Tuesday, June 10, 2014

The Elderly, The Infirm, The Insane & The Inconsiderate

The Detroit Free Press, June 5, 1880
The multifaceted nature of Eloise was in full display on June 4, 1880 when four very different cases came before the Poor Commission for consideration of admission to the County House.

Louis Cart was one of many hucksters who frequented the Poor House on the supposition of poverty. He convincingly pleaded deaf, dumb and penniless to Superintendent John F. Martin and was awarded a ticket for admittance. But as Cart was leaving the commissioner's office Martin noticed a gold stick pin on the man and confronted him, demanding to see his wallet. When Cart refused, Martin snatched the ticket back and marched the impostor to police headquarters. There, after refusing to be searched, he was subdued by two officers who procured the wallet which produced several dollars and a promise from Cart that he would not go to the Poor House. His gesture was greeted with an equal swearing by the police to bring charges against him if the action was repeated.

Theodore Griffin, an elderly immigrant fresh off a journey from his homeland in Ireland, was a legitimate case of need. He was referred to the Poor House with a fractured leg that he incurred on his travels. After being unable to locate friends in Detroit he sought county assistance and it was granted.

Bridget Kane was a simple case of insanity and she was sent to the asylum.

Godfried Klaus's troubles were another story. He had two young children, 4 and 5 years old, that were chronically ill with a spinal disease and had to be motored about on a cart. He was no longer able to care for the children. A sympathetic Martin encouraged the man to take the children to the Poor House where they could be admitted along with and cared for by their mother at the institution. Which Klaus eagerly accepted and then sought to find employment near Eloise to be close to his family.

No comments: