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Columbus, Ohio
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Excerpts of portions dealing with Infirmary (poorhouse) Records

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

Of all the Ohio counties for which we have summarized the county inventory, this one has the most extensive list of poorhouse records. We have also taken this opportunity to include (for only this county) some records which dealt, not with the poorhouse, but with other aspects of poor relief. Those have been highlighted below.  We have done this so people researching other counties may have this expanded example       PHL
Superintendent of the County Home

   The Franklin County board of commissioners, early in 1832, made plans for construction of a county poorhouse.  The board advertised for bids in the local papers, and by April 5, 1832, bought for $5, 354, “one hundred and five acres, one rod and ten poles of land” formerly owned by Lucas Sullivant, the founder of Franklinton.  The following month a special poorhouse levy of two mills on the dollar was made.  Carpentry, masonry, and plaster work were contracted for, and on July 3 Matthew Matthews was appointed the first superintendent of the poorhouse.  The site was not satisfactory, however, and on December 14, sale of the land was advertised in the Ohio State Journal and Ohio Stateman. 

   On this same day the commissioners, bought for $800, five acres of land on what is now King Avenue, immediately west of the Olentangy River.  By the time the foundations were finished the commissioners realized the location was too close to the city and contained insufficient acreage.  Ralph Osborn, Dr. Lincoln Goodale, and Jacob Grubb were appointed the  ...     
                                                                                                                                                 p. 403

...  first directors of the poorhouse, and they aided the commissioners in seeking a new site.  Land a mile and a half southeast of the city in Montgomery Township, was obtained and a poorhouse completed.  A few years later, larger quarters were necessary, and on April 19, 1871, the commissioners and infirmary directors examined plans and decided upon the Hardin County plan, perfected by N. B. Kelley, architect of the state house.  With Mr. Kelley they visited the infirmary farm and selected a site for the buildings which were later erected. 

   Then years later larger buildings and additional land again became imperative and the commissioners bought land from Philip Schwatz and John G. Edwards, in Marion Township, on Alum Creek about five miles southeast of Columbus.  The purchase was completed in February 1881, and by April 13 of the following year, bonds and contracts were signed providing for labor and materials for the new Franklin County Home.  On October 29, 1883, the commissioners accepted the present home and placed it under the supervision of the infirmary directors. 

   The main building, an imposing three-story red-brick structure with a stone basement, placed in an attractive setting of large trees, faces the west side of Lockbourne Road.  It contains the administrative office and an 150-room domicile.  Directly north is the three-story, white brick hospital, completed in 1928.  This accommodates 125 patients and has modern hospital facilities.  Doctors from nearby Bexley are subject to call at all times.  The daily average number of inmates at the home during 1941 was 336.  Those who are able to do so, work on the 265 acre farm.  Hogs are raised, and much food for the institution is grown on the 225 acres under cultivation.  There are some farm buildings, including four garages, granaries, tool sheds, and barns for cows and horses. 

    All records are located in the county home, Alum Creek Drive, Columbus.
                                                                                                                                               p. 404

Housing, Care, and Accessibility of the Records
Superintendent of the County Home.   Situated on Alum Creek Drive just outside the southeastern corporation limits of Columbus, the county home is a rambling oblong brick structure of two stories, with a high, full basement.  The administrative offices on the first floor of the central section of the building house 60 percent of the records.  In the clerk’s office and in the superintendent’s office, are 62 linear feet of volumes on wooden shelving, and 285 cubic feet of unbound material in a large steel safe and in 3 steel filing cabinets and 9 wooden filing cabinets.  Arrangement and accessibility are good.  The remainder of the records are in a storage room in the east part of the central basement, consisting of approximately 300 cubic feet of unbound material stacked on wooden shelving.  The haphazard arrangement makes for poor accessibility.  There are no windows and practically no ventilation.  The floor is of concrete.  The administrative offices have room for expansion but there is an apparent need for more steel filing equipment.                                                                                                                              p.  92
County Commissioners -- Institutions and Relief 
4.  INFIRMARY JOURNAL, 1913--.  2 vols. (1,2).
Copies of commissioners' proceedings in connection with administration of county home, showing date of meeting, action on resolutions, and record of motions passed; record of appointments and fixing of salaries of employees; and record of bills and claims allowed, showing name of creditor, purpose, and amount of claim.  Also includes copies of proceedings of board of county commissioners pertaining to appointments and fixing of salaries of employees of the tuberculosis hospital and camp.  Arr. chron. by dates of meetings.  For index to bills allowed, see entry 5; otherwise, no index. Typed. Aver. 600 pp. 18 x 12 x 3. Vlt.
     For prior records, see entry 1023.

