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Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission
Bureau of Archives and History
Pennsylvania State Archives


ALLEGHENY COUNTY WORK HOUSE RECORDS
Series Descriptions

Board of Managers


Account Books,
1904-1940.
(4 volumes)

{series #197.4} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically.

Monthly account of business expenditures and expenditures made at the Alleghneny County Work House. Among the recorded expenditures are the sales of brooms, carpet, brushes, chairs, maintenence, and general funds; and the amount of cash on hand for the month; the number of warrants required and to be detained. The number of inmates discharged for the month is also provided. The account book for 1911-1922 provides detailed information on the amount of wages paid to employees and the transactions with companies that provided maintenence or other services at the prison. This information is seperated among the East Wing, West Wing, and the Female Department.

Admission and Discharge Books,
1870-1877.
(3 volumes)

{series #197.8} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically.

Daily accountings of the number of men recieved and discharged at the Allegheny County Work House. An evening head count of inmates is also noted.

Cash Book,
1866-1871.
(1 volume)

{#197m.6}
[Holdings]

Listing of expenditures of the members of the Board of Managers of the Allegheny County Work House. The manager's name is given along with the dates of transactions and receipt information..

Contract Book,
1867.
(1 volume)

{series #197.7} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically.

Detailed descriptions of works done at the Allegheny County Work House, including rustic work, brick work, stone work, and painting.

Minute Books,
1866-1971.
(11 volumes)

{series #197.1} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically.

Minutes of the meetings of the Superintendent and the Board of Managers of the Allegheny County Work House and Inebriate Asylum. The basic information provided is the date, place, and time of the meeting; the names of the board members present and escused; and summaries of the topics covered at the meetings. The bulk of the meetings covered financial transactions and expenditures. Complete listings of the expenditures of the prison are provided for the respective month. Vote counts of any motions brought forward at the meeting are also provided.

Oaths of Officials,
1888-1912.
(1 volume)

{series #197.5} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically.

Oaths of officials that swore to execute the duties assigned at the Allegheny County Work House and Inebriate Asylum and to obey the orders of superior officers and carry out the laws of the State of Pennsylvania. Each entry has the signature of the individual taking the oath, date , and the signature of the Notary Public.

Pay Rolls of Officers and Employees,
1877-1909.
(3 volumes)

{series #197.3} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically by monthly pay periods.

Monthly report of payments given to officers and employees of the Allegheny Work House.The information provided includes the name of the officer or employee, the occupational title, the number of whole time days worked, the whole amount paid to the employee, the amount deducted for rent, and the total employee expenditures for the month.

Visitors' Register,
1871-1880.
(3 volumes)

{series #197.2} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically by date of entry.

Register of visitors to the Allegheny Work House. Information provided is visitor's name and date of visit.



Population Records



Conduct Books,
1870-1906, 1915-1919.
(7 volumes)

{series #197.9} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically.

Monthly inmate conduct ratings for prisoners of the Allegheny County Work House. The provided information includes the inmate's name, inmate number, date of sentencing and term of expiration, desription of charge, monthly ratings for the respective year, and date and type of discharge. Conduct ratings are typically labelled "good" or "bad".

Daily Sick Call Books,
1896-1940.
(15 volumes)

{series #197.11} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically.

Daily or weekly statistics of the male and female medical patients at the Allegheny County Work House. The information provided includes the date and the number of prisoners affected by each particular mediccal condition. In some cases it is noted if and how the patient was cared for. No patient or inmate names are provided in these books "Daily Occurrences" reads like a daily "diary" of events that transpired at the Allegheny County Work House. Incidents mentioned include the rationing of food to prisoners, the attending of the sick, and the sentencing of punishments.

Discharge and Decriptive Dockets,
1873-1971.
(24 volumes)

{series #197.10} [Holdings]

Indexed by date of discharge and internally arranged numerically by register number.

Registers which provide details on an inmate upon his/her discharge. The provided information includes name and register number, age when discharged, color and sex, crime sentenced for, date of sentencing, date of discharge, amount of time served, how discharged, occupation in prison, weight when discharged, and additional remarks. The Weekend Prisoners volume provides a listing of inmates recieved on weekends. Each entry provides the inmate's name, number, date and time of arrival, date and time of departure, and number of days credit.

Escaped Prisoner Books,
1896-1940.
(3 volumes)

{series #197.12} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically. Indexed internally by surname.

Descriptions of inmates that escaped or attempted to escape from the Allegheny County Work House. The information provided includes prison inmate number, name, sex, skin color, nationality, complexion type, eye color, height and weight, marital status, occupation, charge for incarceration, date inmate was sentenced and recieved by the prison, number of times at the prison, and where in the prison the inmate escaped from. Details about the escape or attempted escape include time served prior to escape, time left to serve, disposition, and whether the individual was recaptured or not. If recaptured, the entry tells where, when, and by whom.

Hospital Record Books,
1913-1939, 1968-1970.
(7 volumes)

{series #197.13} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically.

Records of inmates who visited the hospital at Allegheny County Work House. The provided information includes the inmate's name and number, sex, race, occupation, date of birth and birthplace, age, date of sentencing and length of sentence, marital status, name and birtplace of parents, dates of the stay at the hospital, name of person to notify in case of death, place of burial, and additional remarks. The "Pre-Sentenced Inmates" volume provides the name of the inmate and the inmate number, date recieved, and date of disposistion. This volume seems to have very little to do with stays at the hospital or medical matters of the inmates.

Prison Register Books,
1869-1951.
(17 volumes)

{series #197.14} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically; therein arranged alphabetically by surname.

A series of volumes that serves as an index to inmates of the Allegheny County Workhouse. Each entry provides the inmates name and inmate number, date of discharge, and additional remarks.

Punishment Books,
1870-1873, 1880-1892, 1904-1959.
(7 volumes)

{series #197.15} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically

Monthly listings of inmates of the Allegheny County Work House that were sentenced to punishment for violating the rules of the prison. The layout of the punishment books changes over the years, but the basic information provided is the same. Information provided includes the name of the inmate and the inmate's prison number, date, details on the offense, how the inmate was punished, and the name of the reporting officer.

Register to Include All Prisoners Tried and Sentenced to Hard Labor Books,
1869-1971 .
(25 volumes)

{series #197.16} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically; therein arranged numerically by register number.

Registers of all inmates sentenced to hard labor while at the Allegheny County Work House. The provided information includes the inmate's name and register number, nationality, date of reception, eye and hair color, complextion, height, parental information, education, occupation prior to sentencing, habits, marital status, military background, date and term of sentencing, court and county of sentencing, number of previous convictions, religiondate of discharge, and remarks.


Printed Books and Mauscripts


Reports,
1873, 1874, 1879-1899, 1910, 1924.
(17 volumes)

{series #197.17} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically by year of report.

Annual reports of the of the Managers of the Allegheny County Workhouse and Inebriate Asylum to the Inspectors of the County Prisons. Typical reports have a manager's report, superintendent report, financial report, statistical tables, chaplain's report, and physician's report. Additionally, "Laws and Rules of the Allegheny County Workhouse and Inebriate Asylum" is a handbook of rules and regulations at the prison in 1924. A topic index can be found at the end of the volume. Also, "The Feeding of the Inmates..." is a detailed study that examines the menu and rationing program for inmates and employees at the Allegheny County Workhouse. The study covers dietary requirements, proteins, calories, fuel value, and proposed standards for feeding.


PA State Archives Hours, Directions, & Fees Research Topics Finding Aids for Collections Land Records