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Friday, December 21, 2012

Friends of Friends Friday: Flocking to Feed the Poor in 1897 at Marshalsea in Pittsburgh

Reading old newspapers can be quite entertaining.  Today, I ran across a great article from December 24, 1897.  The article tells us of the spirit of giving to the poor in Pittsburgh.

The Pittsburgh Press, Dec. 24, 1897, page 2


An Enjoyable Time that is Promised the Unfortunates.

The 710 inmates of the city farm at Marshalsea will not be forgotten by Director George Booth and Supt. George Linderman.  Everything will be done to give them a good time.  Confined in the building are about 43 children.  These little ones on Christmas eve will hang up their stockings to see what Santa Claus will bring them.  The usual Christmas exercises will be held at the home on Christmas eve and the several hundred inmates with two or three hundred others will be ushered into the large chapel in the evening. 

An excellent program has been arranged for with Supt. Linderman as director and Dr. Charles Owens as manager, Miss Agnes M. Wenzel will be pianist of the occasion.  The performance will consist of vocal and instrumental music, with a few recitations.  Following is the program:  Anthem, "O, Little Town of Bethlehem:, chorus: recitation, "Orthodox Team,: Miss Lillian Shade, vocal solo, selected, Miss Louise Loomis; tableau, "Angels' Watch,: Misses Whan, Phillips and Symers; vocal solo, "Queen of the Earth,: Alex. Chas. Owens, M.D.; tableau, "Ten Virgins," Misses McNulty, Sowers, Whan, McDermott, Flanagan, Campbell, Harvey, Trimble, Horner Phillips, vocal duet, "Lover's Quarrel," Miss Emma Fox and Mr. Frank Bell; dialogue, "Mr. and Mrs. Thompson," Misses Lillian and Florence Shade, duet, violin and piano, selected, Howard Arbogast and Miss Wenzel; tableau, "Peak Sisters," Misses Whan, Phillips, Sowers, Symers, Harvey, Horner, McNulty, Flanagan, McDermott, Campbell, Trimble, Patterson and Mrs. S. E. Shade; vocal solo, selected, Miss Louise Loomis; tableau, "A Young Man's Dread," Miss Minnie Sowers, piano solo, selected, Miss Agnes M. Wenzel, duet, "La Chatelain," Misses Lillian and Florence Shade; Christmas carol, chorus.

A real Christmas dinner will be served to the inmates on Christmas day.  It will consist of 1,000 pounds or roast turkey with cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, celery and pickles, bread, butter, tea, coffee, apples, oranges and candy.  Of the 710 inmates of the home and hospitals 380 are insane.  These will be entertained just as well as the more fortunate inmates during the day.  The insane inmates will not be allowed to leave their wards, but they will receive their candy and presents as well as their share of turkey.  The director said that the people living around Marshalsea enjoyed the feast as well as the inmates.  The young women and men flock to the home of Christmas day and act as waiters.

 Seven more articles on the Poor House from old Pittsburgh newspapers have been uploaded for your researching pleasure.  Check it out.

Ahh, genealogy.  Kind of gives you a warm and fuzzy feeling as we Americans continue to assist those in need.  Merry Christmas.

Update: Marshalsea was built in 1893 in Southern Allegheny Co on the old George Neal Farm in/near S. Fayette Twp. It was renamed Pittsburgh City Home and Hospital at Mayview in 1916.

©2012 AS Eldredge

1 comment:

Claudia said...

Where was this farm located in Pittsburgh?