the Poorhouse Story

Caption:  Mercer County Infirmary, Aledo, Ill.

History of Mercer and Henderson counties, 1882, page 482

"Again, most of the adjoining counties had provided poor-houses and refused longer to support indigent persons unless they would become inmates thereof; and while there were many who were not too proud to receive their entire subsistence from the county, there were few who would willingly "go to the poor-house." as they had a false idea that this course was degrading. Rather than go where they could not only be better cared for, but would have an opportunity to do what they could for their own maintenance, they prepared to emigrate to some county not possessed of this bugbear, and not a few crossed the borders into our county and soon became a county charge.

"Under these circumstances, the commissioners in 1853 (E. Gilmore, Jr., county judge and William Wilmerton and John Glancey, associate county justices of the peace) after much deliberation, decided to purchase a farm for the county, upon which might be erected suitable buildings for an infirmary. Mr. Wilmerton soon found what he thought would be a suitable farm, and a special meeting of the commissioners was held at the court-house in Keithsburg, September 20, 1853, which is the first record we can find relating to the subject of a poor-house. At this meeting they ratified a provisional contract made by Mr. Wilmerton with John I. Clark and Gersham Vannatta, whereby the later sold to the county 100 acres of land lying in the S 1/2 of Sec. 33, T. 15 and in the N. 1/2 of Sec. 4. T.14, both in Range 3, W of the 4th P.M, the latter being timber land. The consideration was $1,400, and two orders were drawn at this meeting, for $700 each, in favor of Clark and Vannatta. The deed was made September 23, 1853 and acknowledged before W.A. Bridgeford, J.P. of MIllersburg and was recorded January 12, 1854, by T.B. Cabeen, Recorder in Book M of Deeds, pages 307 and page 488. It is situated three and one-half miles due north of Aledo.

the Poorhouse Story

the Poorhouse Story


The following records can be found on the IRAD system.

Mercer County Almshouse Registers  Searchable Name Index! See our table of IRAD poorhouse holdings.


the Poorhouse Story

the Poorhouse Story

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

HOME             Back to find Other ILLINOIS COUNTIES                OTHER STATES