The Daily Pittsburgh Gazette, Sep 10, 1841
WHEREAS, in and by the 15th section of an Act of the General Assembly of this commonwealth, passed the 22d day of April, 1841, it is made the duty of the Sheriff to cause said Section to be the requirements of said section, I, Benjamin Weaver, High Sheriff of the County of Allegheny, in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, do hereby publish the same as follows to wit:
Section 15. For the purpose of ascertaining the sense of the citizens of Allegheny county, as to the expediency of erecting a poor house, it shall be the duty of each of the inspectors of the several wards, townships, boroughs, at the next general election, to receive tickets, either written or printed, from the qualified voters thereof, labeled on the outside "Poor House," and in the inside, "for a Poor House," or "against a Poor House;" and if it shall appear, upon casting up the votes in the different districts, at the Court House on the same day that the other returns are made out, that a majority of those who voted are for a Poor House, then the foregoing Act to take effect, but if a majority of the votes are found to be against a Poor House, the foregoing act to be and the same shall be declared null and void. And the Sheriff of said County, shall cause this section thereof to be published in all the newspapers printed in said County, at least six weeks previous to next general election; the expenses of which publication shall be paid out of the County Treasury.
And I do hereby request the qualified voters of Allegheny County to take notice of the same.
Sheriff's Office, August 30, 1841
B. Weaver, Sheriff
The Pittsburgh Gazette, Sept. 17, 1841, page 1
Poor House Meeting
At a meeting of the inhabitants of Ohio Township, held at the house of John Hay, on Saturday, 4th September, agreeably to public notice, for the purose of taking into consideration an act passed at the last session of the Legislature, entitled "an act for the erection of a house for the employment and support of the Poor, in the County of Allegheny."
After the reading of which act, and a consideration of its provisions, the following resolutions were passed:
That the citizens of this township have been taken by surprise, this being to most of them the first intimation they have had of a measure so deeply affecting their interest, that no petitions for a County Poor House have been offered or seen in this township, nor to our knowledge been subscribed by any of our citizens.
That it is a measure intended to enforce a copartnership between the agricultural districts, and the neighboring cities, for the maintenance of paupers, which city institutions tend extensively to create.
That this township has always been both able and willing to support its own poor, in a way and manner according with former usages, and more acceptable to the recipients of our bounty, who from the pressure of untoward events, have to claim our aid and support.
That a Poor House carries with its name something so humiliating and degrading, that numerous instances occur, where poor persons have preferred to suffer in their destitutions, rather than resort to a house so obnoxious to their feelings. A forced association of those taught to respect the decencies of life, with the loathsome victims of sensuality and vice, the outcasts of cities.
That a Poor House establishment, in the purchase of land, the erection of building, furniture and fixture, the payment of laborers &c., would render a large increase of taxes indispensible, and greatly add to the already oppressive County debt, which affects our real estate as absolute as a bond and mortgage.
We, therefore, on behalf our township, protest against the measure as unwise and oppressive, and we invite the other townships of the County, having views and interests in common with us to send two delegates to meet at the new court house, in Pittsburgh, at 10 o'clock a.m., on the 25th day of September next, to concert and adopt such measures as may be necessary on the occasion.
That David Shields and James Callan are hereby appointed as delegates to represent this township at the proposed general meeting of delegates at Pittsburgh.
That the editors of papers printed in this county friendly to county interests, are requested to give these proceedings one or more insertions in their papers. Hugh Duff, Chairman James Callan, Sec'y.
The Daily Pittsburgh Gazette, Aug. 2, 1854, page 7
NEARLY COMPLETED. - The new county Poor House is nearly completed, and will soon be about fit for the reception of inmates. It is situated about five miles from Pittsburgh, near the Steubenville road, in Upper St. Clair Township, and makes the third Poor House in Allegheny county. It is intended especially for those residing out of either city, and within the limits of the county. The building cost $41,000 and promises to be an excellent and comfortable institution.
The Daily Pittsburgh Gazette, Dec. 19, 1855
Madame Le Pugh
Madam Le Pugh, alias Margaret Gallabar, who was convicted at the last term of the Quarter Sessions, of procuring abortion, who was not sentenced because she was about to become a mother, but was taken to the City Poor Farm to be taken care of, made her escape from that institution on Tuesday evening last. She disappeared about supper time and has not been heard of since. Mr. Patterson who is Steward of the farm, thinks that she was taken away by persons who came here for that purpose, but who they were, he has no knowledge. It is not probably that she will soon make her appearance agains in this part of the country.
The Pittsburgh Gazette, Mar. 20, 1868
A Heartless Mother Deserts Her Child.
Tuesday evening last, a well dressed woman, having with her a little child about eight months old, called at a house in Sample's Row, Allegheny, where she applied for and obtained lodgings. She stated that her husband was absent on business, and that she preferred boarding to keeping house during his absence. She appeared to be very fond of her child, whose name she said was Johnny. Wednesday morning, after breakfast, she left the child in charge of some member of the family, stating that she wished to do some shopping, but would be back before dinner. She put on her wrappings and left the house, since when nothing has been heard of her. Mr. McGonnigle, Director of the Poor of Allegheny City, was informed of the circumstances yesterday morning, and at once took charge of the little waif, thus left upon the charities of the world, and after christening him "Johnny Grant," placed him in the City Home. Every effort has been made to discover who the mother was, but without success.
The Pittsburgh Gazette, May 12, 1868
Serious Accident-Leg Broken-Probably Case of Damages-Inhuman Treatment of Unfortunate Man
A serious accident occurred Sunday evening near the Clinton Iron Works, West Pittsburgh, by which Mr. Henry Sheridan, a soldier of the late war, had his left leg broken below the knee. Mr. Sheridan, at the time the accident occurred, was walking along the plank walk at that point when one of the boards, being decayed, gave way, letting his foot pass through and throwing him forward, breaking both bones of his leg. He was taken up and carried to his boarding house in Temperanceville, and Dr. Boggs called, who reduced the fracture. Mr. Sheridan is a stranger, and having no friends, it was deemed advisable to send him to the Poor Farm. He was accordingly placed in a wagon and taken to the office of the County Home, and was from there sent to the office of the City Poor Directors, who sent him back to the former office. He was then sent to a hospital, but was refused admission unless some reliable man would be responsible for his board at the rate of $5.00 per week. After having been transported in an open express wagon from one office to another for three or four hours, he was finally taken to the Mayor's office. The Mayor was about to send him to hospital, and become personally responsible, when it was suggested to try the "Soldiers' Home." A statement of the case was made to Mr. George Albree, who very readily gave him a certificate of admission to the Soldiers' Home, whence he was removed.
It is probably that an action for damages will be instituted against the borough authorities by the injured man, but they are not as much liable to censure as those "servants of the public: who are paid large salaries to attend to certain business of which they seem to have as little conception as a Hottentot has of the laws of England. This man was certainly an object of charity, and had a claim on the county. If the proper course was not adopted to get him into the County Home (if that was the proper place for him) the officer should have directed those who had him in charge what was necessary to be done, and not have him hauled through the city in an open wagon, as was done. The same censure applies in the case of the other officer to whom he was sent. This matter should be investigated.
The Pittsburgh Gazette, Nov. 30, 1868
Allegheny City Poor Farm
Thanksgiving Day at the Farm - A Festive Occasion - Some Account of the Premises - The Inmates - General Notes.
A cordial invitation from the worth Superintendent, added to a desire for a personal inspection of the premises, caused us to be found, in company with a number of others, aboard the train on Thanksgiving morning, bound for a visit to the Allegheny City Poor House and Farm. A pleasant ride over a smoothly built and well managed road brought us at the end of about fifteen minutes to Bennett's Station, on the West Penna. Railroad, two and a half miles from the city, from whence the farm is distant a few hundred yards.
The walk between the station and the house was quickly gone over, and we arrived just in time to witness the gathering of the inmates around the dinner table. On this occasion the fare spread before them was of an unusual character, and, indeed, one which would have satisfied an epicure of the most fastidious tastes. The kind-hearted Superintendent, feeling that the day should be made memorable above ordinary days to them, had put himself to considerable trouble in providing the sumptuous repast, and the well-ladened table, groaning beneath the weight of turkey, meats, vegetables, pastry, and innumerable delicacies to tempt the palate, gave gratifying assurances of his success, and we doubt not but that if the benevolent citizens, from whom he had obtained these bountiful supplies, had witnessed the procession, as slowly one by one they for whom the feast had been prepared came in, and the pleasure which lighted up the faces of the most gloomy and stolid, they would have felt themselves well repair for their generosity. The tables, of which there were three, two large and one small, were arranged in a large room used as a dining hall, one of the large tables being occupied by the women ranged on each side and the others occupied by the men. The first time they sat down we county twenty-four men and eighteen women, and after the first company had eaten, the tables were re-arranged for another set. During the meal all was in order and quietness, and after satisfying the appetite with the cheer each departed quietly from the room. At the conclusion of this scene the party, under the guidance of the Superintendent, D. T.Johnson, Esq., made a tour of inspection through the building and grounds, and obtained much useful and interesting information in regard to the premises and the management of the institution.
The building itself is an oblong structure, built of brick, three stories high and two rooms in depth. Running from end to end through the center of each story, is a large hall about twelve feet in width, from which communication is had into the different rooms occupied by the inmates. These large halls are intersected in the center of the building by two others equal in width and extending across the building. Access is gained to each story by a flight of stairs in one end and at the center of the building. The Home contains in all thirty -four rooms, in size about fourteen feet square, large, airy and cheerful. The eastern wing is occupied by the females, and the western by the males, with no communication between the sections, except from the lower floor. On the lower floor the rooms are taken up in the eastern side by the family of the Superintendent, and those on the western side by the office, dining hall, kitchen, & etc. One of the rooms is occupied as a shoemakers' and tailors' shop, and in this all the repairs to their articles are done by two of the inmates, who are acquainted with the trades. There is also a blacksmith shop connected with the premises, in which all the smith work, except shoeing the horses, is performed. The knives which so neatly and quickly did the business of cutting up the turkeys, were made in the shop.
The rooms of the inmates, located on the second floor, contain each two beds, and are each calculated for four occupants. They contain a fire-place, washstand and other conveniences for dressing, and are each lighted by two windows. In the rooms occupied by the male inmates no carpet covers the floor, but in the female department female ingenuity and taste is displayed in this and other respects, and many of the rooms present an air of comfort and cheerfulness quite above what would naturally be expected of the occupants. Several of the rooms occupied by the women contain engravings on the walls, are comfortable carpeted, and are models of cleanliness, suggesting very forcibly that some, at least, have a lingering sense of self-respect, and verifying the sentiment that "women can make the worst wilderness dear." The walls of the building throughout are kept perfectly clean by whitewash, and the floors of the halls, on the score of cleanliness, could not be found fault with by the most particular housewife. The building is an old one and for this reason somewhat dilapidated, but after a thorough examination we are constrained to speak of the manner in which it is kept in the highest terms of praise. Separate from the main buildings is another smaller structure built of brick, two stories high and used as quarters for the insane and demented, of which there are some twenty-two. None of these, however, are allowed to come out of the building, but are under the care of a physician. Most of them are hopelessly deranged.
While going the rounds we gleaned some very interesting information in regard to the management of the institution.
Every-thing moves in regular order without confusion, which is the only method by which the affair can at all be conducted. At four o'clock an inmate, who has an alarm clock in his room to awaken him, rises and builds on the necessary fires in the building, ready for the cook and others who prepare the morning meal. At five o'clock, the bell is rung which is the signal for all to arise. Before breakfast they all dress for the day, and clean their rooms, after which about half past seven that meal is commenced. It consists of bread, molasses and coffee, and each is furnished with as much as will satisfy the appetite. They are allowed to walk about the grounds or building the rest of the morning, and are again called together at half past twelve o'clock for dinner. This meal consists of bread, meat, soup, and vegetables in their season, with water for the men and tea for the women. Supper takes place at 6 1/2 o'clock, and consists of the same food as the morning meal. At eight o'clock the bell is rung as a signal for retiring, and thus the machinery moves on from day to day as regular as clockwork.
If any get sick they are place under the Doctor's care, and of course the treatment of them in diet and other things is just as he orders.
The whole place is scrubbed out twice a week, Tuesdays and Fridays, and the meds in all the rooms changed. The building is surrounded by about sixty acres of land, twenty-six of which is under cultivation. It originally consisted of one hundred and four acres. The remainder has been sold and realized the sum of $90,280. The whole farm will be sold out, including the house, as soon as a new farm is purchased, which object is now engaging the attention of Councils, and will doubtless be carried out in a short time. It is calculated that the present portion of the farm will realize about one hundred and fifty thousand dollars, which, added to that already received, will be sufficient to buy a new farm, building a commodious house, and throw about fifty thousand dollars into the City Treasury. The portion of the farm which is cultivated realized during the last year nearly fifteen hundred dollars, after furnishing the House with all the vegetables used in it. The estimates for the present year will fall somewhat short of this. The stock kept on the farm consists of three horses and eight cows, besides the poultry, pigs, etc. Everything about the farm is kept in repair and the premises displayed that order of neatness and thrift which spoke volumes in favor of the one man upon whom rests all the responsibility and care.
Before concluding this hasty sketch, we intended to have given some particulars in regard to the inmates, but already our article has gone far beyond its expected limits, and we must dismiss this part of it with a word or two.
In our examinations through the interior of the building we say among the inmates, representatives from all quarters of the globe, Irish, Scotch, Germans, Americans, French, and African, all mingling freely with each other bound as it were by one single tie of sympathy. Most of them were beyond the sphere allotted to man, and fast verging toward the realities of another existence, and many of those with whom we conversed had strange histories to relate, out of which, thrilling and pathetic volumes might have been written. Verily "truth is stranger than fiction."
After several hours had been thus spent in examining the building and conversing with the inmates, the company convened again in the private parlor of the Superintendent, and from thence were conducted to the family dining room, where they gathered around the Thanksgiving board and partook of an entertainment which even the resources of the famed Van Tassel mansion could not have excelled. To say that the feast was enjoyed would be to express ourselves mildly. The company seemed to linger long, but all things must have an end, and at last reluctantly they retired from sheer inability, we thought, to enjoy themselves in that line any more for the time. Reassembling in the parlor an hour or two sped swiftly by in social chat, which was interrupted by the approach of the train that conveyed the visitors to the city and separated them from the gentlemanly Superintendent and his estimable family, whose genial courtesy and home-like hospitality had made Thanksgiving day pass so pleasantly and profitably away.
The total cost of maintaining the institution is estimated at nine thousand dollars for one year, or about one dollar and eight-five cents per inmate, each week. There are at present about ninety inmates, which includes those in the insane department.
The Pittsburgh Gazette, Apr 27, 1869
The End of It
Yesterday a hearing was had before Alderman Lynch in the case of John Cochran and George McKee, ex-policemen, charged with assault and battery with intent to commit a rape on oath of Kate Raney. The prosecutrix was the only witness, but her statements were discredited, on account of her evident insanity, and the accused were accordingly honorably discharged. Subsequently Kate was taken to the Poor Farm by Mr. Fortune.
The Pittsburgh Gazette, April 26, 1869
Fatal Accident - Inmate of the Allegheny City Home Killed
Yesterday afternoon about fifteen minutes to two o'clock, an inmate of the Allegheny City Home came to her death in the following manner: She had been at dinner a short time before, and when through, taking advantage of the absence of the Superintendent in another part of the building, had slipped our and wandered off from the premises. By some means she reached the track of the Western Penna. Railroad, and started to walk along it toward the city. She had proceeded about half a mile when just at the bend, opposite the Willow Grove Brewery, nearly midway between Herr's and Bennett stations, the church train, coming in an opposite direction, came in sight. The engineer noticed her walking on the track, and immediately whistled down brakes, but the train could not be checked up in time. Some persons in the vicinity at the time say she stepped off the track to the side, but the space between the rails and the fence at that point was too narrow, to allow the train to pass without striking her, and she was knocked down. The train at the time was going at the usual rate of speed. It was stopped as soon as possible and Dr. John Hamilton, physician for the Home, happening to be on board, had the woman conveyed back to the institution. When picked up she was still breathing but died at the Home in about three-quarters of an hour after the accident. She had received a severe blow in the side of the head near the temple, a deep gash across her face, and was also so otherwise severely bruised on various parts of her body.
The name of the unfortunate victim was Elizabeth Brettenbraugh. She was deaf and dumb and had been in the Home about seventeen years. Being of a quiet and apparently trustworthy disposition, she had been allowed a little more freedom than most of the inmates, but had never been allowed to leave the premises unaccompanied by an attendant, except as in the present case, when she managed, by strategy to get away.
Coroner Clawson has been notified and will hold an inquest today.
The Pittsburgh Gazette, Apr 27, 1869
Coroner Clawson yesterday held an inquest on the body of Elizabeth Brittenbraugh, a inmate of the Allegheny City Home, the particulars of whose death we noticed yesterday. The jury returned a verdict of accidental death, and exonerated the officers of the train, by which she was mortally injured.
The Pittsburgh Gazette, Jul 26, 1869
Saturday morning, a domestic in the family of Mr. McNaughers, residing on the hill, at the head of Federal street, Allegheny, sudden became insane and attacked a colored man in the neighborhood with a knife, cutting a hole through his vest, but fortunately not inflicting a wound. She was secured after considerable difficulty, and locked up in the watch house. She had no friends in this vicinity, and had only been employed with the family named about three or four weeks. During the afternoon an officer conveyed her to the City Poor Farm.
The Pittsburgh Commercial, Monday, Mar. 1, 1872, page 4
Guardians of the Poor
Regular Meeting on Saturday - Reports of the Officers - Annual Report of Superintendent Patterson, &c.
On Saturday afternoon the Guardians of the Poor held their regular monthly meeting.
Dr. Isaiah Ward, physician at the City Farm, reported 10 cases admitted to the hospital during the month; 9 discharged and 10 remaining; 15 office patients; 3 births and 8 deaths. The deaths were Hugh McHard, age 60; Mary Dougherty, 68, Cathering Mulholland, 75; Laura Beggs, 5 months; Rachel Johnson, 5 months; Charles Armstrong, 27; Phoebe Franks, 45; Conrad Miller, 40, The causes of death were: apoplexy, 1; old age, 1; whooping cough, 1; consumption, 2; pneumonia, 1; inflammation of the lungs, 1; asthma, 1.
