San Mateo County 
Poor Farm and Hospital
In the mid-1870's, the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors acknowleded the need to house the county's ill and indigent citizens. 

The County  acquired a 140 acre parcel of ranch property in the hills west of 
San Mateo/Belmont. 

The San Mateo County Poor Farm & Hospital opened at this location in July of 1876. 

     "Patients with diseases like tuberculosis, rheumatism, malaria, diabetes, asthma, chicken pox, heart problems etc. were treated in the hospital . . . The impoverished were housed in adjacent housing and were considered inmates . . . Record books for these facilities...starting from 1876...list all the inmates that came to the poor farm and died there . . . The Poor Farm Graveyard was first established in 1894, when the first dead were buried and their names, places of origin, age and the reason for dying were entered into a logbook . . ."  ---Adela Morris, Director, Institute for Canine Forensics

(The Institute for Canine Forensics (ICF) is a non-profit organization in Northern California for the advancement of research and education of Forensic Evidence.  One of their projects, in cooperation with the Archaeology and Anthropology Departments of the University of Santa Clara, is the San Mateo County Poor Farm Cemetery.)


Death & Burial Records
Thank you to Adela Morris, Shirley Hammond and Eva Cecil for transcribing these records.
Original Transcription
Alphabetical List
Maps
 Photographs
 
Federal Census Records
1880 San Mateo County Hospital
1900 San Mateo County Hospital
1910 San Mateo County Poorfarm
1920 County Poor Farm-Public Institution
1930 San Mateo County Relief Home


Additional Information

Institute for Canine Forensics, San Mateo County Hospital and Poor Farm Project

The Poorhouse Story

What Were Poorhouses?
(also known as Poor Farms, Almshouses, etc.)

California Poorhouse History


Sources:
1880 Federal Census, California, San Mateo County, San Mateo, Enumeration District 237, Supervisor's District No. 1, page 27 [written], page 388 [stamped].
1900 Federal Census, California, San Mateo County, Second Township, Enumeration District 38, Sheet 5B.
1910 Federal Census, California, San Mateo County, Township 2, Enumeration District 55, Supervisor's District No. 5, Sheet 33A/33B.
1920 Federal Census, California, San Mateo County, Second Township, Belmont Precinct 2, Enumeration District 78, Spuervisor's District No. 7, Sheet 1A.
1930 Federal Census, California, San Mateo County, Township #2, Enumeration District No. 41-41, Supervisor's District No. 10, Sheet 3A/3B.
California Poorhouse History  < http://www.poorhousestory.com/poorhouses_in_california.htm > 30 Aug 2005.
History of San Mateo County, by Philip W. Alexander, 1916 < http://www.sfgenealogy.com/sanmateo/history/smhsm1.htm > 30 Aug 2005.
Moore & DePue's Illustrated History of San Mateo County, California, G.T. Brown & Co. Lith., San Francisco, 1878.
    < http://www.sfgenealogy.com/sanmateo/smhis78a.htm > 30 Aug 2005.
The Poorhouse Story < http://www.poorhousestory.com/ > 30 Aug 2005.
Record Book of San Mateo County Hospital and Poor Farm July 1876. (Original book at San Mateo County Historical Society, #75-183-3.)
San Mateo, A Centennial History, by Mitchell P. Postel (Scotwall Associates, San Francisco, CA, 1994).
San Mateo City Directory, 1925, Coast Directory Co., Burlingame, CA < http://www.sfgenealogy.com/sanmateo/smdma25.htm > 30 Aug 2005.
San Mateo County Chronicles, by Michael Svanevik and Shirley Burgett (San Mateo, CA, 1995).
San Mateo County Hospital and Poor Farm Project by The Institute for Canine Forensics < http://www.k9forensic.org/poor_farm.html > 30 Aug 2005.
Time & Again, article in the Redwood City Independent, May 18, 2002 by Michael Svanevik and Shirley Burgett.
1896 Topographical Map, USGS, Historic Topographic Maps of California, Earth Sciences & Map Library, UC Berkeley
    < http://sunsite.berkeley.edu/histopo/ > 30 Aug 2005.
What were Poorhouses?  < http://www.poorhousestory.com/history.htm > 30 Aug 2005.
Yahoo! Maps < http://maps.yahoo.com/ > 30 Aug 2005.

Thank you to Eva Cecil, Shirley Hammon and Adela Morris for transcribing the death and burial records, and to Carolyn Feroben, Ron Filion, and Joseph Kral for their help, encouragement and enthusiasm for this subject. 
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© Copyright 2005   Pamela Storm.  All rights reserved.
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