Article from the San Antonio Light   July 27, 1913
Submitted by: Barbara Froebel, volunteer 
with The San Antonio Genealogical & Historical Society



Commissioners Take First Step to Prepare Property for Sale.




Another Site Available for Modern Institution and Tent Colony.

     The initial step in an effort to sell the old poor farm on Jones avenue, thereby securing a sum which added to another sum to be appropriated for the purpose, will be enough to erect a modern institution on the 100 acres bought for the purpose by the old commissioners' court, was taken yesterday when the county commissioners ordered that all bodies in the burial grounds adjacent to the poor farm be buried elsewhere.

     The contract was let to the Zizik(?) Undertaking Company, which company agrees to provide suitable graves for each of the known dead in the potter's field and to re-bury all those whose identities are unknown.  The known dead are to be re-buried in City cemetery No. 7, and it is expected that the others will be put into a common grave to be dug at the new poor farm.  Suitable shafts will be erected in each instance.

Should Bring Good Sum

     Four years ago, Judge Phil Shook, then county judge, sought to sell the old poor farm, having in mind the construction of a building on the new farm.  Judge Shook believed that the 18  acres of the old place ought to bring at least $1000 per acre, but the best offer he could secure was $12,000.  Neither Judge Shook nor the ten county commissioners believed the offer was adequate and declined to close the deal.

     Since Judge Davis has been in office he has taken the matter up again and believes that by doing away with the unsightly burying ground and leveling all evidences of it after removal of the bodies, that the property may be sold to advantage.  Judge Davis is not prepared to set a figure at which the county will be willing to sell, but the value of real estate in San Antonio has increased somewhat during the last four years.  Possibly $1000 per acre may be obtained, giving the county$18,000 to cash to be used in building a new poor house.

What the Plan Contemplates

     The county has ample land about nine miles from San Antonio on which to place an up to date institution of the kind that is needed to care for the poor and indigent.  In all, slightly over 99 acres are owned by the county, the tract having been bought four years ago from the late Dr. William Meier.  At that time a detention hospital was erected on a portion of the land but the greater part has been used for three years as a farm. 

     If the contemplated plans go through, the county not only will get a modern poorhouse but also have a tuberculosis colony of tents.  The proposition of placing a boys' training school there also has been under consideration, but the belief prevails that this may not be so feasible.  In any event,  the commissioners are working on the theory that the sale of the old poor farm and the placing of an additional sum with the proceeds thus obtained will be adequate to build an institution for the poor that will not be surpassed anywhere in the South.  The first step is the removal of the graveyard.

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