Superintendent Patterson, of the City Farm, presented his annual report for the year 1871: 355 persons were admitted to the Poor House; discharged, died &c., 312, leaving on December 31st 220 inmates in the house, 125 males and 95 females. During the year 562 persons received support, of whom 227 were natives of the United States, and 335 foreigners. Of those cared for during the year 87 were insane, 14 idiotic, 5 blind, 2 deaf and dumb, and all others 431. The deaths during the year were 46, and the births 17.
The Superintendent alludes at length to the necessity of classifying the inmates, and suggests that quiet old persons, "God's poor", who are driven to the institution from stern necessity to find a home, should not be forced to make associates and room companions of the vagrant, the depraved, the profane and vulgar, but should have for their associates kindred spirits, nor should the evening of their life be disturbed by the ravings, day and night of the maniac.
The youngest persons, male and female, and the more depraved who are only too anxious when the inclement season comes on to be housed in some poor house, should not be thrust, as has to be done, upon the aged and infirm. These require a different discipline, whilst the former discipline or govern themselves. The insane should not be associated with the other classes - in too many cases made worse by contact with others - they require and should have different care and treatment.
Mr. Patterson recommends that the inmates be denied tobacco and furnished with books instead.
Attention is called to the facilities for heating and lighting the poor house. The safety of the lives of the inmates and the security of the buildings demand other than the present arrangement. Sixty open fireplaces and oil lamps should not be within the reach of the class of persons who have to make the Poor House a home.
Action on the resolution offered at the previous meeting, in relation to the building of an insane sylum, was again postponed by a tie vote, the President voting in the affirmative.
The Pittsburgh Commercial, July 3, 1875, page 4
ALLEGHENY POOR DIRECTORS
The Board of Poor Directors of Allegheny City held their regular monthly meeting last night. The report of the Steward at the Poor farm was read. It showed that there were 135 inmates in the Poor Department on June 30th. In the Insane Department were 44 inmates on the 30th of June, a total of 179 inmates in the two departments. Secretary McGonnigle reported the expenses of the month of resident and non-resident paupers, sundry bills, &c., at $188.15. Dr. Smith reported the health of the paupers to be good. The contract for supplying the Poor House with coal for a year, commencing July 1, was let to Dickson, Stewart & Con., at eight and three quarter cents per bushel for lump and seven cents for nut coal.
The Pittsburgh Commercial, July 3, 1875, page 4
THE CITY POOR
Meeting of the Guardians - Monthly Reports of Officers - Settlement with the County Home.
A regular monthly meeting of the Board of Guardians of the Poor was held yesterday afternoon. Present: Messrs. Boggs, Douglass, Fitzsimmons, Glass, Hays, Hazlett, Jones, Sweitzer and President Kincaid.
Mr. Fitzsimmons, from the Monthly Committee, reported the removal of bodies interred at the Alms House to the new graveyard on the hill in the rear of the house, also that the roof of the house had been repaired, also that three persons had been released from Dixmont. Accepted.
Mr. Douglass reported that the trial of the Babcock extinguisher was a success, and recommend the purchase of one of the same.
The report of Superintendent Bullock for the month of June was read, showing arrivals at the Alms House during the month of June: males, 13; females, 15; total, 28. The removals were, by elopement 3, discharge 38, deaths 6 and leaving. July first, 291 inmates, viz: males 178, females 113. This is a decrease of 19 during the month. Tramps were accommodated as follows: with lodgings 170, with meals 400. The report was accepted.
Dr Brewster, of the Hospital Department, reported 8 received during the month, 10 discharged and 6 died. Received medical attendance 53. In Hospital June 30, 1875, 37. There was one birth during the month.
Dr. Chrssroom, Physician of the South Side district, reported 17 visits and 74 office patients for the month.
Dr. A.E. McCandless, of the Second district, reported 151 visits and 104 office patients for May and June.
Dr. Purviance reported 89 visits and 38 office patients.
The reports of the Physicians were accepted.
Bills to the amount of $4,550 were examined and approved.
The bond of the City Treasurer as custodian and collector of the poor taxes, amounting to $30,000, was presented and approved.
SETTLEMENT WITH COUNTY HOME
Mr. Fitzsimmons, from the committee to settle with the County Home for the interest of the districts annexed to the city in the county property, reported in favor of a final settlement of $7,000 of all present and future interest in said property. He presented a deed and a communication from the Solicitor of the Board. Following is the Solicitor's communication:
To the Guardians, &c.:
Gentlemen - I have examined the deed of release and quit claim from your board to the Allegheny County Home, releasing and quit claiming to the said Allegheny County Home, its Poor House Farm and all other property, for and in consideration of the payment of the sum of seven thousand dollars ($7,000) from any and all further claims on account of the interest in said farm, and property of parts of said poor district, known as the Allegheny County Home, which had heretofore been annexed or which might hereafter be annexed to the city of Pittsburgh, and become part thereof. This deed does not differ from the terms your committee and the committee of the County Home agreed upon as a compromise, except in one particular, viz: That is relinquishes all claim on account of future annexation. Considering the small probability of any further or future annexations, and the difficulty and delay of arranging and settling this matter except by compromise, I would recommend to your honorable board to waive the matter of future annexations and agree to the terms on which the Allegheny County Home offers to settle the controversy. To put the matted in a definite form, I would suggest the passage of a resolution to the following effect:
Resolved, That the President of the Board be and he is hereby authorized and directed to execute a deed of release and quit claim by the Board of Guardians of the poor of the city of Pittsburgh, to the Allegheny County Home, for the consideration of seven thousand dollars, releasing and quit claiming to the said County Home its poorhouse, farm and all other property of every kind from all claim or claims which the said guardians, &c., now have or may hereafter have against the said house, farm or other property for or on account of any parts of the said Poor district known as the County Home, which have heretofore been annexed or which may hereafter be annexed to the city of Pittsburgh - and that the President of the Board of Guardians be and her is hereby authorized and directed to deliver said deed of release and quit claim, duly and properly signed, seals and acknowledged, to the said County Home, on the payment by the said County Home of one-half the sum or consideration in said deed mentioned, and giving security such as may be agreed upon for the other half of the sum of seven thousand dollars mentioned in said deed, as the consideration thereof, at the times and in the manner heretofore agreed upon by the committees of the two boards, and that the foregoing shall be a final settlement of the matters hereinbefore referred to, as soon as the same shall be satisfied and accepted by the said County Home.
James I. Kuhn, Solicitor of the Board.
June 29, 1875
Gen. Sweitzer moved the adoption of the resolution.
Mr. Douglas objected, saying that we are a grasping people, and in the future may take into the city more or less territory, and should have a claim for the interest of such territory in the county property.
Mr. Fitzsimmons said by this settlement they were sure of $7,000, and otherwise there is an uncertainty of obtaining it. He did not think the child was born that could see any further enlargement of the boundaries of the city of Pittsburgh.
After some further discussion, the resolutions was adopted.
Daily Free Press, Easton, Pa., Mar. 3, 1881, page 1
BRUTALITY IN AN ASYLUM
Pittsburgh, Pa., March 2. - Excitement was caused in Pittsburgh and Allegheny a year ago by the murder of an insane inmate of the Allegheny City alms house by another inmate and a keeper. Recently a scandal at the same institution has burnished a sweet morsel for gossip, which resulted in the suspension of superintendent Grubbs and Mrs. Craig, the assistant matron. The scandal has created much acrimonious feeling, and many tales have been told out of school. To-day it leaked out that some of the officers of the alms house were whispering about that another death, resulting from abuse, had occurred there, and had been smothered up. A reported ascertained that on July 4th, last, Maria Holden, who a few days before, had been delivered of a child, protested against the treatment she had received. Superintendent Grubbs, it is alleged, choked, struck her and held her head under the spigot of the bathtub and treated her to a shower bath. A few days later she died and laid her death at Mr. Grubb's door. Two attendants were cognizant of the facts, and Mrs. Reinhart one of them, saw the alleged cruelty and was present when Mrs. Holden died. While the reported was getting the facts, word was telegraphed the acting superintendent to say nothing about the affair. The coroner will to-day make an investigation. The scandals with which superintendent Grubbs' name is coupled has completely prostrated his wife, an estimable lady.
The Daily Kansas Tribune, Lawrence, Kansas, May 8, 1882
The Pauper's Secret
In the "short and simple annals of the poor" one often reads of persons who, though reduced to the most wretched poverty, are still as proud in spirit as the haughtiest of autocrats, and possess a delicacy of feeling which could hardly be expected outside of the higher and more refined walks of life. Paupers they may be, but that pride refuses to be crushed. Too sensitive to admit that they are poor, they exert all their powers to hide the fact from the world. This phase of human nature was never more strikingly illustrated than in the life of an aged man, who after a residence of three years in the Allegheny City Home, left that institution on Saturday forever.
His story is an interest one. Years ago Thomas Mulaney had a happy home, and managed to support his family in a comfortable way. Many pictures in memory of the domestic happiness of those days now cheer the old man in his declining years. Death finally broke up the family circle, taking his wife first and all but two of his children afterward. Then darker days came upon him. Losing his corporal vigor, and the increasing infirmities of old age settling down upon him, he was no longer able to work. One daughter and a son had drifted away to distant points, and he had no knowledge of their whereabouts. At last, when he was on the verge of starvation he was taken charge of by the authorities and sent to the Allegheny Home.
This was about three years since, and he was then about eighty years of age. About a year ago he learned in some manner that his son was married and living at Cambridge, Mass. He wrote him a letter, carefully concealing, however, his real condition, and the fact that he was in an alms-house. This correspondence has been kept up ever since, the son supposing his father to be living on a farm at Montrose P.O. Too proud to ask for help, the old man never requested his son to care for him, and too sensitive to admit his poverty, he was very guarded in writing his letters. But the son judged from the letters that he was lonely, and for the past few months has sent urgent invitations for him to remove to Cambridge. His last letter concludes: "I am sorry to hear that you have not yet decided to come to us. I fear you have some reason which keeps you in Allegheny County. I say now, as I always have, my wife and I would only be too glad to have you with us, and will care for you well the balance of your life." The son is in good circumstances, and had he had the slightest intimation of his father's condition would have readily sent money for him to make the journey with.
One of the members of the Allegheny Poor Board interested himself in old Tom, and proposed to the board to furnish him with a railroad ticket to Boston. Some of the members doubted Tom's representations, and asked him for his son's address, so they could write and see if it was all right. He declared he would remain in the poorhouse all his life rather than have his son informed of his place of living, and refused to give the address. The Poor Directors resolved to keep his secret, and last Friday night ordered Major Hunker to procure for him transportation to Boston. When this was told to Tom he was the happiest man in the country. Tears of joy and gratitude rolled down his cheeks, and by this time he is with his son. The latter need never know the old man's secret.
The Galion Inquirer, Nov. 18, 1892, Galion, Ohio
Barney Dunning, an inmate of the city poor farm at Pittsburgh, has fallen heir to an estate valued at $300,000. The fortune was bequeathed to Dunning by his brother, William who went to California in 1849, accumulated large wealth and died there recently.
The Pittsburgh Press, Jan. 9, 1895
Sad Case of Destitution
An Old Soldier and Family Huddled on a Shanty Boat
Charles Glenn, age 50 years, suffering with consumption, was sent to Marshalsea this morning by the department of charities. Glenn lived in a shanty boat at the foot of South Fourth street. The case was reported to the department several days ago, but nothing was done in the matter until yesterday afternoon.
Shortly before 3 o'clock yesterday afternoon a half-witted boy approached Officer Bartley Kinney, on Carson street, and stated that his father was abusing his mother. The office accompanied the boy to the boat and one of the most distressing sights was presented, as he entered the boat. The boat is an old leaky craft divided into two rooms. It was occupied by the family of W. H. Palmer, an old soldier having been a member of Company C, One Hundred and Fifth regiment, Pennsylvania volunteers. He was wounded at the battle of Gettysburg, and several years ago he became blind from the effects of the wounds. The office found Palmer sitting on the floor surrounded by filth, while the room was also occupied by 12 other persons, ranging in age from 2 to 20 years. In the corner of the boat Charles Glenn lay upon an old bed. After investigating the case the officer reported the matter to the department of charities and an inspector went at once to the boat.
From the father it was learned that Glenn has been ill for three months, and has been without medical attention. The family have lived upon what John Palmer, the half-witted son, could beg. An effort will be made to send the father to Marshalsea and have the other younger members of the family placed in some of the charitable institutions.
The Pittsburgh Press, Jan. 9, 1895
An Elopement Frustrated
The Father of Miss Schaffer Kept Watch on Her.
She was arrested, and after Spending Two Days at Central Station Concluded to Go Home - Hunting for Some of Her Accomplices.
For two weeks Miss Annie Schaffer, of Mount Washington, has been trying to elope with the man of her choice, but her father, with the assistance of Detective Sol Coulson, has succeeded in preventing her from doing so.
The first attempt Miss Schaffer made to escape from home was two weeks ago, when she came to town with a younger brother to purchase a pair of shoes. She sent the boy to the second story of the store, promising to wait until he returned, but left as soon as he was out of sight. The boy spent an hour searching for her, and then went home to notify his father of her disappearance. Mr. Schaffer hurried to the Pittsburg & Lake Erie station and told the gatekeepers there of the disappearance of his daughter, requesting that she be detained if she attempted to board a train. He then went to the police headquarters and asked Detective Coulson to assist him in the search.
In some way the girl learned that a close watch was being kept for her at all the railroad stations, and she did not try to leave the city. It was not until Tuesday night, however, that she was found in a downtown house. On the way to the central station she threatened to commit suicide if forced to go home without the man she loved, but she did not attempt to execute her threat.
Miss Schaffer told the officers at the station that she boarded at the house in which she was found by Detective Coulson all the time she was away from home and was only waiting for a chance to elope. It is said she and the man she wants to marry had purchased tickets for Youngstown on the Pittsburg & Lake Erie, but were warned that every train was watched, and so decided to postpone the trip.
Mr. Schaffer went to the central station last night and had a long talk with his daughter. The result was that she consented to go home with him. Little is known of the man in the case, but it is said he lives in McKeesport. Two of his friends, residents of Pittsburg, have been assisting him in planning to run away with the girl, and Mr. Schaffer is said to be hunting for them.
The Pittsburgh Press, Feb. 22, 1896
City Insane Hospital
A Remarkable Increase in the Number of Cases
The Male Department is Already Overcrowded and Several Patients are Now Placed in One Room - An Addition Needed.
The insane wards of the new city home at Marshalsea are now crowded, and if the present rate of increase of insane persons continues, an addition will have to be built, and that very soon.
Director Booth, of the department of charities, made this statement last week in discussing the phenomenal increase in the number of insane patients. The department has had as many as three insane cases on one day during the past few months, and seldom a day passes that at least one patient is not reported. This increase has excited much interest among the department officials as to its cause, but so far there has been no rational reason discovered. Of the 740 inmates in the home, about half are in the insane department.
The increase in the number of these cases first attracted attention about 10 months ago. It was soon after May 1, last year, that they began to come in from all parts of the city and puzzle the officials as to what disposition to make of them. They came from all classes and of all ages, and some weeks there were as many as 10 to 15 cases sent to the home. Many of them were violent and had to be kept closely guarded to prevent them from committing crimes.
The men were largely in the majority, and the male ward at the home is the most crowded. There are about 160 men and 125 insane women at the home, while 68 others are kept in the Dixmont asylum at the expense of the county. They were placed there before the new home at Marshalsea was built. The county pays a certain amount per week for each inmate at the Dixmont asylum.
The asylum at Marshalsea was built to accommodate about 300 inmates, the space being equally divided between the sexes. For a while the women were more numerous than the men, but a change has occurred and the men are increasing much more rapidly than the women, and the space allowed to them is fully occupied. Many of them have to be confined to separate cells, as they are dangerous, while other rooms can be occupied by several persons. The number of keepers has been increased. A short time ago councils added to the number of keepers on the recommendation of Director Booth. Most of these were assigned to the insane department. Director Booth, in speaking of the probably needs of the insane department, said:
"If the present increase in the numbers of demented inmates continues, there is only one thing to be done, build an addition to the men's side of the hospital. It is already filled to its proper capacity. The women's department is not so bad and there is still room for additional inmates. In all my experience on the poor board I have never seen or known when there were so many insane cases. They are coming in almost every day, and some days we get two or three. I can't account for this condition of affairs, but matters are surely growing worse. The insane have to be taken care of, and the charge of keeping the home is growing larger each year. The number of insane cases has almost doubled within the last year, and if this rate keeps up we cannot care for them unless an addition is made to the building. I might add that the number of insane cases from the mill districts has been unusually large and they comprise a majority of the cases reported."
The Pittsburgh Press, June 4, 1897, page 1
Suicide at Marshalsea
A Demented Man with Considerable Money Ended His Life.
Fred Schafer, a German, aged 31 years, was picked up by police on the South Side yesterday morning and turned over to the department of charities. Schafer appeared to be out of his mind and was sent to the poor farm at Marshalsea. He was found hanging there in his bedroom at 5 o'clock this morning, having committed suicide during the night.
Police Office James Johnson found Schafer wandering aimlessly about in the vicinity of No. 7 police station. He had a silver watch and chain, 34 cents in change and a bank book showing that there was $435 belonging to him on deposit in the Northern Trust company's bank, Chicago, in his pocket. When he was turned over to the department of charities Inspector Hoffman saw the man was not in his right mind and so he sent him out to the poor farm in charge of Inspector Diehl. He appeared to want to go there and gave no intimation what he contemplated suicide. The watchman found him hanging in his room on making his rounds early this morning. Schafer appeared to have been dead several hours.
Schafer was a married man. He came to this country ten months ago, leaving behind him his wife, Amelia, and their newly-born baby. He went out to Chicago and secured a position as a waiter in a restaurant. Beer was sold there and as Schafer was a temperance man he declined to serve drinks and quit. After that he went to Armstrong county and worked for several weeks with a farmer. Then he got homesick, and it is believed that this affected his mind. The German consul was notified of his death and will send Schafer's money to his widow in Germany.
The Pittsburgh Press, Dec. 24, 1897, page 2
An Enjoyable Time that is Promised the Unfortunates.
The 710 inmates of the city farm at Marshalsea will not be forgotten by Director George Booth and Supt. George Linderman. Everything will be done to give them a good time. Confined in the building are about 43 children. These little ones on Christmas eve will hang up their stockings to see what Santa Claus will bring them. The usual Christmas exercises will be held at the home on Christmas eve and the several hundred inmates with two or three hundred others will be ushered into the large chapel in the evening.
