the Poorhouse Story

Caption: DeKalb County Infirmary, DeKalb, Ill.

These buildings are no longer there.
It should be noted that the original poorhouse had evolved
into a nursing home by the time they were abandoned.
This followed a pattern which was quite common throughout the United States.
You can read more about this on our HISTORY page.    PHL




submitted by:  Ruth Leathers 
from the "History of DeKalb County, Illinois", by Henry L. Boies, originally published in 1868, (my copy is a reprint) page 411 --  in relating county business in the year 1853. reports:
" The expense of supporting the paupers which had now run up to about six hundred dollars per year, was considered to be a heavy burden upon the County, and in the hope of lessening it somewhat, the Board of Supervisors resolved to purchase a County poor farm upon which some of this class of unfortunates could be made useful and contribute to their own maintenance.       Messrs. Tappan and Tindall were authorized to contract for such a farm, which was to be located in one of the two middle tier of townships, and Mr.Harrington who was still Chairman of Boar advertised for a loan of three thousand dollars with which to purchase it. In September, the farm of A. H. Cartright, on the road between Sycamore and DeKalb, was purchased for this purpose, the County borrowing the purchase money at the rate of ten percent interest."


the Poorhouse Story

"The county home that you have a photo of was on Sycamore Road (Route 23) on the edge of DeKalb as one drives north to Sycamore. It was only about a half-mile from my grandfather-in-law's farm (on Love Road)."
     Kristy Lawrie Gravlin 

the Poorhouse Story

"More information  on the DeKalb County poor farm can be gotten through the
 Joiner History Room in Sycamore, IL (That's the County seat)."
     David Kodeski
NOTE: On that webpage it indicates that Poor Farm Records are among their holdings. PHL

the Poorhouse Story


Here is a wonderful Photo Album of the DeKalb County Cemetery 


"The Dekalb County Cemetery located on the old County Farm property has not been disturbed by the recent construction. It is still accessible and in good condition. The Dekalb County Historical Society walked and recorded this cemetery and the list of interments is published in a book (dated 1990) sold by the society. Those interred there are less fortunate souls who were more or less wards of the state when they died and were buried at the cost of the state or county. Look-ups are available at: ."
     Jim Niewold 
     Dekalb Co., IL. Genweb CC

"The name of the cemetery is the De Kalb County Cemetery (Est. 1881) A monument has a plot map and a list of the names and dates of death for all known persons. It also indicates the graves that are occupied by the unknown. The list was last updated on Aug 15, 2001. Most of the markers are a plain slab of concrete with nothing written on it."

the Poorhouse Story

We are hoping to build this base of information about the poorhouse in DeKALB 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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