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Brown County, IL
Almshouse Data

J. S. BOND, Superintendent, Timewell.
The Brown county almshouse is a one story frame building, which is very old and badly run down. The floors are rough, the walls and ceilings are full of holes, the walks are dangerous as most of the boards are loose. The jail, used for punishment, is not even plastered. The old boards have been whitewashed and there is no furniture. The bed rooms are very bare and gloomy. There are no spreads for the beds and in the men's rooms there is no furniture, save the beds. In the women's rooms, there are occasional chairs and small tables with dirty covers, full of holes. There are rockers placed in the hall, six feet wide and without windows, where the women sit. There is no toilet or bath in the house. One woman's room is washed out every morning as she cannot get up to wait on herself during the night and there is no attendant. The bed-bugs are very thick and the odor of disinfectant is stifling. Some of the old windows will not go up. One old crippled woman sits in a small common rocker. She cannot get out doors because there is no wheel-chair. She sleeps with a feeble minded woman who cares for her, although she has a venereal disease. They use the same towels. Stoves are used in the halls to heat the rooms and they are very cold in the winter. Coal oil lamps in the hall furnish all the light.
The men wash out of doors, the women in the hall. All water must be carried.
There are five children in the almshouse, with their mother; two of them are feeble minded and three of them, normal. None of the children have ever been in school and are not in school at present.
The sexes are not separated; as the buildings are absolutely unprotected from fire, locks are not provided. The women's hall locks on the inside but they can open it whenever they wish.
There are twenty-one inmates of the Brown county almshouse; one superintendent, who receives $600.00 per year, with a daughter of eighteen years, do all the managing of the 160-acre farm and take care of the inmates. As the county will pay for no hired help these two are expected to wait on people who are crippled, epileptic, deaf and dumb, etc., beside cooking meals for them and running the farm.

Source: Source: SECOND ANNUAL REPORT OF THE State Charities Commission, By Illinois State Charities Commission, December 31, 1911

Reports of Inspections of the County Infirmaries of Illinois in 1911

Submitted by Candi Horton

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