An excellent program has been arranged for with Supt. Linderman as director and Dr. Charles Owens as manager, Miss Agnes M. Wenzel will be pianist of the occasion. The performance will consist of vocal and instrumental music, with a few recitations. Following is the program: Anthem, "O, Little Town of Bethlehem:, chorus: recitation, "Orthodox Team,: Miss Lillian Shade, vocal solo, selected, Miss Louise Loomis; tableau, "Angels' Watch,: Misses Whan, Phillips and Symers; vocal solo, "Queen of the Earth,: Alex. Chas. Owens, M.D.; tableau, "Ten Virgins," Misses McNulty, Sowers, Whan, McDermott, Flanagan, Campbell, Harvey, Trimble, Horner Phillips, vocal duet, "Lover's Quarrel," Miss Emma Fox and Mr. Frank Bell; dialogue, "Mr. and Mrs. Thompson," Misses Lillian and Florence Shade, duet, violin and piano, selected, Howard Arbogast and Miss Wenzel; tableau, "Peak Sisters," Misses Whan, Phillips, Sowers, Symers, Harvey, Horner, McNulty, Flanagan, McDermott, Campbell, Trimble, Patterson and Mrs. S. E. Shade; vocal solo, selected, Miss Louise Loomis; tableau, "A Young Man's Dread," Miss Minnie Sowers, piano solo, selected, Miss Agnes M. Wenzel, duet, "La Chatelain," Misses Lillian and Florence Shade; Christmas carol, chorus.
A real Christmas dinner will be served to the inmates on Christmas day. It will consist of 1,000 pounds or roast turkey with cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, celery and pickles, bread, butter, tea, coffee, apples, oranges and candy. Of the 710 inmates of the home and hospitals 380 are insane. These will be entertained just as well as the more fortunate inmates during the day. The insane inmates will not be allowed to leave their wards, but they will receive their candy and presents as well as their share of turkey. The director said that the people living around Marshalsea enjoyed the feast as well as the inmates. The young women and men flock to the home of Christmas day and act as waiters.
The Pittsburgh Press, Dec. 24, 1897, page 2
AT THE POOR SOCIETY
Many Willing Hands Aided in Alleviating Cases of Distress.
Christmas cheer reigned at the office of the Society for the Improvement of the Poor on Sixth avenue. Great quantities of provisions and clothing have been coming in all wee, and the office was besieged today by persons anxious to share in the distribution. The lame, the hurt, and the blind were there, and despite their sad lot in life it was plain to be seen that at least a measure of Christmas joy had entered their hearts.
The work of distribution kept a large number of women busy. They all take great pleasure in brining happiness to so many persons, but their labors are fatiguing, and the end of the present rush is earnestly wished.
One of the largest contributions of the week was that from the Forbes school, consisting of many wagonloads of provisions. More than 100 cans of tomatoes came in the load.
Most of the deserving poor receive aid by calling at the office, but in many families contagious diseases are prevailing. To reach these it was necessary to press several wagons into use.
The Pittsburgh Press, June 26, 1900, page 15
A VISIT TO THE MARSHALSEA HOME
Improvements Suggested - Supt. Linderman Highly Commended.
As stated in the Press yesterday, the city officials, councilmen, and others paid a visit to the City Home at Marshalsea. The invitation was extended by Director Anderson. During the visit the condition and needs of the Home were freely discussed by Mayor Diehl and others. A flattering tribute to the excellent management of Superintendent Linderman, extending through a long term of hears, and thanks were tendered to him for the hospitable reception extended.
Supt. Linderman in reply said the wise foresight of the late Director Booth had made possible the present economical and satisfactory system. He then made a strong plea for an advance in wages of the employes of the institution. Linderman said the wages had not been advanced for 22 years and that if the city wished to retain the services of the capable assistants it would have to pay them as other institutions are doing. Many of the employes have been in the city's service for eight and ten years, while Assistant Superintendent Frank Krehan is completing his eleventh year. Dr. C. W. Wilkins, the physician of the Insane departments, his fourteenth year, and Miss Maggie Hale, in charge of the female insane pavilion, her twenty-second year. Dr. Wilkins also spoke of the conduct of the institution and necessary self-sacrifices of the employes.
There are at present 627 inmates in the home, of these 283 men and 224 women are insane.
The improvements contemplated are two new building for the insane. The buildings will accommodate 250 people. The foundations for them are now under way. The party traveled in a special train and returned at 3:30 o'clock well pleased with their trip.
The Pittsburgh Press, May 9, 1901, page 1
Mother Makes Grave Charges
Mrs. Susan O'Conner Thinks Marshalsea Officials Caused Son's Death.
Coroner Jesse M. McGeary has been asked to investigate the cause of the death of William O'Connor, of 6424 Aurelia street, which occurred at Marshalsea yesterday. The man's mother, Mrs. Susan O'Connor, this morning went to No. 6 police station and informed Sergt. John Nolan that she believed her son had died from neglect and abuse and demanded that an investigation be made. The sergeant notified the coroner and he will inquire into the matter.
The man was 36 years of age and insane and had been confined in the institution at various times in the last two years. When his body was brought home, Mrs. O'Connor says, it was covered with bruises and cuts that indicated, in her belief, that the patient had been subjected to inhumane abuse. His death she thinks was caused by ill treatment.
The face of her dead son, Mrs. O'Connor declares, bears marks of burns which may have been caused by vitriol. Cuts on his face and head disfigure his countenance almost beyond recognition, so Mrs. O'Connor says. Welts on his limbs, she assets, must have been caused by being struck with a heavy club. His left wrist was broken. O'Connor was a quiet patient and his mother says that his peaceable disposition would not necessitate any harsh measures.
The Pittsburgh Press, July 25, 1901, page 2
AUSTRIAN SOLDIER DIES AT MARSHALSEA
Another Man of Same Nationality was Taken There Today.
Joseph Sleta, age 27 years, died this morning at Marshalsea. He arrived in this country from Austria May 13, on the steamship Lahn, and came directly to Pittsburg, where he has since been working. He became sick, probably from the heat, on Tuesday and stayed at his boarding house until yesterday, when Dr. Donnan advised that he be sent to Marshalsea. He had in a pocket an honorable discharge from the Austrian army.
Carl Knoald, 26 years old, also an Austrian, was taken to Marshalsea today. He has been in the United States since December 7. He came here to work in the steel mills at Sharon, but finding that they were operated by non-union men, decided to return to Philadelphia. He was very sick with dropsy. If he recovers he will be sent to Philadelphia.
The Pittsburgh Press, Nov. 19, 1901
Cancer Closed His Career
John Conway Died at Home of His Father on South Side.
John Conway, who served five years in prison for the murder of Patrick Gallagher, died last midnight at the home of his father, Patrick Conway, 1814 Merriman's Alley, South Side, from cancer. He was 27 years of age, and had been in poor health for some time.
Conway and Gallagher were inseparable companions and were glassblowers. They were more like brothers and were nearly always found together. They used to test their strength by amateur boxing contests and would keep it up until one or the other was physically exhausted. In the spring of 1896 the two companions, with several other young men, had been drinking, and while on their way home a fight was proposed between Conway and Gallagher. This was agreed to and while the principals were engaged, several of the others pitched into Conway, who was getting the better of Gallagher. Conway drew his knife and stabbed the first one within his reach. It was his friend Gallagher. Although Conway stabbed Gallagher on his body, the wound from which he died in a few hours was inflicted on the back over the heart. Conway was arrested and found guilty of the murder and was sentenced to serve seven years.
Later, on account of the doubt that had arisen as to the infliction of the fatal wound, a petition was gotten up in favor of a pardon for Conway, and among the signers were the aged father and mother of the victim. Conway's sentence was reduced by good conduct, and on being released he was sent to the infirmary at Marshalsea, on account of his feeble health. About a month ago it was perceived that his end was approaching and he was taken to the home of his father, where he died.
The Pittsburgh Press, June 25, 1902, page 1
DIED AT MARSHALSEA
Thomas Gannon Succumbed to Injuries
Thomas Gannon, about 45 years of age, and married, residing at 340 Third avenue, died at 7:30 o'clock this morning at the city home at Marshalsea, where he was taken yesterday afternoon. It is said that he had been injured, but in what manner is unknown.
The Pittsburgh Press, Jan. 10, 1903, page 1
Told a Tale of Cruelty
Ryther Heavily Fined for Neglect of His Family
Small Children in Want.
Neighbors Said Wife Died from Want Of Care
Babies Sent to Marshalsea
Clarence Ryther, of Spring Garden borough, was fine $50 and costs or 90 days to the workhouse this morning by Alderman Samuel Abernathy, of Allegheny on a charge of cruelty and neglect to his four minor children. The case was one of the most unusual that has been recorded for some time.
According to the testimony of the neighbors who appeared at the hearing, Ryther makes a good salary. But they averred he was more fond of drinking and having a good time by himself than of contributing to the support of his children and his wife. Mrs. Ryther have birth to a child on January 4 and died on January 8. The neighbors testified that if the woman had had better attention and the necessary food, the chances are she might have lived. It did not develop at the hearing whether the woman had medical attention or not. She was buried by the Pittsburg Department of Charities.
The children are all babies. The eldest is Ruth, age 7. The others are Eva, age 8; Minnie, aged 14 months, and the baby born on January 4, who is therefore 6 days old. Neighbors have been caring for the children, and they testified that had not some of the people living in the neighborhood cared for them once in a while the children would have gone without food for some time.
It was brought out at the hearing that after the neighbors had arranged the body of the wife for burial, Ruther came into the room and committed a heinous act. Agent J. N. Kidney, of the Humane Society, was notified about the family, and on December 31 warned Ryther, threatening suit if he did not provide for the family. This did not seem to have any effect, and on January 8 suit was entered.
The children are all bright little tots, but they were very scantily clothed. They were sent to Marshalsea by Agent Kidney today. Ruther did not seem to be the least affected at the hearing. He denied everything, and was not troubled, apparently, when the fine was imposed.
The Pittsburgh Press, Mar 10, 1903
Two Men End Their Lives
One Took Poison and the Other Used a Revolver - Both were Caused by Worry
Two men ended their lives because of worry. One had lost a leg and the other had been sunstruck. One took poison and the other used a revolver.
Heny Maybaum, aged 38 years, committed suicide early this morning at the residence of his brother-in-law Jeremiah Corwley, of 5634 Eva street, East End. Maybaum had been an inmate of Marshalsea for the past four years. Yesterday he decided to visit his brother-in-law, Mr. Crowley, in the East End. He arrived there about 8 o'clock in the evening and passed the evening pleasantly over a game of euchre with his brother-in-law. Later in the evening he asked Mrs. Crowley that he might be permitted to sleep in the kitchen. The latter was unwilling that he should sleep there and made him a bed on the second floor. About 10 o'clock Maybaum retired.
Early in the morning he is thought to have gone down to the kitchen, but was not heard by the members of the family. Her he is supposed to have mixed a dose of Paris green in a glass tumbler. After he had drained the contents of the glass he walked to the stove in the kitchen and stuck the box with its remaining contents into the fire. A portion of Paris green was spilled on the surface of the stove.
Maybaum then went into the parlor and, placing his crutches in a corner, lay down on the parlor rug before the fire. Here he was found about 9 o'clock this morning by August Bertram, a boarded. Life was extinct and the face of the dead man was fearfully discolored.
Some years ago Maybaum fell from a freight car in Ohio and had his right leg cut off at the knee. Previous to this he had been employed by the Westinghouse company at East Pittsburg as a skilled mechanic. He was unable to fill his position, and being without work, was finally compelled to go to Marshalsea where he has been living for several years. Deceased is survived by two small children, who have been making their home with their grandparents at 78 Fremont street, Allegheny. It is though that continual worry over his inability to support himself and children finally led him to end his life.
The Pittsburgh Press, Aug 5, 1903, page 2
Count Seized with Insanity
He Was Arrested and Will Be Sent to Marshalsea
Attack was Very Sudden
Queer Actions Attracted Attention at Hotel Lincoln
Registered as Jean Kraty.
Jean Kraty, the supposed Hungarian count who was arrested yesterday morning at Forbes and Magee streets while acting in an insane manner will be turned over to the department of charities this afternoon and sent to Marshalsea. Little is known of Kraty. He is a Hungarian, said to be a member of one of that country's nobility, and speaks no English.
At 1 o'clock yesterday morning Kraty was walking along Fourth avenue. Suddenly he was seized with a violent fit of insanity. He ran along the street, shouting at the top of his voice. The course he took led him out Forbes street, and at the corner of Magee street he was placed under arrest and sent to Central Police Station.
His conduct in the cell was such that the police were forced to place him in a padded cell to prevent him from harming himself. He immediately played havoc with the padded apartment, ripping the chusions from the wall, all the while shrieking in rage, and the attendants were forced to further secure his safety.
Kraty came to this city on Sunday. He has been in the country but a month, the most of the time being spent with friends in McKees Rocks and Duquesne. On Sunday afternoon he registered at the Hotel Lincoln, writing his name in bold fashion as Jean Kraty, and his residence as Hongeric.
He carried considerable baggage, about eight pieces in all, and after he had seen this carried to his room he rested for an hour or so. Then he came down to the main lobby of the hotel. His appearance was very unkempt; he wore no collar, and he smoked a great long pipe. After looking around he went to his room, where he remained until the next day.
On Monday afternoon the employes of the hotel were startled to see him running through the corridors, carrying his shoes under his arm. He wore red hose. After running down the front steps of the hotel he sat down on the lower steps, drew on his shoes and ran up the street as hard as he could.
Monday evening he came downstairs, dressed in a suit very much resembling the pajamas worn in this country. He also wore a heavy leather belt. Going into the café, he ordered dinner, and the waiters refused to serve it, informing him that his costume was entirely out of place.
He returned to his room, dressed, left the hotel and this was the last seen of him there. The police, after his arrest, found one of the keys of the Hotel Lincoln in his pocket and returned it.
It was stated at the hotel this morning that the man's appearance was not that of a count, as he was very unkempt and his clothes were soiled and uncared for. This may be due, however, to his insane condition. The police will try to communicate with his friends so as to have him taken away from Marshalsea.
The Pittsburgh Press, June 28, 1904
Found Freak In Empty Room
Long Haired Idiot Boy Abandoned by Showmen Who Meant to Exhibit Him
Will Go to Marshalsea
Abandoned by men who sought to profit by its mental and physical deformities a male freak, about 18 years, was discovered yesterday afternoon in the third floor of the rooming house at 545 Second avenue. About the time of the discovery was made by Mrs. Annie Dropple, the landlady, Superintendent of Police Wallace received an anonymous communication from the men who had left the freak, telling him where it could be found.
The case is the most heartless in the history of the local police department, and for a time the authorities were puzzled as to what steps to take. Finally it was decided to send the freak to Homeopathic hospital until this morning, when it will be taken to the city home at Marshalsea.
About 10 o'clock Sunday morning two well dressed men called at Mrs. Dropple's boarding house and asked if they might rent a room. She informed them that there was but one vacant room in the house and that it was furnished with only a bed and mattress.
"That's all right. We have traveled about 100 miles and are very tired. We are going to show at the Swissvale carnival next week," said one of the strangers as he passed upstairs. Two hours later the men left the house and Mrs. Dropple did not see them return. It was learned last night, however, that about midnight neighbors say a closed carriage drive to the door. Two men alighted and between the carried a long, closely wrapped bundle into the house, while the carriage drove rapidly away. This was the last seen of the strangers.
About 10 o'clock yesterday morning Mrs. Dropple went to the third floor front room which she had rented to the strangers. They were nowhere to be seen, but on the bed lay the form of a half animal, half man continually beating its head on the mattress. She fled in a fright and at once notified Patrolman McCready, who investigated and then notified the police.
Capt. Bartley went to the house in company with Superintendent of Detectives McQuaide and Detectives Kelly and Cole. The officers found the freak still beating its head against the bed. It was beyond all doubt the most pitiable specimen of a human being imaginable. It had the face and long hair of a woman, while the trunk of its body was distorted and splotched with patches of long wiry hair. Its limbs were about the thickness of a man's wrist and were bent and twisted. It was about 5 feet 6 inches in height and weighed about 100 pounds. On the bed beside its head was a piece of meat which had evidently been left for it by the men who abandoned it. At 10 o'clock last night it was removed to Homeopathic hospital.
The being was bereft of reason and could not talk. Judging by all indications, Superintendent McQuaide stated that the freak had evidently been exhibited throughout the country as a missing link of wild man, and this theory was confirmed upon returning to central police station where Superintendent Wallace had just received a mysterious letter which explained the matter. The letter read:
Chief of Police, Pittsburgh, sir, at 545 Second street you will find in the third floor front an unfortunate boy who is foolish and who is singularly marked and possesses peculiar characteristics. He is entirely harmless and helpless because he knows no more than an animal. I was here with him with the intention of putting him with a carnival, but they refused to do as they agreed. I have been compelled to abandon him to be put in a home by the proper authorities. He has no living father or mother, he has no friends. I have kept him until I broke and cannot do so longer,
The letter was unsigned and bore the postmark of the Pittsburgh postoffice. The police are making an effort to learn the identity of the men.
The Pittsburgh Press, Dec. 18, 1904, page 26
Sent to Marshalsea
Greek Twice Refused by Charities Department Adjudged Insane.
After having been dismissed twice by the department of charities, Emanuel Papadozanlas, a Greek, of No. 123 Fourth avenue, was yesterday committed to Marshalsea, as insane. The unfortunate Greek, laboring under various hallucinations, was taken to the department of charities and corrections on Thursday, but was allowed to go. On Friday he was sent to the Central Police Station, but after an examination was turned out. During the evening he returned to the detective bureau, where he continued his harangue, and was again locked up. Yesterday physicians from the department of charities and corrections examined him and pronounced him insane.
Daniel Boyle, who was arrested at No. 4 Police Station, was also adjudged insane. William Wagner, of No. 409 Water street, was found to be insane and all three men were sent to the city home at Marshalsea.
The Pittsburgh Press, Dec. 19, 1904
Insane Man Believed Himself an Apostle
Thomas Howard, age 48 years, was committed to the insane department of the city home, at Marshalsea, this morning by the department of charities. Howard was arrested at the New Covenant Mission, in Lawrenceville, by Policeman Alexander Cameron, on complaint of Miss Bella Reuben, of No. 333 Forty-Second street. Last night Howard entered the mission and declared he was the Son of God, and was on his way to Washington to boycott the President. When the policeman placed him under arrest, he declared he was St. John the Baptist, and was sent here by Christ.
The sergeant and policeman testified to his actions while confined at the station and he was adjudged insane by physicians. He will be taken to Marshalsea this afternoon.
