Jemima Frame (inmate #1115) resided in the House of Industry and Refuge from November 22, 1886 until her death on September 8, 1888. Born in Scotland in 1818, Jemima married Thomas Frame before immigrating to Canada in 1830. They had one daughter, Mary Frame, who was born in 1839 in Puslinch, Wellington, Ontario. Mary married Samuel Burnett on October 24, 1861 and had one child who died January 8, 1864 after being alive for 5 days. Subsequently, Mary died that same year, most likely while giving birth to her child, and Samuel remarried Mary Ann McFaygen a year later, having three children with her.
Thomas Frame came over to Canada as a pump maker, later diversifying his skills as the warden of the Union Hotel in Galt in 1862.
Later, Thomas was the caretaker at the Galt Collegiate Institute just before his death in 1874. He died May 14, 1874 of an inflammation of the lungs, leaving behind his wife, Jemima.
After living without her husband and his income for 12 years, Jemima was committed into the Poorhouse on November 22, 1868. She is listed as being a widow and “destitute” as the reasoning for her entrance into the House. Jemima began suffering from chronic diarrhea which was consistently untreated. After women from Jemima’s neighbourhood in Galt visited her in the Poorhouse, they discovered their friend in a poor state and they tried to petition the Standing Committee of the House and the County Clerk of Waterloo County in order to get Jemima treatment she needed for her illness.
The matter was brought to the attention of the Keeper and Matron, Mr. and Mrs. Itter, who were presented with the appeal to have a special nurse assigned to Jemima so she received constant care.
House of Indy & Refuge
Berlin 5th Septr 1888.
The Standing Committee met this day –
Members all present excepting the Warden
Mr Wilkins in the Chair.
Mesdames Dietrich & Young – decided that it would not be wise to permit the attendance of a Special Nurse for Mrs Frame – who they consider, after hearing the report on the case by the Physician and the Keeper, is receiving proper attendance and care by the regular nurses and servants in the Hospital – That such special attendance would have a tendency to demoralize the Institution –
The Committee was then adjourned. Unfortunately, the Standing Committee didn’t see fit that one inmate receive more treatment than another and the request was denied. Jemima succumbed to her illness and died just three days later.
Jemima’s death was brought up again during the 1893 Scandal where Mr. and Mrs. Itter were accused of mistreating, physically abusing, and neglecting some of the inmates of the House.