of Jarvis & Bessie Putnam

Wedding Certificate of Jarvis & Bessie Putnam

As you can see on my grandparents wedding certificate, Jarvis’s surname is clearly spelled PUTMAN. My grandparents headstone clearly shows the surname PUTNAM. All of Jarvis and Bessie’s children used the surname PUTNAM. My grandparents have been gone a long time but I still miss them and cherish their memories.

Putnam Headstone

Putnam Headstone

Jarvis & Bessie Putnam 4.10.1912

Jarvis & Bessie Putnam 4.10.1912

Jarvis & Bessie 1940s

Jarvis & Bessie 1940s