The Pittsburgh Press, Dec. 27, 1904
Sick Prisoner Will Be Sent to Marshalsea
Police officials have to deal with a sad case in the disposition of Annie Denning, or Miller, of Lawrenceville, who has been received numerous times at the stations under charges of drunkenness, and efforts are being made to have her sent to Marshalsea. The woman spends about three-fourths of her time in prison, but is now sick and must be cared for. She appears willing to leave liquor along, but she is only out of jail or the workhouse a short time until she is returned under the old charge. She was arrested a few days ago under the name of Annie Denning and sent to jail for a few days. Last night she was again arrested under the name of Annie Miller. She is now ill and is in charge of the matron at Central Station, while efforts are being made to have her sent to the city home.
The Pittsburgh Press, Apr 17, 1905, page 16
Mrs Margaret Ellis May Escape Marshalsea
Woman Who Jumped from Window May Be Sent to Friends.
What disposition will be made of Mrs. Margaret Ellis after she is entirely recovered at the Homeopathic Hospital is a question. She jumped from a third story window on Third avenue a month ago, presumably with suicidal intent. The hospital authorities had expected her to go to Marshalsea upon her recovery. The hospital has received a letter from Mrs. J. Guy Atkinson, No. 807 East Third Street, Mt. Mishawaka, Ind., offering to care for Mrs. Ellis if she should come to Mishawaka, until such time as she could care for herself.
The writer of the letter states that she has some influence, as her husband is a nephew of ex-Governor Atkinson of West Virginia, and she also states that Mrs. Ellis is no more insane than herself, and that the unfortunate woman was suffering from an attack of vertigo at the time she was hurt. Previous letters from the same street address in Mishawaka, addressed to Mrs. Ellis at the hospital, have been received from Cora Van Tassell.
The Pittsburgh Press, July 22, 1907, page 2
INMATE OF MARSHALSEA ENDS LIFE BY HANGING
Louis H. Mattern, aged 68 years, married, an inmate of the insane department at Marshalsea, ended his life by hanging himself shortly after noon today. He was found suspended by his suspenders to his window frame at 1:30 o'clock this afternoon.
He was committed to the institution on May 29, owing to threats to take his life at his home on Morgan street. He tried to escape from the institution two or three times and made threats to end his life. The case was reported to the coroner.
Mattern waited until one of the nurses left the vicinity of his room in the insane section this afternoon and then quickly suspended himself to the window. When the nurse returned Mattern was found dead.
The New York Times, Aug 1, 1907
ONE KILLED IN ASYLUM FIRE
Pittsburg Institutions at Marshalsea Threatened with Destruction.
Pittsburg, July 31 - Fire that threatened to destroy the municipal institution of this city at Marshalsea, twelve miles from here, started at 10 o'clock to-night and at midnight was burning and threatened to wipe out all the buildings.
The fire started in the laundry of the main building and quickly spread to those on either side. The administration building and the hospital were destroyed.
As there is no fire fighting apparatus at the institution to cope with a fire of this magnitude, help was summoned from this city. Five fire engines were put aboard special trains and sent to the scene. With the second train a number of police and county detectives were sent to assist the attendants at the institution in caring for the inmates of the poor and insane wards.
They were ordered out as soon as the fire began to spread, and were herded together on the lawn a short distance from the burning buildings.
The 589 patients, all more or less violent, were made frantic by the glare of the flames shining through their barred windows, but the attendants, aided by firemen and detectives, got them out safely.
Samuel Means, an employe, was caught under falling walls and killed. The injured are W. H. Laiken and Senton Thornton employes, both of whom may die.
The fire was brought under control with an estimated loss of $25,000.
The New York Times, Aug. 1, 1907
INSANE DIE IN FIRE
Marshalsea Home, Near Pittsburgh Ablaze - Rescuers Hurt.
Pittsburg, July 31. Fire started tonight at Marshalsea, Pittsburg's municipal institution, located on the Pan Handle Railroad, twelve miles west of the city.
Fire apparatus is being loaded on a special train and rushed to the scene of the fire. Hundreds of the city's poor and insane are lodged at Marshalsea.
Four or five inmates are reported to have been killed. Two attendant have been seriously injured while rescuing inmates.
The Spokesman Review, Aug, 1, 1907, page 4
FATAL FIRE AT MARSHALSEA
Municipal Institutions Ablaze - Man Killed Under Wall.
Pittsburg, Pa., July 31 - Fire that threatened to destroy the municipal institutions of this city at Marshalsea, 12 miles from here, broke out at 10 o'clock tonight and did $25,000 damage. The fire started in the laundry of the main building and quickly spread to those on either side. The administration building and the hospital were destroyed, and one man was killed by falling walls. Two employes of the city were seriously injured.
The dead: Samuel Means, employe; caught under falling walls and crushed to death.
The injured: W H. Lalken, employe; caught by wall; condition serious. Santon Thornton, employe; caught by walls; condition serious.
The Pittsburgh Press, Aug 1, 1907
City Home Fire Victims Are Yet Panic Stricken
Pittsburg Fireman Returned Home Today
Did Good Work
May Call Meeting of Councils.
MARSHALSEA FIRE SUMMARY.
Samuel Means, assistant cook, crushed under falling wall; back broken; body recovered.
Thomas M. MCGinn, insane inmate, dead from apoplexy, due to excitement.
W. H. Larkin, attendant, caught by falling wall and his leg broken, internally injured, and may die.
Benton Thornton, attendant, caught under wall; his dislocated.
Thomas Irwin, attendant; with hose at window; jumped from the flames and has several broken ribs.
Henry Brush, attendant; caught under wall, ribs broken; will recover.
W. R. Williams, superintendent of the institution; bruised by falling brick.
The Loss - between $40,000 and $50,000
Building Destroyed - Laundry and inmates' kitchen
Buildings Damaged - The chapel and bake shop
Buildings Saved - Administration and main buildings.
When Fire Started - About 9 o'clock last evening.
When Flames were Extinguished - 3 o'clock this morning.
Number of Inmates - Between 900 and 1,000
Aid Rushed from Pittsburg - Fourteen firemen, mostly from Engine Company No. 3, the county detectives and a squad of policemen in charge of Assistant Superintendent Edward Kennelly, Captain McCabe and Lieutenant Ford.
Insurance of the Institution - $386,300 which covers last night's loss.
After a sleepless night, the terrorized inmates of the city home at Marshalsea, which was visited by a costly fire last night, today are still in a state verging on panic.
The firemen from Pittsburg returned to the city about 6 o'clock this morning from Marshalsea. The flames were extinguished at 3 o'clock this morning on the buildings, but the fireman remained on duty until about 5:15 o'clock. Superintendent W. R. Williams, of Marshalsea, made use of the cottage building to prepare breakfast for the wards of Marshalsea. The building is equipped with a large kitchen.
The office building and cottages were used to house the inmates during the early morning hours. The inmates were not sent to Woodville, as was at first thought to be necessary. Director J. P. Shaw, of the department of charities and correction, was on the ground all night. No additional accidents were reported.
Dr. Shaw went to Marshalsea on the special train leaving the city with the firemen and police at 10:30 o'clock last night. He remained all night and was still there this morning. Chief Clerk M. F. Larkin accompanied him last night and returned home this morning. He is in charge of the office with the other clerks on Fourth avenue.
Farmers Did Good Work
Many Inquiries were made of him this morning by relatives concerning persons housed at the buildings at Marshalsea. He said the loss would probably reach $50,000. The insurance men are at Marshalsea today to adjust the insurance. Mr. Larkin paid a high compliment to farmers residing in the vicinity of the institution. He said that they had driven hurriedly to the buildings and gave all possible assistance to the employes there in fighting the flames.
Many in the country were attracted by the flames and walked or ran to the scene. Mr. Larkin said the laundry building, with all the machinery, was a total loss, and the loss on this building alone is about $20,000.
Superintendent Williams said that a meeting of the committee of charities and corrections would be held at the City Hall this afternoon, when probably preliminary arrangements would be made for rebuilding. He stated that although the list of injured looked big, none of them had been very badly hurt and all were doing well today.
The big kitchen for the institution was put out of commission by the fire, but recourse was had this morning to a very serviceable kitchen in the insane department. Here the meals were all cooked on time, and the only inconvenience experienced was the carrying of them a distance of about 900 feet. Most inconvenience, however, will be caused by the loss of the laundry.
Marshalsea is one of the few institutions where all the laundry work of the inmates and officials is done at the institution. It will take some time before laundry machinery can be obtained and put in position, and, in the meantime, other arrangements will have to be temporarily made.
All the city police have not been withdrawn from the scene of the fire. This is visiting day at the institution, and as it was expected that an unusually large crowd, drawn by the fire, would be present, it was decided to have several of the city officers on duty to prevent disorder or increasing the accident list.
The police officers also returned today said that the arrival of the city firemen perhaps prevented a conflagration. When the detail of 14 firemen arrived at the city farm they went at the fire in a practical manner and shortly after the flames were extinguished.
Chief Miles S. Humphreys sent 2,000 feet of hose and a number of ladders and small apparatus to Marshalsea. This apparatus was loaded on a flat car. Lieutenant William Zipp was in charge of the detail of firemen who were chosen from Nos. 3 and 30 fire companies.
A number of city detectives were detailed to the fire and they assisted in removing the inmates from danger.
Mayor Guthrie's Comment
Mayor George W. Guthrie said that he had determined some time ago to recommend the enlargement of the institution, and Dr. Shaw has been at work preparing plans for an addition. The mayor said this morning that he thought the insurance on the burned buildings would be sufficient to make at least temporary repairs.
"It was indeed fortunate that the fire did not break out in the hospital building," said Mayor Guthrie. "It makes by blood run cold when I think of what might have happened there if such had been the case."
Was A Roaring Furnace
The fire started in the extensive laundry, presumably from the explosion of the water heater, at about 9 o'clock. When discovered, that part of the building was a roaring furnace. Means for fighting a conflagration of such proportions were not at hand, nor could they be secured in time to avail.
However, Superintendent W. R. Williams and as many of the employes as were at the place, with their two hose reels, went to work, valiantly battling with the flames. In spite of their efforts the fire rapidly spread, gaining headway, and threatening the destruction of the entire property. When the flames communicated with the bake-shop across a small court, Superintendent Williams informed the Pittsburg fire department that his apparatus was entirely inadequate, and the fire beyond possibility of control, and several trucks and engines were rushed by special train to the farm.
When the city department arrives, the roof of the chapel was aflame and the institution seemed doomed. Several strong streams of water were soon playing upon the flames and after a fight of desperation, at 12:30 o'clock, this morning, the fire was under control and danger of further spreading of the flames had passed. It was several hours before the department ceased its work and returned to the city.
Scenes of Terror.
Deeds of heroism, mixed with scenes of terror; the crackling of the flames, the shouts of the crazed, the groans of the ill - all combined to make up the story of the fire.
Force had to be used to prevent panic-stricken inmates from rushing headlong into danger. Driven frantic by the roar of the flames, dazed by the flashes of lightning, and booming of thunder overhead, dripping wet from the torrent of rain that descended upon them, they, in their mental weakness, knew not where to turn for safety, and rushed singly and in throngs, hither and thither. Only the strong arms of employes and attendants restrained them, herded the helpless together in spots of safety, comforted the aged and weak-hearted, cheered the weeping, and - when need be - forced them into submission.
While the fire and elements were most spectacular in their terrifying combination, 20 women nurses heroically took their lives in their hands and guarded more than 200 insane women in their removal from the main structure to cottages. Wrought to the highest pitch of their manias, the inmates, all unknowing of the fearful havoc threatening, laughed, sang, screamed and swore, some dancing with glee, and were led away through the open, necessity taking them near to where the flames were booming unrestrained. Finally all were safely lodged in the cottages and beyond the immediate danger zone.
Order Out of Chaos.
But the night's work of the faithful guardians had only begun, for with the exciting events their charges had just passed through, the roaring flames plainly within view, the crashing to thunder and blinding glare of lightning all about added to the frenzy and wildness and the indescribably and unrestrainable pandemonium continued until the dawn of day. Fortunately, none were serious sufferers from the exciting conditions and gradually a semblance of order was brought out of the chaos.
The terror of the aged people was indeed pitiable. Many of them, helpless to move body or limb, lay quivering on their cots in the home department, crying and shrieking for aid. Attendants as quickly as possible carried them to the lawn and beyond possible danger, but even then their terror did not end. In vain their nurses endeavored to quiet them. Some shrieked, others prayed, many began to sing hymns. Almost every nation in the world is represented at Marshalsea, and the babel was indescribable.
Suddenly, and almost as if by preconcerted agreement, there came a rush from the midst of the throng of the stronger ones, and the attendants were swept from their feet. With cries and yells, men and women dashed among and over the costs of the helpless, adding to their terror, and made for the place they had known as home for so long to their rooms where their keepsakes of days gone by, kept green by memories of the past. For a short time the rush could not be stemmed.
Fought Their Way Back.
Finally attendants gained control and again marched them by twos and threes out upon the lawn, but many would break away and fight their way back to the buildings. This was repeated time and again and was only ceased when they were forced down upon the grass and held there until their terror subsided.
While the heavy rainfall assisted materially in subduing the fire, it added greatly to the discomfort of every one, and the moment that the fire was controlled, making safe the buildings unharmed by the flames, the victims were made as comfortable as was possible.
The disaster that overtook Superintendent Williams and his men, resulting in the casualties, was almost unavoidable. Samuel Means was on a ladder directing a stream of water, when without warning, the front wall of the laundry building collapsed. The roof cam down, and with the crumbling wall, the roof and the ladder went Means. His body was recovered at midnight. His back had been broken, and the corpse was doubled up in a manner indicating that death must have been almost instantaneous.
Irwin was at one of the windows of the administration building, using a hose, when a great gust of flame compelled him to leap to the ground, breaking several of his ribs.
Larkin, Thornton and Brush were caught under falling debris and were badly hurt.
The Pittsburgh Press, Jan 21, 1908, page 1
Marshalsea In Crowded Condition
Number of Inmates of Home Department are Compelled to Sleep on the Floors of the Halls
Councilmen Find Fine Improvements
Members of the sub-committee appointed by councils to investigate the condition of the buildings of the city poor farm at Marshalsea, found the institution much over-crowded, while on their inspection trip this afternoon. There are 1,067 inmates, 50 more than ever before. The home department is so crowded that a number of the inmates are compelled to sleep on mattresses in the halls. There are 107 persons in the insane department.
In the party were J. P. O'Donnell, chairman of the sub-committee; Councilmen William Metcalf and Edward Kenna. City Clerk E.J. Martin and Director J. P. Shaw, of the department of charities and correction. The party was shown about by Director Shaw and Superintendent Michael Larkin.
Of the $175,000 appropriated by councils to make repairs, following the fire of July 31, $26,000 has been expended, so Director Shaw stated.
Chapel is Repaired
A new roof has been placed on the damaged chapel and the room is ready for services next Sunday.
The destroyed kitchen has been replaced by a better one - a fireproof structure.
The laundry was not replaced, the site being left bare, owing to the crowded condition of the buildings. The new laundry was placed in the Power building, with new and better machinery, the whole costing $7,000.
Fire escapes have been placed all around the institution.
The new $5,000 building for the tuberculosis camp is about completed. A fine feature is the 12-foot porch, on which the patients sleep at night.
As soon as the new power plant is completed, a volunteer fire department will be established in the old engine room.
The party was entertained at dinner on arrival.
The Pittsburgh Press, April 27, 1908
Woman Goes to City Home
Mrs. Celia Krall was taken to the City Home at Marshalsea yesterday morning from No. 3 police station, where she had been confined since Saturday morning. She is decidedly good looking and is about 25 years old, but beyond that little is known of her. She was taken to the police station from a Sharpsburg street car on which she had made several round trips and refused to pay any fare.
The Pittsburgh Press, Jun 26, 1910
Brain Specialists to Work At Marshalsea
An ordinance will be presented in councils Monday night authorizing the employment of a specialist on brain diseases at the city poor farm, Marshalsea. The specialist is not to receive a salary, Dr. E. E. Meyer, an alienist and brain specialist in the faculty of the University of Pittsburg, having volunteered his services and those of several assistants.
The plan is designed to benefit both the university and the city. Medical students will be taken to Marshalsea to observe the work of the specialists. The scheme amounts practically to the establishment of a medical clinic.
The Pittsburgh Press, Aug 18, 1910 page 9
ANNUAL PICNIC IS HELD FOR MARSHALSEA INMATES
With singing and dancing, feasting and merrymaking in general, 275 inmates of Marshalsea had their annual picnic yesterday in St. Agatha's grove, Bridgeville, Superintendent M. J. Larsen in charge. It took nine hay wagons to carry the picnickers to the grove.
The fun lasted from 8 o'clock in the morning until 4:30 o'clock in the afternoon. At the long tables spread at noon time, there were served 1.100 buns, 90 watermelons, seven hames, two boxes of lemons, 11 caked and 15 gallons of ice cream.
This annual picnic is given by the superintendent of the institution, who bears all the expense of providing for the patients. A good orchestra supplied plenty of music.
Among the visitors were Director of the Department of Health, E. R. Walters, Assistant Director A. C. Gumbert, A. J. Brush, the Rev. J. C. Mattheson, Murray Laughlin, Leon Gicquelias, John F Lawler, the Rev. John B. Barry, Dr. J. C. McNeal, Jasper Morton and the Rev. A. A. Mealy.
The Pittsburgh Press, April 9, 1911, page 10
QUITS MARSHALSEA, THEN KILLS SELF
Only a few hours out of Marshalsea, Frank Zorza, aged 51 years, a sufferer from tuberculosis ended his life by shooting himself through the temple with a revolver at this home in the rear of No. 203 Shetland avenue, yesterday afternoon.
Mrs. Zorza had just returned from a shopping errand and was in an adjoining room when the shot was fired. Zorza had been an inmate at Marshalsea for some time.
The Pittsburgh Press, Jul 9, 1911
Woman Hangs Self White At City Home
Ties Sheet Around Her Nick, Attached It to Partition and Jumps Off - Had Suicidal Mania
Sent to Marshalsea After Former Attempt.
Fastening a bedsheet to a partition running between the bath room and an unused storage room, Mrs. Mary Gate, aged 50 years, of Hawthorn street, committed suicide by hanging, at the Pittsburgh City Home and Hospital, Marshalsea, yesterday at 4 p.m. The body was later found by one of the nurses employed at the institution, who called for assistance, but when the unfortunate woman was cut down, life was extinct.
Superintendent M. F. Larkin said the woman suffered from suicidal mania and had been admitted to the institution about six weeks ago, after she was alleged to have made an attempt on her life by cutting her throat at her home. In this she was frustrated by the watchfulness of relatives, and was later sent to the home in the hope of a cure being affected.