    (1-5). Title varies:  Index to Infirmary Journal - Bills Allowed, 1913-38, 4 vols.
Index to bills allowed as recorded in Infirmary Journal, entry 4, showing name of creditor, volume and page numbers of journal, and date, amount, voucher number, and purpose of allowance.  Arr. alph. by names of creditors and chron. thereunder by dates allowed.  Hdw. on p. f. Ave. 450  pp. 18 x 14 x 2 1/2. Vlt.

6.  EXPENDITURES, 1913--.  4 vols. (1-4).
Classified accounts of disbursements of infirmary funds, showing date of entry, name of payee, purpose, and amount of disbursement.  Arr. chron. by dates of entries.  No index.  Hdw. on p. f.  Aver. 360 pp. 17 x 15 x 2. Vlt.

7. [REPORTS, INFIRMARY DIRECTORS], 1869-71, 1874-78, 1880-82, 1887-90, 1893-1909.  In     Auditors Vouchers, entry 771.
Original semiannual statistical reports from the infirmary directors to the county commissioners, showing period covered by report, number of inmates on register at last report, number admitted since last report, number discharged, number of deaths, number on register on date of report, and number of males and females.  Also includes a financial report of receipts, showing amount of money credited to the infirmary fund from sources other than taxes, tax collections credited to infirmary fund, balance at last report, and total receipts.  Also includes an itemized account of disbursements, showing total amount of disbursements for period of report, balance on date of report, names of infirmary directors, and date report filed.
                                                                                                                                             p. 117

8. [Admittance]  PERMITS,  1913--,  24 f. b.
Original permits for commitment to the county home granted by county commissioners to the county home superintendent, showing date of permit, name, age, color, sex, birthplace, and marital status of person committed, length of residence in county, and name of person recommending the commitment.  Arr. chron. by dates of permits.  No index.  Hdw. and typed on p. f. 5 x 6 x 12.  Blind relief ofc. 

Record of commitments to the county home, showing date committed, name, age, and color of inmate, name of township or subdivision, and remarks.  Arr. chron. by dates of commitments.  No index.  Hdw. on p. f.  Aver. 200 pp.  14 x 9 x 1 1/4.  Blind relief ofc. 

10. [OUTSIDE RELIEF], 1924--.  1 vol.  Last entry 1936.
Record of relief to semi-indigent persons residing outside the county home, showing date of order, name and address of recipient, amount, and purpose of order.
  Arr. chron. by dates of orders.  No index.  Hdw. on p. f.  190 pp 10 x 7 x 1 1/4.  Blind relief ofc.
                                                                                                                                           p.  118

County Commissioners -- Fiscal Accounts

49. DOCKET OF BILLS FILED -- COUNTY INFIRMARY,  1913--.  4 vols. (one unlabeled; 2-4)
Dockets of bills and claims filed against the county infirmary fund, showing consecutive number, name of creditor, purpose and amount of bill or  ...
                                                                                                                                              p.  126
...  claim, dates filed and approved, amount approved, date paid, and warrant number.  Arr. chron. by dates of filing and num. thereunder by consecutive nos.  No index.  Hdw. on p. f.  Aver.  430 pp. 1? x 12 x 2 1/4. V1t.
                                                                                                                                               p. 127

