Residents of the poorhouse were referred to as “inmates”. A register of admittance was kept whereby information about all inmates were recorded upon their entry. The “Register of Paupers, Vagrants, and Idiots” included information such as the inmate number, name, occupation, age, nationality, years in the County, and reason for pauperism.
Staff of the House included the Keepers and Matrons, Health care personnel including a House Physician, the Inspector and Clerk, and servants and farmhands. Inmates that were able, did various tasks around the House and farm – some were paid and some unpaid.
Community leaders included the County Council that governed the Board,
In the sections below we share profiles of the various people that lived, worked and governed the Waterloo County House of Industry. Through this project, we aim to piece together what remains of the stories of residents of the poorhouse using poorhouse archival information, census records, newspaper articles, government documents, and information from ancestry.com.