Mrs. Gate had been in her usual good spirits all of yesterday, and acted rationally up until the time she disappeared. It was ascertained by Superintendent Larkin that she had gone to the storage room where she found the bed sheet. With this she climbed part was over the partition separating the storage room from the bath room, where, after securing one end of the sheet to the wooden partition, she attached the other end to her neck and dropped.
Her husband is John Gate, a stonemason, and two children also survive, according to Larkin, who had be body removed to the morgue at the institution following the discovery.
The Pittsburgh Press, Aug, 2, 1911, page 7
Digging Canal Helps Marshalsea Patients
Working out of doors is said to be proving of immense benefit to the mentally ill inmates of the City Home at Marshalsea. Twenty-two of these patients were discharged last week, having been completely restored. Supt. M. F. Larking attributes the improvement in the condition of so many of the city's wards to the fact that he has been able to furnish outdoor employment to most of them.
During the past three months a canal 1,200 feet long, 60 feet wide and 11 feet deep has been dug on the city farm, changing the course of Chartiers creek by eliminating as "S" curve and incidentally reclaiming 6 1/2 acres of land which could not be cultivated in the past on account of its inaccessibility. Sixty-five patients were employed on this work and each of these is said to show mental and physical improvement.
The Pittsburgh Press, Aug. 5,1911, page 2
JAMES LALUS DIES AT MARSHALSEA
Was Widely Known in Athletic Circles - Formerly on Police Force
James Lalus, a former police officer, football player and athlete, died at Marshalsea today. He was taken to the city home yesterday by friends and during the night he became seriously ill. He was 50 years old and was born in Louisville, Ky. He was a member of the police bureau for 18 years, serving 10 years as a patrolman and eight years as a lieutenant. About 10 years ago he was dismissed from the police force for supposed political reasons and he entered the saloon and hotel business. He met with different success and retired. After that he engaged in different occupations.
He had resided in East Liberty for nearly 40 years. He was a member of the old Pittsburg Athlietic club, and played on the first football teams of that organization. He also organized the James Lalus football team, in 1901, and during that season his team was never defeated. He was well known among the political workers of East Liberty and at one time had a large following in the old Nineteenth ward.
Nearly a year ago his wife died and he went to reside with his married daughter, Mrs. S. C. McCutcheon, 5625 Broad st. He is survived by one sister, Mrs. A. Ritzman of this city, three children, Mrs. McCutcheon, Henry and Miss Margaret Lalus.
The Pittsburgh Press, Aug. 15, 1911, page 3
RAIN DOESN'T DAUNT MARSHALSEA PICNICKERS.
Despite the threatening aspect of the weather when they started out the annual outing of the female patients at Marshalsea was held today in Elwood grove, near Bridgeville, from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. Supt. M. F. Larkin arranged for wagons to take the inmates across the country, and during the day games, dancing and other amusements were indulged in. A fine luncheon was served on the grounds at the noon hour.
The superintendent had provided wagons and other vehicles for his charges, the conveyances being gaily decorated in honor of the occasion.
The Pittsburgh Press, Dec. 19, 1911, page 9
Women Go to Marshalsea
People waiting at the Fourth ave. station yesterday afternoon were wildly excited for a time over the actions of four women who started to scream and make things lively. They were demented and were being taken to Marshalsea by officers of the department of charities.
The Pittsburgh Press, Jan. 20, 1912, page 2
MARSHALSEA GOUGED WITH SOLON'S PROBE
No Good Reason for Having Four Physicians There and One is Dropped by Committee
Home Farmer's Family Subject to Questions.
Asst. Supt. A. C. Gumbert of the city department of charities, was before the appropriation committee of council today. He furnished a list of the employes at Marshalsea who were maintained at the farm. Most of the employes are unmarried and get their living in addition to their salary.
Councilman E. V. Babcock brought with him a note book which happened to be well filled. He made frequent references to it as he asked Mr. Gumbert questions as to conditions existing. The farmer at Marshalsea, it was brought out, occupies a six-room house on the farm, and had his daughter and her husband living with him. The son-in-law is employed by the Pittsburg Railways Co.
Mr. Babcock thought this was unjust to the city. He thought the farm family should be strictly limited to the unmarried members.
Allen T. Burns, secretary of the civic commission, called attention to the salaries received by the physicians at Marshalsea and the Northside home at Warner station. At the Northside home there are two physicians, one of whom gets $1,200 a year and the other $600. The department has trouble keeping the $600 man. At Marshalsea they have four physicians, one at $2,000, one at $1,200, one at $900 and the other at $600. Mr. Burns asked why the $600 man at Marshalsea could not be dropped and his salary given to the two physicians at Warner, which would equalize the salaries and would make it easier to keep physicians at the Northside home.
Supt. M. J. Lakin of Marshalsea said that all his physicians are needed at the institution. Dr. J. P. Kerr asked him how many of the inmates of the home were ill. Mr. Larkin said that he could not tell the exact number. He said there are 1,385 inmates. Dr. Kerr said that if a physician in general practice did not have at least 1,200 patients he could not make a living and wanted to know why it required four physicians to take care of 1,385 patients in an institution like Marshalsea.
Mr. Larkins was not clear in his explanation and on motion the committee adopted the suggestion of Mr. Burns, cutting out the $600 physician at Marshalsea and giving his salary to the two physicians at the Northside home.
The Gazette Times, Dec 21, 1912, page 9
Insanity Cure Featured at Marshalsea
Councilman Kerr Enlists Budget Makers' Aid in Humane and Economic Project.
Would Employ Alienists.
Systematic expert treatment of the insane that are sheltered at the city home t Marshalsea is to be a feature of next year's administration of municipal affairs, if Councilman J. P. Kerr has his way, and so far his colleagues in Council have expressed themselves as ready to help him. Dr. Kerr is chairman of the Councilmanic Committee on Health and Sanitation, to which all bills pertaining to the Department of Charities as well as of Health are referred.
On Monday Chairman Kerr will visit the hospital department for the insane at Marshalsea, accompanied by Drs. T. M. T. McKennan and E. E. Mayer, alienists. The party will make a thorough inspection of the premises, of the methods of practice there and of whatever curative system there is, although it always has been understood that the arrangements for healing the insane are not nearly so thorough as those for the care of their physical needs.
Wants Advanced Methods.
Dr. Kerr thinks the insane department at Marshalsea ought to be conducted on the plans followed at the most advanced institutions of like character; that patients when admitted ought to be place in a detention ward and kept under observation until the type of insanity with which they are afflicted has been determined, and then transferred to the department where they belong. Dr. Kerr says there should be departments for the hopelessly insane, for those who are mentally unsound, yet may be benefitted by treatment, and for those who apparently may be permanently cured. Local alienists have no doubt that many patients can be physically benefitted by working out in the open air on the city farm, under proper supervision, of course.
It is Dr. Kerr's idea that the financial budget for 1913 should provide the funds to engage a couple of expert alienists, who would visit Marshalsea once or twice a week and under whose supervision the methods of treatment would be conducted. Not only could proper treatment of the insane be the humane thing, Dr. Kerr says, but it would be a distinct gain from the economic standpoint, for any insane man cured is not only no longer a burden upon the city for the cost of his maintenance, but being put in position to support his family and bear the duties and burdens of citizenship, thus benefitting the state.
The Gazette Times, Jan. 7, 1913
Woman Missing Two Weeks, In Marshalsea
Madame Bray, East End Furrier, Wandered Away While Demented.
Laboring under a hallucination that motion picture men were following her to photograph her actions and that an Italian who once attempted to thrust his attentions upon her is dogging her footsteps, Madame Marie Bray, aged 55, a French woman, of 424 North Beatty street, furrier for many women in the East End, has been located in the City Home in Marshalsea, after being missing since December 20.
Since the disappearance of Madame Bray, a stream of automobiles drew up before her home and workshop in an attempt to get fur garments which the furrier was making. The door was fastened with a padlock. One man, who was having a $350 fur coat repairs, was persistent in his attempts to gain admittance.
Although Madame Bray disappeared more than two weeks ago, her friends did not become alarmed until Sunday, where her disappearance was reported to the Frankstown Avenue Police Station, and Inspector W. A. Loughrey began a search. She was found in Marshalsea where she was taken December 21.
Madame Bray went to Central Police Station the night of December 20, asking to be locked up for protection and declaring she was being pursued by motion picture men and an Italian with a knife. A revolver was found sewed in the lining of her long fur coat which she wore. In the City Home it is said her condition is serious.
The Pittsburgh Press, Apr 12, 1913, page 1
BROKEN BACK FATAL
Man Dies at Marshalsea After Seven Months
After lying on a cot for several months with a broken back Edward Long, aged 30, died at Marshalsea today.
Long, who lived with his sister, Mrs. Helen Rapp, of 235 Jarvella st., Northside was struck by a train in Lawrence county.
He was picked up for dead and taken to the station where he showed signs of life. He was rushed to a hospital where it was found that his back was broken and death was expected at any time. Long rallied, however, and was removed to Marshalsea, where he had been since.
The Pittsburgh Press, Aug, 8, 1913, page 1
Maiden Who Told Sensational Tale Goes to Marshalsea
Lena Thornton, alias Gladys Cartal, aged 17 of 48 Overhill st., arrested Wednesday night at Federal st. and Liberty ave., with Mark C. Smith, of Shady ave., was sent to Marshalsea today for medical treatment.
When arrested the girl said she and Smith were going to a room together in a downtown hotel. She said she was started in her delinquency last February by a young dentist and university youth. She gave the names of three other men who, she said, had helped her toboggan on the downward path. The police are hunting for the young dentist. Lena said the same dentist also successfully approached another girl with improper proposals.
At first the girl said she was half Spanish, and was born in Madrid. She said her people are wealthy. But the girl's mother visited her yesterday and pricked the bubble of this romance. The girl's mother is white, a Scotch woman, but the father is a negro.
Dr. D. E. Sable, police surgeon, who examined Lena yesterday said she is in a precarious condition, and must be under medical treatment for a long time.
Detectives today are searching for the dentist named by the girl as the man who ruined her. So far they have been unable to find him. The girl said the dentist had offices in a downtown building, but the officers find that no dentist by that name ever had offices in the building named by the girl. They think she may have gotten mixed in the name.
The Gazette Times, Aug 16, 1913, page 7
Marshalsea Inmate Paroled
Brooks Buffington, Found Guilty of Salesman's Murder, Will Begin Life Anew.
His Position is Waiting
Brooks Buffington, who has been an inmate of Marshalsea since May 5, 1911, after being found guilty of the murder of James Mitchell, a salesman, in the St. Charles Hotel in January, 1911, will be brought before the court this morning and admitted to parole by Judge Marshall Brown. Buffington was in court yesterday, but before the parole was granted. It was decided that a paper should be drawn up, showing on what conditions he should be released and made a [unreadable] record. The papers will be ready this morning.
At the time of the trial the defense put up a plea of insanity which the jury accepted, owing to the fact that the prosecution failed to introduce any evidence to prove contrary according to Judge Brown. It was inferred that his insanity was due to drink, but in court yesterday, attaches of the Marshalsea declared that he was not insane at the time of his incarceration and that he is not insane now.
After the case had been reviewed, Judge Brown thought it would be necessary to make certain other charges a matter of the court record and Buffington was remanded to Marshalsea for that purpose. Mrs. Buffington declard that since her husband had been confined, she had supported herself and child by doing washing.
R. C. Stack, who boards at the Buffington home in Mt. Washington, told the court that he expected to go into business for himself soon and that if Buffington was paroled, he would be taken as a foreman or superintendent in the machinery repair department of the proposed new business. One other person, probably the Rev. Mr. Isenbach, will be a second person chosen to act with the Stack and make regular reports to Chief Probation Officer Lawrence Fagan on the conduct and actions of Buffington.
When Buffington was brought into court yesterday afternoon, his child recognized him and ran to him. After a fond embrace, Mrs. Buffington and several friends talked with him. By noon tomorrow, Buffington will be in his own home.
The Pittsburgh Press, Aug 18, 1913, page 8
"DIRT CURE" GETS TRIAL AT MARSHALSEA HOME.
Believing there are curative properties for the insane in outdoor labor, close to the soil, Supt. M. F. Marks of Marshalsea, is putting 60 of his insane men to work on a canal on the grounds of the institution. Two years ago, 17 insane men were cured while working on another canal. Since then, Mr. Larkin has made a study of the subject and he believes the outside work will work a cure in the majority of the less difficult cases.
The new canal will be about 900 feet long, and will convert 21 acres of what is now useless land, to fine, tillable soil.
Three guards take care of the working men. The men are permitted to work about as they please, and are showing remarkable knowledge of how the work should be done. They are digging with picks and spades and using wheelbarrows to carry away the dirt.
Mr. Larkin is receiving letters from superintendents of insane asylums all over the country, saying the "dirt cure" as it is called, has been found efficacious in a number of cases. Miles of new fencing also are being built by the men at Marshalsea.
The Pittsburgh Press, Dec. 14, 1913, page 39
Reforms Needed for Marshalsea
Council Committee Fins Beds and Heating Apparatus are Deficient
As a result of thorough inspection made yesterday by members of a special committee of Pittsburg council, Marshalsea is likely to receive considerable larger appropriations for the ensuing year when the budget for 1914 is made up. Particular attention was paid to the insane wards, where it is said, the equipment in beds, bedding and heating apparatus is deficient.
Drs. J. P. Kerr and S. S. Woodburn, members of the special committee, accompanied Assistant Director A. C. Gumbest, of the department of charities, to Marshalsea and there, in company with Superintendent M. F. Larkin, went carefully over the whole institution to see for themselves upon what foundation the Marshalsea alienists, Drs. Theodore Diller, T. M. T. McKennan and Edward E. Mayer had based their recommendation to council. No statement concerning the alleged existing conditions was taken without corroboratory evidence. Drs. Kerr and Woodburn found that the wards for the insane patients are overcrowded, numbers of patients being obliged to sleep on the floors. They also found that the heating apparatus is entirely insufficient to provide the wards with warmth in cold weather. Supt. Larkin told the councilmen that last week he had asked for 200 beds, and that his estimate had been cut in two, and that he had twice asked for additional heaters and been refused.
It is stated that a thoroughly equipped laboratory probably will be recommended, with an X-ray machine for treatment of the insane. The buildings of the institution were found to be in good condition. It was ascertained that the insane patients are now doing much of the work formerly paid for by the city.
A meeting of the special committee and the alienists will be held this week, then the report will be gone over in detail.
The Pittsburgh Press, Feb 6, 1914
Woman Believed To Have Been Lured Away by Telegram
Responding to what appears to be a fake telegram from Cleveland, Mrs. Julia Kerster, aged 38, of 1718 Penn ave., last night threw her sister, Mrs. Mary Kane, of the same address, into a panic and caused the detective bureaus of Pittsburg and Cleveland to get busy on a mystery.
Mrs. Kerster had been informed three months ago, Mrs. Kane said today, that her husband, Stephen Kerster, a former inmate of Marshalsea had died in Cleveland. Yesterday she was startled to get this telegram:
"Your husband has been brutally murdered. Come at once. I will meet you at Grave hotel." (signed) "John Linn, Mayor."
Mrs. Kane notified the Pittsburgh detective headquarters that she thought her sister had been lured away from Pittsburg by her husband or some other person and that she feared great harm might come to the woman, who left Pittsburgh greatly excited.
Detective headquarters learned from Cleveland police last night that there was no "Grove hotel" in that city and that no such man as "John Linn" was mayor of Cleveland. The train upon which Mrs. Kerster left Pittsburg arrived 10 minutes before the Cleveland police were notified of the facts and now Mrs. Kerster is lost.
At the home of Mrs. Julia Kerster, 1718 Penn ave., it was reported that Mrs. Kerster had not been heard from today. On reaching Cleveland Mrs. Kerster found that her husband had not been murdered. The husband of Mrs. Kerster last June escaped from Marshalsea and it was the opinion of the relatives of Mrs. Kerster that the fugitive sent the telegram to his wife. Unless some word is heard from Mrs. Kerster today, Mrs. Mary Kane, a sister of Mrs. Kerster, will go to Cleveland.
The Pittsburgh Press, Mar. 20, 1914, page 6
SAYS CONDITIONS AT MARSHALSEA ARE APPALLING
Declaring that conditions in the city home at Marshalsea are so appalling as to be almost beyond belief; that the insane inmates are being "cared for" under obsolete methods, relics of the days of barbarism, and that none of the modern methods in use in "up-to-date" institutions is to be found there. Stanley H. Howe, field secretary of the Public Charities Association of Pennsylvania, with local offices in the Peoples building, says that under present conditions there is little hope of curing any of those sent there.
In a statement to the Pittsburgh Press, Mr. Howe sets forth the results of his investigation covering many of the alleged abuses and evils that are said to obtain at the home, which, when called to the attention of Director J. J. McKelvey, of the department of charities and correction, were vehemently denied.
Mr. Howe maintains that at present there is a conglomeration of the insane, feeble-minded, imbeciles, drunkards, vagrants and paupers at the institution, and says that one of the improvements needed is the separation of the insane patients from these others mentioned.
Director McKelvey, in answer declares that already the insane inmates are segregated and that they do not come in contact with those in their right mind, even when working. "The insane are housed in one section of the grounds and the vagrants, paupers and the others are kept by themselves," declares the director, who, though but recently taking charge, already has suggested many improvements, and is actually working upon them.
"The overcrowded condition at Marshalsea is responsible for many of the so-called evils said to exist there," said the director, "but these are being remedied just as quickly as possible, so that, soon we will have an institution that will be second to none in the whole state."
Following is Mr. Howe's statement which brought forth a general denial from Director McKelvey:
"The conditions I found in Marshalsea when I made my survey there are simply terrible. They are using barbaric methods there to care for the insane such as were used ages ago. They have none of the modern methods that are now being used in up-to-date places and as a consequence there is little hope of curing any person sent there. And all this in an age when insanity is looked upon as a curable disease, when 5 per cent of the persons suffering from it can be cured.
"What is needed, first, is the separation of the insane patients from all other persons - an institution to themselves. At present there is a conglomeration of insane, feeble-minded, imbeciles, drunkards, vagrants, paupers and every other king of dependant such as I believe could be found no place else in the world. They need the services of the very finest of medical specialsits and nurses. At present they have but two doctors and about 750 patients. It is utterly impossible for these two physicians to care for so many, be they ever so competent and I believe they have no special training in the care of insane persons. They receive but $900 a year.
