Jackson County Michigan
Almshouse Census

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    JACKSON, Michigan, January 25. The County House burned yesterday morning at l2:30 o'clock. Of forty inmates all escaped but five, who perished in the flames. The remains of the black bodies were dug from the ruins and brought to the city. The people who perished were three women and two men, named Dolly Martin, aged sixty years, insane, an inmate for twelve years; Kate Avery, seventy, insane, inmate for ten years; Jane Atkins, seventy, insane, an inmate ten years; Zina Boynton, ninety-two, deaf, and Charles Elliott, seventy-two, blind.

    The County Building is four miles from the city. It was a new building and cost $l2,000. It was insured for $9,000. The fire caught in the inmates' kitchen, and no one knows how. The whole interior was destroyed. All the inmates lost their clothing and fled into the snow naked, with the thermometer ten below zero. Thirty paupers were brought to this city and housed. Some will die from exposure. John Doherty, the hired man, brought three insane persons down the fire escape in his arms, and saved their lives. An imbecile boy, nineteen years old, was found in bed with fire falling on his back, and was rescued by means of the fire escape.

    Only two men besides the inmates were about the place when the fire occurred, and they rescued the inmates before help arrived. The County House is in a lonely place in the country. There should have been a night watchman to prevent such a calamity. William Mills, an inmate, was the first man to issue Sanders' spelling book, and was worth at one time a quarter of a million dollars.

From 'The Decatur County Journal', Thursday, January 28, 1886
Contributed by Nancee (McMurtrey) Seifert


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Since such an institution as a poor-house seems to be a necessity of our day throughout the civilized world, it is not surprising to learn that one exists in this prosperous county. A description of the building and its occupants is, therefore, right and becoming in the pages of this general work :
"The house is a long brick structure, two stories high, with an L in which are the kitchen and women's dining-room. In the kitchen we find one of the paupers cooking, and the articles she turns out look as good as any baked in household ovens. We pass through a long hall, opening from either side of which are the sleeping rooms of the women. The men sleep up stairs, and in one of these rooms we find lying a man whose large frame and well-turned muscles show plainly that he was, when well, a strong, finely built man, but for three years a rupture has confined him to his room, almost helpless.
''All these rooms are marked by great cleanliness, and the inmates are clean and neat in their personal appearance. Many of them are venerable, motherly looking dames, who appear as if they had sometime known better days. May be they were mothers who worked early and late, taxing their strength to the utmost to rear their little ones; may be those little ones grew to be men and women, and the cares of the world choked up the fount of affection in their breasts. Oh, no, "Will Carleton did not draw altogether on his imagination when he penned 'Over the Hills to the Poor-house.' That's the romance, but unfortunately for it the reality is apt to be the other way. In this ward we find one of those unfortunates who seem calculated to inspire sentiments of both disgust and pity in the mind of the beholder. Sitting on the steps of a back enclosure sits a woman, clad in a stout blue frock, for she has a prejudice against clothes and frequently destroys them. She is bareheaded and seems to enjoy a sun bath. She is insane, not violently so as a rule, but seems to have lost all sense of human nature, and to be degraded to the level of the brute, showing but little more idea of wants. She has been in the Kalamazoo asylum, but was pronounced incurable, and for the last six years has been an inmate of the county-house. She is intensely filthy, and her habits are decidedly more animally natural than humanly decent, and none of the other inmates will associate with her. She is a German woman, unable to speak English, and even Germans find it difficult to understand her speech, so uncouth is it.
"In the house we find extremes meeting." We meet here Thomas Bolton and Mrs. Atkins, both of whom have passed the usual term of life, and who have passed nearly a generation in this refuge. On the other hand, there are two infant children who were born in this place, and others who never knew any other home.
     "In a small stone annex is the room where the men eat and where the blind live, for there are three old men of this class in the institution. One of the inmates is a deaf mute, and he is regarded as one of the best men to work in the whole number, but then he is young. Back of the blind ward is a room where the most sickening sight of all greets our eyes. On one side of the room are two bunks, and on these there lie two men. One of them is a victim of that horrid disease, St. Vitus dance, and the convulsive twitching of his muscles sends a shiver down the visitor's spine. The other is bedridden, unable to do anything for himself or to change his own position. In this room these two pass their lives—it seems wrong to say they live—fed and cared for by a consumptive inmate.
     "The number now confined is 33, about equally divided as to sex. Those who are able work—the men about the farm, garden, barn and wood pile, and the women in the ordinary duties of the household economy.
     "The poor farm contains 160 acres, nearly all under cultivation. The crop of grain this year has been large. The superintendents expect to get about five hundred bushels of wheat, while the yield of vegetables will be better than usual.
     "The furniture of the rooms is, of course, simple, but none the less clean and substantial. All the wood-work shows the marks of plentiful libations of soap and water, and the bedding is well washed, and aired daily. These precautions have sufficed to keep up the health of the house, and there is little sickness. It should not be supposed that the inmates keep themselves so clean entirely from choice. Many of them left to themselves would relapse into a state of filth such as marks too many of the homes of poverty outside. But by a firm discipline they are compelled to keep looking decent, bathing frequently. It is to be regretted that in this latter respect the accommodations are not better, a tub of water being all the facilities thus afforded. The food given them is solid and good. They eat good bread, salt meats, and occasionally fresh, a general assortment of vegetables, with tea, and fruit in season. Those who form their ideas of poor-house fare from 'Seven Oaks' and other books of that class will please take notice that Jackson County does not support that kind of a poor-house. The inmates are healthy and appear well fed and contented, and differing in no particular respect from those outside."
     The support of poor persons within the county, the maintenance of paupers, and aid to strangers cost the people of the county over $3,000 per annum in direct and indirect taxation.

