Palace for the Poor The Knox County Infirmary and Nineteenth Century Social Reform in Rural Ohio

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Palace for the Poor The Knox County Infirmary and Nineteenth Century Social Reform in Rural Ohio

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Title: Palace for the Poor The Knox County Infirmary and Nineteenth Century Social Reform in Rural Ohio
Author: Brown, Aubrey
Abstract: During the nineteenth century, middle- and upper-class citizens often viewed poverty as a form of moral delinquency among members of the working class rather than as an economic imbalance influenced by the rise of industrialization. The poorhouse, sometimes called an almshouse, poor farm, poor asylum, and later infirmary or city/county home, is one among a small variety of formal, legal institutions of social reform created to manage those individuals who consciously or unconsciously digressed from the normal social order of the working class. The Knox County, Ohio welfare system of the nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries stands as an exemplary model of rural self-reliance and community preservation. The Knox County Infirmary served as a centralized location to provide relief and general care to the poor, physically disabled, elderly, widowed, orphaned, and even mentally ill of the county. What may have started as a means of separating the social classes, by the mid-nineteenth century it functioned more as a means of unifying citizens of Knox County in combatting the threat of industrialization to its traditional, agricultural roots. It was also a struggle between self and collective identities.
Description: 98 leaves : illustrations ; 29 cm.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1989/10471
Date: 2013

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