The Yorkville Enquirer reported on Oct. 8, 1890 – “The county commissioners have elected Mr. William P. Wylie of Sharon as Supt. of the York County Poor House to replace Mr. James Dillingham who choose not to be re-elected. During his tenure the poor house has been self supporting, one of the few in the state to do so.”
City Directories and History: In 1858 York County supported a home for paupers. It was called the “Poor House” and was located on Thorn’s Ferry Road between the town of Yorkville and the Catawba River. M. A. Hambright was paid $300 a year for his duties as overseer.
The Poor House was a series of cottages with a two-story house provided for the overseer who also directed the farm activities that provided food for the paupers. When the October 1858 session of Court was held the Grand Jury investigated the paupers and their housing. They found the “paupers properly cared for, comfortably clothed, with good bedding, and houses neat and cleanly.” On hand there was about 500 bushels of com, a good garden, seven hogs suitable for bacon, seventeen stock hogs, two cows with calves and two horses. The only problem found was that there were not enough spaces for the occupants. Two of the paupers were living in the upstairs section of the overseer’s house. The Grand Jury recommended that additional housing be built.
Supported by the Poor House were: William Wilson and wife, Margaret Tomlinson, Nelly Graham, Rachel Duncan, Elizabeth Bird, Elizabeth Sanseng, Nancy Sanseng, Matthew Hayes, Rebecca Mattocks, Margaret Mattocks, Jamima Mattocks, Mary Faris, Nathan Horn, Elijah Dover and Mary Kennedy. Not all of the poor lived at the Poor House. Some were boarded out to “agents for the poor,” at varying rates of $20 to $50 annually. One-fourth of the county’s general tax was assigned to the care of paupers.
The insane were sent to the “Lunatic Asylum” in Columbia. Each person sent to Columbia cost the county $50 a year. In 1858 York County residents in the asylum were: Jane J. Hopkins, Alexander Adickes, Nancy Faris, Selena Dulin, John Clark, E. A. Shurley, Amzi Black, and James Fee.
(Information courtesy of and from: YCGHS – The Quarterly Magazine)
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