Thursday, January 08, 2009

Caswell County Pauper Home


Caswell County Pauper Home History Summary (Updated May 2016)

1787: By 1787, Wardens of the Poor had been elected for Caswell County, and Robert Dickens, representative from Caswell, secured passage of a bill to empower the Wardens "to purchase lands and build a house for the reception of the Poor in the County." A tax was authorized not only to build a house or houses but also to maintain both the poor and "persons . . . distracted or otherwise deprived of their senses." Whether any buildings were constructed is not known.

1826: The first documented Caswell County Poor House was built at a cost of $863 on land purchased for $750. This building must have been of good construction as it was used until the early 1920s.

1827: In 1827 the Caswell County Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions ordered a kitchen and smoke house to be built at the poor house, the cost being $130.

1842: In 1842 the Caswell County Wardens of the Poor reported their average annual expenditure as being between $750 and $800, but revenues in the immediate past had not been sufficient to meet all expenses. At that time there were seventeen paupers in their charge.

1850: At the time of the 1850 US Federal Census (7 August 1850) Thomas Wilkinson was the resident manager (superintendent of the poor) at the Caswell County Pauper Home. Fifteeen paupers were resident, with two described as "idiot or insane."

1851: The Wardens of the Poor in 1851 reported the names of fifteen people at the poor house including one identified as "Jane, a colored woman," which suggests that both blacks and whites were maintained. The report continued by mentioning that there were 35 others in eight family groups who received sums ranging from $2 to $5 each month.

1855-1856: In 1855 a 64-foot piazza was added across the front of the main building. In 1855 and 1856 the Caswell County Wardens of the Poor did more business at Fels store in Yanceyville than with any other merchant.

1860: When the US census was enumerated in 1860, Levi Cobb Page (1807-1878) was the "Steward of Poorhouse" in Caswell County, North Carolina. He apparently also served in that capacity in 1870. Thirty-seven paupers were resident.

1870: Levi Cobb Page apparently was "Steward of the Poor House." The 1860 census clearly describes his occupation as such. However, in the 1870 census his occupation is shown as "Farmer," but his household is enumerated immediately before a long list (29) of paupers resident at the poor house. Some of these also appeared in the 1860 census. Thus, it is reasonable to assume that Levi Cobb Page was Steward of Poorhouse when the 1870 census was taken. However, he was not in that job as of October 7, 1872, when the Caswell County Commissioners appointed Bird W. Evans to the position.

1872: On October 7, 1872, Bird W. Evans appointed overseer of Poor House at salary of $125 per annum with provisions for himself and family. (Caswell County Board of County Commissioners). He apparently succeeded Levi Cobb Page, but only held the position for around two years. See the following 1874 record of an advertisement for superintendent of Poor House.

1874: September 8, 1874: Board to advertise for superintendent of Poor House. (Caswell County Board of County Commissioners)

1880: Pleasant Johnson Scott was "Overseer Poor" at the time of the 1880 US Federal Census. After his family was enumerated appears a long list of individuals (30 or so) that, while not identified as such, most likely are residents of the Caswell County Pauper Home (poor house). Included are Jane Hundley and her children Angeline Hundley and William Yancey Hundley. This family is known to have resided at the poor house in 1880, thus confirming that the individuals enumerated after Pleasant J. Scott and his family are indeed residents of the poor house.

1890: No census information is available.

1900: Civil War veteran Eaton Baynes Barker (1844-1927) lived at and managed the Caswell County Pauper Home at the time of the 1900 and 1910 US Federal Censuses. When he assumed this position is not known; but at the time of the 1920 US Federal Census Joseph Samuel Reagan (1885-1951) lived at and managed the facility. In 1900, 18 paupers were resident.

1910: The 1910 US Federal Census refers to the 21 residents as "Inmates." The "Superintendent" was Civil War veteran Eaton Baynes Barker (1844-1927).

1920: At the time of the 1920 US Federal Census, Joseph Samuel Reagan (1885-1951) managed the Caswell County Pauper Home at which six "Inmates" resided. This was before the "new" and last Caswell County Pauper Home was built in 1926. Whether Joseph Sam Reagan resided at the "old" Caswell County Pauper Home across the road from the "new" one is not known. While the Caswell County Pauper Home had 21 inmates in 1910, that number dropped to 6 in 1920. Query the reason for this substantial reduction. Did in 1918 influenza epidemic reduce the population?

1926: In 1926 Caswell County spent $35,187.00 for a new county home on a 394-acre tract.

1930: At the time of the 1930 US Federal Census, Woods Henry Moore (1882-1947) was the "Keeper" at the Caswell County Pauper Home. Included in the household were his wife, five children, a cook, and 13 "Inmates."