County Commissioners -- Financial Records

66.  OFFICIALS’ REPORTS,  1911--.  11 f. b.
Original annual reports to commissioners by prosecuting attorney, infirmary superintendent, sheriff, coroner, treasurer, surveyor, auditor, clerk of courts, grand jury, tuberculosis hospital superintendent, children’s home superintendent, and board of county visitors, showing date of reports, name of office or department, statistical record of activities of office or department, financial record of receipts, disbursements, and balance; date approved by commissioners, and date filed.  Arr. chron. by dates of filing.  No index.  Typed on p. f.  10x 4 1/2 x 14.  Comm. cl. ofc. 
                                                                                                                                               p. 128  

Auditors -- Financial Records

 776.  INFIRMARY ORDERS,  1855-95.  5 f. b.
Original orders issued by board of infirmary directors to auditor for payment of bills and claims allowed by the board of directors, showing date, amount, creditor, purpose of bill, and date filed.  Arr. chron. by dates of filing.  No index.  Hdw. on p. f. 5 x 4 1/2 x 9.  N. attic rm. 3. 
                                                                                                                                              p. 334

Superintendent of the County Home -- Minutes; Registers; Case Records


1023.  RECORD [Minutes],  1900-1913.  3 vols.
Minutes of the meetings of the board of infirmary directors, showing date of meeting, names of members present, and record of business transacted which includes resolutions passed, appointments of employees, record of bills and accounts, and data pertaining to the operation of the home.  Arr. chron. by dates of meetings.  No index.  Hdw. and typed.  Aver 500 pp. 16 x 11 x 21/2.  Supt. ofc. 
   For subsequent records, see entry 4. 


1024.  [Admission]  REGISTER, 1876--.  4 vols.  (1 - 4).
Register of admissions, showing case number, date admitted, name, age and date of birth of inmate, name of township, physical and mental condition, and date of discharge, absence without official leave, or death.  Arr. num. by case nos.  For index, see entry 1025.  Hdw. on. p. f.  Aver. 600 pp. 14 x 10 x 31/2.  Supt. ofc. 

1025.  INDEX BOOK, 1876--.  4 vols.
Index to [Admission] Register, entry 1024, showing name, and case number of inmate, date admitted, and volume and page numbers of register.  Arr. alph. by names of inmates.  Hdw. on p. f.  Aver. 250 pp. 10 x 7 x 11/2.  Supt. ofc. 

1026.  VISITORS REGISTER, 1870-94.  1 vol.
Record of persons visiting institution and inmates, showing name and address of visitor, date of visit and remarks.  Arr. chron. by dates of visits.  Hdw. on p. f.  300 pp.  14 x 12 x 2.  Bmt. strm. 

(Case Records) 

1027.  CASES, current.  6 f. b.
Original case records of inmates, including applications for admittance, commitment orders, investigation reports on applications, case histories, and all correspondence pertaining to each case, showing date of application, case number, name of inmate, and institutional record.  1 file box contains active cases; 3 file boxes contain cases of discharges and dismissals, showing date and reason for discharge; 2 file boxes contain record of deaths, showing date and cause of death, and place of burial.  All papers of each case are filed together in a separate folder.  Arr. num. by case nos.  For index, see entry 1028.  Hdw. and typed; some on p. f. 13 x 14 x 24.  Supt. ofc. 

1028.  [Cases]  INDEX, current.  3 f. d.
Index to Cases, entry 1027, showing name, case number, and age of inmate, date admitted, and names and addresses of relatives; if absent ---
                                                                                                                                               p. 405

...   without official leave, discharged, or died, date of leave, discharge, or death is also shown.  1 file drawer is index to active cases; 1 file drawer, to inactive cases; 1 file drawer, to deaths.  Arr. alph. by names of inmates.  Hdw. on p. f. 6 x 14 x 24.  Supt. ofc. 

