INVENTORY OF THE COUNTY ARCHIVES OF OHIO
NO. 5.  ATHENS COUNTY (ATHENS)
Prepared by 
The Historical Records Survey
Division of Professional and Service Projects
Work Projects Administration
Columbus, Ohio
The Historical Records Survey
May 1939
3 1466 00270 4217

Excerpts of portions dealing with Infirmary (poorhouse) Records

[Note: Click here to see portions of important information common to all the county inventories.

 
Housing, Care, and Accessibility of the Records

County Home

The office is near the front entrance of the county home building, located near Chauncey on state highway 31.  The room is well lit and well ventilated.  The records are all kept in bound volumes, most of which are in good condition.  However, bindings and paper of some of the others are in very bad condition.  All of them are kept in the superintendent’s desk.  Accommodations for those wishing access to the records are excellent.
                                                                                                                                                page 54

Superintendent of the County Home

   The Athens county poorhouse was established in 1857 by the county commissioners, acting under authority granted them by the legislative act of 1816 which gave them the power to purchase land and construct poorhouses in which to care for the county’s indigent.  By the same act the commissioners were authorized to appoint annually a board of seven directors which was authorized to make rules and regulations for the management of the institution and to appoint a superintendent.  Accordingly, in 1857, the county commissioners purchased a farm of one hundred and forty seven acres in Dover township near Chauncey.  The old farm buildings were remodeled and used for the purposes of the home until they were destroyed by fire in 1903.  Temporary quarters were constructed for use until the modern buildings, now in use, were completed.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                              
page 199

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   The present plant, built at a cost of $45,496.43 and having a capacity of one hundred and fifty inmates, is very well planned and equipped.  The institution is maintained at low cost to the taxpayers of the county because of its efficient management and also because of the policy of “self-help” employed to encourage a feeling of self-respect on the part of the inmates.

   While old age pensions and other forms of social aid have reduced the number of inmates, approximately fifty are cared for by the institution at present.  Mr. Bert Daugherty is superintendent.

All records are located in the superintendent’s office, county home.
                                                                                                                                              page 201
Superintendent of the County Home -- Journal and Register

443.  (County Home) JOURNAL, 1857-1929 2 vols.
Record of minutes of meetings of board of directors of the county home, showing date, business transactions, bills received, and bills paid.  Chron. arr. by dates of meetings.  No index.  Hdw.  Condition fair.  Aver. 500 pp. 12 x 1.
     For related records, see entry 13.

444.  INFIRMARY REGISTER,  1857--.  3 vols.  (two unnumbered, 2).
Register of inmates, showing date, name, age, date of admittance, native  or county, from where entered, date of discharge, and, in case of death, where buried.  Chron. arr. by dates of entry.  No index.  Hdw.  Aver. 200 pp.  16 x 10 x 1
                                                                                                                                              page 202

Superintendent of the County Home -- Business Administration of Office

445.  LEDGER,  1896 -- .  1 vol.
Record of small or incidental expenditures which are paid from a contingency fund, showing date, purpose and amount.  Chron. arr. by dates of entry.  Index by names of items.  Hdw.  Condition fair.  400 pp.  12 x 8 x 1.

446.  INFIRMARY ACCOUNTS,  1898-1907  1 vol.
Itemized accounts for all infirmary expenses totaled quarterly and presented to county auditor, showing date, name of payee, and amount.  Chron. arr. by dates of entry.  No index.  Hdw.  160 pp.  16 x 10 x 1.  See entry 447. 

447.  RECORD OF EXPENDITURES AND RECEIPTS,  1907--.  2 vols.  (1, 2)
Classification of all expenditures from the infirmary fund and record of receipts, showing date, purpose, and amount.  Chron. arr. by dates of entry.  No index.  Hdw.  Condition fair.  Aver. 400 pp. 
18 x 15 x 2.
     For prior itemized records, see entry 446.