1940: At the time of the 1940 US Federal Census, George D. Evans (1880-1943) lived in and managed the Caswell County Pauper Home on the County Home Road. The household included his wife, Mollie Shaw Evans, and 12 "Inmates."

1950S: During some part of the 1950s and ending in 1959, James Alvis Cheek (1910-1966) served as the resident manager at the Caswell County Pauper Home.

1959: Mrs. Pearl Virginia Smith Moorefield appointed the final Resident Manager (superintendent of the poor) at the Caswell County Pauper Home.

1960s and Subsequent: During the 1960s, the Caswell County Commissioners determined that the County Home no longer was an efficient method of providing care to the poor, and the facility was closed. After being used as a warehouse by several businesses, the building was demolished.
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Caswell County Pauper Home (Poor House) Managers

Following is a list of the known resident managers of the Caswell County Pauper Home (poor house), locally called the County Home (and for which a Caswell County road is named: County Home Road). Thomas Wilkinson was not the first to hold this position (in 1850), just the first for whom documentation has been found. Also, there probably was another manager (or managers) between George D. Evans and James Alvis Cheek.

1. Thomas Wilkinson
2. Levi Cobb Page
3. Bird W. Evans
4. Pleasant Johnson Scott
5. Eaton Baynes Barker
6. Joseph Samuel Reagan
7. Woods Henry Moore
8. George D. Evans
9. James Alvis Cheek
10. Pearl Virginia Smith Moorefield (last resident manager)
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In early 1826 Caswell County (North Carolina) purchased around eighty acres of land from the Gunn family north of the courthouse to be used as a poor house. The facility required large acreage as it had to include farming operations and land for cattle. The contract was let to William H. Childs for $840 on 10 April 1826. The house was built in a long row with eight rooms in each row. The rooms were sixteen feet square except for one center room that was to be sixteen by twenty feet in size. The walls and partitions were of brick, well burnt of good bond and to be at least nine inches by four inches by three inches when completed. The floor was to be of lime covered with good pine or oak timber. Each room was to have an outside door with a window on the opposite side. Timber growing on the land was to be used if possible. The roof was to be covered with good ripe shingles. The building was a model for its day and was still in use in 1920.

Annually, the county appointed Wardens of the Poor. A tax was levied for support of the county's poor people. In 1827 the court ordered a kitchen and smoke house to be built at the poor house, the cost being $130. The Presbyterian minister John S. Grasty kept a diary and mentioned weekly visits to the poor house in 1850. In addition to housing the poor, the facility also provided confinement for the county's mentally impaired.

In the 1920's Caswell County built a new County Home of brick construction that stood across the highway (now named the County Home Road) from the first home. In the 1960's it was determined that the use of a county home for the poor was out-of-date and the building was abandoned. For a while it was leased as warehouse space but now has been demolished. The last Resident Manager of the Caswell County Home was Mrs. Arthur William Moorefield (Pearl Virginia Smith).

Source: Article by Katharine Kerr Kendall in The Heritage of Caswell County, North Carolina, Jeannine D. Whitlow, Editor (1985) at 19.
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Caswell County Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions

April 1825: Appointed commission of Alex. Henderson, Azariah Graves, Geo. Williamson, William Lea, John P. Harrison, Gen. Azariah Graves, Benjamin C. West, Hosea McNeil, Alex. Gordon, and James Yancey to receive propositions for the purchase of a suitable situation on which to erect a poor house and also for the Building of the same and report to next term of court. Wardens of Poor: Alexander Gordon, James Holden, Joseph Penix, Ransom Boswell, William Kimbrough, Woodlief Hooper, and Henry Cobb.

July 1825: Determined after taking into consideration an act of Gen. Assembly of this State relative to the erection of a poor house that it was expedient to erect the same. It was ordered that the same commissioners who at the last meeting were instructed to receive plans for the bldg. of the poor house and to receive propositions of the sales of lands and report to the court and to obtain such information as may be convenient on this subject from the wardens of the poor and other counties who may have poor houses and that the clerk give to each of the Justices of the Peace information that the subject of a poor house will be acted upon at the next term of the court on the first day. Ordered that there be levied and collected 10 cents on every $100 worth of land and 30 cents on every poll to defray the Poor tax for the year 1825.

October 1825: Ordered that there be levied and collected 5 cents on every $100 worth of real estate and 20 cents on each and every white and black poll for purpose of erecting and building a poor house. Following appointed commissioners for the purchase of lands for the building of the Poor House and also to contract for the building of same: B. Yancey, B. Brown, Anderson Harrison, Jr., Quinton Anderson, Thomas Williamson, William Lea, and Major James Currie.

