IAGenWeb Project - Clayton co.

History of Clayton County, Iowa
Chapter IX

County Seat - Public Buildings

County-Seat Contests * The Court-House * County Jail
County Poor-Farm * The Insane Asylum * State Asylum

(page 409)

The poor-house and farm of Clayton County is located on section 8, Read Township, which place was selected in 1864. The first steward was August Millenhausen, of Guttenberg. The institution was opened with seventeen inmates. This number has never decreased, but on the contrary has steadily augmented until there are now forty-eight inmates -- twenty-two males, thirteen females and thirteen children. The different nationalities are thus represented: Germans, fourteen; Irish, fourteen; Americans, thirteen; Norwegians, three; Swedish, one; French, one; Bohemian, one; English, one.

The farm connected with this institution comprises 100 acres. The poor-house and insane asylum are both located on this farm, and are together worth about $6,000. The poor-house is economically managed, and considerable progress has been made toward making the institution self-supporting. It still costs the county about $3,000 annually.

Many of the inmates are cripples, and unable to work. There have been five deaths during the past year. The house is clean and kept in an orderly manner. Good food is supplied to the inmates. The present steward, Charles Wedenmeyer, was appointed in October, 1881. He is determined to administer the affairs of the institution economically, and he pursues a humane policy toward those committed to his guardianship.

(page 409-410)

The Insane Asylum of Clayton County is located on the poor-farm a few rods from the poor-house. It was opened for the reception of insane persons July 5, 1880, and had at first ten inmates, all males. There are now seventeen inmates. Four belonging to other States and counties have been sent away, and two (one male and one female) have died. No females were at first admitted; but after seven months the doors of the institution were opened to htem also, and six were then admitted. Two have been admitted since. Connected with this asylum are only two acres of land. There is a great need of a good farm of several hundred acres of land, as thus the county might be relieved of part or all the expense of this institution.

John H. Kiesel, the present superintendent, is a careful and humane manager. Mrs. Katherine Kiesel is at the head of the female department, and her excellent management is everywhere visible.

(page 410)

In the State Asylum at Independence most of Clayton County's insane are still kept, and all were kept there until the county asylum was opened, in 1880. We give in the following table the amount paid to the State institution since September, 1868, and the average attendance during the same time:

Quarter ending .. Average Attendance
Dec. 31, '68 .. 7 persons .. $353.63
1869 .. 8 persons .. $1819.00
1870 .. 8 persons .. $1830.00
1871 .. 8 persons .. $1845.00
1872 .. 10 persons .. $2010.00
1873 .. 17 persons .. $3082.00
1874 .. 27 persons .. $4035.00
1875 .. 27 persons .. $4252.00
1876 .. 25 persons .. $4112.00
1877 .. 26 persons .. $4285.00
1878 .. 29 persons .. $4740.00
1879 .. 25 persons .. $2745.00
1880 .. 26 persons .. $3555.00
Quarter ending .. Average Attendance
1881 April 30 .. 25 persons .. $912.80
1881 June 30 .. 27 persons .. $920.25
1881 Sept 30 .. 29 persons .. $953.87
1881 Dec 31 ....................... $1000.00
Total .......................... $42,649.55

During the year 1879 and part of 1880 the expense for each person per quarter was reduced, consequently the cost for that time was not so great. During the last three quarters of 1881 it has cost $42 a quarter to keep our inmates at the asylum. From 1872 to 1874 there was a marked increase in the attendance at the hospital from this county, but since the increase has not been so noticeable, because of the number kept at the poor-farm.

There was levied for insane purposes from 1872 to 1881 inclusinve $60,000. No surplus of this amount is now on hand. This money has been used to pay expenses of transportation, cost at asylum, erection of suitable buildings at the poor-farm for incurable cases, etc.

Since 1868 Clayton County has had 115 inmates at the asylum. The report for the quarter ending Sept. 30, 1881, shows an attendance at the asylum of twenty-nine -- seventeen females and twelve males; eighteen of these are of foreign birth. We have at the poor-farm some seventeen persons. Our total insane is therefore in the neighborhood of forty-six, and the total cost of maintaining them for the past year (1881), including cost at asylum, the cost at the poor-farm and transportation, the transportation alone being over $1,200, amounts to about $8,400.

Your help is needed to transcribe the remaining pages of Chapter IX

transcribed by Sharyl Ferrall
source- History of Clayton County, Iowa, 1882, Chicago: Inter-State Publishing Co., 1882. Reproduced by the sponsorship of the Monona Historical Society, Monona, Iowa, reproduction Evansville, Indiana: Unigraphics, Inc., 1975; pages 399-410


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