448.  ACCOUNT WITH COUNTIES,  1888-1900.  1 vol.
Debit and credit account between Athens county and foreign counties in the care of indigents who are residents of foreign counties, showing date, name of county, amount debited, and amounted credited each.  Chron. arr. by dates.
                                                                                                                                               page 202

County Commissioners -- Journals and Reports

1.  COMMISSIONERS’ JOURNAL, 1805--, 36 vols.
Record of minutes of meetings of county commissioners including all business transactions, such as contracts, agreements, bills, and (1886--) applications and proceedings in soldiers’ relief, showing date and record of proceedings.  Also contains:  Commissioners’ Docket, 1805-72, 1876--, entry 3; Read Record, 1805-1915, 1920--, entry 10; Commissioners’ Journal, County Home, 1857-1912, entry 13; Soldiers’ Burial Record, 1922--, entry 16; Animal Claim Record, (1885)-1918, 1933--, entry 22.  Chron. arr. by dates of meetings.  1805-76, no index; for index, 1877--, see entry 2.  18015-1915, hdw.; 1916--, typed.  1805-8, condition poor.  Aver. 350 pp. 15 x 10 x 2.  Comm. ofc.., w. wall.  For related records, see entries 15, 19. 

2.  INDEX TO COMMISSIONERS’ JOURNAL,  1877--, 5 vols. (one unlettered, B, C, C, E).
Index to Commissioners’ Journal, entry 1, and Commissioners’ Journal, County Home, entry 13, showing volume and page numbers of journal, bills passed, names of roads and bridges, contracts, and miscellaneous.  Alph. arr. by subject headings.  Hdw.  Aver. 320 pp. 18 x 12 x 2 1/2.  1 vol., 1877-85, aud. ofc.; 4 vols., 1886--, comm. ofc., w. wall. 

                                                                           ***

4.  INFIRMARY REPORTS AND VOUCHERS,  1872-1905, 30 file boxes (labeled by years).
Semiannual reports of the board of infirmary directors to the county commissioners, showing date of report and period covered by report; classifications of inmates of infirmary, showing sex, age, number received during the year, number discharged, and number of deaths; also inventory of infirmary property and itemized list of expenses.  File boxes also contain canceled vouchers issued to the treasurer by the auditor in favor of the township trustees, showing voucher number, date, amount, purpose, signature of superintendent of county home, and signatures of the president and secretary of the board of infirmary directors.  Chron. arr. by dates of papers.  No index.  Hdw. on printed forms.  5 1/2 x 4 1/2 x 10.  Old attic.

5.  ANNUAL REPORT OF THE COUNTY HOME OF ATHENS COUNTY, TO THE DIVISION OF CHARITIES DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WELFARE,  1930--, 1 file box (labeled County Home).
Annual report of superintendent of county home filed with county commissioners
showing year covered by report, classified expenditures and receipts, number of inmates (male and female) at beginning of year, number received, discharged, number of runaways, number of deaths, and number transferred, total, daily average, ages of inmates, outside relief given, inventory of home properties last year and this), and signatures of superintendent of home and of clerk of board of commissioners.  Chron. arr. by years of reports.  No index.  Hdw. on printed forms.  3 1/2 x 5 x 10.  Comm.  assembly rm.
                                                                                                                                    pages 72 and 73
 

Roster of County Officials
Infirmary Directors*                                                                                                     pages 240 & 241
George I. Gould                                      1858-1861
Ziba Lindley                                            1859-1862
Ezra Goodspeed                                1860-1869
Henry Brown                                     1861-1864

Elmer Armstrong                                     1862-1865
Norman Root                                         1863-1865
Elmer Rowell                                          1864-1867
Peter Hixson                                           1865-1874
W. S. Hyde                                            1867-1874
Charles R. Smith                                    1869-1875
B. C. Lefever                                         1874-1877
Tobias Bondinot                                     1875-1878
Thomas J. Allsion                                   1876-1888
Lewis H. Russell                                     1877-1880
Joshua Sands                                          1878-1881
F. S. Jurrod                                            1880-1886
Charles Henry                                        1881-1884
Charles W Goodspeed                           1884-1894
Clement Hooper                                     1886-1889

John Burson                                       1888-1889
                     (Resigned) 
Clement Hooper, Sr.                          1889-1892
Charles P. Clester                              1889-1899
John H. Mohler                                  1892-1901
S. F. Beverage                                   1894-1900
John McLaughlin                                1898-1907
William James                                    1900-1908
Leroy S. Woodworth                         1901-1911
R. S. Dent                                          1904-1907
W. H. Vorhes                                    1909-1911
Owen Beebe                                      1909-1911
J. W. Drake                                       1911-1912
C. P. Clester                                      1910-1912
Frank White                                       1911-1913

excerpted and transcribed by:  Peggy Laird -- Jan 2001
Note: Most of these inventories were heavily footnoted. We did not include the footnotes (which were usually references to other documents) here because we felt that this website is for general readers without a strong academic/legal need to see these footnotes. However, they are available upon specific request from researchers who e-mail us.

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