(Taken from 'History of Jackson County, Michigan' published 1881 by Inter-State Publishing Co.)

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1860 Census, Blackman Township, taken ont he 31st of July, by P G Shippey. Columns on this census were removed if there wasn't any information on them.
All the color boxes were marked with a slash. From the rest of the census I believe it is suppose to mean 'white'.
Name
Age
Sex
Color
Place of Birth
Cannot Read or Write
Deaf, Blind, Insane, Idiotic, Pauper, or Convict
Margaret Ramsey
92
F

Ireland
X
Pauper
Samuel Wilcox
87
M

New York

Pauper
Charles Straw
57
M

New York

Pauper
Alexander Reynolds
66
M

Vermont
Pauper
James Roe
52
M

Ireland X
Pauper
John Murphy
53
M

Ireland
X
Pauper
Charlotte Herrington
58
F

New York

Pauper
Mary A Kells
42
F

New York

Pauper
Emily Gibbs
40
F

Unknown

Pauper
Ann Dunn
45
F

Ireland
X
Pauper
Dennis Dunn
8
M

Michigan

Pauper
Mary Briggs
35
F

N Y

Pauper
Mary Thayer
13
F

Michigan

Pauper
Maggie McKinney
42
F

Ireland

Pauper
Mary Primeo
44
F

Canada E

Pauper


1870 Census, Blackman Township, taken on the 20th of August, by Henry O Rankin. Columns on this census were removed if there wasn't any information on them,
except for the 'Value of Personal Estate', which Aaron Taylor who ran the Almshouse showed as $1000, and also 'Male citizen over 21 rights of vote denied' which
was marked for Charles Greek.
Name
Age
Sex
Color
Occupation
Place of Birth
Month if born within year
Attended school within year
Deaf, blind, insane, idoitic, pauper, convict
Male citizen over 21
Aaron Taylor
45
M
W
Farmer
New York



