Joseph Carl was born in Germany around 1827 and immigrated to Canada sometime before 1870.
Joseph was living in Wellesley with his brother, Matthew, in 1871. Both of them were farmers. He first appeared in the House of Industry and Refuge as living in the House in 1871. He is listed here as being a servant.
Joseph is listed as Michael in this census and is also listed under Michael in the cashbooks. It is assumed that they are the same person and not brothers as they are always listed separately throughout the House of Industry archives.
For the most part, Joseph was doing odd jobs like whitewashing and domestic work.
Joseph later started working on the farm as one of the farm hands, as well as continuing to do odd jobs around the House.
It is assumed that Joseph was being paid with food and board on top of a small sum of money for his labour. For example, in 1876, Joseph was paid $6.00 for 12 days of “house cleaning”, making $0.50/day of work. Compared to the modern dollar value, $6.00 is roughly $130.00, earning Joseph about $10.80/day.
Under the name Michael, he was also working as an assistant hospital nurse, being paid $14.00/hour.
He continued to work at the House for two decades, doing any odd job that would come up around the House.
Joseph is listed again on the Canadian Census of 1891 as living as a domestic at the House. He was 67 years old at the time and listed as earning a wage. There were only three other people working as servants and living in the House at this time.
In 1892, Joseph attempted to enter the House as a paying patient. His application was declined without any written reasoning behind the decision. Below is an excerpt from the Minutes of the Standing Committee from February 27, 1892.
House of Industry & Refuge
Berlin 27th Feby 1892 –
The Standing Committee met this day –
Present Messrs [Barrie], Conrad, Hallman, Otterbein, Shantz, Snyder and the Warden – (Mr Lang being absent)
Mr Conrad in the Chair –
Bills and Claims from No 1076 to No. 1086 both inclusive were audited & allowed –
- Moved by Mr Barrie & seconded by Mr. Hallman That no action be taken on the application of Mr Joseph Carl, now the Hospital Nurse, to be received into the House as a paying patient –
During the 1893 Scandal at the Poorhouse, where the managers, Peter and Alvina Itter, were accused of neglecting, poorly treating, and physically abusing a number of the inmates between 1886-1893, Joseph was asked to testify against the accusations. He had been working at the House for two decades, and for the full time that the Itter’s were in charge, so he was able to provide a firsthand account of the day-to-day happenings. Below is the statement he made:
Joseph testified against the accusations, stating that he never saw any physical abuse and that Lucinda Potter was “the worst girl”.
Joseph attempted again in 1894 and was finally accepted into the House on January 8th of that year as inmate #1376. He was committed by the Inspector of the House, Israel Bowman. The cause of pauperism listed was “old age and destitute”.
Joseph is mentioned again in the Minutes of the Standing Committee on April 30, 1896 in order to discuss what should be done with him.
House of Industry & Refuge
Berlin April 30th 1896
The Standing Committee met this day on the Call of the Chairman –
Present Messrs Cranston, Erb, McAuslan, Moore, Shantz & Walter and the Warden –
Mr Erb in the Chair –
Lists of the Inmates now in the House were Carefully examined with the view of discharging any now in the House that cannot claim at least 2 years residence.
- Moved by Mr. McAuslan and seconded by Mr. Shantz – That the parties named in the list following have special attention paid to them, in the way of corresponding with friends and relatives, to see what can be done in the way of raising funds to pay for their maintenance in the House here: –
No. 761 – William Scott – write the Watsons of Ayr as to the [rents] of Scott Dwelling –
927 – E.W. T. Gibbs – Write to friends in England to see whether anything can be got towards his support
1134 – Mary E. Bugg – Write Robt Rowe [Exm.] Linwood to see why nothing paid in since Apr 11th 1888.
1265 – Geo Pearce Mr. Moore to see brother of theirs at Waterloo, whether anything coming
1266 – Thos Pearce from England.
1289 – Geo. Oliver – Mr McAuslan, to see Mr Turnbull re $50.
1365 – Chn. Adrean – Mr P.E. Stantz to see what has become of his little property –
1376 – Joseph Carl – The Chairman & Inspector – to see what can be done in the way of this Inmate paying for his Board &c – failing which to be discharged.
1422 Ira Patmore – Write to Markham & see about his antecedents
1435 – Christian Kammerman – see Mr. Eden.
1460 – Noah Shantz – Write his father Saml. Shantz D.y. will discharge his son unless something paid towards his maintenance –
Joseph, however, remained in the House until he was discharged on November 9, 1899. He was sent to St. Jerome’s College located on Duke St. in Kitchener, which was the priest’s residence at the time. Joseph died on November 6, 1900 from paralysis of the bowels. He never married or had any recorded children.