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Sussex County Delaware ~ Almshouse

Laws had been enacted for the relief of the poor very early in the history of the colony, but it was not until the Act of January 29, 1791, that trustees were appointed and authority given to counties to hold bonds, erect buildings, and otherwise transact business in a corporate capacity. Section 28 of that Act, provided that the paupers of Sussex County should wear upon the left arm a piece of red cloth inscribed in black the letters P. S. This section was repealed by an Act of February 3, 1802.
The Act of 1791, named as trustees for Sussex County:

John Hooper
Robert Houston
John Ingram
William Lockwood
George Mitchell
William Owens
Rhodes Shankland
Woodman Stockley
Barclay Townsend
Jacob Townsend

Their successors were to be appointed by the Levy Court. On the 5th of December, 1793, the trustees purchased of John Stephen Hill, four hundred acres of land, a tract called "Springfield" lying on White Creek, in Baltimore Hundred, which was by Maryland, patented April 9, 1684, to William Whittington, and by numerous changes came to John S. Hill. The tradition is that a house for the poor existed in Dagsborough Hundred before one was established in Baltimore Hundred, and that the former house was burned. It is quite likely this is true, for the record of the Alms House begins June 1, 1791, and John Anderson, as overseer, makes a report from that time to June, 1792. The first house was probably rented, as there is no record of title having been acquired until 1793. This land in Baltimore Hundred was kept and used until an ex-change was made December 30, 1800, with Warren Jefferson, for four hundred and one acres of land in Broadkill Hundred, (now Georgetown Hundred), which is the present almshouse property. The title was not fully perfected until November 23, 1809. This property was originally taken up on a warrant dated May 28, 1759, by Richard Jefferson, and was described as lying on the heads of Kinney's Branch and Tussock's Branch, of Indian River. Tussock's Branch still retains the name, and Kinney's was early enlarged and called the "Poor House Ditch," and afterwards ''Wall's Ditch." On this tract was a dwelling built about 1766, which was at once fitted up for the almshouse, and used as such until taken down in the spring of 1877. It stood in the open space west of the superintendent's residence, which was erected in 1874, at a cost of seven thousand dollars. An old building, formerly used for the insane, and now for the worst cases of pauperism, in 1879 was moved to where it now stands, and east of it was erected in 1878 the present building for the insane, at a cost of seven thousand dollars. The house for colored people was erected in 1856, and has since been enlarged. The buildings for men and women were erected respectively in 1884 and 1885, at a cost of five thousand dollars. The farm has been enlarged find decreased by purchase and sale at various times, and at present contains three hundred and sixty-five acres.

The superintendents as far as can be ascertained have been:

John Anderson, 1791
Thomas Rodney, 1802
Job Jefferson, 1805
Darby Collins
Brinkloe Ewing
Zetub Hazzard, 1824
Jacob Morris
Dogworthy Derrickson, 1840
Joshua Burton, 1842
Abram Morrell, 1846
Edward Short, 1848
Peter Morton, 1856
Edward Short, 1865
John Stockley, 1874
David Lord, 1884
Hiram S. Short, the incumbent in January, 1887.

Among the physicians who have had the Almshouse in charge were Dr. George W. Maull, Dr. David H. Burton, Dr. Elias S. Rickards and Dr. Charles H. Rickards, who has served since 1853, with the exception of a year or two, and to whom great credit is due for the excellent care of the inmates and condition of the buildings. The Trustees of the Poor, the first of whom were appointed in 1791, are shown in the following list so far as the records exist:

