State Workhouse register, 1866-1887

Massachusetts State Workhouse (Bridgewater, Mass.).


0.58 cubic ft. (1 v. and 1 v. index in 1 box).
Arranged by inmate no.
Register documents Workhouse inmates, nos. 1-5942 -- Entries include name, age, birthplace, sex, color, ever married, temperate or intemperate, later information on temperance, citizenship, convict status of parents, education (some, none, can read and write), later what property, ever in Army or Navy, when committed, why committed (tramp, vagabond, vagrant, dissolute), ever in reform school, number of former commitments, when discharged, how discharged (sentence expired, order Board of State Charities), length of sentence, days sick, days punished in prison, height, former numbers, remarks (former inmate, infant with her-- infants were allowed to remain with mothers sentenced, from other institution, court).
For those considered almshouse residents during this period, see: State Almshouse registers, 1854-1887 ((M-Ar)2545X), with indexes; for later almshouse residents, see: Massachusetts. State Farm. Almshouse Dept. registers, 1885-1948 ((M-Ar)2546X), with indexes in volumes; for later prisoners kept at the State Farm, see: Massachusetts. State Farm. Prison Dept. inmate registers, 1906-1950 ((M-Ar)2543X), with indexes.
Bridgewater, Mass., was the site successively of a State Almshouse (1854-1872) for so-called willing and needlessly dependent paupers, and the State Workhouse (1866-1887), for paupers convicted of misdemeanors as well as paupers generally (from 1872), and incorrigible juveniles (1869-1948). The State Workhouse was renamed the State Farm (1887-1955), which also included a State Farm Hospital for the medical needs of all inmates, as well as locals and poor admitted solely for medical treatment. The change in name was in deference to the admission of insane male paupers (1886), although it was followed by the admission of aged and physically or mentally infirm inmates of the State Prison (1890). Insane admissions were then limited for a time to criminals (1894), forming a division called the State Asylum for Insane Criminals (1895), which was renamed Bridgewater State Hospital (1909). Units at Bridgewater were later added for female prisoners (1909-1930), so-called defective delinquents (males from 1922, females 1926-1954)--mentally impaired inmates requiring segregation from standard inmate or institutionalized populations--and for drug and alcohol addicts (from 1922, females to 1930 only), eventually mostly voluntary admissions. All Bridgewater State Farm facilities and divisions (including prison, almshouse, insane, and medical hospital functions) were administered by a common superintendent. The running of the State Farm, including industries and extensive agricultural operations, relied on work performed by all capable inmates.
Indexes: 1 v..
Agency history record (CStRLIN)MASVAH0390-A/(OCoLC)145430011 describes the history and functions of the State Farm, an agency successor to the State Workhouse.

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