THE POOR HOUSE.
THE legislature on the 6th of February, 1804, authorized the erecting of a house for the employment and support of the poor in York county. The persons originally appointed to determine upon and fix the place for the erection of the Poor-House, were Martin Gardner, Samuel Collins, Abraham Grafius, Christian Hetrich, Peter Small, Peter Storm, John Heneisen, Henry Grieger, and Daniel Spangler. After a number of meetings, they made their report on the 30th of June 1804. They "fixed on the spot of ground within the bounds of the borough of York, called the town commons, being the south-west part, next adjoining Codorus Creek and Water street, containing about twenty-five acres." But in consequence of different claims having been made to the site they fixed upon, it was thought improper to erect the necessary building. This was represented to the legislature: and that body on the 1st of April 1805 empowered the then directors to determine upon such a site as to them might appear eligible, and likewise to cause the necessary buildings to be erected thereon. The directors immediately proceeded on the business committed to their charge, and on the 16th of the same month, made report of their proceedings. From their written account of what they had done, it appears that they "made purchase of a certain plantation, and tract of land, of and from Andrew Robinson, Esq., called Elm-spring farm* within one mile of the borough of York, as also one piece of timber land** containing nearly one hundred acres, within two miles of the aforesaid plantation." Shortly after this, in 1805, the old buildings were erected*** and the poor were removed thither from all parts of the county, in April 1806. The office of overseers of the poor ceased now to exist, and their duties devolved, in part, upon the directors.
The first election of directors of the poor was held on the 9th October 1804. The three persons elected met at the Court house on the 5th November following, and divided themselves into three classes. The place of the first class was to be vacated at the expiration of the first year; that of the second at the expiration of the second year; and that of the third at the expiration of the third year: - so that those who have been chosen since the first election, have been chosen to serve for three years; & one third is annually chosen. Their style is "The Directors of the Poor and House of employment for the county of York."
In the year 1828, another brick building was erected near the poor house, and connected with that institution. This was the elegant brick hospital which greets the eye of the stranger coming into York by the Philadelphia road, and is distinguished for its neatness, elegance and comfort. It is of brick, two stories high, its interior judiciously divided and the whole well fitted to the purpose for which it was erected.
The entire cost, in cash, to the county, of this excellent building, was $7800, a sum much less than it would have been but that a good deal of labor was performed, at its erection, by paupers supported at the poorhouse.
We cannot avoid naming the workmen who built and finished the hospital. The manner in which the work was executed reflects no little credit upon them. The mason was Mr. Jacob May - the carpenters, Messrs. Moore, Dietz and Straber.
The following is a list of the directors with the periods of their service.
- Daniel Spangler, from October 9, 1804, to October 9, 1810,
- George Barnitz, from October 9, 1810, to April ~, 1813.
- George Spang1er****, from April 6, 1813, to Aug. 7, 1815.
- Jacob Upp(*5), from Aug. 7, 1815, to Oct. 8, 1816.
- Michael Welsh, from Oct. 8, 1816, to Oct. 12, 1819.
- John Fahs, from Oct. 12, 1819, to Oct. 1822.
- Henry Stover, from Oct. 1822 to 1825.
- Caspar Laucks, from 1825 to 1828.
- John Emig, from 1828 to 1831.
- Nicholas Diehl, from 1831 to 1834.
- Jacob Small, from Oct. 9, 1804, to April 6, 1808.
- Jonathan Jessop,(*6) from April 1808, to Oct. 10, 1809.
- Martin Weiser, from Oct. 10, 1809, to Oct. 13, 1812.
- Gotlieb Ziegel, from Oct. 1812, to Dec. 21, 1816,
- Andrew Kramer, (*7) from Jan. 7, 1817, to Oct. 14, 1817.
- George Spangler, from Oct. 14, 1817, to April 8, 1818.
- Thomas Taylor (*8) from Apr. 8, 1818, to Oct. 13, 1818.
- Christian Lanius, from Oct. 13, 1818, to Oct. 9, 1821.
- Michael Eurich, from Oct. 9, 1821, to Oct. 12, 1824.
- Clement Stillinger, from Oct. 12, 1824, to 1827.
- Henry Smyser, from 1827 to 1830.
- Alexander Small, from 1830 to 1833.
- Christian Hildebrand, 1833 to 1836.
- Martin Ebert, from Oct. 9, 1804, to Oct. 11, 1808.
- George Lottman, from Oct. 11, 1808, to Jan. 25, 1812.