1029.  RECORD  [Township Trustees’ Relief],  1880-95.  2 vols.
Copies of authorizations and notices from township trustees to board of infirmary directors that the named persons were to be given relief, showing date of entry, names of township and relief client, amount recommended, and amount to be debited poor fund. 
Arr. chron. by dates of entries.  No index.  Aver. 300 pp. 10 x 7 x 11/2.  Bmt. strm. 

1030.  BURIAL RECORD,  1908-20.  1 vol.
Record of burials of deceased inmates in Cedar Hill cemetery, Marion Township, showing burial permit and primary health district numbers, date of interment, name of decedent, cause of death, and name and address of mortician.  Arr. chron. by dates of interments.  No index.  Hdw. on p. f.  50 pp. 6 x 12 x 1/4.  Supt. ofc. 

1031.  DEATHS, 1931--. 1 vol.
Record of deaths at county home, showing name, nativity, age, and color of decedent, date and cause of death, and name of mortician.  Arr. chron. by dates of deaths.  No index.  Hdw. on p. f.  500 pp.  12 x 6 x 21/2. 

1032.  PHYSICIANS RECORD, 1871-72.  1 vol.
Record of cases treated by physicians at institution, showing date of visit, name, age, and color of patient, nature of illness, number of days under treatment, number of visits, and date of discharge.  Arr. chron. by dates of visits.  No index.  Hdw. on p. f.  450 pp.  18 x 12 x 21/2.  Bmt. strm. 

Superintendent’s daily record of movement of population, showing day and date of entry, names of inmates, number of male and female inmates registered at beginning of day, admitted during day, discharged or died, and total for the day.  From this record the superintendent’s annual statistical report to the state division of charities is complied.   Arr. chron. by dates of entries, and alph. thereunder by names of inmates.  No index.  Hdw. on p. f.  Aver. 50 pp.  81/2 x 11 x 1/4.  Supt. ofc.  

1034.  DAILY RECORD [of Inmates], 1882--.  8 vols.  Title varies: Day Book, 1910-29.
Daily record of inmates registered in county home, showing date of entry, number of males and females, classification, nativity, and number received, discharged, and absent without leave or died during the day.  Arr. chron. by dates of entries.  No index.  Hdw. on p. f.  Aver. 200 pp.  12 x 8 x 11/4.  Supt. ofc.  
                                                                                                                                                p.  406

1035.  OLD AGE PENSION CASES, 1935--.  1 f. b.
Correspondence from division of aid for the aged in regard to handling awards to pensioners, showing date of correspondence, name of pensioner, and signature of administrator of division of aid for the aged.  Arr. chron. by dates of correspondence.  No index.  Typed. 4 x 4 x 10.  Supt. ofc.

1036.  [HOSPITAL RECORD], current. 4 case card folders.
Record of patients in institution hospital, showing name of patients, and nature of illness.  Arr. alph. by names of patients.  No index. Hdw. 6 x 26. Cl. ofc. 

(Fiscal Accounts)

1037.  LEDGER OF ACCOUNTS, 1897--.  6 vols.
Record of accounts receivable and payable: accounts receivable, showing date of entry, name of debtor, purpose, and amount of account; accounts payable, showing date of entry, name of creditor, purpose, and amount of account.  Arr. chron. by dates of entries.  No index.  Hdw. on p. f.  Aver. 500 pp.  16 x 12 x 3.  1 vol., 1879-83, btm. strm.’ 5 vols., 1884--, supt. ofc. 

1038.  CASH BOOK, 1863-93, 1897-1908, 1919--.  12 vols.  Title varies: Journal, 1863-80, 1897-1908,  7 vols; Expense Book, 1881-93,  2 vols.
Record of disbursements for operating costs including salaries, wages, supplies, equipment, food, clothing, and medical supplies, showing date, name of payee, amount, and purpose of disbursement, and name of fund.  Arr. chron. by dates of disbursements.  No index.  Hdw. on p. f.  9 x 8 x 1.  9 vols.,  1863-1908, bmt. strm.;  3 vols.,  1919--, supt. ofc. 