October 1826: Commissioners appointed to purchase land and erect a Poor and Workhouse made their report stating the building had been let and completed where upon Court ordered that the Wardens of the Poor be informed that the building was ready for reception of the poor and that they be received as soon as the necessary preparation can be made for them. It was further ordered that the following be paid to the administration of Griffin Gunn $500, for the tract of land bought of him and to pay to Sterling Gunn $320 for the land bought from him and that the county trustee pay William Childs $863 in full for the contract for building the Poor House.

April 1827: Commission to examine kitchen, smoke house, and corn crib attached to the Poor House and report to the Court "whether they are necessary and proper and whether they have been executed in a workmanlike manner and what is reasonable price for same.

July 1827: Tax rate: 6 cents on every $100 worth of landed property and 25 cents on every taxable poll black and white for contingent charges 1827; Same amount of tax levied on land and poll for the poor expenses for 1827. Allowed Truman Hubbard $130.30 for building kitchen, smoke house at the Poor House and John Scott $40.89 for building buildings at the Poor House.

April 1855: Account of William Lockheart allowed $798 for building at Poor House.

July 1859: Will W. Price allowed $20 for burying 3 poor persons. Ordered overseer of the Poor be required to bring suit against executor of __________ for maintenance of an old negro woman at the Poor House.

July 1862: Ordered that 98 bushels of salt now in the possession of J. L. McKee that belongs to the county be held for the Poor House and the county indigent families of the soldiers of this county.

October 1866: That A. D. Hubbard's account for $30 be allowed for making coffins for paupers.

April 1868: John D. Long $23.38 for burying paupers.

Caswell County Board of County Commissioners

October 7, 1872: Bird W. Evans appointed overseer of Poor House at salary of $125 per annum with provisions for himself and family.

September 8, 1874: Board to advertise for superintendent of Poor House.
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The good people of Caswell County never faltered when time arose to erect public buildings. In a span of 83 years (1777-1860) they had built four courthouses, three jails, a poor house, and dug a public well. Kendall at 147.

Source: Historical Abstracts of Minutes of Caswell County, North Carolina 1777-1877, Katharine Kerr Kendall (1976).
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North Carolina (1904): The board of commissioners for each county is authorized to provide for the maintenance and well-ordering of the poor and to employ biennially some competent person as overseer of the poor. All persons who become chargeable to any county must be maintained at the county home for the aged and infirm, or at such other place as the board of commissioners may select. Paupers must not be let out at public auction. The county is not liable for the full support of paupers unless they have a legal settlement in the county, which may be gained by residence for one year. Other paupers or needy persons must be taken care of at the expense of the county to which they belong and be removed thither as soon as practicable. The county home of the aged and infirm is under the control of the board of commissioners of each county. The board may employ and overseer on a fixed salary to care for the inmates of the home, or may pay a specified sum for the support of the paupers to anyone who will take charge of the home and its inmates. The county homes are subject to inspection by the state board of public charities. There is also a system of voluntary county visitors to the almshouses.

The following is from When the Past Refused to Die: A History of Caswell County North Carolina 1777-1977, William S. Powell (1977) at 170-172 and 290:

Throughout this period county officials were aware of the needs of many people within their supervision and frequently took steps to alleviate their distress. Before the American Revolution the Established Church, acting through the parish vestry, had ministered to the needs of the poor, widows, orphans, and others. With the disestablishment in 1776, this duty fell upon the county government. A state law of 1777 directed that Overseers of the Poor be elected on Easter Monday and every three years thereafter. The first election should have taken place in 1778, but war-related activity probably prevented most counties from doing so. The law was amended in 1781, and action was urgently needed by then to render attention "to the needs of person wounded in defence of their country and of widows and orphans of those who died." In Orange and Caswell counties the desired election could not be held even in 1781 because of "the movements of the enemy." By 1787, however, Wardens of the Poor had been elected for the county, and Robert Dickens, representative from Caswell, secured passage of a bill to empower the Wardens "to purchase lands and build a house for the reception of the Poor in the County." A tax was authorized not only to build a house or houses but also to maintain both the poor and "persons . . . distracted or otherwise deprived of their senses." Whether such a house was built then is not indicated, however in 1824 another law was enacted for very much the same purpose. In April, 1826, a committee was appointed composed of William Childs, Thos. D. Johnston, and E. Graves for preparing a plan, specifications, and a contract for building "a Poor & Work House for the County of Caswell."

The plans as drawn up and approved called for a long two-story building consisting of eight rooms each sixteen feet square. One near the middle, however, was to be 16 feet wide and 20 feet long. Each room was to have a door on the east and a 12-light window opposite the door. All but the large room would be occupied by inmates. The large room would serve as a dining room, a meeting room, and a place for church services. There were to be chimneys between every two rooms. Walls between the rooms were to be brick, faced on both sides, perhaps as a precaution against the spread of fire. A low bid of $840 was submitted and accepted and a completion date of October 1, 1826, established. Some years later an overseer's house and a 14-foot square smokehouse were added. At some unknown time a separate kitchen was also constructed, and in 1855 a 64-foot piazza was added across the front of the main building.

