Newspaper Articles -- BOURBON County Poor Farm

Submitted by Debbie Oerman  dgranma6@kscable.com  who writes:  "I have been trying to get information on the County Poor Farm in Uniontown, Bourbon County, Kansas.  My great-great-grandfather was there.  His name was William Henry McClure.  So, I am trying diligently to find records on the place.  The keepers at one time were named Ramsey."
 
Uniontown News      Friday, March 24, 1905       "The County Cemetery"
     The county poor farm adjoins this city on the northwest.  It is a farm of 160 acres and is rightly called the "poor farm."
     On this farm is what is called a burial ground or Potter's Field.  This is situated on the north side of the farm, next to the hill where enough dirt can be found to cover a body.
     The number of inmates at the poor house will perhaps average 30 [?] a year.  There is quite a number of deaths at this institution, and if some relatives or friends don't call for their bodies, the superintendent lays the remains to rest in this so-called cemetery.
     There is no record kept of the dead,  neither is the cemetery platted.
     When it is necessary to bury anyone there, a couple of men are sent out there in the open field (as there is no fence around the cemetery) and they dig a hole for the remains.
     We are told that it quite frequently occurs that when a grave is being dug, another box is struck, and then another place is tried, and so on until a place is found where a hole can be made.
     It occurs to us, that in the name of humanity, there should be a cemetery platted and fenced, and a record kept at the county house of the name of the deceased, and the record should show the place where was buried.
     The cost to the county to do this would not be much, and we believe that the tax payer would not object should the necessary amount be expended for this purpose.
     There may be bodies lying somewhere in that field that someone, sometime, should like to have removed, and should such be the case, the body could not possibly be located.
     We hope that this matter will be taken up with the county board of commissioners, and that a cemetery will be made here for the burial of the unfortunate poor.     
 
Uniontown News     May 24, 1905     "County Cemetery Again"  
     We are in receipt of a letter from Miss Maud Ramsey, of Emporia, Kansas, and she writes concerning the county cemetery, mention of which was made in these columns on the 24th [March].  She endorses the position The News took in the matter, but takes exceptions where we said, "There is no record kept of the dead, neither is the cemetery platted."  We meant by this that there is no record kept as to where a body lies in the open field in the so-called burial ground.  All who have kept the poor house have kept a record of the comers and goers -- where they come from and where and when the go, and if they die [there,] when they die, ...?... after Mrs. Ramsey have kept those records carefully and accurately.
    We are glad to announce that the matter of fencing a place for a burial place for the pauper dead, has been taken up and acted upon by the county commissioners along the lines suggested by The News, and at the last meeting of the board, Mr. Ramsey was ordered to make the necessary improvements, which will be promptly attended to.
 
NOTE: The photocopy of these articles which was available to us was almost illegible in some places. It would be much appreciated if someone could provide us with cleaner copies or clarify the ambiguity in some portions.  PHL
 

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