Archive for Monday, January 2, 2012

100 years ago: County provides for even the ‘improvident’ poor

January 2, 2012


From the Lawrence Daily Journal-World for Jan. 2, 1912:

  • "That the present weather is hard on the poor of Lawrence is certain, for yesterday A. L. Selig, commissioner of the Poor, received about twenty calls for help from people who can't provide for themselves. These calls for the most part were for coal, some for clothing and some for food.... The present weather is 'shut out' season for many of the laboring men of Lawrence. The heavy fall of snow has rendered work impossible in many instances, and the men find that they can not provide for their families. Down at the city rock quarry, however, there is an example of what men can do if they will. A number of men have gone there, scraped the snow off the rocks and have gone to work. One man, one week not long ago made $7.20 breaking rock. They are paid 80 cents a cubic yard.... Many of the appeals for help come from what might be called 'the improvident poor.' By this is meant the class that spends its money all during the summer and warmer months never thinking of the cold and hard winter to come. It is these people who find that if they just had the nickels they spent last summer that all would be well with them now, but nevertheless they must be provided for and this is what the county is doing now."
  • "Mrs. Mary Barnes of this city has fallen heir to $14,000, but she was not aware of this fact until a friend showed her a newspaper clipping which was from St. Louis and which read as follows: 'A Mrs. Mary Barnes supposed to have lived in Kansas City was left $14,000 through the death of her sister, Mrs. Jane Sullivan. Four women giving the name of Mrs. Mary Barnes have applied for the $14,000 legacy... but none have the family tree necessary for collection of the money. " The woman referred to was no other than Mrs. Barnes of Lawrence, a sister of the Mrs. Sullivan mentioned. Mrs. Sullivan died about a year ago but left no will. Mrs. Barnes will now make herself known. She did not know she had been advertised for in papers everywhere."


Sarah St. John 6 years, 3 months ago

"Mrs. Mary Barnes of this city has fallen heir to $14,000...."

Over $300,000 in today's dollars!

Sunny Parker 6 years, 3 months ago

Interesting how only a 'few' asked for a handout 100 years ago. In todays world, people would rather receive a handout than get off their duff and work!

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