Wardens of the poor in the county were authorized to draw up rules and regulations designed to protect the health and morals and to provide "good government" for the poor. A superintendent of the poor would be employed "to keep at moderate labour, such of the poor committed to [his] charge as shall be able to labour, and treat them with kindness and humanity, and provide them sufficient and suitable diet, clothing, lodging and other necessaries. The superintendent was also to "enforce all rules, orders and regulations" issued by the Wardens of the Poor. Afterwards the Wardens began to issue regular reports. Calvin Graves was a warden in 1831, and in 1836 a small lot of land belonging to Rachel Paschal, pauper, was sold for $37 and turned over to them. In 1842 they reported their average annual expenditure as being between $750 and $800, but revenues in the immediate past had not been sufficient to meet all expenses. At that time there were seventeen paupers in their charge. "Their situation [is] as comfortable & as pleasant as it can be made in an establishment of the kind," the Wardens noted. Most of these unfortunate people were cheerful and seemed to be contented, they said. A crop of corn and oats was being grown and was expected to lessen the current expenses as would some cattle and hogs being maintained by the poor. A well had been sunk during the year and a pump installed for the convenience of the residents of the poor house. It was also reported that there were three insane people confined at the poor house, and the wardens requested the County Court to erect an inexpensive but strong and comfortable building in which to confine "those unfortunate beings."

There was a dreadful crop failure in 1845 and widespread suffering was the result. The Milton Chronicle the following January wrote: "Why attempt to conceal the fact--it cannot be disguised -- that there is a lamentable want of attention -- not only to the sick-bed of the poor . . . but even to following them to the grave and depositing them in the ground . . . our heart sickens at the sight and our pen falters to tell the tale of suffering that we have seen recently." This disaster represented a low point in the county's concern for the poor, and in 1848 the great humanitarian, Dorothea Dix, reported that she "found the Caswell County poorhouse to consist of a series of decent one story buildings, kept remarkabley clen and neat." The Wardens of the Poor in 1851 reported the names of fifteen people at the poor house including one identified as "Jane, a colored woman," which suggests that both blacks and whites were maintained. The report continued by mentioning that there were 35 others in eight family groups who received sums ranging from $2 to $5 each month. In 1855 and 1856 the Wardens did more business at S. Fels' store than with any other merchant.

. . . . In 1926 Caswell County had spent $35,187.00 for a new county home on a 394-acre tract; it had a two-story central section with accommodations upstairs for the keeper and spacious dining rooms downstairs for both races. One wing had six rooms for white males and six for white females; the other identical wing was for blacks. This, however, could not meet the emergency that the county faced in the 1930s. During the year 1935, for example, it was reported that there were 1,136 people on "relief" out of a population of around 18,200. Of the 3,343 family units in the county there were 195 on relief. Nevertheless, Caswell's record was quite good. It was ninth among the one hundred counties in the number of people who worked for the assistance they received instead of merely accepting a dole. Of those on relief in the county, 27.4% worked; the state average was 57.4%. The average weekly relief benefits per capita for the county during the year beginning April, 1934, was $2.22. The state average was $3.13 and Caswell ranked 63rd in the 100 counties.

Each wing of this new building also was equipped with two steel cells that would have been suitable for a maximum-security prison. Presumably, because the County Home also was to care for the feeble of mind, these cells were used to restrain inmates who were not otherwise controllable.
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Deeds

From "Caswell County North Carolina Deed Books 1817-1840", Abstracts by Katharine Kerr Kendall at page 113 & 121.

Deed Book W page 318-9

"Griffin Gunn to James Yancey, Chairman of county court of Caswell Co. and on behalf of CC by court order to purchase lands for the poor house, for $500, 213 1/2 A on Rattlesnake Cr adj James Ingram, Graves. 28 Feb 1826. Wit: B. Yancey, Azariah Graves.
Commrs for building poor house: Bartlett Yancey, William A. Lea, Bedford Brown, Quinton Anderson, Thomas Williamson, Andrew Harrison Jur., Major James Currie."

Deed Book X page 64-5

"Starling Gunn Sen. To James Yancey, Chairman of County Court of Quarter Sessions, for $320 at $4 per acre, 80 A adj Griffin Gunn, Miles Poteat, said land purchased for poor and work house as ordered by Act of General Assembly, adj John Graves, on road from Rose ground to Milton. 7 Oct 1826. Wit: John P. Harrison."

