1864 Genesee County Poor House

“The building in which the insane poor of Genesee county are kept is of stone, two stories high, with ceilings of eight feet. The rooms are 8 x 10, with windows 2 1/2 x 4 1/2. It has a supply of water and two bath tubs, and is heated by a furnace in the basement. The number of insane during the year was thirty-five, but only thirty-two were in confinement at the present time. Nine of the number were able to do labor. Six of the males do out of door work. The others were severally amused in singing, reading, playing pennies, swinging, &c. Twenty were destructive to their clothing, and eleven required occasional restraint by the use of straight jackets. They are all required to bathe twice a week, and to wash hands and face daily. The institution has iron bedsteads fastened to the floor. Only one sleeps on straw without proper bedding. The food, which appears sufficient, is carried to each by an attendant on plates. There is an effort to separate the violent from the mild cases. The sexes are separated, and a person (not a pauper) is employed in their care. The rooms are clean, and the ventilation said to be good. The county receives recent cases. Fourteen cases were admitted in 1863, and seven up to August, 1864. The building is designed to accommodate thirty-five patients. One escaped during the year who was not returned, and six were removed by their friends. Fifteen of the cases were filthy in habit, and nearly all the cases are excitable. Attention is directed to the ultimate cure of each case.”

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 194-195.

New York State County Poor Houses.