- Gotlieb Ziegel,(*9) from April 9, 1812, to Oct. 1812.
- Jacob Schaffer, from Oct. 13, 1812, to Oct. 1814.
- Philip Kissinger, from Oct. 11, 1814, to Oct. 1817.
- Wm. Johnston, from Oct. 14, 1817, to Oct. 10, 1820.
- Jacob Laucks, from Oct. 10, 1820, to Oct. 1823.
- Jacob Diehl, from Oct. 1823 to 1826.
- John Strickler, from 1826 to 1829.
- Henry 'Wolf, from 1829 to 1832.
- John Rienian, from 1832 to 1835.
The stewards of the poor house have been John Demuth, 3 years, George Lottman, 3 years, John Becker, 1 year, William Jordan, 9 years, George Ilgenfritz, 3 years, Geo. Schank, 4 years, Martin Gardner, from 1829 to the present time.
The Clerks to the Directors have been, at different times, Emanuel Spangler, John Stroman, George W. Spangler, Geo. Carothers, George Halter, Daniel Heckert, Henry Welsh, George Small and Michael Bentz.
The Physicians of the hospital connected with the poorhouse, have been the following gentlemen, in the order in which they stand, viz:
Dr. John Morris,
Dr. Wm. Mcllvaine, (a second time),
Dr. Thomas Jameson,
Dr. John Rouse,
Drs. Jacob & Michael Hay
Drs. Mcllvaino and Small,
Dr. John Bentz,
Dr. Alexander Small,
Dr. Wm. Mcllvalne,
Dr. John Fisher,
Dr. Luke Rouse,
Drs. Hailer and Rouse.
Although the office of Overseers of the Poor is now abolished in this county, yet perhaps it may not be unpleasant to hear a word concerning them. The first appointment of Overseers of the Poor, by the courts of York county, was on the 26th of March, 1750. The record reads thus: "At a court of Private Sessions of the Peace held at York for the county of York, the 26th day of March, in the twenty-third year of the reign of our sovereign Lord, George the Second, by the grace of God, of Great Britain, France and Ireland. King, Defender of the Faith &c. Anno Domini 1750. Before John Day, Thomas Cox, George Swoope and Patrick Watson, Esquires, Justices assigned &c. The following persons were by the court appointed Overseers of the Poor for the several townships in this county.
York-town. William Sinkler and Michael Laub.
Hellain. Caspar Williart and Peter Gardner.
Chanceford. Robert Moreton and John Hill.
Fawn. Alexander McCandless and John Gordon.
Shrewsbrrry. Hugh Montgomery and Hugh Low.
Codorus. Peter Dinkle and John Worthering.
Manchester. Peter 'Wolf and Valentine Crans.
Newberry. Nathan Hussey and George Thauly.
Dover. Philip Couf and Andrew Spangler.
Warrington. William Griffith and George Grist.
Huntingdon. Isaac Cook and Archibald M'Grew.
Monaghan. James Carothers and George Cohoon.
Reading. William Wilson and Mathias Maloon.
Tyrone. Robert Mcllvaine and Finley M'Grew.
Strabane. David Turner and James Stevenson.
Menallan. John Gilliland and John Lawrence.
Cumberland. John M'Farren and David Porter.
Hamilton's Ban. James Agnew and William Wagh.
Mount joy. James Hunter and William Gibson.
Germany. Jacob Koontz Smith and Peter Little.
Mount pleasant. William Block and Alexander M'Carter.
Heidelberg. Peter Shultz and Andrew Schreiber.
Berwick. Caspar Weiser and George Baker.
Paradise, Clement Sludebaker and John Rode.
Manheim. Samuel Budgel and Solomon Miller."
ATTORNEYS OF YORK COUNTY.