A 1936 Caswell County highway map clearly shows the County Home in the shape of a cross. The Civilian Conservation Corp camp is across what was eventually named the County Home Road. To see this map go to: Caswell County Highway Map
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(click on photograph for larger image)

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Pauper Cemetery

Caswell County apparently operated a paupers' cemetery, possibly in connection with this poor house/county home (but it may have been for all paupers whether or not they resided at the poor house). See: County Home Cemetery


County Home & Farm Cemetery
County Home Road, Caswell County, North Carolina
GPS Coordinates: Latitude: 36.41776, Longitude: -79.33946
http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=cr&CRid=2354594&CScn=county&CScntry=4&CSst=29&CScnty=1667&

Cemetery notes and/or description: Abandoned and Neglected and Overgrown

See Caswell Co NC Map Book 1 page 74 and Map Book 11 page 223 for a plat of the County Farm and location of the cemeteries.
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Caswell County Pauper Home (Poor House) Managers

Following is a list of the known resident managers of the Caswell County Pauper Home (poor house), which many came to know as the County Home (and for which a Caswell County road is named: County Home Road). Levi Cobb Page was not the first to hold this position, just the first for whom documentation has been found. Also, there may have been others between George D. Evans and James Alvis Cheek.

1. Thomas Wilkinson
2. Levi Cobb Page
3. Bird W. Evans
4. Pleasant Johnson Scott
5. Eaton Baynes Barker
6. Joseph Samuel Reagan
7. Woods Henry Moore
8. George D. Evans
9. James Alvis Cheek
10. Pearl Virginia Smith Moorefield (last resident manager)
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1787

By 1787, Wardens of the Poor had been elected for Caswell County, and Robert Dickens, representative from Caswell, secured passage of a bill to empower the Wardens "to purchase lands and build a house for the reception of the Poor in the County." A tax was authorized not only to build a house or houses but also to maintain both the poor and "persons . . . distracted or otherwise deprived of their senses." Whether any buildings were constructed is not known.

1826

The first documented Caswell County Poor House was built at a cost of $863 on land purchased for $750. This building must have been of good construction as it was used until the early 1920s.

1827

In 1827 the Caswell County Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions ordered a kitchen and smoke house to be built at the poor house, the cost being $130.

1842

In 1842 the Caswell County Wardens of the Poor reported their average annual expenditure as being between $750 and $800, but revenues in the immediate past had not been sufficient to meet all expenses. At that time there were seventeen paupers in their charge.

1850

At the time of the 1850 US Federal Census (7 August 1850) Thomas Wilkinson was the resident manager (superintendent of the poor) at the Caswell County Pauper Home.

1850 US Federal Census
Name: Thomas Wilkinson
Age: 45
Birth Year: abt 1805
Birthplace: North Carolina
Home in 1850: Caswell, North Carolina, USA
Gender: Male
Family Number: 128
Household Members:
Name  Age

Wilkinson Family
Thomas Wilkinson 45
Lucitta R Wilkinson 41
A D Wilkinson 18
Serina B Wilkinson 15
John B Wilkinson 7

Paupers
Jane Hooper 80
Mildred Tucker 65
Elizabeth Morgan 50
Wilmoth Snow 50
Eleanor Gates 27
James Gates 4
Mary Gates 1
John Reed 66
Joseph Bowman 60
Susan Murphy 71
John Dabbs 29 (pauper and idiot)
Rebecca Lipscomb 79
Rachel Paschel 66 (pauper and insane)
Ann Scott 64
Archibald Cheek 23

1851

The Wardens of the Poor in 1851 reported the names of fifteen people at the poor house including one identified as "Jane, a colored woman," which suggests that both blacks and whites were maintained. The report continued by mentioning that there were 35 others in eight family groups who received sums ranging from $2 to $5 each month.

1855-1856


In 1855 a 64-foot piazza was added across the front of the main building.

In 1855 and 1856 the Caswell County Wardens of the Poor did more business at  Fels store in Yanceyville than with any other merchant.

1860

Caswell County Pauper Home 1860: When the US census was enumerated in 1860, Levi Cobb Page (1807-1878) was the "Steward of Poorhouse" in Caswell County, North Carolina. He apparently also served in that capacity in 1870.

1860 United States Federal Census
Name: Levi C Page
Age in 1860: 53
Birth Year: abt 1807
Birthplace: North Carolina
Home in 1860: Caswell, North Carolina
Gender: Male
Post Office: Yanceyville
Value of real estate: 2100
Value of personal estate: 350
Occupation: Steward of Poorhouse
Household Members: Name Age
Levi C Page 53
M C Page 47
M A Page 14
L C Page 11
L L Page 4 (A. L. Page)
S Murphy 82
Rainy Mckinney 81
Rachal Paschal 80
Larkin Ballard 80
Jas Ware 76
Rebecca Ware 76
Thos Chandler 73
Claton Lambert 69
M Nilcen 67
Jas Bowman 67
Geo Oakley 65
Jas Rudd 65
E J Morgan 60
M Warren 56
H Carrell 54
S Scarbury 52
Polly Childress 50
S Childress 45
S Richardson 42
Ibby Lambert 39
Sally Kersey 39
Nelly Yates 34
Sally Scott 34
Green Niton 33
R Scott 32
Mary Warren 28
Robt Lewis 27
E Warren 24
M A Kersey 17
Jas Yates 14
F Kersey 10
E Warren 6
Huldah Warren 5
J C Lambert 2
E M Lambert 1
G W Kersey 6/12
D Richardson 13

