LIVINGSTON COUNTY POORHOUSE -- Notes: History, Records, Contacts

Submitted by Linda Kmiecik 
Back in the early 1980s I corresponded with, and visited once, the Livingston Manor nursing home. This was formerly the County Farm or Poor Farm. At the time the contact and address were:

Ms. Ann Klein, R.N., Administrator
Livingston Manor
Rural Route 1
Pontiac, IL 61764
Phone: 815-844-5121

I also have a copy of a 1982 issue of "The Manor Press", which seems to be some kind of newsletter of the home. Pages 3 & 4 give a bit of history, as follows:
"Livingston Manor is one of the oldest continued establishments in the County. The records began in 1859. Farm land was purchased to house the 'poor and unfortunate pauper' residents of the County in need of physical help or a home. Thus, the nick-name Poor Farm, County Farm, etc.

"This was the only area 'hospital' until St. James [Hospital] was built. There are records of entire families being admitted. Children were born here.

"Many buildings came and went until the pictured home [3-story red brick] which stood until 1970."


"We no longer function as a County Farm but many people only knew us as that for many years. Thanks to the dedicated staff and supportive County Board, we are now 'one of the best'  nursing homes in the area."

As to their Poor Farm records, I know they have a large ledger book, and have seen an admission in late 1891 and a discharge in 1892. Ms. Klein also sent me information by mail regarding an 1898-1905 resident.

The current building is a low-rise, almost motel style, nursing home with different wings. The 3-story red brick preceded it, and another building preceded the red brick, all after 1891-1892.

I hope this provides some information for your Poor Farm web site.

Linda Kmiecik

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