cover of book

This title is no longer available from this publisher at this time. To let the publisher know you are interested in the title, please email

More Than a Roof: The Development of Minnesota Poor Farms and Homes for the Aged
by Ethel McClure
Minnesota Historical Society Press, 1996
Paper: 978-0-87351-535-1

Homes, hospitals, and specialized facilities for the elderly, an accepted feature of life today, did not exist in early Minnesota. Aged persons, grouped with indigent, crippled, sick, and erring citizens of all ages, were housed in the only public homes available: county poorhouses and poor farms. Beginning with the first relief system established in Minnesota Territory, public health expert Ethel McClure traces the development of public and private care for the aged through the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, ending in the 1960s. She explores the reasons for the disappearance of the county poor farm, the founding and growth of numerous private institutions, and the appearance of Social Security and Medicare. Included here is McClure’s historical directory of all nonprofit and public homes for the elderly that opened in Minnesota between 1854 and 1968, along with helpful footnotes, appendixes, an index and illustrations. More Than a Roof is a readable and probing study of a subject that has become ever more pressing as America moves into the 21st century.
Ethel McClure, a graduate of the Johns Hopkins Hospital School of Nursing with a master’s degree in public health from the University of Minnesota, served for many years in Minnesota children’s bureau, the division of social welfare, and the department of health. She was an acknowledged expert on the care of the aged.
  • Contents 
    • 1. 
    • Minnesota's First Poorhouses 1849–1864
    • 2. 
    • County Poor Farms 1864–1880
    • 3. 
    • The Home for the Friendless 1867–1883
    • 4. 
    • Women of the Churches 1880–1900
    • 5. 
    • The State Expands Its Role 1880–1900
    • 6. 
    • Improving County Poor Farms 1900–1920
    • 7. 
    • Ethnic Groups Provide for Their Aged 1900–1920
    • 8. 
    • The Poorhouse under Scrutiny 1920–1930
    • 9. 
    • The Questing Twenties 1920–1930
    • 10. 
    • From Great Depression to Social Security 1930–1940
    • 11. 
    • Red Ink and Midnight Oil 1930–1940
    • 12. 
    • Standards and Shortages during World War II 1940–1950
    • 13. 
    • Regulations and Ration Books 1940–1950
    • 14. 
    • Progress in the Fifties 1950–1960
    • 15. 
    • Changes and Challenges 1850–1960s
    • Illustrations
    • Appendix
    • Reference Notes
    • Index

See other books on: Aged | Development | Gerontology | More Than | Roof
See other titles from Minnesota Historical Society Press