X
Sarah
35
F
W
Keeping house
Massachusetts




Willie A
10
M
W
Attending School
Michigan

X


Nora J
7
F
W



X


William Gliaber
25
M
W
Farm Laborer
Ireland



X
Oliver Erb
22
M
W
Farm Laborer
Canada




Mary Neubbard
25
F
W
Domestic Servant
Michigan




Mary A Call
40
F
W
Without Occupation Ireland


Insane

Emily Gibbs
35
F
W
Without Occupation
Unknown


Insane

Charlotte Harrington
35
F
W
Without Occupation New York


Idiotic

Mary Briggs
30
F
W
Without Occupation Native Unknown


Idiotic
James Roe
60
M
W
Without Occupation Ireland


Blind

Mary Atchinson
60
F
W
Without Occupation Unknown


Insane

Charles Greek
21
M
W
Without Occupation Michigan


Itiotic
X
Emily O Hobb
35
F
W
Without Occupation New York


Insane

Mary Lincoln
45
F
W
Without Occupation New York




Peter Ireland
86
M
W
Without Occupation New Jersey



X
Phebe A Logan
84
F
W
Without Occupation New York




Charles Smith
45
M
W
Without Occupation Ireland


Blind

Thomas Bolton
60
M
W
Without Occupation Michigan



X
William Goulden
52
M
W
Without Occupation Ireland


Blind

Levi Shuman
54
M
W
Without Occupation New York



X
George
12
M
W
Without Occupation Michigan

X


Charles
10
M
W
Without Occupation Michigan

X


Hannah Calhoun
66
F
W
Without Occupation Michigan




Dunham Fraziso
53
M
W
Without Occupation Scotland




Amanda Clement
34
F
W
Without Occupation Michigan




John W Soules
67
M
W
Without Occupation New York



X
Mary Porter
75
F
W
Without Occupation New York




Anna Livingsotn
65
F
W
Without Occupation New York




Melissa Martin
40
F
W
Without Occupation New York




Elizabeth Jones
28
F
I
Without Occupation Michigan




Lucinda E
10
F
M
Without Occupation Michigan




James
8
M
M
Without Occupation Michigan




Summerville
5/12
M
B
Without Occupation Michigan
Dec



Sarah Briggs
21
F
M
Without Occupation Ohio




John Schmitt
30
M
W
Without Occupation Prussia




Terrence McMahon
26
M
W
Without Occupation Ireland




Julia E Peterson
30
F
W
Without Occupation Ireland




John Ryan
70
M
W
Without Occupation Ireland




William Hackett
35
M
W
Without Occupation Ireland




James Lee
65
M
W
Without Occupation Ireland






1880 census, in Blackman Township, Enumeration District number 98. Taken on the 25th of June by Francis E Fifield.

Name
Race
Sex
Age
Month if born current year
Relationship
Single, Married, Widowed
Married during year
Profession
Months Unemployees
Blind, Deaf, Idiotic, Insane, Maimed, crippled  or other
Cannot read or write
Place of Birth
Place of Father's birth
Place of Mother's birth
David D Jones
W
M
38


M

Laborer



Wales
Wales
England
Mary J
W
M
33

Wife
M

Keeping House



Wales
Wales
Wales
Jane E
W
F
16

Daughter
S

In School



Wales
Wales
Wales
John *
W
M
14

Son
S

In School



Wales
Wales
Wales
David
W
M
12

Son
S

In School



Wales
Wales
Wales
Henry
W
M
10

Son
S

In School



Wales
Wales
Wales
Morgan
W
M
8

Son
S

In School



Wales
Wales
Wales
Thomas
W
M
6

Son
S

In School



Wales
Wales
Wales
Mary A
W
F
3

Dauther
S





Wales
Wales
Wales
William
W
M
2

Son
S





Wales
Wales
Wales
James Rand
W
M
70

Pauper
D



Blind
X
Ireland
Ireland
Ireland
Mrs Adkinson
W
F
78

Pauper
W



Insane
X
NY
NY
NY
Charles Smith
W
M
56

Pauper
S



Blind
X
Ireland
Ireland
Ireland
Thomas Bolton
W
M
66

Pauper
S



Idiotic
X
NY NY NY
Melissa Martin
W
F
50

Pauper
D



Insane

NY NY NY
Sabrina Porter
W
F
71

Pauper
W





NY NY NY
Ellin Hempstead
W
F
87

Pauper
S



Insane

NY NY NY
Edward Murphey
W
M
70

Pauper
W





Ireland
England
England
William Young
W
M
*0

Pauper
S



Insane

NY NY NY
L B Butterfield
W
M
68

Pauper
W





NY NY Conneticut
***** Brooks
W
M
80

Pauper
W





England
England
England
Garret Post
W
M
66

Pauper
W



Blind
X
NY NY NY
Catherine Avery
W
F
67

Pauper
W



Insane
X
NY Pens
NY
Am*** * Nelson
W
F
46

Pauper
W




X
NY Ireland
NY
El*** McKitchen
W
F
64

Pauper
W



Insane

NJ
NJ
NJ
Rosana Kiffingten
W
F
79

Pauper
W



Insane
X
Ireland
Ireland
Ireland
William Fay
W
M
60

Pauper
S





NY
Ireland
Ireland
Daniel ****
W
M
42

Pauper
S



Idiotic

Michigan
England
NY
***** Videle
W
M
83

Pauper
W





NY NY NY
James Connell
W
M
62

Pauper
W





Ireland
Ireland
Ireland
Martha Miller
W
F
49

Pauper
S





Germany
Germany
Germany
Jenette Powell
W
F
21

Pauper
S





Oregon
NY
Iowa
Edward Pierce
B
M
41

Pauper
W





Virginia
Virginia
****
Ellin Mc***
W
F
27

Pauper
S



Idiotic

Michigan
Ireland
Ireland
**** Harris
B
F
19

Pauper
S





NY
NY
NY
Nora Harris
B
F
2/12
Apr
Pauper
S





Michigan
Michigan
NJ
Delia Kelley
W
F
15

Pauper
S



Insane

Ireland
Ireland
Ireland


1910 Census in Blackman Township, District 121, enumerated by Wm. N. Guetal on May 3rd and 4th.

Name
Relation
Sex
Color
Age
Status
Yrs Married
# of Kids Born
# Living
Birth Place
Father's Birth Place
Mother's Birth Place
Yr Immigrated
NA or AL
Barlow, John J
Manager H
M
W
53
M1
32