"The insane are cruelly treated. I saw one man there who had been in a straight jacket for six weeks; a woman who had been fastened to a bed for hours, yet she had intelligence enough to say 'Get me out of this, I need treatment.' There was a young colored girl who had been tied to a bed post in such a manner that she was all crouched up, because her actions had evidently ruffled the attendants. Then they have the dark rooms into which they put patients. With noting but the blank walls to look at for hours it would make a normal man lose his mind, but yet they aggravate the mental condition of these creatures by placing them there. Another form of restraint they have is the 'hand muff' which prevents the insane person from using his hands.
"Insanity is but a mental sickness, but the inmates at Marshalsea are not treated as though they were sick. They are treated instead as though they had done something for which they should be punished. The modern manner of treating such persons is as sick patients. The up-to-date idea is an insane hospital, not an insane asylum.
"I have visited many institutions for dependents in this and in other states, but Marshalsea is the worst of any I have ever visited.
"Conditions at Warner, the other city home, are not so bad, but they are bad enough. The doctor showed me one patient who had done nothing for two years but pace tirelessly up and down a cell. There is nothing they can do for him because they have not the things with which to do it.
"Nowadays when a violently insane man becomes violet, he is put through a system of baths, being kept in water of a certain temperature for a certain length of time. And it is found that the most violent case is soothed and calmed. There is no necessity for putting them in straight jackets.
"Either the state or the city should take Marshalsea in hand and make it a splendid insane hospital with every appurtenance that science has made possible and some of the other places should be used for the poor and the drunkards, although an inebriate home would be a good thing also. But what is absolutely necessary is that Marshalsea be attended to.
"It would be much cheaper for the taxpayers if the patients in Marshalsea were properly given medical attention and brought back home able to care for themselves and take their places among the ranks of the wage earners than to have them down there for years and years, being kept by the people's money.
"The methods now in vogue in Marshalsea are relics of other days. Insanity is a growing problem and people are coming to realize that it must be given attention - attention of the right sort.
"The conditions at Marshalsea are not the fault of this administration but it is certainly up to this administration to take care of them. The condition is a result of long neglect because the poor and insane have no one to take up their case and the neglect has finally turned into decay, so that conditions there are not rotten."
Director McKelvey's answer follows:
"While admitting that we have but two doctors at the institution, there are tow others to be named just as soon as the right men can be found and even now we have three alienists who pay frequent and regular visits to Marshalsea, Dr. T. M. T. McKennan, Dr. Theodore Diler and Dr. E. E. Mayer. The institution is clean and sanitary and no needless cruelty is allowed to be inflicted on the patients.
"Sometimes we find it necessary to place a man in a straight jacket, but this only when he becomes too violent or when he attempts to harm himself. For the same reason recourse is had to the 'hand-muff.'
"The insane patients are separated from the other inmates and are kept segregated from them at all times, although the crowded condition at the institute makes this difficult frequently. We need more room and until we obtain it we will not be able to alter the conditions as they now exist, which nevertheless are not so serious as Mr. Howe is led to imagine. The state board already has approved plans for the improvements such as cottages and so on, and work will be begun on new buildings to cost more than $800,000 very soon."
Mr. McKelvey declares that the most modern methods are used in the treatment of the insane patients, and that they are givenfirst class medical attentions, despite the handicap of a lack of physicians. He called attention to the fact that Dr. Frank Woodbury, of Philadelphia, secretary of the state committee on lunacy, said Marshalsea was one of the best conducted institutions in Pennsylvania. Hydropathic baths are being installed and these soon will be ready for use. Also he has asked for many other improvements which, while slow in being granted, will eventually come.
"But until they do," concluded the director, "we will have to make the best of the situation as we have found it, which, however maligned, is not nearly so bad as Mr. Howe seems to think."
To relieve the overcrowding in the insane department City Architect John P. Brennen is getting ready to start work there in about three weeks. He will put two great wings on the building known as the cottage. At present this building will accommodate about 125 men and similar number of women. Before the summer is over this capacity will be doubled and this will relieve the congestion which, for the last few years, has been usual in the old asylum buildings. Both in the male and female sides patients by the score have had to sleep on the floor, especially in the receiving wards. Wings are also to be added to the male and female homes at Marshalsea, and the work will go on simultaneously with that on the cottage and barn. The wing on the male home will occupy the site of the old bakery and that on the female side the site of the laundry burned down about seven years ago and never replaced.
The Gazette Times, Feb. 12, 1914
M'Causland in City Home
Mrs. Anna M'Causland, of 3802 Kirkwood street, East Liberty, reported to the North Side police this afternoon that her husband William H. McCausland, whom the police have been seeking for King & King, attorneys, of Washington, D.C., that they might turn over to him money for extra pay for service in the United States Army, is now at the City Home at Marshalsea. She said that he had been confined for in St. Francis Hospital for some time and had then been removed to the city home.
During the Spanish-American War McCausland served as a private in Company B, Fifth Infantry, and he filed with the Court of Claims at Washington, D.C., a claim for extra pay. The court allowed the claim and the attorneys wrote Commissioner P. P. Walsh that they had the money and were seeking McCausland.
The Pittsburgh Press, June 18, 1914, page 5
The overcrowded condition of Marshalsea is dwelt on in the report of the board of visitation of Allegheny county which yesterday was filed in common pleas court. Recommendations for improvements are made, the more important urging the necessity of new buildings, and the provision of industrial occupation for men and women and more general farming of the land of the institution. The report was signed by Thomas S. McAloney, J. J. Davey, Jeanette O. Kennedy, and Cecilia K. Griswald.
The Pittsburgh Press, Jul 21, 1914
Former City Home Guard Drinks Acid
Despondent because he was out of work, Joseph Donlon, age 23, of 2 Roberts st., drained a vial containing carbolic acid shortly after 9:30 o'clock this morning. He was given first aid by the crew of the Center ave. police station automobile patron, and then rushed to the Passavant hospital.
Donlon had been employed recently as a guard at the city home at Marshalsea, but for the past few weeks had not been working. He purchased the carbolic acid at a nearby drug store early this morning, it is said, and entering a saloon at 2001 Webster ave., drained the vial. His condition is serious.
The Pittsburgh Press, July 22, 1914, page 13
Women Patients of Marshalsea Have An Outing
Many Visitors Take Part in Annual Affair at St. Agatha's Grove
The convalescent women patients at the city home at Marshalsea are holding their annual picnic today at St. Agatha's grove, a half mile west of Bridgeville, and there are 350 patients and 300 city officials and visitors in the grove.
The women were taken to the grove on hay wagons, and they enjoyed the trip through the country almost as much as the festivities after reaching the picnic grounds. Supt. M. F. Larkin was in charge of the affair and had many well known Pittsburg business and professional men for his guests.
Amusements and sports of all kinds were provided for the women and Nirella's band furnished music during the entire day.
The Pittsburgh Press, July 23, 1914, page 7
Marshalsea Picnic Guest Tries to Escape
While the fun attending the annual picnic of the inmates of Marshalsea poor farm was at its height yesterday, Anna Coss, age 60, attempted to escape. The woman sneaked away from the crown gathered in St. Agatha's grove, and made her way to a clump of bushes half a mile distant. Her absence was soon noted and a search was at once made, but not until the pursuers had hunted for her a long time was she discovered. She was taken back to the picnic and placed in the temporary hospital.
From Almshouse To Asylum:
Orphans In Allegheny County: A Pathfinder
Where large groups of children herded together they usually marched out of the dormitories in the morning, marched back again at night, waited in long rows for the use of the lavatories, and lost individuality and tone...where too many children played in one room at the same hour, or in the dreary toyless places sometimes called "playrooms," the children found were listless and idle.
--Pittsburgh Survey, 1914
Historically, the care of the indigent and their poor orphans was originally the domain of the Church in medieval Europe. Government assumed some of the burden during the time of Queen Elizabeth. Based upon English law, the Pennsylvania Poor Law was passed in 1705. The law established "Overseers of the Poor" for each township. These were unpaid appointments. The Overseers were required to raise relief funds by assessment and to indenture poor children as apprentices or to place them through the system of "outdoor relief" in the homes of the lowest bidder. Applications for such relief were discouraged by requiring the recipients, even children, to wear a large "P" for "pauper" on their right sleeve.
Another solution to handling the poor was the establishment of the almshouse. The first of these appeared in Philadelphia in 1731. Pittsburgh's first almshouse was established in 1818. In the 18th and early 19th centuries, the almshouse sheltered the insane, physically handicapped, as well as indigent adults and children. Gradually, concerns for the separate and better treatment of children developed. Thus, orphan asylums were established.
Destitute and homeless children created an enormous dilemma for society in the nineteenth century. The rapid growth of industrialism in America strained the economic and social fabric of the nation. The change from a rural to an urban society, along with the influx of large numbers of immigrants, generated a new class of urban poor. While large families could survive on the farm, too many children could be a burden in the city. Many families could not adequately feed and clothe themselves and their offspring. If one parent became ill, injured, or deceased, then the remaining parent was often unable to cope. Children were consequently abandoned or neglected in large numbers. During the 1860's, the ranks of homeless children swelled through the addition of Civil War orphans - children whose fathers were killed or wounded during the war.
Orphan asylums were established by government, churches, and private charities. Some institutions were instituted to accept children of only one sex, some by age, others by race or ethnic group, and others by religion. A few made no special requirements.
The first orphanage in Pennsylvania was religiously affiliated. St. John's Orphan Asylum for Boys opened in 1797 in Philadelphia and was followed the next year by St. John's Orphan Asylum for Girls. The first non-sectarian institution was the Orphan Society of Philadelphia founded in 1814. In Pittsburgh, the first orphanage was the Protestant Orphan Asylum of Pittsburgh and Allegheny founded in 1832. It was located in Allegheny City, now our North Side. The growth of religious and non-sectarian orphanages proliferated. By 1850, there were nine such institutions in Pennsylvania.
The conditions in many of these places were appalling. Though often portrayed in the media of the time as dwellings where happy, red-cheeked children played, the reality was sadly the opposite. Constantly under-funded, these institutions were mostly understaffed and overcrowded. The children were too frequently unsupervised. They were poorly fed and many suffered from malnutrition. The following is a standard menu from five institutions in Pittsburgh in 1907:
Breakfast - Coffee, bread and a little butter.
Dinner - Stew, bread, water.
Supper - Tea, bread with spoonful of molasses on it.
(Infirmary children were given milk)
As a result of living in cramped conditions with a poor diet, many children succumbed to illness and died.
Institutional care existed along with home placement, indenture, and residence in almshouses all during the 19th century. Funding was primarily through charitable donations. The State Board of Charities , created in 1869, helped to increase awareness of the conditions in orphanages, and inspections and state supervision of these institutions was expanded. Gradually, the system of providing state subsidies to private institutions developed as well. During and after the Civil War, the state provided stipends to private institutions for the care of war orphans.
In 1883, the "children's law" was enacted. It specifically prohibited the detaining of children in almshouses between the ages of 2 - 16 years for more than 60 days. In 1885, the Children's Aid Society of Allegheny County was formed and it allowed for the removal of children from almshouses to placement in family homes. The Children's Home Society of Pennsylvania, founded in 1892, placed children in family homes with the intention of seeking permanent care and adoption.
Conditions gradually improved in this century even as attitudes and policies changed. By the late 1960's, most of the orphan institutions had closed their doors or altered their function. The trend from institutional to foster care and adoption had modified to focus on the restoration of the original family unit when possible. Keeping siblings and families together is the goal of contemporary child care. The day of the almshouse and the orphan asylum has disappeared.
The Pittsburgh Press, Feb. 22, 1915
Dies at City Home
Gustave Miller, aged 72, an inmate at the city home at Marshalsea, dropped dead yesterday at the institution. Death was due to heart failure.
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Jan 16, 1934, page 5
Mayview Fire Protection
Child Welfare Work in Pennsylvania
William Henry Slingerland, 1915
Almshouses and Poorhouses
The present situation in Allegheny County is thus clearly and forcibly described by Florence L. Lattimore:
The Pittsburgh District boasted no fewer than three almshouses, one for the county, one for the former city of Allegheny, now merged with Pittsburgh, and one for Pittsburgh itself. At the Pittsburgh almshouse, called the City Home, a modern and attractive little pavilion had been set apart for the children's use. It was light and had a small yard which contained swings and toys. Children were sometimes kept there illegally for many months, when, for instance, the mother was ill in the almshouse hospital. There was no concealment of this fact by the management, which would have welcomed the help of some agency in relieving it of such a burden. At the Allegheny City Home the law was strictly enforced, although one might, of course, find babies that had been born in the institution. At the County Home in Woodville, however, conditions were startlingly bad. Here, the objectionable almshouse features which led to the framing and passage of the Children's Law in 1883 still persisted. There were no separate quarters in which the children could either sleep or play.
The sanitary conditions were particularly objectionable; one room in which 10 babies and little girls and four women were crowded day and night, contained a toilet boldly into one corner, and separated from it only by a thin wooden partition. The only provision for ventilation in this living-sleeping room, as in the other rooms where children were kept, was by windows which were rarely opened; the heating was by gas, the air was foul. Little boys over two years of age slept in the open ward occupied by disabled men - cripples, paralytics, and locomotor ataxia cases; during the day these little fellows had no place in which to play except the sitting room where the men smoked and played cards. Even the sixty days to which their stay was confined was too long a period to spend in such surroundings.
The visitor to this institution upon two occasions found 40 children, most of them between the ages of four and sixteen, standing about in listless groups. Nowhere else in the county were there such flagrant instances of charitable and civic inertia in work for children as in this county home at Woodville.
The Pittsburgh Press, Jan 5, 1915, page 16
Mrs. Walters Freed From Marshalsea
Mrs. Sarah Walters was released from imprisonment in the city home at Marshalsea and remanded to the custody of Sheriff George W. Richards to answer a charge of assault and battery upon which she was confined in the county jail at the time of her commitment to the asylum at Marshalsea, by an opinion handed down this morning by Judge W. H. S. Thomson in the United States District Court. The opinion is the climax of habeas corpus proceedings brought by Mrs. Walters' counsel against the superintendent of the city home for insane at Marshalsea, testimony in which case was heard Dec. 23.
When Mrs. Walters heard the Judge Thomson opinion she started to cry and was consoled by her sister and Mrs. Hill, mother of G. Brown Hill, who was with her. She then smiled and shook hands with several other women who appeared with her in court. Accompanied by G. Brown Hill and his mother, she went to the sheriff's office to give bail for her appearance in court on the charge of assault and battery.
After being taken to the sheriff's office Mrs. Walters was taken to Alderman J. J. Kirby's office, where she was released under $300 bail, furnished by Mr. Hill
The Gazette Times, July 10, 1915, page 6
Mayor and Council Will Visit Institution on Wednesday.
An inspection of the city farm at Marshalsea will be made next Wednesday by Mayor Joseph G. Armstrong and members of Council. The party will leave in automobiles at 10 a.m. Director John J. McKelvey of the Charities Department has invited the city officials to visit the institution, view its workins, see the new buildings that have been put up and hear and see what other improvements the director thinks the farm ought to have.
Under the present management of the Charities Department many of the inmates work, some about the farm, others at broommaking.
The Pittsburgh Press, Oct. 9, 1915, page 13
PREFERS DEATH TO LIFE IN POOR HOUSE
Oil City, Pa., Oct. 9 - Despondent because his legs had been amputate4d and he was about to be removed to the county home, Andrew Velach, aged 48, today slashed his throat with a razor at the City hospital here.
In July, 1914, he was injured on a railroad and both legs had to be amputated at the knee. He had recovered and arrangements were being made to remove him to the county home when he made the attempt on his life. His condition is serious.
The Pittsburgh Press, May 19, 1916, page 7
Will Remove Warner Inmates to Marshalsea
As a preliminary step toward turning the Warner station property over to Allegheny county as part payment of Pittsburg's cost of the site of the new city-county building, the 500 patients in the city home at Warner station will be removed next month. They will be taken to Marshalsea home and hospital, making the total inmates at Marshalsea 1,600 persons.
This will cause overcrowding in Marshalsea as the new building for the insane will not be ready of occupancy until the middle of the summer. Of the 1,600 patients, 1,200 are in the insane wards. These, with the dependent charges, necessitate a force of more than 200 attendants.
The Pittsburgh Press, Aug 17, 1920, page 22
Would-Be Suicide is Taken to Marshalsea
Milas Spanoric, age 30, of Belmont, who was prevented from ending his life when he was found hanging over the railing of the Smithfield St. bridge last night, was taken to Marshalsea today. The man is demented. Spanoric was rescued and pulled from the railing of the bridge by Fire Capt. John Morton of No. 30 engine company and Frank Floyd, an employe of the Pittsburg and Lake Erie Railroad Co.
Pittsburgh Press, Jun 26, 1927, page 6
POORHOUSE MUST GO SAYS SECRETARY OF LABOR
Says Poverty is Perpetuated by Almshouse
James J. Davis Writes That Present System is a Disgrace.
Evil of Poorhouse Far Outweighs Any Possible Good, He Says.
The poorhouse must go. It has lost its usefulness, if it ever had any. It is contrary to our national spirit and to the character of the American people. I am opposed, both in theory and practice, to town and county poorhouses as they exist in the United States.
It is written somewhere in the sacred literature of the ancient Persians that he who makes two blades of grass grow where only one grew before has done more to win salvation than he who has uttered ten thousand prayers. May we not say a much for the person who will show us how a man who has become a pauper can win back his self-respect and be once more a self-supporting member of his community?
The American poorhouse is a failure from any point of view you regard as it destroys the self-respect of its inmates and it usually destroys the whole of their usefulness. There is almost nothing that can be said in its favor and there is an immense amount that can be said for its abolishment.
I have heard people praise the brick and mortar, the shade-trees and rose-bushes of some of these institutions, and even the luxuriousness of their interiors. But the important thing to consider is the worth or worthlessness of the poorhouse system itself, and when we consider this, the evil is found to far outweigh any possible good. The inmates of these institutions may occasionally be well treated, but invariably they are found to have lost their self respect, which is natural enough since they have become dependents of the community, even when they are quite capable of earning their own living.
An investigation of the poorhouse made by the department of labor in 1925 - an investigation on a national scale - revealed that the American almshouse was a very expensive institution. The report of the investigators published by the department of labor as Bulletin No. 385 of the bureau of labor statistics, showed that 137 poorfarm properties had not inmates at all, which 38.5 per cent had less than 10 inmates each. Surely such an institution cannot be regarded as a profitable one.
