Nancy Jane Lassert was born in 1859 and was the daughter of Harriet Salyards (1833-1873) and Charles Lassert (1831-1912). Nancy had three siblings: William (1857-1931), Orator (1864-), and Harriet Jr. (1868- before 1891). Nancy and Orator were the only two recorded as attending school on the 1871 Census.

Just two years later, Nancy’s mother, Harriet, died in 1873 from gastric fever. Charles remarried in 1876 to Susan Jimby and Susan and her children from a previous marriage move in with Charles and his children. Both William and Nancy continued to live with their father and step-mother into the early 1900s. William and Charles were both working as farmers. 

 Nancy was committed to the Poorhouse on November 22, 1905. The cause of pauperism was recorded as “idiot”. In 1907, the Standing Committee requested to have Nancy moved to the Hamilton Insane Asylum along with Margaret Wirsching. 


House of Refuge

Berlin, May 30 -1907

The House of Refuge Committee met to- day at 10 a.m.

All the members present, also the Warden, John B. Fischer Esq., the Physician and inspector.


  1. Moved by Alison, sec. by Mr. McBrine

That Dr. Lackner take such steps as are necessary to have Miss Wirsching and Miss Lassert removed to the asylum.



Margaret Wirsching was sent to the Hamilton Insane Asylum on March 12, 1908. Nancy, however, remained in the House until December 21, 1908 when she died of paralysis at the Poorhouse. Her death certificate states that she had been suffering from paralysis for 6 to 8 years.


1908 Nancy’s Death Certificate; Source: