Nov. 6th 1848 Allentown PA Lehigh County Poor-House cheque wood rails

$30.00 CAD

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Payment for 1000 chestnut rails.

No. 135 $ 60  Poor-House November 6th 1848
TO Charles Saeger Esq., Treasurer of the Directors of the Poor and House of Employment PAY to Benjamin Semmel & A. Naff or bearer Sixty Dollars and -- Cents for 1000 Chestnut Rails
John Blank
Thos Faust


On back, written "Rec’d Pay’t Nov 9/48  Thos Faust".

Two of the three directors signing were Michael D. Eberhard (Allentown) and John Blank (Upper Saucon).

Some toning.

3" x 6 ⅞"

'Poorhouses' were tax-supported residential institutions to which paupers and the indigent were required to go if they could not support themselves. They were started as a method of providing a less expensive (to the taxpayers) alternative to what we would now days call "welfare" - what was called "outdoor relief" in those days.  Many of the paupers and indigents at these 'Poor Houses also worked on the attached 'Poor Farm' area and worked for their pay at manual labor jobs such as carpentry, farm work, and upkeep of the Poor House in general.

Today, Cedarbrook Nursing Home in Allentown, PA at 350 S. Cedar Brook Road occupies the location of where the historic Lehigh County Poor-House once stood.


The Board of Poor Directors met in Allentown on March 28, 1845, for organization, and at their second meeting, April 7th, received reports from the different districts in regard to the number of paupers in them. Allentown reported 44; Upper Macungie,17; Lower Macnngie, 11 ; Upper Saucon, ll; Salisbury,3; South Whitehall, 6; North Whitehall, l5; Weissenberg, l Lowhill, 5; Hanover, 7; and l'pper Milford, 25; making a total of 145, with three townships—Lynn, Heidelberg, and Northampton—not heard from.

Thomas Fanst was chosen as steward, and his wife, Anna Faust, as matron, April 9, 1845.