There are 2,183 almshouses in the United States, with 85,889 inmates, of whom 57,688 are males and 28,201 are females. These institutions have 345,480 acres of land, of which 184,087 are cultivated. The value of the land is estimated at $42,254,178 and the farm equipment at $6,112,378. The buildings have an estimated value of $1,748,747 and the value of the furnishing is $10,369,928. The total value of the investment in land, buildings, equipment and furnishings is thus found to be $150,485,231.
There can be no question that this enormous outlay is an unprofitable investment. Attempts have been made to cure the evils of our poorhouse system, but none of them has been even faintly successful. And it is my opinion that what cannot be mended ought to be ended. The investigation of the department of labor revealed that a majority of the inmates of our poorhouses ought not to be in institutions of this kind, and I am convinced that, were the public familiar with the facts that have been ascertained, there would be a demand for the abolishment of the institution.
Do I speak strongly? Consider the following facts, and the reason will be apparent why I do.
The total population in American almshouses for 1922 was 78,090. Cripples, epileptics, deaf mutes and blind persons made up 34,285 of this number, leaving slightly more than half of the total in almshouses because of poverty. Many of the inmates in poorhouses are children who ought to be placed in orphan asylums, or in other institutions especially designed for the care of children. There are insane persons in poorhouses who out to be place in asylums for the insane, where they can be treated by professional psychiatrists.
There are feeble-minded persons in poorhouses who ought to be place in institutions adapted to their condition, where those who are capable of being cured of their idiocy and feeble mindedness may be cures, as not a few of them are. There are sick and disabled persons in poorhouses who should be in hospitals and infirmaries where they would receive the kind of medical attention that might restore them to health and vigor.
The investigation made by the department of labor revealed that if all the children and the insane and the sick were taken out of the poorhouses and put where they properly belong, the few who would remain could be cared for under a system which would be much better for the poor and the public alike. Of the 43,805 in the poorhouses because of poverty, the majority could be cared for by their own children if only they had the moral courage to assume the responsibility.
I have no hesitation in saying that our present poorhouse system is a disgrace and a fraud. It works not for good but for evil. It does nothing useful for the inmates of the poorhouses. Instead of striving to cure pauperism, it is one of the strongest factors in perpetuating it. Some poorhouses are worse than others, but the effect of all of them - even the best is band. Not one of them is conducted on principles which appeal either to the scientific or the humanitarian mind.
The American poorhouse is an institution which gathers in all kinds of down-and -outers, quite irrespective of the cause of their downfall, and some of them are managed by persons who know as much about the needs of the inmates as a boy in a primary school knows about the latest development in scientific medicine. We know that no two leaves on a tree or two grains of sand on a beach are the same, and the differences between two human beings are far greater, but some of the officials who manage our poorhouses are not vitally aware of these differences. All kinds of persons are huddled together, and all are treated alike, whether that treatment be good or bad. And mostly it is bad.
The poorhouse may be a beautiful building, and it sometimes is, but its superintendent is almost invariably a favorite of powers that take little or no interest in the welfare of the unfortunate souls under their control.
There is, apparently, no hope of taking these institutions out of politics.
Attempts have been made now and again, but they have almost invariably met with failure. The agitation to this end has been going on for years. The St. Louis Star being one of the strongest advocates, but its progress has been much like that of a traveling tortoise, and it is not likely to be much greater in the immediate future.
To place the wretched, no matter what the cause of their wretchedness, in the hands of those who do not know how to care for them properly is not only a great evil; it is one that would require the pen of a Dickens for a proper description of its defects. The inmates of all our almshouses need the attention of experts of one kind or another, not the superintendence of men whose interest in them is merely the size of their own pay envelopes.
One great state admits in a public document that out of 9,150 inmates of poorhouse or county comes, 6,619 are sick, infirm, feebleminded, epileptic, blind or deaf, and that only 2,098 are able-bodied. This latter number probably includes a very high percentage who are feebleminded, or ought to be in some institution where they could and would receive a different sort of care from that which they now receive. County institutions of the kind we are now considering are not equipped to give their inmates the kind of consideration that the overwhelming majority of them need.
I sincerely hope that investigations and studies will continue to be made until we know a great deal more than we do at present about what goes on in these places. What we are most in need of just now is a case study of the inmates to determine just how many of them are in the poorhouse for no other reason than that they are poor, and to ascertain the cause of their poverty.
I am informed that two superintendents of two very large institutions in one city profess opinions in regard to the character of the old men in these institutions that are diametrically opposite. One of them says that fully 70 percent of the men in his establishment represent industrial scrappage; that is, honest workingmen who have outlived their ability to earn a day's wage and have been thrown out of factories and mills because there is no other place for them to go.
The other superintendent, whose institutions draws its inmates from precisely the same type of population, says that 90 per cent of them are old alcoholic bums who never worked or would work, but have been nothing but social parasites throughout their existence. This is an instance on the utter worthlessness of what too often passes for expert opinion and which has become one of the crying scandals of our time.
There is only one way to determine the truth. That is to make a cas study of the whole poorhouse population, and thus arrive at the solution which only statistics can supply. a further classification and analysis of the inmates is absolutely essential. I would like to see such a study made of the inmates of the two institutions in New York City, the institution at Newark, the Allegheny (pa.) Home for the Poor and the Pittsburgh City poorhouse.
If we had this definite information in regard to how many men can properly be classed as poor and unfortunate from no fault of their own we could then proceed to discuss more specific and definite methods for taking care of them, and ultimately adopt the proper one. I have in mind an old folks' home where a very large proportion of the inmates are of the type we are considering, yet under the system adopted at this institution no man goes in as a pauper.
Immediately upon admission to this home a man is given a thorough physical examination to determine the state of his health and whether or not he is capable of doing any work. He is then given some work to do in keeping with his physical strength and ability.
it is not routine work that is given him, but responsibility. He is held responsible for the success or failure of whatever he is given to do.
One the farm in particular at this home, there is great competition among the men in charge of the various units. They are thoroughly interested, and in many instances enthusiastic, in regard to their work. Thus, a man remains self-respecting.
He has a little money to spend, and he feels that he is earning his living. He is, too, for he is making some contribution to life for what he is getting out of it. This institution is not self-supporting because it has invested in farm acreage and equipment which amounts at present to an overdevelopment, which is to say that it has invested for the future. Of course, we should not expect such an institution in these circumstances to be a profitable investment at this time; but the difference between the income and expenditure leaves a per capita deficit very much less that the per capita cost of maintenance in the poorhouses of any state of the Union.
That one instance will illustrate what I mean when I say the poorhouse system in the Unites States is essentially bad. The theory of it is mad, and it is equally bad in practice. The self-respect of inmates cannot be maintained under the present theory of poorhouse administration, and this fact is not one that can be altered by the good or poor conditions of the institution itself. In my opinion, it is neither right nor necessary to crush the self-respect of the old worn-out workers, nor that of those who are feeble and infirm.
I believe that most of the inmates of the poorhouses, with the exception of those who ought to be somewhere else, are still able to do almost enough work to cover the cost of their food, and that this work can be intelligently organized and handled in such a way as not to crush the pride or self-respect of these people. In order to do so the management of these institutions must be taken out of the hands of small political units, and put into the hands of the state where it belongs. That would place them upon the same plane in respect of dignity that is now occupied by our state hospitals, state insane asylums, state schools and the asylums for the blind, deaf and dumb.
The fraternities of American are discussing this problem now. In the lodgeroom you will hear the question debated and reports read from committees assigned to look into it. They are giving their best thought and energy to the solution of this problem, and I am sure that the outcome will be a better system for caring for our unfortunates.
In a word, we must discard the while theory of caring for the poor that now obtains. We must get entirely away from the county poor farm idea. That means, or course, that the poorhouse as we know it must make its exit from the stage of modern life.
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Mar. 12, 1931
OVER THE HILLS TO MAYVIEW
[Partially unreadable] Pittsburgh - the mightiest steel city in the world whose citizens spend more than $28,000,000 for the [unreadable] of their city, does not forget their aged men, casualties because of age or infirmity in the world's [unreadable]
We ship them to the City Home at Mayview. After 20 years or 30 years of work or sometimes 40 years of toil in fields and mines that have made Pittsburg great, these old men, friendless, relatives dead or scattered, go to Mayview to wait for the last great adventure of all - death.
The city of Pittsburgh feeds them enough to live on. It provides them with warm underwear and, if their own clothing is too ragged, with the clothing also so that they can keep warm. This rich city provides each man with a cot, a filthy mattress, unclean sheets and pillow cases, and a splintered stool beside their cot to lay their clothing on.
[unreadable] provision of the care, comfort, recreation, happiness, amusement. On the first floor of the Home at Mayview are hundreds of feet of hallways. All day long in the winter time, these old men stand in these hallways. It is the only place in all the world where they may stand. Try standing all day long leaning against a bare wall when you are past 70 . . . It is hard on old bones. So the great city of Pittsburgh has provided this welfare, comfort, happiness, recreation, amusement.
It has put brackets, breast-high, along the walls of these halls. On the brackets the city has strung lengths of three inch pipe. All these old men have to do is learn the trick (it's easily done) of hooking one elbow over this pipe.
With this practice you can learn to rest your head on the arm hooked over this rail and sleep quite comfortable. And this few hundred feet of pipe hung on brackets is the sole investment of the great city of Pittsburgh in happiness for its pensioners too old to longer work.
There is one other contribution to happiness of these men but, since it didn't cost the city anything, it can scarcely be called an investment.
It is the "smoker."
I had heard of the "smoker" while I was still in the observation ward of the hospital. An old Negro had come over from the home for a few days' treatment of a boil on his neck. He regarded the boil as a not unmixed evil, since it gave him a few days of uninterrupted rest and food considerable better than that he was accustomed to in the home. He was talking about the old men over at the home.
"Those old fellows oveh theah all crazy," he informed me. "They all gone gas crazy."
"Gas crazy," I demanded, immediately thinking of gas victims of the war. "Those men were all too old to serve in the army. They can't be gas crazy."
"Oh, they's gas crazy all right. They sits theah all day drinkin' in that gas in the smokah till they gits jes as crazy as bedbugs."
Hot and Stifling
He failed to make me understand just what he was talking about but assured me:
"You goin' oveh to the Home, yeh say. You'll find out about the gas, Jes' wait."
The first place I made for when I was transferred to the home was the "smoker." It is a great, barn-like room, filthy dirty with rows of benches. More than a hundred old men were sitting and standing about the great room. Here these old pensioners on a great city's bounty can smoke.
At one end of the room is the biggest stove I ever say. It must be done duty in its time as a giant kitchen range. That's the only purpose I can conceive anyone might have for building such a monstrosity. It must be all of 10 feet square with an iron top. Underneath this top, great gas jets roar. Flames leap out through big cracks and holes in the shattered top.
The Home - Rockview
It provides heat. It also fills the great room with stifling fumes of unburned gas until the air is thick and foul. I could stand it only a few minutes. But these old men are used to it. All day long some of them sit there, smoking in silence and hopelessness, breathing in the noisome deadly fumes.
Last year I stood in the big auditorium of the commonwealth's great prison at Rockview. A murderer stood beside me. There were other murderers there, too. They were waiting for the weekly motion picture stow. I strolled down through the long cell block. Cells were clean and comfortable. A group of convicts were practicing on some new music they had just received. There were mandolins, guitars and ukuleles in the little orchestra.
In other cells radio brought music of famous orchestras from the outer world. These were cells, of course. But they were the men's own cells - two men in a cell. It was almost home.
No Comforts, Joy
But these were murderers, thieves, criminals of every stripe. These quiet voiced, keen-faced old men - too old to work longer, not quite old enough to die - these men in Mayview, they have no movies. They have no radios. They have not even a scrap of paper to read.
Kind-hearted Pittsburghers send old magazines down to the Home sometimes, but there never are enough. So most of them forego reading. A few of them, with pennies from friends of better days, buy newspapers now and then. They are passed from hand to hand and literally worn to shreds in a few hours.
At Christmas time there are concerts by choirs and quartets in the chapel for a few days. But a year is a long time to wait for a song.
After I came back from Mayview I happened to look over the budget of expenditures for the great institution. There was one outstanding item - "Recreation for inmates, $500." There are more than 3,400 men and women in Mayview. Thirteen cents apiece a year for happiness.
A Fire Trap
Nearly 1,000 men are housed in the "Home" in Mayview. It is an old dilapidated three-story brick building, a deadly and dangerous fire trap of wooden interior construction. The floors are scrubbed clean. The walls are thick with the grime and dirt, apparently of years. Great blotches of broken plaster show everywhere. Some of these are replastered, but not repainted.
On the second and third floors of the building, Pittsburgh's old and helpless sleep. Iron cots are placed side-by-side and end-to-end so closely that a man has to shuffle sideways to get between them. The long hallways and corridors, airless and almost windowless, are filled with cots where men sleep. Mattresses without exception that I saw are indescribably filthy, black and stained. Pillows are little better. The sheets and pillow cases are clean.
These old men, who stand all day long in the lower corridors, their elbows hooked over the iron piping their city has provided, are not allowed to enter their rooms until 3 in the afternoon. Then, if they wish, they can go to their bare, cheerless rooms and narrow cots and lie down.
All Herded Together
This "Home" at Mayview is not a place for the sensitive or imaginative. Here nearly 1,000 men are thrown indiscriminately. Black and white, sick and well, old and young, criminal, diseased - there is not classification, no attempt at segregation of types or cases. Legless men shuffle through the halls on their thighs. Blind men tap, tap to and fro with their canes. Armless men, men with strange casts and braces enclosing most of their bodies, make their way, upstairs and down.
Here are the faces familiar to downtown Pittsburghers. They are the moochers and the beggars of the streets, spending a quiet winter at Mayview, waiting for the spring when they will go back to their begging. Here are faces familiar to every police judge in Pittsburgh as confirmed petty offenders. Some of them are in rags, rags so tattered and dirty that they are revolting.
These are the men who continue to wear the clothing they had when they arrives. Many of them the Home authorities know are here only temporarily. They are pitch-forked in with the old men who will stay here until they are carried over to the little mortuary in the long wicker baskets that are a feature of life - or rather death - at Mayview.
These old men - stragglers in the march of industry in the fight for tonnage - these are the tragedies of Mayview. There are scores of them here. One can pick them out so easily. Clean shaven, sharp features, soft spoken - and eyes filled with hopelessness. For the moochers and panhandlers there is Spring in the offing, the city's streets and alleys and the soft-hearted come-ons who have a dime or two to trade for a hard-luck story, dimes that can be exchanged for deadly but pleasant "white mule."
But for these other men there is nothing to look forward to but the endless round of days hanging on that string of pipe in their hallways, the deadly fumes of the "smoker," the filthy mattresses in the crowded "dormitories," the food that barely keeps life in the old worn out bodies - and finally the wicker basket that is the end of all things for these veterans.
By now all Pittsburgh is familiar with the food that these "pensioners" get to eat. A sticky cereal, spoiled in the cooking; canned milk, thinned with water, and coffee and bread in the morning. Soup, a piece of stringy meat, bread and butter and nothing to drink at noon. Rice and thinned milk, bread and coffee, or dried apples, bread and butter and coffee for the evening meal - well, no one ever has starved to death at Mayview.
An old Irishman was admitted to the home the same morning I came in. He had been in the hospital for a week or two. He was short and stocky. His face showed a determination and manhood. He had a striking lion-like mane of white hair, as white and clean as snow. He had just that touch of the brogue that makes Irish voices to attractive. Look far and you'd find no finer type of man. But he was old. He couldn't work any more. He had no friends who were able to give him a home in these last days of life. The sons of his youth were dead. So he was here in the city's alms house, to eat the bread of charity and wait through long days until they dug a pauper's grave for him.
Together we walked through the corridors and saw the broken men draped along the pipe, the blind, the halt, and the maimed. We ate the scanty dinner. We breathed the fumes of the "smoker" for a moment and then escaped to the keen, wintry air outside with a gasp.
He turned to me, on his face the most devastating despair I have ever seen - and I have seen men go to their death on the gallows - and he said slowly:
"Well - here we will live. What do you think?"
Doomed to Death
In a day or two I would be gone and Mayview would be but a memory. But he was doomed to stay here until he died. I tried to think of something not too hopeless. No use, though, to try to fool this keen old Irishman.
"Well, things could be better," I admitted. "But you've got to remember that things could be worse."
He nodded. The brave old eyes even smiled for a moment, but the trembling lips betrayed him.
"Yes," he agreed, "there could be worse places than this."
The Pittsburgh Post Gazette, April 10, 1935
Mayview Case Being Probed
Director Hay Ridicules Charges of "Scandal" at City Home.
Denying that drinking and numbers writing at the city hospital in Mayview amounted to a "scandal," Welfare Director Southard Hay said yesterday. The four men who were suspended after an investigation of numbers playing at the institution would be given a hearing before he would decide to dismiss them.
The employes are under 30-day suspension and the director is considering whether more drastic action is necessary. The four denied they had operated a numbers racket. Two of them, Harry Sarkin and Elmer Towers, bus drivers, admitted placing bets for friends among the employes, but they denied getting anything for it. They said it amounted to only a dollar or two a day.
The other two, Thedore G. Grohs, motorcycle policeman at the institution, and Joseph L. Beezer, watchman, said they did not know anything about the "numbers business."
Hay admitted that frequent complaints are received about patients and employes playing the numbers and asserted every effort was made to put a stop to the practice.
"It has never been a serious matter," he said. "Mayview is better than any town or community of the same size as far as these things are concerned."
The director stated that often difficulties arose over drinking among the transients housed at the institution, but officials were "always on the alert to prevent such infractions of the rules."
The Pittsburgh Press, Jan. 7, 1937, page 35
Patient's Ride Ends Quickly
The dash for freedom which Judson Jones, 23, a Mayview mental patient, made yesterday in a "borrowed" auto was short lived. His car became stuck in the mud when he turned off the Steubenville Pike five miles west of Midway.
Seeing his efforts to get the mired care free, he was questioned by farmers, who called Chief William Bell of Midway. Chief Bell put him in the Midway jail and called Mayview. Jones was given a hearing before Justice of the Peace George Powelson, who committed him to Washington County jail. He was to be returned to Mayview today.
The Pittsburgh Press, Sep. 11, 1942
NEW POORHOUSE IS RECOMMENDED FOR CITY, COUNTY
Welfare Head Calls It Economy Move
Secretary of Welfare E. Arthur Sweeny today urged the erection of a "separate" poorhouse to serve both Pittsburgh and Allegheny County.
