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Poor Farm History

Poor Farm
Date unknown.
Click image to enlarge.

Dodge Township has the honor of the location of the county poor farm. This county institution for the care of the poor and destitute people of the county had been talked about for a number of years, but no definite action was taken until 1867. The county was at that time in debt and there was strenuous opposition to increasing the debt even to purchase a county poor farm. But the need of such an institution had become so imperative that the board of supervisors submitted a proposition to the people to be voted upon at the October election in 1867, to borrow $12,000, with which to purchase a county poor farm. The proposition carried by a vote of 882 for the proposition and 291 against it.

Having thus received authority to proceed with the work the board of supervisors, after looking around in various parts of the county, decided to purchase a farm owned by J. F. Alexander, located in Dodge Township. The farm consisted of 240 acres situated in sections 19 and 20, township 85, range 26. The farm is well located and it has been well managed and is now an institution that every citizen of the county has good reason to be proud of.

There was one horrible misfortune which occurred at the county farm in the year [1894], which was a very lamentable one. In some unaccountable way, a fire occurred in the insane building, which was some distance from any of the other buildings, and it was entirely consumed, together with the eight inmates that occupied it. This much regretted accident aroused the pity and sympathy of every citizen of the county. The fire did not reach any of the other buildings on the farm. The burned building was replaced with another one much better than the one destroyed.

The other buildings of the farm are ample for the accommodation of all who have been admitted to the farm. There are now thirty-four paupers at the county poor farm and thirty in the insane department, making a total of sixty-four.

It is an honor to Dodge Township to have this most prominent institution in the county within its borders.

Photo used with permission of the Boone County Historical Society.