HISTORICAL NOTES About the Minnehaha County Poorhouse

submitted by Joy Fisher jfisher@ucla.edu 
extracted from:
"History of Minnehaha Co." - Chapter 2

From the USGenWeb file which contains the full text of Bailey's History (1899)
At a regular session of the board July 11 [1879], the following resolution was adopted: "Resolved, that at the next general election to be held on the 4th day of November next, there will be submitted to the qualified electors of the county, the question involving the issuing of county bonds for the purpose of raising money to purchase ground for a county jail and county poorhouse, to construct suitable buildings thereon, and furnishing them complete; that said county bonds shall be issued for the amount of ten thousand dollars, to run ten years, with interest at the rate of eight per cent. per annum, payable semi- annually; and the said bonds shall be sold at no lower price than the face thereof; and it is hereby provided, that a copy of said question substantially shall accompany and be posted with the notices of election." It was also ordered, "that the village calaboose be refitted, and arrangements made for the removal therein and board and care of the county prisoners."
1880. January 5 ... The board decided to accept the offer of H. L. Hollister, to purchase the county bonds at a premium of one-fourth of 1 per cent., and ordered that said bonds be executed and delivered to said H. L. Hollister, as follows: Bonds for five thousand dollars to be signed and delivered immediately, and the balance whenever the county commissioners shall need the funds in the erection and completion of jail and poorhouse building's, as contemplated. The offer of N. E. Phillips to sell the southeast quarter of section 27, township 102, range 49, with the buildings and improvements thereon, for the sum of one thousand five hundred dollars, was accepted by the board for the county poor grounds, and lots 1 and 2, block 4, in J. L. Phillips' addition to Sioux trails, was purchased of W. D. Roberts for the county jail grounds at the price of eight hundred dollars. Plans and specifications for the building were also accepted and notice requesting bids ordered published for ninety days in the official paper of the county.
May 20 [1880] the sealed bids for a county jail and poorhouse were examined, and the contract awarded to S. McCormack and T. S. Stratton for the sum of eight thousand five hundred and fifty-one dollars, they being the lowest bidders. W. M. Walters was appointed superintendent, and the board of commissioners were to constitute a building committee in the construction of said buildings.
At a special meeting of the board held May 11 [1881] ... The following resolution was adopted: "Resolved, that all children that now are or hereafter may become inmates of the county poorhouse be bound out as soon as parties can be found to take them."
At the February meeting [1889]  Dr. Olney was appointed county physician. Commissioners McKee and Bannister were appointed a committee to examine and accept of plans and specifications submitted for building a county poorhouse, and the auditor was authorized to advertise for bids for renting the poor-farm. The sketch submitted by W. L. Dow was accepted, and he was instructed to draw up plans and specifications for building the same.
At the March [1889] meeting the auditor was authorized to advertise for bids for the building of the county poorhouse, bids to be opened April 15. The county poor-farm containing 120 acres was rented to P. P. Pierce.
September 24 [1889], the county poorhouse was accepted at a reduction of three hundred and forty-one dollars for not being built according to plans and specifications. E. J. Sharon and wife were appointed to superintend the county poorhouse and hospital at a salary of seventy-five dollars per month.
February 20 [1890] ... The board inspected the different systems of poorhouse government and pauper relief as laid before them and explained by Chairman McKee, and after due deliberation it was ordered that the Milwaukee system be adopted by the county. It was also ordered that the form of application used by Milwaukee county for temporary relief of the poor be adopted, and the auditor was instructed to get the necessary blanks. It was further ordered that no relief be granted except on such application.
Note: Now ... if we only knew about the system utilized in Milwaukee County!
Any such information would be greatly appreciated.            PHL
extracted from:
"History of Minnehaha Co." - Chapter 7

From the USGenWeb file which contains the full text of Bailey's History (1899)
MINNEHAHA COUNTY POOR-FARM. At a session of the board of county commissioners on February, 11, 1880, the proposition of N. E. Phillips to sell to the county the southeast quarter of section twenty-seven in Mapleton township for a county poor-farm was accepted. The price paid was $15,000. For several years after the occupation of this farm by the county, very few improvements were made, but at a session of the county commissioners in April, 1889, a contract for building a county poorhouse thereon was awarded to A. S. Leonard for the sum of $6,720, and on the 24th of September following, the building, having been completed, was turned over to the county and accepted by the commissioners. Since that time other improvements have been made, but as they appear in the illustration, no further description is given. The farm is gradually being made self-supporting, and its management and the care of the inmates of the poorhouse have for the greater portion of the time been under the supervision of competent superintendents. The present superintendent is Joseph Hostetter, and the poor-farm has been under his, able management since July 1, 1895. [photo - MINNEHAHA COUNTY POOR-FARM.]

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