New York
New York
New York


Barlow, Lucinia A
Wife
F
W
49
MI
32


New York
New York
New York


Mayott, Walo
Daughter
F
W
24
M1
3
0
0
New York
New York
New York


Barlow, Frankie
Daughter
F
W
18
S



Michigan
New York
New York

Barlow, Zoe
Daughter
F
W
7
S



Michigan New York New York

Kaff, Bertha
Hired girl
F
W
16
S



Michigan Ger German
Ger German


Mayott, Glenn
Son in law
M
W
25
M1
3


Michigan Michigan Michigan

Campton, Grey
Hired man
M
W
41
S



Michigan New York
United States


Price, William W
Inmate
M
W
61
D



Michigan Pennsylvania
Vermont


Smith, Peter
Inmate
M
W
68
S



Ger German
Ger German
Ger German
1872

Champlin, Lyman L
Inmate
M
W
82
Wd



New York
Connecticut
Pennsylvania


Kavanaugh, Michael
Inmate
M
W
70
Wd



Ire English
Ire English
Ire English
1844

Morgan Francis A
Inmate
M
W
80
Wd



New York
Scot English
Eng English


Cowell, Mack
Inmate
M
W
44
S



Michigan Michigan Michigan

Cowell, John
Inmate
M
W
46
S



Michigan Michigan Michigan


Davis, Albert C
Inmate
M
W
71
M1
51


Michigan Massachusetts
Massachusetts

Schultz, Harris
Inmate
M
W
75
Wd



New York
New York
New York


Raedy, Thomas
Inmate
M
W
62
S



Ire English
Ire English
Ire English
un

Liston, James
Inmate
M
W
73
S



Ire English Ire English Ire English 1851
NA
Sheehan, Michael W
Inmate
M W
77
Wd



Michigan
Ire Un
Ire English


Albrecht, Fred
Inmate M W 60
S



Ger German
Ger German
Ger German
1878
NA
Luttenton, Richard M
Inmate M W 78
D



New York
New York
New York


Finer, Hiram L
Inmate M W 82
Wd



Maine
United States
Ire English


Kinney, Michael B
Inmate M W 75
Wd



Ire English
Ire English
Ire English
1846
PA
Hoag, Benjamin
Inmate M W 74
S



New York
New York
New York


Felslaw, Andrew J
Inmate M W 78
D



New York
Vermont
New York


Wilson, Fred N
Inmate M W 54
Wd



Michigan
New York
United States


Swain, Martin H
Inmate M W 77
Wd



New York
New York
New York


Starkey, Albert F
Inmate M W 54
D



Ohio
New York
Ohio


Gilbert, Julius O
Inmate M W 64
S



Michigan
Un
Vermont


Wilson, Silas
Inmate M W 67
Wd



New York
Eng English
Eng English


Connell, Nicholas L
Inmate M W 79
Wd



Ire English Ire English Ire English
1844
NA
Pardy, George H
Inmate M W 84
Wd



Connecticut
New York
Connecticut


Ellis, John
Inmate M W 85
Wd



Massachusetts
Massachusetts Massachusetts

Rath, Jacob
Inmate M
W 80
S



Ger German
Un
Un
Un
Un
Sterick, John
Inmate M
W 80
Wd



New York
Un
Un


Jackson, John
Inmate M
W 75
S



Michigan
Un
Un


Brown, George
Inmate M
W 40
S



Michigan
Michigan Michigan

Harrgoth, Hannah
Inmate F
W 81
S



Ger German
Ger German
Ger German
1860

Farnum, Sarah
Inmate F
W 66
S



Vermont
Vermont
Vermont


Wills, Edna
Inmate F
W 21
S



Un
Un
Un


Baker, Ella
Inmate F
W 63
Wd

2
2
Michigan Pennsylvania
United States


Thompson, Sarah E
Inmate F
W 65
S



Michigan Connecticut
New York


Strut, Sarah
Inmate F W 54
Wd

4
2
New York
New York
New York


Morehouse, Mary
Inmate F W 63
S



Michigan
Michigan New York


Burr, Mary A
Inmate F W 75
Wd

2
0
Ohio
Connecticut
New York


Sheldon, Iva E
Inmate F W 15
S



Michigan Un
Michigan

O'Neil, Myra
Inmate F W 75
Wd

0
0
Ire English
Eng English
Ire Irish
Un

Evans, Anna
Inmate F W 63
S



Michigan Pennsylvania
New York


Roberts, Anna
Inmate F W 36
M1
19
1
1
New York
New York
Un


Sanford, Emma
Inmate F W 64
S



New York
New York
Vermont


Williams, Helen
Inmate F W 73
Wd

3
0
New York
New York
Un


O'Neil, Kate
Inmate F W 83
Wd

6
0
Ire Irish
Ire Irish
Ire irish
1848

Colwell, Nellie
Inmate F W 38
S



New York
New York
New York


Shaughnessy, Mary
Inmate F W 49
S



Michigan Michigan Un


June, Anna
Inmate F W 72
Wd

2
2
Can French
Ire English
Scot English
1860

Smith, Jack
Inmate M
W 68
M1



Connecticut
Un
Un



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