Among the attorneys who were admitted at York, upon the first opening of the courts of the county, were William Peters, John Lawrence, George Ross, David Stout, John Renshaw, &c. Those who have been admitted since, are;
Edward Shippen, admitted Apr. 30, 1751
Lindsay Coates Jan. 29, 1765
John Mather, Jr. do
James Reed Apr. 30, 1765
Samuel Morris July 30, 1751
Jasper Yeates May 29, 1765
Joseph Galloway do
Andrew Allen July 23, 1705
Hugh Bay Jan. 28, 1752
Alexander Wilcox do
Thomas Olway Apr. 25, 1753
Henry Eleves do
William Parr do
Richard Peters Jr. do
David Henderson July 29, 1755
Stephen Porter do
Samuel Johnson Oct. 28, 1755
James Sayre do
James Bisset Jan. 23, 1759
Robert Gllbraith Oct. 22, 1765
William Atlee July 24, 1759
WillIam Swoney do
William M'Clay Apr. 28, 1760
Edward Biddle do
James Wilson Oct. 27, 1767
Jacob Moor Jan, 24, 1769
Thomas Hood do
Jacob Rush Apr. 25, 1769
John Wilkes Kittera Oct. 28, 1783
Stephen Watte do
James Riddle Jan. 25, 1785
CoL Casper Witzal do
Jacob Hubby do
Christian Hoake do
Ross Thompson Apr. 26, 1785
Thomas Hartley July 25, 1769
Andrew Dunlap Oct. 25, 1785
John Hubley July 24, 1770
Joseph Hubby do
James Lukens Apr. 23, 1771
James Carson Jan. 24, 1786
David Grier do
William Montgomery Apr. 25, 1786
David Espy do
Peter HufTnagle do
Andrew Scott July 23, 1771
John Joseph Henry do
Peter Zachariah Loyd Apr. 28, 1772
John Woods do
Andrew Ross July 28, 1712
John CaIdweil July 25,
George Ross jr. July 27, 1773
James Hopkins Apr. 26,
John Reily July 27, 1773
Charles Smith do
Robert Buchanan do
James Campbell July 29, 1788
John Stedman Oct.26,1773
George Fisher do
John M'Gill do
John Lukens Jan. 27, 178~
Thomas Smith Jan. 25, 1774
Ralph Bowie July 28, 1'189
Charles Stedman do
Thomas Nisbit July 29, 1789
David M'Meeken do
John Moore July 30, 1789
Jaspar Ewing Oct. 25, 1774
Mathias Barton do
William Barton Apr. 25, 1775
John Montgomery Apr.26, 1790
James Wilson Jan. 26, 1779
James Kelly July 27, 1700
Col. Thomas Hartley do
David Waltz Oct.26, 1700
Maj.John Clark Apr. 27, 1779
James Orbison Jan. 25, 1791
George Noarth July 27, 1779
Samuel Riddle Jan. 26, 1791
Col. Wm. Bradford do
John Smith do
Stephen Chambers(*10) Apr. 24, 1781
Charles Hall Apr. 6, 1791
James Hamilton do
George Smith do
Col. Robert M'Gaw July 24, 1781
Mathias Slough Mar. 7, 1792
Stephen Porter July 23, 1782
David Moore June 5, 1792
Thomas Smith Apr. 29, 1783
Jacob Carpenter do
John Lawrence July 29, 1783
Mathew M'Alister do
John Ross June 6, 1892
Michael W. Ash May 12, 1818
Samuel Roberts do
John Wright Aug. 9, 1818
William Barber Mar 2, 1793
James Lewis Aug. 1, 1820
William Ross June 3, 1793
Daniel Durkeo Oct. 30, 1820
John Shippen Dec 2, 1793
William C. Frazer do
Charles William Hartley do
Thomas Kelly Oct. 31, 1820
Thomas Elder do
Webster Lewis Dec. 28, 1820
David Cassat Mar, 4, 1794
Walter Franklin, Jr. Jan. 2, 1821
Parker Campbell June 2, 1794
Joseph C. Cohen Jan. 4, 1822
Samuel Scott Gllbraith do
Jacob A. Fisher Mar. 28, 1822
James Smith Sept. 7, 1795
Charles B. Penrose July 21, 1822
Thomas Baily do
John Evans Aug. 3, 1822
Thomas B. Zantzinger Sept. 4, 1797
Calvin Mason Aug. 5, 1822
Robert Hays Dec 4, 1797
Henry C. Campbell Aug. 8, 1822
Joseph Miller Mar 5 1798
Charles Worthington Aug. 28, 1822
Charles Hare June 5 1800
George W. Klein Aug. 29, 1822
Richard Brooks Do
John S. Wharton Sept. 16, 1822
Andrew Buchanan June 18 1801
John Bowie Nov. 4, 1822
James Dobbins June 19, 1801
Eman'l C. Reigard Nov. 5, 1822
John Strohman Feb. 19, 1805
James Findlay Jan. 7, 1823
John M'Conaughy Feb. 18, 1806
Henry H. Cassat Apr. 7, 1823
Bushnell Carter Apr. 3, 1810
Samuel M. Barnitz do
George A. Barnitz Apr 2 1811
Edward Chapin Apr. 9, 1823
Henry Shippen Nov 5 1811
F. M. Wadsworth Apr. 15, 1823
John Gardner Aug 4 1812
George W. Harris Aug. 6, 1823
