the Poorhouse Story

(see notes below)

the Poorhouse Story

"Please find attached [copied above] a picture of what I have been told was the Coles Co. IL poor farm.  The building is in much worse shape that the picture shows, so I thought someone should get a shot before it is torn down or falls in. "
     Stacey Knight 

Some additional info. I found after sending the picture:

     1855 Coles Co. purchased about 100 acres near Farmington from George Halbrook to use as a 
      poor farm. p. 56

      1916 The cornerstone was laid at the 'Poor Farm', east of Charleston.

            from: Easter-Shick, Nancy and Bonnie Brooks Clark. 'Round the Square: Life in Downtown        
                     Charleston, Illinois 1830-1998. Charleston, IL: Easter-Chick Publishing, 1999.

Stacey Knight 
Booth Library

This article was in the Journal Gazette in March of 1916     Tara Wilhoit 


Committee Accordingly Gives Award to Next Best Bidder, J.W. Montgomery of Sidwell

S. C. Sailer of Oakwood, who was awarded the contract for constructing the new Coles County Almshouse in Ashmore Township, told the special committee that he did not care for the contract. The committee, as a result of such notification, held a meeting and awarded the contract to the next best bidder, J. W. Montgomery of Sidwell, the latter's bid being $20,389.

Sailer's bid was $19,350.

Contractor Montgomery informed the committee that he would have the job completed by September 1, when it will be ready for occupancy. He will file the bond required of him and will begin the work of construction just as soon as the weather will permit.

"The Coles County Poorhouse later became Ashmore Estates Psychiatric Hospital. I am trying to find out when it became this and when it closed."  
          Tara Wilhoit 

In the October 20, 1916 issue of the Journal Gazette, was a picture showing both the side and end views of the building.  The caption says: "Front view of new Coles County Almshouse, now nearing completion, which is one of the most substantial and up-to-date buildings of its kind in the state."
          Tara Wilhoit 


the Poorhouse Story

the Poorhouse Story

Burial information and historical information on the Coles Co. IL poorhouse is held by the Charleston Public Library, Charleston, IL. The e-mail address to reach the genealogy librarian is: 

     submitted by: Stacey Knight-Davis, Booth Library, Eastern Illinois University 

The Illinois Trails -- Coles County -- website has listed the names from the 1880 Census
special schedule for "Defective, Dependent and Delinquent Classes" in the portion titled "Pauper & Indigent Inhabitants in Institutions, Poor Houses or Asylums, or Boarded at Public Expense in Private Houses"  On that page is the designation "Coles County Alms House."
[Scroll down the page to find this list.]

the Poorhouse Story

Obituary -- JOE BLOXUM DEAD  (Had Been An Inmate of County Almshouse for Many Years )  

the Poorhouse Story

We are hoping to build this base of information about the poorhouse in COLES county through the helpful participation of readers. All are requested to submit items of interest by sending e-mail to The Poorhouse Lady.

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