PRESS

From the books:                                         

 

The land for the County Poor Farm was purchased on August 30, 1879.  The original location of the farm was to be in Sec. 14, Township 7, Range 16, but instead land was traded with W. R. Wright for $250.  The farm was now to be constructed in the SW quarter of Sec. 26, Township 6, Range 15.  Land totaled to 160 acres.

                                                                   

 

In March of 1880 A. C. Blankenship became the first superintendent of the Jackson County Poor Farm, at a salary of $350 a year.

 

M. B. Parrott succeeded Blankenship in 1881 with an advance of $100 a year, and increased wages in 1882 of $150 due to good management. 

                                                                   

 

Tuesday, April 19, 1898

Board now visit county poor farm and make invoice of personal property, there on. Which was as follows: No. head cattle 26; number head hogs 90; number head horses 1; number chickens 100; number bushels corn 2,000; number bushels oats 150; clover seed 14 bushels. farm implememts. 2 farm wagons; 2 cultivators; monitor; 1 mowing machine; hay rake; 1 hay gather; 1 lawn mower; 1 hay frame; 1 lister and corn drill; 2 stirring plows; 1 single shovel plow; 1 double shovel plow; 1 garden plow; I harrow; I stalk cutter; 1 stalk rake; I sod plow; 2 garden rakes; 2 hoes; 1 one horse corn cutter; 1 corn shelter; 1 hand saw; 1 buck saw: 1 square; 1 meat saw; 1 madick; 1 sledge hammer; 1 scoop shovel; 2 dirt shovels; 1 spade; 4 pitch forks, 1 slope cart; 2 sets harness; 1 grind stone; 1 fifty gallon iron kettle; 1 ten gallon iron kettle; 1 fifteen gallon copper kettle; 2 cook stove; 2 wash, boilers; 2 wash tubs; 1 washing machine and wringer; 8 heating stoves; 3 bath tubs; 19 beds; 7 wash stands and tables; 1 clock; 37 chairs; 1 wheel barrow; 1 grass hook; 1 dinner bell; 2 kitchen safes; 5 sets plates; 4 sets cups and saucers; 3 sets , knives and forks; 17 vegetable dishes; 4 sets spoons; 8 cooking vessels; 2 coffee pots;l tea pot; 1 tea kettle; 3 dozen milk crocks and jars; 300 pounds of lard; 450 pounda of...

                                                                   

 

Built on that land was the main home, and three barns.  Along with those buildings, there were three other houses built out behind the main house. A few other buildings were built but it is unknown what they were. 

 

The home is believed have been remodeled in 1934. A resident of the 1930's has told us that while he was here there was no indoor plumbing, but he thought there was a remodel that had been done to incorporate that and electricity.

                                                                   

 

The County Farm was closed in 1971 when social welfare legislation came about.  For around 10 years the home sat empty. Since then, there have been many different owners of the old County Farm.

Stories from the community:                      

 

Kids from the local churches would visit the home every Christmas. They would sing carols and play the piano in the entryway.

                                                                   

 

There have been several questions about the cemetary on the property and it's location. We believe that we found it by a pond north east of the current 15 acre property. There were not any engraved stones, but there were larger round rocks, around 12-18" across that were out of place in the area and matched the stones around the house. The area is overgrown and on the property of a neighbor.

                                                                   

 

A neighbor has talked about the county farm burning down. For the longest time we couldn't figure out the difference in build dates and how this concrete structure could have burned. We believe the original building that housed the residents was to the west/northwest of the current home. There is a large rectangle sunk into the ground by the wind break. That is where we believe the house was originally built. It burned down before 1934, which is the year the current home was built.

 

 

Obituaries:                                                  

 

COURTRIGHT, MRS.

Died at the poor farm, Mrs. Courtright, the esteemed wife of the keeper, Elijah Courtright, after a long illness, on the 1st instant. The deceased was interred at South Cedar, where she long resided, last Wednesday. The community deeply sympathizes with her husband in his sad bereavement. (The Holton Weekly Signal, Wednesday, July 9, 1890)

                                                                   

 

WASHBURN, MRS.

Columbia. Mrs. Washburn, the old lady who Was sick at the poor farm, died last Monday evening. She has one daughter and one son living and was 70 years old at the time of her death. Mrs. Washburn was an owner of slaves at one time. The Recorder-DI/ine, March 29, 1906.

                                                                   

 

A Victim of Fever.

A man, whose name is supposed to be Charles Oneill, and whos occupation to all intents was that of a tramp, died at the county poor farm Sunday morning from the effects of typhoid fever. Mr. Ramey buried him Monday in the cemetary west of town. He was brought to the poor farm last week by Peter Kaul who said the man had been spending his nights in the Kaul school house. He was about 30 year old apparently, well dressed and fairly good looking. After his death, the infirmary was visited by two or three other men of the same type who claimed to have been friends of the deceased, but would give no information as to either their own or the dead man's history. They left the house immediately. The circumstaces have excited a suspicion in Mr. Ramey's mind that the outfit must have been a band of criminals or fugitives from justice of some sort. He thinks he will hear from them again.

LATER-- Dr. McGrew received a telegram from the father of the dead man, I.D. O'Neill, of Holyoke, Mass., asking particulars about his sickness. He had not yet received word of his death, which Dr. McGrew sent at once. The mystery surounding the dead man will probably be cleared up by further word from the father.