Why did Catherine Armstrong end up in the poor house?

The youngest daughter of William Armstrong, named Catherine and called Kate, Katie and perhaps Kitty (that last may have been a mistake on the part of a census taker), spent the last years of her life in the poor house in Eaton, Madison County, New York. She apparently never married, and appears to have had a child, a son named Edward. Until 1905 or so, Catherine and Edward lived with Dorcas Collins in Brookfield (Madison County), an unmarried Quaker woman who lived with her parents until their deaths. (Catherine and her mother also lived with the Collins family after William’s death; Edward was born after Catherine’s mother died.)

By 1908, all of Catherine’s family had died, as had Dorcas Collins, Edward was her only surviving family member. Catherine is enumerated in the 1910, 1915, 1920, and 1925 censuses at the Eaton Poor House, but I have been unable to find Edward. Each census that asks the question says that Catherine came to the poor house from Brookfield, but I have been unable to find her in the New York Poor House Records at Ancestry.com. (I have gone through the Madison County section for 1905-1910 page by page.) I have also been unable to find Edward during that time, and I wonder why he couldn’t support his mother? I may have found him in the WWII draft records, living in Oakland, Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania. Edward W. Armstrong, aged 54 and born in Brookfield, N. Y. is a good candidate for Catherine’s daughter, but how and why did he end up there? Another mystery‚Ķ

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