Category: Keepers and Matrons

The Keepers and Matrons of the House of Industry and Refuge were the managers and superintendents of the House. Some of the main duties for the keepers included: to watch over the inmates, adopt any rules and regulations from the County Council, keep records of the inmates coming in and going out of the House, keep accounts of money being spent on materials and resources such as fuel, clothing, and provisions, examine all paupers being admitted to the House, maintain and cultivate the farm and livestock, and maintain cleanliness and order in the House. The matrons main duties included: overseeing all the indoor operations, watching over the female inmates, take care of all of the goods and property within the House, and clean and repair the clothing of the inmates. In total there were six different couples who managed the House between 1869-1952.

Herbert Washington and Lucy Martin

Herbert and Lucy Martin, the former being the son of George and Annie Elizabeth Martin who were the managers of the House prior to Herbert and Lucy, were the Keeper and Matron of the House, respectively, from 1916-1933. They were the managers that spearheaded the House’s transition from being a poorhouse to becoming a “Home for Old People”.

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George and Anna Eliza Martin

George and Anna Eliza Martin were the Keeper and Matron of the House of Industry and Refuge from 1898-1916, holding the position for the longest period of time.

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Joseph Laird

Joseph and Agnes Laird were the third managers of the House of Industry and Refuge from 1893-1898.

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Peter and Alvina Itter

Peter and Susannah Itter began working as the managers of the Poorhouse in 1880. Shortly after Susannah’s death in 1886, Peter married a staff member of the Poorhouse, Alvina. After Peter and Alvina began working together, accusations began to come out against the misconduct and poor treatment that they were exhibiting towards the inmates. The accusations accumulated in the Scandal of 1893.

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