1870

When the US census was enumerated in 1860, Levi Cobb Page (1807-1878) was the "Steward of Poorhouse" in Caswell County, North Carolina. He apparently also served in that capacity in 1870. Note that the 1860 census clearly describes his occupation as "Steward of Poorhouse." However, in the 1870 census his occupation is shown as "Farmer," but his household is enumerated immediately before a long list of paupers resident at the poor house. Some of these also appeared in the 1860 census. Thus, it is reasonable to assume that Levi Cobb Page was Steward of Poorhouse when the 1870 census was taken. However, he was not in that job as of October 7, 1872, when the Caswell County Commissioners appointed Bird W. Evans to the position.

Paupers

Martha Warren
Elizabeth Warren
Ann Warren
Eliza Warren
Hiram Warren
Ella Warren
Jane Hundley
Angelina Hundley
William Hundley
Sallie Scott
Mary Childress
Raney McKinney
Mary Soofdmond
Ann Lockhart
Elizabeth Roe
Elizabeth Walker
Ann Manwell
Joseph Bowman
Henderson Carrol
Sallie Scarboro
Francis Perkins
Charles Perkins
James Bragg
James Yates
Angeliny Kimbrow
Jasper V. Kimbrow
Susan Barten
Sandy Wade
Calvin Jones

1872

October 7, 1872: Bird W. Evans appointed overseer of Poor House at salary of $125 per annum with provisions for himself and family. (Caswell County Board of County Commissioners). He apparently succeeded Levi Cobb Page, but only held the position for around two years. See the following 1874 record of an advertisement for superintendent of Poor House.

1874

September 8, 1874: Board to advertise for superintendent of Poor House. (Caswell County Board of County Commissioners)


1880

Pleasant Johnson Scott was "Overseer Poor" at the time of the 1880 US Federal Census. After his family was enumerated appears a long list of individuals (30 or so) that, while not identified as such, most likely are residents of the Caswell County Pauper Home (poor house). Included are Jane Hundley and her children Angeline Hundley and William Yancey Hundley. This family is known to have resided at the poor house in 1880, thus confirming that the individuals enumerated after Pleasant J. Scott and his family are indeed residents of the poor house.

1880 US Federal Census
Name: P. J. Scott
Age: 55
Birth Year: abt 1825
Birthplace: North Carolina
Home in 1880: Yanceyville, Caswell, North Carolina
Race: White
Gender: Male
Relation to Head of House: Self (Head)
Marital Status: Married
Spouse's Name: Susan S. Scott
Father's Birthplace: North Carolina
Mother's Birthplace: North Carolina
Occupation: Overseer Poor
Household Members:
Name  Age
P. J. Scott 55
Susan S. Scott 49
Sarah Scott 27
James T. Scott 22
Geo. A. Scott 12
L. T. A. Scott 6

1890

No census information is available.

1900

Caswell County Pauper Home 1900: Civil War veteran Eaton Baynes Barker (1844-1927) lived at and managed the Caswell County Pauper Home at the time of the 1900 and 1910 US Federal Censuses (see below with respect to 1910). When he assumed this position is not known; but at the time of the 1920 US Federal Census Joseph Samuel Reagan (1885-1951) lived at and managed the facility. No Caswell County census records are available for 1890.

1900 US Federal Census
Yanceyville Township, Caswell County, North Carolina

Caswell County Almshouse [Pauper Home] 1900
Barker, Eaton
Barker, Mary C. (wife)
Barker, Nettie M. (daughter)
Chandler, Willie M. (granddaughter)
Chandler, Ida (granddaughter)
Williamson, Unknown (servant)
Snipes, Ther (farm laborer)

Inmates (18)

Tally, Martha
Hughes, Susan
Richardson, Unknown
Richardson, L.
Bennette, MA
Ryly, Mary
Winn, Martha
Hundly, Will
Stephens, Adlis
Pool, Lizzie
Hooper, Unknown
Burton, Green
Watlington, Es
Flintoff, William
Foster, Nora
Evans, Anne
White, Angus
Hester, Green

1910

The 1910 US Federal Census refers to the residents as "Inmates." Below is a summary of that census record. The "Superintendent" was Civil War veteran Eaton Baynes Barker (1844-1927). While the Caswell County Pauper Home had 21 inmates in 1910, that number dropped to 6 in 1920. Query the reason for this substantial reduction. Did in 1918 influenza epidemic reduce the population?