1039.  EXPENDITURES AND RECEIPTS, 1908-18.  1 vol.
Record of classified receipts and disbursements: receipts, showing itemized account, date, source, name of payer, amount and purpose of receipt; disbursements, showing date, purpose, name of payee, amount of disbursement, and name of fund.  Arr. chron. by dates of receipts and disbursements.  No index.  Hdw. on p. f.  500 pp.  19 x 14 x 3.  Supt. ofc. 

1040.  RECEIPTS, 1928--.  1 vol.
Record of receipts other than appropriations by county commissioners, showing date, purpose, and amount of receipt, name of payer, and amount paid into county treasury.  Arr. chron. by dates of receipts  No index.  Hdw. on p. f.  100 pp.  14 x 14 x 1.  Supt. ofc. 

1041.  JOURNAL [County Home], 1894-1916.  2 vols.
Record of disbursements, showing date of disbursement, name of payee, name of fund, and amount and purpose of expenditure.  1894-97, also ...
                                                                                                                                            p.  407

...  shows a record of amounts paid for transportation of inmates to the places of their legal residence, giving date, name and legal residence of inmate, mode of transportation, and amount.  Also includes, 1896-1908, copies of semiannual reports of the board of directors to the county commissioners, showing date of report, statistics on admissions, discharges, deaths, and number of inmates card for; also financial reports of itemized receipts and disbursements.  Arr. chron. by dates of entries.  No index.  Hdw. on p. f.  Aver 300 pp.  18 x 14 x 2.  Supt. ofc. 

1042.  BILLS, 1908--.  1 f. b. 
Original itemized bills charged to county home, showing date of payment, name of creditor, amount and purpose of bill, and dates filed and paid.  Arr. chron. by dates of payments.  No index.  Hdw. and typed on bill heads.  4 x 4 x 10.  Supt. ofc. 

1043.  CONTRACTS, 1905--.  1 f. b.
Copies of contracts awarded by county commissioners for remodeling and repairing county home buildings and equipment, showing name of contractor, nature of work, and date, amount, and conditions of contract.  Arr. chron. by dates of contracts.  No index.  Hdw. and typed on p. f.  4 x 4 x 10.  Supt. ofc. 

1044.  COAL BOOK, 1918--.  1 vol.
Record of coal received at county home, showing date received, car initials and number, shipper’s name, dates set on siding, released, and freight paid, and number of tons.  Arr. chron. by dates received.  No index.  Hdw. on p. f.  200 pp.  8 x 12 x 11/2.  Supt. ofc.
                                                                                                                                            p. 408

Roster of County Officials
Infirmary Directors*                                                                                              
Jacob Grubb                                           1832-1842 
Ralph Osborn                                         1832-1842
P. B. Wilcox                                           1832-1842 
George Frankenberg                               1842-1848
Augustus S. Decker                                1842-1849
Robert Riorden                                       1842-1849 
John Walton                                           1848-1852 
S. D. Preston                                          1849-1853 
Arthur O’Harra                                      1849-1854 
Amos S. Ramsey                                    1852-1855
Rufus Main                                             1853-1856
Orrin Backus                                          1854-1857
L. J. Moeller                                           1855-1861 
John Lisle                                               1856-1859
William Aston                                         1857-1860
James Legg                                        1859-1865
Newton Gibbons                                1860-1869
Philemon Hess                                    1861-1867
Frederick Beck                                  1865-1868
Jacob Grau                                        1867-1870
Frederick Fornoff                               1868-1871
Henry L. Seibert                                 1869-1872
William H. Gaver                                1870-1879
John Schneider                                   1871-1877
John E. Earhart                                   1872-1881
James Burns                                       1877-1883
Christian Engroff                                1879-1886 
Jacob Reed                                       1881-1885
James C. Cleary                                1895-1898
Harvey Lisle                                      1885-1891
                                                                p  473
excerpted and transcribed by: Jacqueline Baral -- 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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