George Mitchell 1791
Barclay Townsend 1791
Wm. Owens 1791
Jacob Townsend 1791
John Ingrain 1791
Rhodes Shankland 1791
Wm. Lockwood 1791
Robert Houston 1791
Woodman Stockley 1791
John Hooper 1791
Simon Kollock 1793
Hap Hazard. 1793
Woodman Stockley 1793
John Bacon 1793
Wm. Swain 1793
Tristin L. Polk 1793
Benj. L. Holland 1793
Robert Houston 1793
Daniel Rodney 1793
John Parker 1809
Curtis Shockley 1809
John Jefferson 1809
Ezekiel Williams 1809
Joseph Russell 1810
Robert Barton 1810
Dr. Joseph Maull 1810
Peter G. Wooten. 1811
John Wilson 1811
John Morris 1811
Dr. Joseph Maull 1811
John Parker 1812
Curtis Shockley 1818
John Jefferson 1812
Zadoc Aydelott 1812
John H. Burton 1813
Joseph Russell 1813
Peter O. Wooten 1814
John Wilson 1814
John Morris. 1814
Dr. Joseph Maull 1814
Isaac Wooten 1815
Covington Mesick 1815
John Parker 1815
Joseph Truitt 1815
John Jefferson 1815
Zadoch Aydelott 1815
John H. Burton 1816
Arthur Milby 1816
Samuel Elliott 1917
Col. John Wilson 1817
Miers Burton 1817
Minos Tindal 1817
Zadoch Aydelott 1818
Thomas Davis 1820
Eli Hall 1820
John Parker, Sr. 1818
Isaac Wooten 1818
Jacob Morris 1820
John Lingo 1820
Covington Mesick 1820
Jacob Morris 1820
John Lingo 1820
Covington Mesick 1820
Zadoc Aydelott 1820
Thomas Davis 1820
Eli Hall 1820
John Parker, Sr. 1820
Col. John Wilson 1820
Minos Tyndale 1820
Miers Burton 1820
Thomas Davis 1821
Eli Hall 1821
Philip Matthews 1821
John Parker 1821
Jacob Morris 1822
Philip Matthews 1822
John Thoroughgood 1822
Cropper Laws 1822
Isaac Willing 1822
Miers Burton 1823
Thomas Davis 1824
Arthur Milby 1824
Wm. Burton 1824
Zadoc Aydelott 1824
Jacob Morris 1826
Isaac Cannon 1826
John Thoroughgood 1826
Miers Burton 1826
Crapper Lacy 1826
Isaac Welten 1826
Eli Pepper 1826
Bevans Morris 1827
Thomas Davis 1827
Zadoc Aydelott 1827
Jacob Prettyman 1827
Philip Matthews. 1828
George Heam 1828
Levi Hill 1828
Robert Morris 1829
Isaac Kinder 1829
Gilley G. Short 1829
Stephen Warren 1830
Col. John Wilson 1830
Zadoc Aydelott 1830
Wm. Burton 1830
Robert Morris 1832
Isaac Kinder 1832
Gilley G. Short 1832
Stephen Warren 1833
Zadoc Aydelott 1833
Col. John Wilson 1833
Willea Burton 1833
Philip Mathews 1834
Joseph Heam 1834
Wm. J. Harris 1834
Robert Morris 1835
Isaac Kinder 1835
Gilley G. Short 1835
Stephen Warren 1836
James Maull 1836
Zadoc Aydelott 1836
Joshua Benton 1836
Philip Matthews 1837
Joseph Hearn 1837
Daniel W. Brereton 1837
Robert Morris 1838
Isaac Kinder 1838
Joshua McCaulley 1838
Joseph Watson 1839
George Hall 1839
John Derickson 1839
George Bell 1839
Philip Matthews 1840
George Heam 1840
Daniel W. Brereton 1840
Wm. Dunning 1841
Jacob Prettyman 1841
Joshua McColley 1841
Joseph Watson 1842
George Hall 1842
Lemuel Derrickson 1842
Joshua Burton 1842
Wingate Matthews 1843
George Hearn 1843
Arthur Hazzard 1843
Wm. Dunney 1844
Jacob Prettyman 1844
Joshua McColley 1844
Samuel B. Shockley 1845
James Anderson 1845
Peleg W. Helm 1845
David Walker 1845
Daniel Hudson 1846
Elijah Williams 1846
Wm. D. Waples 1846
Robert Burr 1847
James Darbee 1847
Capt. Philip Marvel 1847
Joseph Watson 1848
James Anderson 1848
Ebe Walter. 1848
David Walker 1848
Daniel Hudson 1849
Samuel Kinney 1849
James Walls 1849
