Woodford County Almshouse Registers

Woodford County, Illinois Genealogy Trails

Public care of the poor in Illinois began in 1819.  County overseers of the poor farmed out care of the destitute to private citizens.  In 1839, this system was reauthorized. County commissioners' courts were also authorized to establish county poorhouses, at their own discretion, to replace the farm-out system; to hire keepers of the poor, and to levy a property tax for poorhouse support.  This poorhouse authorization was renewed in 1845 and 1861.  An 1874 law required all keepers (superintendents) of county poorhouses to keep books of account.  The superintendent was required to keep a record showing the name of each person admitted to the county poorhouse; the time of his admission and discharge; the place of his birth; whether his dependence resulted from idiocy, lunacy, intemperance, or other causes, stating the cause; and is required, at the same time each year, to file with the county clerk of his county a copy of the same, together with a statement showing the average number of persons kept in the poorhouse each month during the year. 

In 1917, counties were authorized to establish joint poorhouses and poor farms with other counties; and in 1919, the county poorhouses' names were changed to county homes.  In 1949, the Public Assistance Code was passed, making relief of the indigent a function of the new county departments of welfare. County homes were reauthorized only for care of infirm or chronically ill persons; counties were specifically forbidden from placing destitute but physically healthy persons in the county homes.  In 1967, the Public Aid code repealed the county home laws and deauthorized the county homes remaining in Illinois.  

Woodford County Almshouse Registers show the admission number; the name, birthplace, occupation, age and former residence of the inmate; the dates of admission and discharge; the date of death (when the inmate died while staying at the almshouse); and remarks.

Entries from 1925 to 1957 also showed the date of birth of the inmate. The remarks category provides valuable information about the physical, mental and emotional condition of the inmate; the reasons for admission to the almshouse; the place where the inmate went after discharge from the almshouse; and the relationship of the inmate to others residing at the almshouse or elsewhere.

Copies of entries from the original Woodford County Almshouse Registers may be obtained by mail @ Illinois State University, 2016 Warehouse Road, Campus Box 1520, Normal, IL 61790-1520. Inquiries should be made directly to the Illinois Regional Archives Depository (IRAD) at Illinois State University in Normal.  No requests are accepted by e-mail.

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Name

Birth Place

Age

Date Admitted

Occupation

Page(s)

ABERSALL, JOSEPH

FRANCE

67

1/4/1894

_

107A, 111A

ADAMS, FRANK

PENNSYLVANIA

38

2/2/1915

LABORER

133A, 134A

ADAMS, JOHN

INDIANA

62

4/4/1932

LABORER

54B

ADAWN, FRANK

ILLINOIS

32

2/21/1918

_

144A

ADAWN, JAS

ILLINOIS

34

2/21/1918

_

144A

AIMSWORTH, THOMAS

IRELAND

40

12/27/1870

_

9A, 12A

ALBERSON

_

_

10/25/1930

LABORER

34B

ALEVI, SANDER

KENTUCKY

57

7/30/1885

LABORER

156A

ALLEN, DAVID

ILLINOIS

72

12/11/1928

FARMER

24B, 26B

ALLEN, JAMES

IRELAND

33

1/29/1885

_

82A

ALLEN, JENNY

ALMSHOUSE

0

4/19/1893

_

101A

ALLEN, JOHN

IRELAND

47

1/21/1876

_

42A, 28A

ALLEN, MARY

ILLINOIS

19

3/7/1893

_

100A

ALLEN, W B

OHIO

62

1/30/1879

_

62A

ANDERSON, ANDREW

SWEDEN

60

1/24/1906

_

115A, 134A, 136A, 139A, 144A, 146A, 148A

ANDERSON, GEORGE

ILLINOIS

58

1/10/1933

CARPENTER

60B

ANDERSON, IDA

ILLINOIS

2

7/23/1878

_

59A

ANDERSON, ISABEL

IRELAND

21

2/13/1890

SERVANT

91A

ANDERSON, JOHN

_

_

2/7/1931

_

46B

ANDERSON, LAVINA

NORWAY

34

7/23/1878

_

59A

ANDERSON, MARY E

WISCONSIN

8

7/23/1878

_

59A

ANDERSON, WILLIAM

ILLINOIS

0

7/23/1878

_

59A

ANIKER, MARTHEY

ILLINOIS

25

9/27/1910

_

119A

ANTEL, STEVE

GERMANY

69

2/3/1893

_

100A

ARCHBERGER, DANIEL

OHIO

52

4/25/1896

_

104A

ARMSTRONG, HENRY

MAINE

60

11/16/1929

PLASTERER

30B

ARMSTRONG, JOHN

_

60

11/15/1930

PLASTERER

36B

ARMSTRONG, JOHN

_

_

_

LABORER

34B

ARNOLD, RUDOLPH

GERMANY

72

3/26/1909

_

138A, 144A, 146A, 148A, 150A, 152A, 158A

ARNOLD, RUDOLPH

GERMANY

72

3/26/1909

_

118A, 121S, 124A, 126A, 129A, 132A, 135A

ARON, CLARA

ILLINOIS

8

3/10/1868

_

4A

ARRAS, PETER

GERMANY

43

5/2/1889

_

90A

ATWATER

NEW YORK

39

3/14/1877

_

50A

ATWATER, ANNA

IRELAND

45

3/14/1877

_

50A

AUGRHERGER, DANIEL

GERMANY

60

11/15/1906

_

115A

AVERY, FRANK

ILLINOIS

13

3/21/1896

_

104A

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