Friday, September 20, 2013

Old Folks Home

An undated older brochure for the Old Folks Home in Lawrenceville was donated to the Museum.

“ ….The primary purpose of the Old Folks Home is to minister to the aged members of the Methodist Episcopal church who have attained the age of 60 years and are facing a homeless old age. … Non Methodists may or may not be accepted at the discretion of the Executive Committee. ….. Persons planning to enter should not wait until they are broken in health and need hospital care.  The home is not a hospital nor an infirmary, and should not be expected to admit invalids.  However, all necessary care is given to those who have been admitted regardless of what physical affliction may come to them after admission…  All necessities of life including housing, food, clothing, medical care, and social and religious ministry are included.  This also includes burial at death, the place of burial to be specified by the member. ….....…. Recognizing that upon each individual rests the obligation of self-support to the extent of his or her financial ability; that savings are accumulated as a guarantee against a homeless old age; that neither the home nor any other charitable or benevolent institution should be asked to do for anyone what that individual can do for himself; that the actual cost of maintenance for the average life-time is so great an obligation that each applicant will be required to transfer to the Home all property or resources .  …
…..Our Home has no endowment. We are in debt. Ours support comes from contribution of various churches, friends and some Guests who are able to pay their way. An admission fee is expected of approximately one third of the average cost of life care, based on the age of the member at entrance…”
Rev Chas. L Coleman was the superintendent at Lawrenceville. On the board of managers were George Corrie, Mrs Elmer Hadley, Miss Belle Vandermark, W L Terhune,and  J D Madding, as well as others.  

Interestingly enough, not long after this was donated, John K.  was at the National Archives searching Civil War Pension files and found a letter on official stationary indicting that the wife of  one of our old soldiers  had been admitted as a resident.  Mrs. John P. Scott had signed an entrance agreement on Aug 3, 1926 to turn over all her property consisting of cash, a note of $400 due in October 1926, and some paid up life insurance as well as her monthly government pension to the Home in return for life time and a public funeral and Christian burial at her death.

The first photo is a postcard from our collection and the second is a copy of the actual letterhead on the 1926 letter.