1910 US Federal Census
Name: Eaton B Barker
Age in 1910: 66
Birth Year: abt 1844
Birthplace: Virginia
Home in 1910: Yanceyville, Caswell, North Carolina
Street: Milton Road
Race: White
Gender: Male
Relation to Head of House: Head
Marital Status: Married
Spouse's Name: Mary C Barker
Father's Birthplace: Virginia
Mother's Birthplace: Virginia
Native Tongue: English
Occupation: Superintendent
Industry: House Aged Dept
Employer, Employee or Other: Wage Earner
Farm or House: House
Able to Read: Yes
Able to Write: Yes
Years Married: 45
Out of Work: No
Number of weeks out of work: None
Household Members:
Name Age
Eaton B Barker 66
Mary C Barker 66
Millie M Chandler 17
Inmates (21):
Marshall Williamson 41
Sing Williamson 20
Mary B Williamson 0 [6/12]
William Richardson 68
Lonnie Richardson 52
Sugar Merritt 68
John Lewis 60
William Hernley 47
Saluda Nelson 72
Mary Lew 82
Savan Hughes 55
Martha Tolley 80
Lucy Strader 70
Alice Hubbane 32
Loniva Riley 40
Hester Turner 90
Adaline Stephens 35
Nora Frovler 60
Ann Evans 30
Addie World 55 [35]
Susan Sniper 20

1920

At the time of the 1920 US Federal Census, Joseph Samuel Reagan (1885-1951) managed the Caswell County Pauper Home at which six "Inmates" resided. This was before the "new" and last Caswell County Pauper Home was built in 1926. Whether Joseph Sam Reagan resided at the "old" Caswell County Pauper Home across the road from the "new" one is not known.  Other than showing the six "Inmates" residing in his household, there is nothing in the census record associating Joseph Samuel Reagan with the Caswell County Pauper Home. While the Caswell County Pauper Home had 21 inmates in 1910, that number dropped to 6 in 1920. Query the reason for this substantial reduction. Did in 1918 influenza epidemic reduce the population?

In addition to being called the County Home, it also was called the County Farm. The considerable acreage around the County Home was not only used to raise food for the "inmates," the county also grew tobacco on the property (at least in the 1920s).


Caswell County Pauper Home
Census Sheet A15, Lines 42-47 Inclusive
Yanceyville Township
Census Enumerator: Mrs. George A. Anderson

1920 US Federal Census
Name: Joseph Sam Reagan
Age: 34
Birth Year: abt 1886
Birthplace: North Carolina
Home in 1920: Yanceyville, Caswell, North Carolina
Street: Yanceyville Road
House Number: Farm
Race: White
Gender: Male
Relation to Head of House: Head
Marital Status: Married
Spouse's Name: Willie M Reagan
Father's Birthplace: North Carolina
Mother's Birthplace: North Carolina
Able to Speak English: Yes
Occupation: Farmer
Industry: General Farm
Employment Field: Own Account
Neighbors: View others on page
Household Members:
Name  Age
Joseph Sam Reagan 34
Willie M Reagan 27
Hazell W Reagan 1 [1 3/12] 
1. William Hunley 54 [34] [Inmate]
2. Alice Hunley 39 [Inmate]
3. Willie Hunley 8 [Inmate]
4. Sam Rice 70 [Inmate]
5. Mary Rice 70 [Inmate]
6. Fannie Dobbs 80 [Inmate]

1926

In 1926 Caswell County spent $35,187.00 for a new county home on a 394-acre tract.

1930

At the time of the 1930 US Federal Census, Woods Henry Moore (1882-1947) was the "Keeper" at the Caswell County Pauper Home. Included in the household were his wife, five children, a cook, and 13 "Inmates." Among the "Inmates" was a husband, wife, and son (family of William Yancy Hunley). In the 1880 Caswell Co. N.C. Census, Livingston L. Blackwell's 2nd wife, Sarah Angaline Hunley is found in the Caswell County Poorhouse with her Mother, Jane Hundley and her brother, William Yancey Hundley.

