INVENTORY OF THE
COUNTY ARCHIVES OF OHIO
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|
|Records of the county home are kept in the superintendent’s office at the county home, Center Township, State Route 170, RFD, Lisbon, Ohio. p. 61|
|Superintendent of the County Home|
The earliest available record of an
institution in Columbiana County to provide for the care of the aged, ill,
or disabled indigent reveals that on August 15, 1829 the county
commissioners ordered the poorhouse to be repaired and certain other
improvements to be made, and on October 3, a contract was awarded to one
Andrew Scott, who was to receive $92 for this work.
On March 23, 1830, the board declared the work on the poorhouse and
the old building near it to be unsatisfactory.
It was not until 1860, however, that the board authorized the
auditor to advertise the letting of the contract for a county infirmary.
The main infirmary building was completed in 1864 at a cost of
$12,570, and in 1873 a building in which to confine the insane was added
at a cost of $8,000. Both were built on a farm three miles west of New
Lisbon. Two hundred acres had
been purchased in 1829 at a cost of $3600 but the total cost of land at
the time of building was $6700. Subsequent
purchases brought the farm up to 425 acres in 1940.
In 1879 the infirmary buildings consisted of two three-story brick
buildings, a powerhouse, a heating plant, a meat storage house, a dairy,
and a frame barn. In 1936 a
hospital was erected by the Public Works Administration providing three
wards, with 10 beds in a ward. Prior
to this time all patients had been sent to Salem City hospital.
Until 1910 the infirmary was governed by a board of directors; from
1910 to 1913 the directors were made a part of the county government with
pay; from 1913 to date the county commissioners have acted as the
There are 17 members on the staff, 15 of whom reside at the infirmary,
their monthly compensation aggregating $2,125.
The annual salary of the superintendent, who is the only civil
service employee, is $2,040 and he is not obliged to furnish bond.
Applicants are admitted upon recommendation and authorization of the
various trustees, except from Wellsville, where authorization from the
mayor is compulsory. The
number of residents has averaged 140 annually since 1872; the present
number, 168, includes persons ranging in age from 24 to 88 years.
The advent of old age pension legislation has had little effect on the operation of the infirmary. Ninety-one percent of the residents are still p. 227
accommodated on account of old age disability, of whom 14 receive old age pensions and two pay their own expenses at a rate of $30 per month. The remainder suffer from deformities, illness, or insanity. Those who are capable are requested to perform a certain amount of work on the farm for the purpose of improving their morale and also to reduce the upkeep expense through the sale of farm products.
Religious services are provided by the commissioners on a
compensation basis of $50 for each denomination for a three-months period,
denominations alternating weekly. Attendance
is not compulsory.
All records are located in the superintendent’s office of the Columbiana County Home, Center Township, State Route 170, Lisbon, Ohio. p. 228
Poor relief at the time Columbiana County was founded was the concern not of the county commissioners but of the local township trustees. Although the commissioners were required by law in 1816 to assist in the care of indigents by the construction and maintenance of poorhouses, the part played by the commissioners in poor relief continued relatively small until 1932, when depression legislation markedly increased the responsibilities of the commissioners in administering aid to the unprecedented numbers of citizens suddenly unable to provide for themselves and their families. The emergency relief measures passed during the period 1932-37 gave the counties for the first time a centralized relief administration. Since 1932, the county, state and federal governments have collaborated in obtaining funds for poor relief. The commissioners have provided for their share of relief responsibilities by the issuance and sale of bonds secured by the county’s share of excise taxes received from the state, and by a levy of one-tenth of one percent on the general tax list. On September 1, 1932, the commissioners of Columbiana County issued $94,050 in bonds for poor relief, and in December of the same year received $115,000 from the poor relief excise fund. From March 1938 to December 1940, 14,470 cases were receiving aid. Control over relief work has become one of the most important phases of the work of the commissioners. The actual distribution of the funds, however, is accomplished through a relief director appointed by the commissioners, and his assistants. p. 73
3. COUNTY HOME JOURNAL,
1910—. 3 vols. (1-3).
Title varies: Infirmary Record, 1910-1919,
|County Commissioners -- Fiscal Accounts|
31. LEDGER, 1872-99.
1 vol. (1).
35. INFIRMARY RECEIPTS AND
EXPENDITURES, 1892-1921. 2
vols. (1, 2)
|Superintendent of the County Home -- Proceedings; Financial Records|
COUNTY INFIRMARY MINUTES, 1910—.
INFIRMARY REGISTRY, 1866—. 4
PETTY CASH BOOK, 1866—. 3
CLASSIFIED RECEIPTS AND EXPENDITURES, 1866—. 2 vols.
|excerpted and transcribed by: James Boyce -- Dec 2000|
|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.|