Fisher H. Willis 1850
Jonas Darbe 1850
Robert B. Houston 1850
James Anderson 1851
Ebe Walter 1851
David Walker 1851
Robert E. James 1852
Samuel Kinney 1852
James Walls 1852
Isaac Willin 1852
Warren Kinder 1833
Isaac H. Houston 1853
Joseph Watson 1854
James Anderson 1854
Ebe Walter 1854
David Walker 1854
Wingate Matthews 1855
Nutter G. Wooten 1855
Dayworthy Derrickson 1855
Thomas Swain 1856
Woolsey Burton 1856
Joshua McColley 1856
Joseph Watson 1857
James Anderson 1857
Isaac Lynch 1857
Robert B. Robinson 1857
Wm. D. Records 1858
Jeremiah Adams 1858
Day worthy Derrickson 1858
George. W. Collins 1859
Matthew G. Doves. 1859
John Jones 1859
Capt. Joseph Watson 1860
James Anderson 1860
Wm. B. Hickman 1860
Robert B. Robinson 1860
Dayworthy Derrickson 1861
James Scott 1860
Thomas Phillips 1861
George W. Collins 1862
Matthew G. Davis 1862
John Jones 1862
Capt. Joseph Watson 1863
Nathaniel Veasey 1863
Jacob Hickman 1863
Robert R Robinson 1863
James Anderson. 1863
James Scott 1864
Thomas Philips 1864
Dayworthy Derrickson 1864
Wm. P. Jones 1864
Levin Conaway 1864
Levin Conaway 1865
M. Greentree Davis 1865
Wm. P. Jones 1865
Nathaniel F. Veasey 1866
Henry K. Hill 1866
Robert B. Robinson 1866
James Anderson 1866
Capt. Joseph Watson 1866
Dayworthy Derrickson 1867
Thomas Phillips 1867
Wm. Giles 1867
Wm. P. Jones 1868
Matthew G. Davis 1868
Levin Conaway 1868
Capt. Joseph Watson 1869
James Anderson 1869
Robert B. Robinson 1869
Wm. W. Veasey 1869
Ezekiel C. Williams 1869
Dayworthy Derrickson 1870
Wm. Giles 1870
Joseph Ellis 1870
Miles Messick 1871
Matthew G. Davis 1871
Joseph Morris 1871
Joseph Watson 1872
James Anderson 1872
Robert B. Robinson 1872
Wm. W. Veasey 1878
Isaac Jones 1872
Marshall Smith 1872
Nehemiah M. Stayton 1873
Wm. Giles 1873
Marshall Smith 1873
John E. Hazzard 1873
Miles Merrick 1874
Wm. B. Burton 1874
Matthew G. Davis 1874
Clement C. Hearn 1874
Joseph Watson 1875
Wm. W. Veasey 1875
Isaac W. James 1875
Robert B. Robinson 1875
Isaac Conaway 1875
Nehemiah M. Stayton 1876
Wm. Giles 1876
Marshall Smith 1876
John B. Hassard 1876
Ezekiel Timmons 1877
Matthew G. Davis 1877
Josiah Prettyman 1877
Wm. B. Burton 1877
Wm. W. Vesey 1878
Esekiel C. Williams 1878
B. B. Robinson 1878
Isaac Conaway 1878
James H. Deputy 1879
Nehemiah M. Stayton 1879
Wm. Giles 1879
Marshall Smith 1879
John E. Hazzard 1879
James Willey 1880
Wm. E. Burton 1880
Hosea Dawson 1880
Ezekiel Timmons 1880
James H. Deputy 1881
Andrew J. Holland 1881
Thomas Dukes 1881
Dr. Joseph B. Waples 1881
Thomas E. Records 1881
N. M. Stayton 1888
Marshall Smith 1882
John E. Hazzard 1882
Hosea Dawson 1883
Wm. F. Jones 1883
Charles B. Honston 1883
Isaac F. Hearn 1883
Thomas Dukes 1884
James Deputy 1884
Alfred Russell 1884
Robert B. Robinson 1884
Joseph B. Waples 1884
N. W. Stayton 1885
Jacob W. Cannon 1885
Ebenezer M. Lowe 1885
John E. Hazzard 1885
Hosea Dawson 1886
Jacob Prettyman 1886
Philip W. Wingate 1886
Kendell R. Richards 1887
Miles T. Mills. 1887
Andrew J. Holland 1887
James H. McGlochan 1887

Sussex County

Source: History of Delaware, 1609-1888, Volume I, by J. Thomas Scharf, L. J. Richards & Company, Philadelphia, 1888.

 
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