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|
The home is at Munroe Falls, on State Route 91, 6 miles northwest
Its 441 acres of beautiful farm land were bought in 1918, and a
building costing $750, 000 was erected.
Improvements and additions were made in 1934 with the aid of WPA
It is one of the most modern and efficient county home in the
All of the records are kept in the stenographer’s office, the
volume in a steel safe, the unbound records in steel file case along the
east and west walls.
This room is in excellent condition, having a hardwood floor with
a rubber mat under each desk chair.
It is well lighted and well ventilated, the records are neat and
in orderly arrangement.
While space is ample, about 50 percent additional equipment if
|Superintendent of the County Home|
When Summit County was organized in 1840, care of the aged poor was
provided under the terms of the act of 1831 under which county
commissioners were to appoint for terms of 3 years a board of directors
of three persons who in turn to appoint a superintendent of the
“poorhouse” and make the necessary rules and regulations for those
designated as paupers by the township trustees.
From 1840 to 1849 the Summit County paupers were cared for in the
Portage County poorhouse or in homes selected by township trustees at
the order of the county commissioners.
In 1849 the commissioners provided for the construction of a
poorhouse or infirmary on the Joseph B. McCune farm in Portage Township
(now Akron) at the corner of Medina Road (West Market Street) and
A second and more spacious infirmary was built in 1864 at the
southeast corner of West Exchange Street and Rose Boulevard.
In 1872 a pesthouse was added.
At the request of the commissioners an addition was authorized by
the legislature in 1875 and completed the following year.
The insane were first adequately segregated in pursuance of an
order of the commissioners of March 10, 1884 providing for “a new
pigpen, outside water closets and an additional room for incurable
In 1898 it was made unlawful to confine adult insane and
epileptics in the county home.
In 1884 children eligible by law for the county children’s home
were barred from the infirmary unless separated from the adults.
Since then the children admitted are generally insane (idiotic or
In 1911 the infirmary directors, elective since 1865, were abolished10
and their powers transferred to the county commissioners who were to
appoint the superintendent for an indefinite term, subject to civil
service regulations and fix his salary, which in Summit County is $2298
a year with maintenance.11
The superintendent’s bond is $5000.12
He appoints a matron and other employees.13
Since 1882 the commissioners have been authorized to appoint at
one infirmary physcian.
In 1919 the name of the institution was changed from county
infirmary to county home.
On November 2, 1915 the Summit County voters approved the construction
of a new building, and in 1917 the present spacious edifice at Munroe
Falls was completed.
The staff now numbers 61, including the superintendent and two
full time doctors, and makes up a monthly pay roll of $4295.
The annual outlay has increased from $63, 047.17 in 1929 to $92,
840.10 in 1939.
At the same time receipts from patients has increased from
$4073.37 to $10, 641.52.
Every year a few hundred dollars is realized from the sale of
products made by the residents.
Throughout the years since 1915 the population of the home has
stayed surprisingly the same.
The daily average number of inmates for the year 1915 was 261,
for 1929 it was 255, and for 1939 it was 275.
This indicates that in the last 25 years the number of residents
at the home has not materially changed.
However a great change has taken place in the condition of the
In 1915 those listed as “disabled by old age” or as merely
old and poor numbered 74 percent of the total.
The rest were either physically or mentally ill or deformed.
In 1939 only 18.5 percent were classified as merely old and poor
or disabled by old age.
This left the bulk of them listed as epileptic, idiotic,
feeble-minded or physically disabled.
Fully 60 percent are listed as physically ill or deformed.
This change has made the institution more of a hospital for the
aged than a home for the aged.
This is born out by the fact that the hospital staff numbers 32
of the 61 employees.
This change is related in large measure to the program of aid for
the aged which has enabled the able-bodied and mentally fit to remain in
Male residents outnumber female residents by about three to one.
All records are located in the county home on State Route 91, at Munroe
|Superintendent of the County Home -- Journals|
[MINUTES OF MEETINGS],
In Bill Docket, entry 778.
Minutes of meeting pertaining to hearings and authorization of
bills for county home expenditures.
|Superintendent of the County Home -- Case Records|
RECORDS OF INMATES,
HISTORIES OF INMATES],
6 f. b.
RECORDS OF DEATHS,
|Superintendent of the County Home -- Fiscal Accounts|
EXPENDITURES AND RECEIPTS, 1883-1914,
1920-1925, 1931--. 5
BILL DOCKET, 1907-14.
|Superintendent of the County Home -- Miscellaneous|
INVENTORY OF PERSONAL AND REAL ESTATE OF SUMMIT COUNTY HOME,
12. 1 vol.
|Roster of County Officials|
Avery Spicer 1849-1853
Lucius V. Bierce July to Oct.1849
Gibbons J. Ackely 1849-1851
Joseph E. Wesener Aug. to Dec. 1851
Ira Hawkins 1851-1857
George D. Bates 1851-1855
George Sherbondy 1853-1856
Charles C. Hanscom 1855-1858
David A. Scott 1856-1859
Avery Spicer 1857-1866
William B. Walker 1859-1868
Alfred R. Townsend 1861-1867
Jonathan H. Brewster 1866-1875
William Cunningham 1869-1873
Francis T. Husong 1868-1871
Webster B. Storer 1871-1874
Alfred R. Townsend 1873-1876
William Southmayd 1876-1877
(Vice Alfred R. Townsend)
Levi S. Herrold 1874-1877
Henry Frederick 1876-1882
William Southmayd 1879-1883
Joseph A. Beebe 1881-1887
John M. Johnston 1882-1888
Steven D. Miller 1883-1890
Joseph Moore 1888-1894
Eli Smith 1889-1895
Jacob Koplin 1890-1893
John B. Betz 1893-1896
William H. Jones 1894-1897
Clinton F. Berger 1896-1899
Jacob G. Metzger 1897-1903
J. M. Kleckner 1899-1905
|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.|