NY State Census Bureau

Town of Pamelia, Jefferson Co., NY

The Poor House at Pamelia, Jefferson Co., in 1865 was set up to be a producing agricultural farm. Hermon Strong, age 62, born Oneida Co., was the head of the farming operation, with his wife, Sarah A, age 52. Daughters Mary C. Strong, age 30 and Josephine, age 4, an adopted daughter, were also living on the farm. Sarah was born in Rensselaer County NY and the girls were born in Jefferson County. The Pamelia location was not far from Watertown, New York, perhaps farther out into the county than it would be now based on the growth of Watertown. It is not known where patients were buried who died at the Poor House, so these census records may be the only key to where some ancestors were living in their later years.

When reproducing this special census we have omitted the medical notations that were used at the time to describe some of the patients and their conditions. Not all of the residents were paupers or homeless; many of the aged residents had no families to turn to in their elder years and needed a place to live. There were a number of residents who suffered from a wide variety of medical conditions but because the diagnosis process in 1865 was sorely lacking in accuracy, those notations have been omitted in the census reproduced for the Jefferson County site.

STRONG, HERMON, 62, b Oneida Co., Poor House Superintendent
STRONG, SARAH A., 52, b Rennseler,
STRONG, MARY C., 30, daughter, b Jefferson
STRONG, JOSEPHINE, 4, adopted daughter, b Jefferson
MILLARD, MARY, 58, sister, b Rensseler
HERRIMAN, EZRA, 30, servant, b Jefferson
HERRIMAN, NEOMA, 28, servant, b Jefferson - overseer of Insane asylum attached to the Poor House
HERRIMAN, GEORGE 4, adopted son, b Jefferson
SMITH, SALLY, 50, b unknown
COEL, POLLY, 67, b Massachusetts
WALTERS, JOHN, 52, b Germany
PENNY, MARVIN, 30, b Jefferson
SOMEBODY, JENNIE, 55, b Canada
DOE, FRANCIS, 92 (m), b France
MYERS, GEORGE, 38, b Germany
HILMAN, LOUISA, 55, b unknown
WELLS, ROUSE, 35, b Jefferson
COLNON, EDWARD, 75, b Ireland
SQUIRES, ELIZA, 53, b unknown
MANSION, NELLIE, 58, b Ireland
COEL, MARY, 75, b Ireland
SHERMAN, LUCINDA, 68, b unknown
MOONY, JOHN, 92, b France
LYON, JAMES, 53, b Ireland
WINNEE, THOMAS, 30, b unknown
DAILY, TURNER, 14, b Jefferson
FLEMMING, MICHEAL, 58, b Ireland
SIMPSON, JOHN, 33, b Ireland
MANKIN, JOHN, 60, b England
SHERMAN, BETSY, 49, b Ireland
STAR, JAMES, 72, b England
HENZY, SIMON, 40, b unknown
KNAPP, MARIA, 40, b unknown
REED, ABIGAL, 70, b unknown
CARROL, MICHAEL, 62, b Ireland
COTTON, LORAN, 63, b unknown
COTTON, LOVINA, 43, b Jefferson
COTTON, WILLIAM, 6, b Jefferson
STEVENS, ELLEN, 65, b Ireland
HATCH, JULIA, 32, b Jefferson
HATCH, THOMAS, 7, b Jefferson
MARLOW, ANN, 26, b Ireland
MARLOW, MARY J., 7, b Canada
WILLIAMS, JOSEPH, 14, b Jefferson
SMITH, SALLY, 38, b Jefferson
TAYLOR, WILLIAM, 70, b unknown
PETRY?, ELIZA, 33, b Canada
HARE, SPENCER, 14, b Jefferson
CHASE, OBADIAH, 60, b unknown
AUTHEN, FORTUNE, 65, b France
WHEELER, EDMOND, 56, b unknown
WHEELER, MARY, 59, b unknown
WHEELER, HARRIET, 8, b unknown
BENNET, OZIAS, 78, b unknown
MATTHEWS, THOMAS, 55, b unknown
LYNSDAY, THOMAS, 65, b unknown
BOLTON, FREDRICK 8, b Jefferson
HALLIARD, GEORGE, 48, b unknown
KNIGHTSMAN, AMELIA, 3, b Jefferson
COLE, GEORGE, 6, b Jefferson
DAILY, SARAH, 33, b unknown
DAVIS, WILLIAM 65, b Massachusetts
HAWLY, PERSIS, 64, b unknown
ENDERS, STERNBURGH, 71, b unknown
GRAHAM, MORIS, 28, b Ireland
CASTER, WILLIAM, 46, b Ireland
DAY, MARY, 54, b Ireland
PARISH, MARY, 27, b unknown
EMERSON, CAROLINE, 21, b unknown
THOMPSON, WILLIAM, 47, b unknown
WODEN?, FREDERICK, 12, b Jefferson
LAWTON, SARAH, 11? b Jefferson
MACENTIRE, DANIEL, 48, b Scotland
WATERMAN, CYNTHA, 76, b unknown
IRISH, CATON, 68, b Ireland
IRISH, CATHERINE, 57, b Ireland
COLLINS, JOHN, 48, b Ireland
WILNETTE, JOSEPH, 68, b France
WOOD, MALISSA, 15, b Jefferson
NASH, CATHARINE, 60, b Ireland
GRISWOLD, NATHANIEL, 33, b unknown
GRAHAM, HATTIE, 2/3 b Jefferson
EVANS, SABIN, 70, b unknown
KNOWLTON, WILLIAM, 12, b Jefferson
CHASE, PARMELIA 65, b unknown
KELLY, MICHAEL, 60, b Ireland
SULLIVAN, DENNIS, 80, b Ireland
CLYDE, SOPHRONA, 13, b Jefferson
RHINES, JNO, 48, b Jefferson
RHINES, WILLIAM, 6, b Jefferson
RHINES, ANGEVINE, 4, b Jefferson
CARLEY, JANE, 29, b Jefferson
TYDEK, ELLEN, 30, b Germany
GARDNER, DESIRE, 47, b unknown
GARDNER, LUCY, 20, b Jefferson
GARDNER, MARY, 15, b Jefferson
GARDNER, JULIA, 17, b Jefferson
GARDNER, ALICE, 7, b Jefferson
CLINE, GEORGE, 21, b Jefferson
MULLIN, JAMES, 52, b Ireland
BALDWIN, ALLEN, 66, b unknown
LEROY, STEPHEN, 68, b Canada
LEROY, ANGELINE, 26, b Canada
LEROY, JOHN, 7, b Jefferson
LEROY, ABBY, 6, b Jefferson
LEROY, EDDY, 2, b Jefferson
STOCK, JOHN G., 38, b England
GAULT, JOHN, 60, b unknown
ANDERSON, JANE, 30, b Canada
TROWBRIDGE, NANCY M., 50, b St. Luce
VAN ALLEN, JANE, 28, b Canada
MUNSON, THOMAS, 17,b Jefferson
PARKESON?, ANSON, 43, b Jefferson
MALLIARD, JOHN, 52, b France
PERIN, THURSSDAY, 1/12, b Jefferson
JEFFERSON, GURTRUDE, 1/6, b Jefferson
BAILY, MARY, 24, b Canada
BAILY, FRANK, 1/6, b Jefferson
BAILY, FRED, 1/6, b Jefferson
SOPER, REBECCA, 32, b Oneida
SEXTON, LOVINA, 28, b Jefferson
ANTHONY, ISAIAH, 80, b Jefferson
LOOMIS, ZEDOC B., 66, b Jefferson
GURNSEY, WILLIAM, 48, b Jefferson
FRAISER, HATTIE, 38, b unknown
PARLMER, ICOBUD, 65, b unknown
CORNWELL, LASAH 55, b unknown
HOLLAND, JULIA, 35, b Canada

