WAPELLO COUNTY POOR FARM -- Historical Notes

from  WAPELLO COUNTY HISTORY -- 1986                                                                      Page 300
Published by Wapello History Committee
Printed by Sutherland Printing Company Inc./Publishing
Montezuma, Iowa 50171
Ruth Sterling, Editor
submitted by Carolyn Graeser    
 
October 11, 1859, the proposition of buying a "poor farm" was submitted to the electorate of the county. The county judge was authorized to purchase land, make necessary contracts for buildings and other improvements, not to exceed $6,000.

By the summer of 1860 a farm was purchased, 140 acres of land from Quincy A. Wood, in section 33, Center Township, for a little over $35 an acre. On this farm a house was built 26 by 28 feet, one and one-half stories, with a stone basement, containing eighteen rooms; also a stable 20 by 28 feet. The house cost $1,207, and was occupied in the summer of 1860 by eighteen unfortunates.

The old farm was utilized for its original purpose until 1881, when it was sold and a farm was bought of Benjamin Randel, consisting of about two hundred and thirty acres, lying in section 32, Highland Township, and section 5, in Dahlonega Township, costing $9,600.

A large brick building was erected. About 1899, a large addition was constructed. In 1913, ninety-seven acres adjoining the farm were bought from F.A. Tisdale, for $10,925 and now the county farm consists of three hundred and twenty-eight acres. The institution, which is all under one roof, is a substantial brick structure, standing in the center of a beautiful lawn.

The county farm burned August 2, 1936