Jefferson County Online
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Support of Poor

The following is a chapter from "The History of Jefferson County, Iowa", Pages 303-304, published by the Western Historical Company of Chicago in 1879.



The father, mother and children of any poor person who has applied for aid, and who is unable to maintain himself by work, shall, jointly or severally, maintain such poor person in such manner as may be approved by the Township Trustees.

In the absence or inability of nearer relatives, the same liability shall extent to the grandparents, if of ability without personal labor, and to the male grandchildren who are of ability, by personal labor or otherwise.

The Township Trustees may, upon the failure of such relatives to maintain a poor person, who has made application for relief, apply to the Circuit Court for an order to compel the same.

Upon ten days' notice, in writing, to the parties sought to be charged, a hearing may be had, and an order made for entire or partial support of the poor person.

Appeal may be taken from such judgment as from other judgments of the Circuit Court.

When any person, having any estate, abandons either children, wife or husband, leaving them chargeable, or likely to become chargeable, upon the public for support, upon proof of above fact, an order may be had from the Clerk of the Circuit Court, or Judge, authorizing the Trustees or the Sheriff to take into possession such estate.

The Court may direct such personal estate to be sold, to be applied, as well as the rents and profits of the real estate, if any, to the support of the children, wife or husband.

If the party against whom the order is issued return and support the person abandoned, or give security for the same, the order shall be discharged, and the property taken returned.

The mode of relief for the poor, through the action of the Township Trustees, or the action of the Board of Supervisors, is so well known to every township officer, and the circumstances attending applications for relief are so varied, that it need now only be said that it is the duty of each county to provide for its poor, no matter at what place they may be.

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