Speaking at the formal opening of the $2,500,000 psychiatric hospital in Oakland, Mr. Sweeny pointed out construction of a poorhouse would make room at the Mayview and Woodville institutions for approximately 2,000 mental patients.
"In those two institutions there is a combined population of 5,611 mental patients," he declared. "In connection with both institutions, the city and county operated almshouses, each having an approximate population of 1, 000."
The state has taken over Mayview and Woodville within the past year, he reminded, and said the conversion of the institution exclusively to mental hospitals "would be a step toward economy for city, county and state." It would also provide a "modern almshouse."
He proposed that the plan be presented to the next regular session of the General Assembly. If approved, he said, the plan would be of great value in "helping take up the slack of unemployment" which may be "prevalent in this are at the conclusion of the war."
Mr. Sweeny hailed the opening of the Western States Psychiatric Hospital at DeSota and O'Hara Sts. as one of the "great strides" Pennsylvania has made in taking care of the mentally ill.
His remarks prefaced the dedication address by Governor Arthur H. James.
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, July 3, 1946, page 1
Mayview Patient Dies After Fight
Death of Andrew Vukich, 49, of 1137 Spring Garden avenue, a patient at Mayview State Hospital, from injuries suffered in a scuffle with another patient, was reported to the morgue last night by hospital authorities.
The hospital reported Vukich died at 9:40 o'clock, last night from a brain hemorrhage resulting from a fractured skull. According to the hospital, he was injured Monday night when he fell during the scuffle with a patient whose name was not revealed.
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, May 7, 1947, page 44
Aged Mayview Patient is Killed by Train
Jeremiah Bigi, 76, a patient at Mayview hospital, was killed shortly after noon yesterday when he was stuck by a Pennsylvania Railroad train near Mayview station, the coroner's office reported. The aged man was crossing the tracks, police said, and apparently did not hear the train.
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Nov. 13, 1949
Anyway Sam came up with a tear-jerking letter on the doctor's letter head. The bearer was Ed Crawford, a derelict and wastrel from the teeming Hill District. He was homeless, penniless, helpless from rheumatism. The good doctor recommended him to the tender mercies of the city's welfare department.
The letter did the job without a hitch. Mid-February found poor, stumbling, rheumatic Ed Crawford one of Mayview's lost 3500.
That Mayview tale is a time-worn story now. Pittsburgh no longer is in the almshouse racket. The state and the county have taken over the obligation of caring for the old, the helpless and the unfit.
But that Mayview story of mine of 28 years ago played its part in the smashing of the Kline administration. I wrote it in the white-heat of passion. I wrote that store of the ultimate in human degradation with the burning memories of that foul hell-hole still fresh in my mind.
So what's the use of trying to rewrite the harvest of that long ago assignment? Let's just run down the highlights of that 10 days I spent in the house of the damned and let it go at that.
I went into the big receiving ward of the sprawling institution along with 50 others. For a couple of days, willy nilly, I was kept in bed. Then I was put to work - and immediately christened "Big Boy" by everyone in the ward. I mopped the filthy, broken floors, I emptied bed pans, I fed the cancerous and the tubercular and the syphilitic. I made the beds and dished up the revolting food. I wrote:
"Here, thrust into the narrow ward are victims of a score or more of diseases, many of them communicable and deadly. Cancer patients, half a dozen tuberculosis sufferers in various stages of the disease. A dozen of more are victims of social diseases. Insane, idiots, at least one man recovering from delirium tremens. For hours he sits and picks flies or bugs or something out of the air. For more hours he will count and recount his fingers. Then he struggles to put his shoes on backwards.
"Here come the insane - so patently and plainly insane that we ignorant layman wonder why anyone has to 'observe' them to detect what is wrong. But, unguarded and unwatched, they sit with us and eat with us and sleep with us.
"Here in the receiving ward, where everybody comes, are confined the social disease patients."
That's the way we referred to venereal disease in those days. Newspapers had not achieved the frankness of today. Those "social disease patients" I wrote about were syphilitics in every stage of the disease and gonorrheals - some of them with gaping lesions.
"They are supposed to stay in their own quarters at one end of the ward. But they wander at will. One of them helps us to serve the evening meal to the bedridden.
"In one corner is an old man, victim of a dangerous and virulent skin disease." (erysipelas was what he had, but they didn't let me use that either.) "From head to foot he is a flaming horror as he shuffles around in an old hospital gown flaring open. Nurses wear rubber gloves to make up his bed. Doctors disinfect everything that touches him. While he waits for his bed to be made up he sits on one of the benches at the end of the ward. Half an hour later we use that bench as a serving table for the noon meal. The old man used the facilities of the lavatory freely. So do we.
"Saturday morning is shave day. An orderly wields the razor as well as any barber. There is the same brush and cup for everyone. A social disease patient (he was a syphilitic) lathers us up ready for the barber.
"The same brush lathers the cancer patients, the tuberculosis patients and all the rest of us.
Common Drinking Cups.
"There are three common drinking cups. Everyone uses them. When not in use they are hung on faucets in the lavatory. Usually they fall off and are lying either in the shower bath or some place worse. Each meal time they are gathered up, rinsed out and used for coffee. I try to mark them in order to avoid them. I doubt if I escape them every time."
The copy readers cut my stuff to pieces right along there. In that old story I explained that while the dishes we used went back to the kitchen each meal time, the big aluminum army cups we used were frequently just thrown into the slop sing until next meal time. Day after day the bed pans from 50 syphilitics, cancer sufferers, tuberculars and others were emptied over them. That didn't get into my story.
"Hell," demanded Chris, (W. U. Christman) the managing editor, when I protested, "What are you trying to do, make our readers sick?" That's a kind of a free translation of what he really did say.
My story on the food we got ran a couple of columns. I've been interested in food all my life. I usually manage to drag it into any story I cover. I've been a cook myself in my time - in a construction camp or two and if I do say it myself I wasn't too bad. But that slum they fed us in that pest hole was the worst I've encountered. I'll just hit the high spots - no use dragging out the agony.
Mornings we got a muscilaginous mass that passed for oatmeal. No salt - we got no salt at all - no sugar and a few drops of watered canned milk.
Mayview had a magnificent herd of prize Holsteins that produced thousands of gallons of milk. We patients got none. I have the job of feeding the tuberculars. They got no milk either - except the same watered-down canned milk, But I watched the farm boss deliver regularly to the home of Doc Hammers, the boss of the hell hole, three gallons of cream nearly every day.
They Got Eggs, Too
The tuberculars got eggs, too. Oh, yes. Twice in the 10 days I have each of them an egg - a hard boiled storage egg. But Doc Hammers got a case of fresh eggs a week from Mayview's great hennery. Where the rest of the milk and the eggs went to I never had time to find out. We got a few scraps of meat three times in the 10 days I was there. It was stringy and tough. None of that on-cent-a-pound porterhouse that the city's crooked suppliers had bid on.
Fish we got once. It was cooked to a stinking mush. We had no knives or forks. Since the insane were quartered right with use, nobody got to use spoons. We never say any of those tons and tons of first grade canned fruit that old Doc Hammers and Bert Succop had bought on the high bid from favored contractors. That went to the tables of Hammers, the other officials, the nurses and the attendants.
But did we get macaroni, noodles and spaghetti? I'll say we did. All three mixed together along with handfuls of lately defunct weevils. Oh, it wasn't so bad. The weevils were always dead and you could kinds sort them out of the mess. If you wanted to bother. By the way, all of that supply of broken noodles, macaroni and the like was bought on crooked bids, too. That was one of the items that Bill Dressler turned up.
So much for the grub.
But does anybody wonder that after a quarter of a century I still feel proud and happy that I had a hand in smashing the Kline administration?
Days in Mayview's little hell weren't too bad at that. But it was those long nights, I think, that put the frost in my thatch. I still rather like a few parts of my story on a Mayview night:
"There are no nurses, no doctors at night. If one is to be sick in the big reception ward at the city's refuge for the impoverished, let him be sick in the daytime.
Wanderers in the Night
"The night is filled with sheeted figures wandering up and down the aisles. Some of them make their way to the lavatory for a drink from one of the three cups that all of us use. Others just wander up and down. In the pauses of the gasping and strangling of the coughers, comes that hard, dry, bark that tells so unmistakably of the terror of the white plague. Those are the tuberculosis patients.
"Somewhere down the ward a man is in pain. His long, quavering moans rise and fall softly as though he were trying to resist the pain so that his fellows may sleep.
"Beside me there is a strange crackling sound. I turn over. The crazy man in the cost next to me is sitting up. He came over from one of the insane wards the other day. He had been working in the power house. Some way he fed his fingers into a set of gears. Now he is in the ward with fewer fingers than he was born with. He is flicking that bandaged hand back and forth with an intensity that makes the knuckles crack. I see a red stain running down his wrist from the bandage.
"A great form, head almost brushing the beams, stalks back and forth. It is Scotty, at least six feet, sic, our delirium tremens patient. He halts by my bed and looks down at me. I am ready to dodge under the bed if it seems wise. Half a dozen times a night I find him standing beside me. But he stares a while and goes on.
"Across the aisle an old man sits up in bed. All night long he sits up. He swings his head back and forth like a tiger in a cage, great swinging circles that one would think would make him dizzy. But in the morning he is still sitting up, still swinging his head to and fro.
"Down the ward someone is terribly sick. At last his bubbling groans subside.
"Still sleep will not come. But other men are dreaming. And as they dream they talk. Snatches of song and curses and ribald jest. And you may well believe that these men who have traveled the alleyways and byways of all the world to come at last to this place of wrecked bodies and wrecked minds have things to dream about that sheltered souls can never know."
I wound up my career as a Mayview derelict in the "Home." To the Home, ultimately came the human wreckage not so far gone mentally or physically but that they could in a measure take care of themselves. The Home was a crumbling three-story brick fire-trap. It housed a thousand men. Here the food was, if possible, worse than in the big receiving and observation ward.
Beds in the big dormitories were indescribably filthy and packed so closely that if you were late going to your rest you climbed over the beds and bodies of your fellows. all of us were barred from the dormitories through the day.
Nowhere in the big institution were there enough chairs for all of us to sit. But there were seeming miles of corridors. Along both walls of these corridors some warped mentality had erected pipe rails on brackets about breast high.
These pipe rails afforded us both recreation and rest. You hooked an elbow over the rail and there you hung all day long, In time you learned to sleep peacefully hanging to the rail. That was rest. Every now and then deep sleep would unkink a supporting elbow and one of us would crash to the floor. That was recreation. We all enjoyed it.
If you got tired of hanging on the pipe rail you went to the "smoker." The smoker was an air tight room, heated by a gigantic gas range with the flames flaring all day long. There was no flue for the stove and the room was foul with poisonous gas fumes that almost, but never quite, overcame the smell of sweat and unwashed bodies.
Upon admission to the Home I was pronounced able-bodied and fit for work. I was assigned right back to the observation ward as an attendant. Heretofore I'd been a mere volunteer in the feeding and the care of the rest of the patients. I could pass up the more revolting jobs. Now I was under orders and had to do what I was told. Big part of the job was changing the fouled beds.
Too Much Was Enough
Too much of that was enough. I quit. I sneaked off the grounds one day, walked clear across the county line to Washington county, found a little store and telephoned the office.
"Come and get me, " I begged. That good old rescuer, Wilbur Coffman, picked me up at a cross roads and delivered me and my lice to Moon township.
So for a week after I got back from my little corner of hell, I wrote about Mayview. Immediate effect of the series was to at least clean up the worst plague spots I described. Reform didn't last long, however. Conditions soon were as bad as they ever were. In later years the commonwealth and the county took over Mayview jointly. You'll find nothing today as bad as back in the 1930's.
But if my Mayview stories didn't do much to help the poor devils I'd lived with, they did add to the mounting public pressure that was ultimately to smash the rotten Kline regime.
To achieve that much, I'm willing to trade what was left of my black top for white and call it a bargain.
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Mar. 19, 2002
Dix Cared for Prisoners, Mentally Ill
The most successful social reformer of her time was Dorothea Dix. This outstanding woman is all the more remarkable considering the time in which she lived.
Her career spanned from 1841 to 1881, during which she devoted energy toward improvements in prisons, almshouses, and special hospitals for the mentally ill, and undertook direction of the nursing services of the Union forces during the Civil War. Her post-Civil War efforts included caring for disabled veterans and raising funds for war memorials.
Her work in Pittsburgh began in 1844, following her survey of the Allegheny County jail. The survey resulted in a blistering criticism and publication of abuses by jail officials in the local newspapers. Her campaign brought about Dixmont Hospital (now closed) along Route 65 in Kilbuck. Dixmont initially was called Western Pennsylvania Hospital for the Insane, but it was belatedly named for Dix in 1907. Her determined efforts with the state Legislature brought about state responsibility for the care of mentally disturbed people in jails and almshouses, and led to the first state appropriations for this cause in 1855.
Dix's formula for success was based on conducting a good preliminary investigation, personally selecting the leaders to carry out her program and guiding the leaders. Her accomplishments were due to an appeal to universal humanity and the skill she had in dealing with state legislators.
Dix accepted no material reward. She was gifted with a dynamic stern discipline, rare foresight and unusual competence. Through her singular efforts, institutions for the insane and destitute were founded in 20 states and Canada. She died in 1887 at the age of 85.
-- by Dr. E . Kenneth Vey, History Center Library and Archives Volunteer
The Gazette Times, Nov. 28, 1915
INSANE SLAYER ESCAPES FROM COUNTY HOME
Lorito Monaster, Who Shot North Side Woman, Again Being Hunted
Friends Said to Have Helped
Lorita Monaster, insane slayer, escaped from the County Home at Woodville three months ago, but the fact was only made public yesterday. The man is believed to have been spirited out of the country or placed in a secluded spot by friends. All trace of him has been lost since the day he disappeared from Woodville.
Dr. R. L. Hill, superintendent of the County Home, charged last night that Monastero had help from the outside in getting away.
"He must have had, said Dr. Hill. "They must have kidnapped him. The man himself was incapable of it. He was stolid and indifferent and to him Woodville was just as good as any other place."
It was Monastero's second escape. On August 31, 1914, he shot and killed Mrs. Angeline Casale of 954 Reedsdale street. The following morning he mysteriously escaped from his cell in the North Side Central Police station. He was recaptured several days later wandering about the outskirts of the city.
The second escape was just as mysterious as the first. Monastero, who had the freedom of the recreation grounds at the home, was taken to his room one night by an attendant. The next morning when the patients were brought out he was not among them. There was little chance for him to leave during the night and no person saw him get away early in the morning.
Dr. Hill said he notified the District Attorney's office immediately. District Attorney R. H. Jackson said last night that the home authorities were somewhat slow in notifying his office, but just as soon as the word was received a search was begun and was being continued. The city police stated last night that they had received no word of the escape.
Monastero was suffering from dementia praecox. He was adjudged insane when placed on trial for murder. The very fact that no motive for his crime could be found made his unsound mental condition apparent. When arrested he said he had formerly been a Catholic priest. He was connected with an Italian aviation company at the time of the killing of Mrs. Casale.
The Pittsburgh Press, Nov. 28, 1915
SLAYER MONASTERO MAKES ESCAPE FROM ASYLUM
MURDERER OF MRS. CASALE IS AT LARGE
Friends Help Slayer to Get Away from Woodville Home Where He Was Sent as Insane
Fact of His Escape is Kept Secret Long Time
Lorito Monastero, aged 32, who murdered Mrs. Angeline Casale, of 954 Reedsdale St., Northside, on the night of Aug. 31, 1914, has escaped from the county home at Woodville, where he was committed after having been found insane. Friends helped him to get away. The fact of his escape has been kept secret for over two months.
The escape occurred about 9 or 10 weeks ago, and no trace had been found of him since that time. The morning after the murder he made his escape from the Allegheny Central police station.
That Monastero had the assistance of friends on the outside in his escape from Woodville was the statement made by an official last night. So far the authorities have been able to learn it occurred early in the morning.
Monastero was suffering from dementia praecox, but was considered harmless and had the liberty of the recreation grounds. He was connected with an aviation company at the time of the murder.
Although the authorities at Woodville last night admitted Monastero's escape, the police at the Northside station said last night that Monastero was in Woodville the last they had heard of him, and denied all knowledge of his disappearance.
The murder occurred at 5:55 p.m. Aug. 31, 1914, in the home of Mrs. Casale in Reedsdale st., Northside. Monastero was arrested by Policemen John Beck and Michael Feeney that night. He escaped about 4 a.m. Sept. 1, and was recaptured Sept. 2.
Mrs. Casale was aged 52, and was shot while standing in the doorway of her kitchen. Monastero was captured after an exciting chase by men in an automobile. Mrs. Casale's determination to end the attentions paid her daughter by Monastero, was given as the cause of the shooting.
Monastero's escape from the Allegheny Central Police station early in the morning of Sept. 1, 1914, was a sensational affair. He asked for a drink of water and a few minutes after it was given him, his escape was discovered.
In speaking of Monastero's escape last night, Dr. R. L. Hill, superintendent of the county home, said a report of the escape had been made to the district attorney's office at once, but that all efforts to locate the patient had failed.
"Monastero was well satisfied and had no desire to leave here," Dr. Hill said. "His habits in every way indicated that the disease from which he suffered was gaining on him. We considered him harmless. We feel sure that he was assisted in his escape by friends on the outside. He was taken to his quarters by an attendant one night and was not missed until the patients were brought out the next morning. There was no chance of his making his getaway during the night so far as we could find, and no person witnessed his escape early that morning."
District Attorney Jackson last night said that the county authorities had been working on the case without success since Monastero's disappearance.
Was Adjudged Insane.
Monastero was never tried for murder, but was declared insane following a hearing the early part of the present year. Following the murder of Mrs. Casale he declared that he had shot in self defense after three shots had been fired at him through a window.
The police version was that the shooting was the culmination of Monastero's efforts to marry Rosie Casale, the dead woman's daughter, and the divorced wife of his brother, Stephen Monastero.
According to Rosie Casale, Lorito Monastero went to the downtown store in which she worked, and her efforts to have him leave her were futile. Later he left the store. When she reached her home in the evening she learned that her alleged suitor had called upon her mother. It was averred that Mrs. Casale threatened suicide if Lorita Monastero did not cease his attentions toward her daughter. During the man's visit to the house there is said to have been an altercation between him and Mrs. Casale, occasioned by the mother's admission that she had read certain letters written to Rosie by Lorito. The latter is said to have tried to induce the daughter to elope with him, following her divorce from his brother, and her former husband, she said, also attempted to persuade her to return to him.
The murdered woman's daughter declared that she wrote letters to Lorito Monastero because she was afraid of him.