James White was the first inmate to enter the Poorhouse on June 17, 1869. He was born in Ireland and immigrated to Upper Canada sometime in his mid-twenties. He was living in the Township of Waterloo and working as a labourer for about 30 years before he was committed to the Poorhouse. In early 1869, James contracted dropsy and that may have been the reason why he could no longer work and he had to turn to the Poorhouse because he couldn’t support himself.
A few months before he arrived at the Poorhouse (and because it wasn’t open until June), James sought shelter and care from a few different community members. Below are three different people that took in James while he was suffering from dropsy and could not take care of himself.
James succumbed to his illness and died on July 18, 1869, exactly a month after he entered the House.
William Jaffray briefly mentioned James White in his article.