1930 US Federal Census
H Woody More [Woods Henry Moore]
Birth Year: abt 1882
Gender: Male
Race: White
Birthplace: Virginia
Marital Status: Married
Relation to Head of House: Keeper
Home in 1930: Yanceyville, Caswell, North Carolina
Map of Home: View Map
Institution: Caswell County Paupers Home
House Number in Cities or Towns: 105
Dwelling Number: 389f
Family Number: 6
Radio Set: Yes
Lives on Farm: Yes
Age at First Marriage: 24
Attended School: No
Able to Read and Write: Yes
Father's Birthplace: Virginia
Mother's Birthplace: Virginia
Able to Speak English: Yes
Occupation: Keeper
Industry: County Home
Class of Worker: Wage or salary worker
Employment: Yes
Neighbors: View others on page
Household Members:
Name Age
H Woody More 48 [Woods Henry Moore]
Eliza V More 44 [Eliza Virginia Rudd Moore]
Henry C More 17 [Charles Henry Moore]
Graham W More 14 [Graham Woodrow Moore]
Howard B More 11 [Howard Benton Moore]
George H More 9 [George Herman Moore]
Hait Ray More 7 [Hoyt Ray Moore]
Mary Madkins 35 [Cook]
Inmates
William Yancy Hunley 44
Alice Hunley 47
Will Clem Hunley 19
Susan Madden 68
Lillie Adkins 48
John H Wilkerson 74
Brillocks 77
Peter Lea 65
George Bagett 60
John Winslow 64
Russel Wilson 70
Susan Perris 35
Georg G Thaxton 75

1940

At the time of the 1940 US Federal Census, George D. Evans (1880-1943) lived in and managed the Caswell County Pauper Home on the County Home Road. The household included his wife, Mollie Shaw Evans, and 12 "Inmates."

1940 US Federal Census
Name: George Evans
Age: 60
Estimated birth year: abt 1880
Gender: Male
Race: White
Birthplace: North Carolina
Marital Status: Married
Relation to Head of House: Head
Home in 1940: Yanceyville, Caswell, North Carolina
Map of Home in 1940: View Map  
Street: County Home Road
Farm: Yes
Inferred Residence in 1935: Rural, Caswell, North Carolina
Residence in 1935: Rural, Caswell, North Carolina
Resident on farm in 1935: Yes
Sheet Number: 18A
Institution: Caswell County Paupers Home L 10 To 23
Number of Household in Order of Visitation: 309
House Owned or Rented: Rented
Value of Home or Monthly Rental if Rented: 3000
Attended School or College: No
Highest Grade Completed: Elementary school, 3rd grade
Weeks Worked in 1939: 0
Income: 0
Income Other Sources: No
Neighbors: View others on page
Household Members:
Name Age
George Evans 60
Mollie Evans 58
Inmates
Tom Penninston 72
Alice Hundley 48
Jimmie Beaver 66
Ollie Rudd 42
Grace Hamlet 30
Clifton Boss [Bass] 15
Clifton Davis 11
Monroe Davis 10
Charlie Bigelow 70
Ben Bigelow 50
Will Bigelow 56
Nancy Walkey [Nancy Walker] 90

1959

Mrs. Pearl Virginia Smith Moorefield appointed the final Resident Manager (superintendent of the poor) at the Caswell County Pauper Home.


Lease Agreement Deed Book 132 page 111A (1 March 1959): County of Caswell and Mrs. A. W. Moorefield Sr.

"All of the property, with the buildings, located in Yanceyville Township, Caswell County, North Carolina, on the North side of the County Home Highway; and being the premises formerly used by Caswell County for the maintenance and operation of a County Home for the aged and infirm. This includes about two acres of land, more or less, around the County Home building."
_______________

1960s and Subsequent

During the 1960s, the Caswell County Commissioners determined that the County Home no longer was an efficient method of providing care to the poor, and the facility was closed. After being used as a warehouse by several businesses, the building was demolished.
_______________


According to Caswell County tax records the current (2009) owner of the land upon which stood the last "County Home" is:

Name: CHEMTEK INC
Address: P O BOX 86
Mailing City: YANCEYVILLE
Mailing State: NC
Mailing Zip Code: 27379
Physical Street: INDUSTRIAL PARK
Physical Street Type: DR
Physical City: YANCEYVILLE
District Code: 5100
Deed BOok: 349
Deed Page: 955
Taxed Acreage: 5.00
Land Value: 43571
Improvement Value: 739247
2nd Deed Book: 264
2nd Deed Page: 503
3rd Deed Book: 11
3rd Deed Page: 530
Map and Parcel: 0067 147
PIN Number: 990717022335
Tax Number: 0067.00.00.0147.0000

If the original poor house (or county home) stood directly across the road from the last one in operation it probably would have been on property that today is owned by:

Name: ROYAL TEXTILE MILL INC 2
Address: P O BOX 250
Mailing City: YANCEYVILLE
Mailing State: NC
Mailing Zip Code: 27379
Physical Street: P O BOX 250
Physical City: YANCEYVILLE
District Code: 5100
Deed BOok: 144
Deed Page: 36
Taxed Acreage: 24.40
Land Value: 91155
Improvement Value: 378050
2nd Deed Book: 154
2nd Deed Page: 24
3rd Deed Book: 5
3rd Deed Page: 191
Map and Parcel: 0067 089
PIN Number: 990717016610
Tax Number: 0067.00.00.0089.0000