Jasper Slaymaker Oct 21 1814
John Smith Nov. 3, 1823
John Blanchard Mar 31 1815
James Anderson do
Samuel Bacon April 1815
Richard Porter Feb. 17, 1824
James Merrill Nov 3 1815
Xerxes Cushman July 27 1824
Samuel Merrill Oct 29 1816
William C. Carter Aug 4 1824
Thaddeus Stevens Nov. 4, 1816
George A Barnitz Nov 16 1824
Edwin A. White Dec. 17, 1816
Robert S. King Aug 1 1825
Daniel Raymond Jan. 6, 1817
Wm. WilIer Aug 10 1825
Colin Cooke Apr. 9, 1817
Morgan Ash May 9 1826
Isaac Fisher July 28, 1817
James Buchanan Aug 21 1826
Molton C. Rogers Mar. 20, 1810
Edward Coleman do
William Gemmill Apr. 0, 1818
William H. Brown May 11, 1818
David F. Lammot Apr. 2, 1827
Thomas C. Hambly Apr. 7, 1829
George Heckert May 14, 1827
Robert M. Lee Aug. 8, 1832
William B. Donaldson Nov. 7, 1827
William W. Haly Sep. 4, 1832
William H. Kurtz Jan. 7, 1828
Ebenezer M'Ilvaine Oct. 15, 1832
Ellis Lewis Jan. 10, 1828
Benjamin Rush Jan. 9, 1833
James Kelly Mar. 3, 1828
Daniel M. Smyser Aug 7, 1833
Miner T. Leavenworth Aug. 9, 1828
John L Mayer Feb 20, 1834
Robert J. Fisher Nov. 4, 1828
John I Allen Mar 5, 1834
Benjamin Chainpneys do
E. G. Bradford Apr 11, 1834
* The history of this farm is as follows: On the 17th Oct. 1766, Thomas Penn and Richard Penn granted a patent to John Hahn and Michael Hahn for a tract called "Rigen." On 4th of Nov. John sold to Michael Hahn. On 20th Nov. Michael Hahn sold to Mathias Sitler. On 27th Nov. 1790 Sitler sold to George Bentz. On l5th April, 1796, Bentz sold to Henry King. On 2d March 1802 King sold to Andrew Robinson. In April, 1805, it passed to the directors of the poor, In consideration of 4400 pounds, the tract purchased containing 132 acres, 156 perches and allowance.
** This tract, which is known by the name of the "Hermitage farm," contains 159 acres and 17 perches, with allowance and was purchased for 600 pounds.
*** the price of "Elm-Spring" and "Hermitage" farms was $13,333.33. The cash expended for brick, lime, stone, sand, and other materials towards building the poor house amounted to $4761.34.
**** Mr. Barnitz was commissioned on the 26th March, 1813, an assistant Judge of the courts of York; and it was on his account that the court of quarter sessions on the 6th April 1813, appointed Mr. Spangler as Director.
(*5) Mr. Spangler was, after his appointment, elected Director on 12th Oct. 1818: he resigned his office on August 7, 1815, when the court appointed Mr. Upp, who was afterwards, viz, on Oct. 10, 1815, "elected" to the office.
(*6)Mr. Small who was elected a second time on Oct. 4 1800, resigned on April 6, 1808, when 'the court appointel Mr. Jessop.
(*7) Mr. ZIeg]e, who was elected a second time on Oct. 11, 1815, died on the 21pt of December 1810; and to fill the vacancy in office, the court appointed Mr. Kramer.
(*8)Mr. Taylor was appointed in room of Mr. Spongier, resigned.
(*9) Mr. Lottman died on the 25th of January 1812; and the court at their next session appointed Mr. Ziegel to fill the vacancy occasioned thereby.
(*10) Mr. Chambers was a native of Ireland, whence he came to this country before the Revolution. During the war of our independence he signalized himself as a warm and worthy friend of the country; and afterwards was honored with several exalted stations in Pennsylvania. Among other things it may be mentioned that he was one of the council of censors in 1783, and was a member of the state convention in 1787. On Monday, the 11th May, 1789, he received a wound in a duel fought with Dr. Jacob Rieger, on Wednesday mortification was discovered, and on Saturday the 16th of the same month, he died at his house in Lancaster.
Source: Page(s) 53 - 61, History of York County From its Erection to the Present Time; [1729-1834]; New Edition; With Additions, Edited by A. Monroe Aujrand, Jr.