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West Virginia State Data

Paupers in Alms Houses


Outline Of Laws Governing Poor Relief in the United States

West Virginia

An overseer of the poor is appointed by the county court for each magisterial district to hold office for two years. A legal settlement in a county is gained by continuous residence for one year, except when a person unable to maintain himself has immigrated into the state within three years. Necessary poor relief must be afforded whether a person has a settlement or not; but in case he is chargeable to another county or state, he must, if practicable, be removed thither at the expense of his place of settlement. The parents, children, brothers, and sisters of a poor person, if of sufficient ability, are liable for his support. If there is a county infirmary, a pauper may not be kept at any other place except in emergency cases.

Every county court may establish a county infirmary for the poor, or the county courts of two or more adjoining counties may unite for this purpose. The county court may appoint an agent to have charge of the infirmary, subject to the control and regulations of the county. Such agent may not admit any one to the infirmary except upon the written order of the overseer of the poor or of said court. A member of the county court or one of the overseers must visit the infirmary at least once a month and report to the court. Provision must be made for the employment of the inmates. Children kept at the infirmary are to receive proper education. The county court must annually publish a report in detail of the poor relief in the county.

A penalty of $100 is prescribed for bringing an indigent person into the state.

-- Donated by Kim Torp.

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