Information abstracted and contributed by volunteer M. Sapienza. © 2015. Marilyn also wrote the introduction.

In his report to the Legislature of 1864, Dr. Sylvester D. Willard, Secretary of the New York State Medical Society, described the conditions at the individual county poorhouses of New York State. Dr. Willard was especially concerned with the treatment of those with mental illnesses and mental and physical disabilities in general. Jefferson County had one of the better poorhouses as far as quality of facilities, sanitation, and attention to individual's physical needs.


The poor house of Jefferson county has a population of one hundred and seventy-four; sixty-one of whom are lunatics. Twenty-two are males and thirty-two are females, who have been admitted at various dates within the last twenty years; the records do not show the period at which many were admitted. Five were admitted in 1864. Thirty-seven are mild cases. Only four of these have been treated in an asylum. Of the sixty-one, six males and sixteen females are capable of labor. All the males working out of doors. There is inclosed an acre of ground on which to exercise, and a swing is erected for amusement. [To what extent are these useful in the winter and stormy days, and what indoor amusements are furnished?] Eight are destructive to their clothing, and seventeen require occasional restraint by straight jacket, or handcuffs; confinement in cells and a bath are occasionally resorted to, to enforce restraint. The house has a very scant supply of water. It has one bath tub, and the insane are required to bathe once a week and to wash hands and face daily. It is very rarely that any are confined in cells without the privilege of coming daily to the open air. There are bedsteads of wood in all the rooms except the basement. Q. "What is the greatest number who sleep in one bed?" A. "Three to five idiots at times in a large bunk." Straw is used for bedding, which for the idiots is changed weekly, for others less often. The building is heated by furnace and stoves, and a comfortable temperature is maintained.

There is no efficient accommodations for the various grades of the insane. The sexes are not entirely separated. Aside from the keeper and the assistant keeper of the poor house, there are none but paupers employed in the immediate care of the lunatics. Q. Did you look for vermin on their persons? A. Now and then there are lice. The country receives in its charge recent cases. Five were without either shoes or stockings last winter. Fifty of the lunatics are separated from the paupers and are in the asylum building; eleven are in common with the paupers. Eleven were removed by their friends, between November 1, 1863, and November 1, 1864. Three died during the year and sixteen were discharged. An attending physician at a salary of $150, visits the institution twice a week by requisition, and oftener if required. Cases receive care with reference to recovery if not thought incurable.

The county house consists of two separate buildings - "the old poor house," and "the new asylum." Most of the insane are in the asylum. This in the main is well planned and constructed for its purpose, and is well ventilated. The poor house is very badly ventilated. Both are deficient in a supply of water and conveniences for bathing. The grounds attached are sufficiently large. The main rooms of the asylum are of good size, well lighted and very cheerful. The bedrooms are separated from the main body of the rooms by upright bars, of about 3x4 inches (transverse section,) leaving some four inches in space between each two bars. [A sort of cage.] There are thirty-eight bed rooms in the asylum and they are generally without fault.

Source: Documents of the Assembly of the State of New York, Volume 6, 1865, pp, 196-197.

Copyright 2016 Jefferson County NYGenWeb — a member of the NYGenWeb Project

If you have any questions or comments about this page, please contact,
County Co-Coordinator Nancy Dixon or
Co-Coordinator Bruce Coyne.

Return to Jefferson County Genweb Page