Wisconsin Historical Society (WISCONSIN STATE ARCHIVES)
-- Poorhouse Holdings

All of the information below was found on the website of the Wisconsin State Archives through their on-line catalogue. Please do your own search for this and other similar information.  We used the search terms: "County Home", "Almshouse",  "Poorhouse", and "Poor Farm" in their Guided Search section.  (We may have missed some!) You may wish to search the entire list for the county in which you are interested (even if it is not listed here) to read the descriptions carefully; you could find poorhouse type institutions referred to with different terms.  PHL


Be sure to check their website or call to find out about where these records are physically located now 
(perhaps at an ARC rather than the Madison headquarters), 
and to find out what restrictions may apply to access to some records.

 (ARC) for the Wisconsin State Archives (list of counties served by each)

County Summary Information Abstract / Description
Hickory Grove Sanatorium (Brown County, Wis.)
Title: Annual reports, 1944-1972
Quantity: 0.2 c.f.
Arrangement: Chronological.
Notes: This series is unprocessed.
Printed reports submitted to the County Board of Supervisors by the sanatorium which focused on the treatment of tuberculosis. Reports contain financial summaries, narrative statements, medical treatment information, and patient statistics. The report for 1944 also contains similar information for the Brown County Asylum, Brown County Home, and Brown County Work House.
Brown County (Wis.). Superintendent of the Poor.
Title: Reports, 1857-1879
Quantity: 0.1 c.f. (1 volume)
Arrangement: Chronological.
Minutes and annual reports by the superintendent giving accounts which list the name of claimant and amount; account of relief to paupers living outside the poorhouse; and average number of paupers in poorhouse and cost per inmate.
Title:  Maintenance record of the Chippewa County poor, 1900-1938
Quantity: 1.0 c.f.
Notes: This series is unprocessed.
Payment ledger of the County Home, 1900-1938. Vol. 1 (1900-1911); v. 2 (1912-1924); v. 3 (missing); v. 4 (1936-1938). Qty: 1.0 c.f. (3 volumes)
DANE Title: Dane County Hospital and Home (Wis.): Records,
Inclusive Dates: 1854-1964
Creator: Dane County Hospital and Home (Wis.)
Call No.: Dane Series 310
Extent: 10.0 c.f. (10 archives boxes, 4 flat boxes, and 8 volumes)
Records of a Dane County institution established in Verona, Wisconsin in 1854 which has been responsible at various times during its history for the care of the indigent elderly and the mentally ill and for the treatment of alcoholics. Included are annual reports to the State Board of Control, minutes of the board of trustees and the separate governing bodies under which the institution operated during its early history, minutes of the building committee responsible for constructions at the institution, patient and inmate registers containing biographical data and information on the causes of the patients' insanity and/or indigence, a narrative journal of E.P. Titus, overseer of the Poor Farm (1877-1882), restraint records (1883-1887 and 1932-1941), and records of financial expenditures for the period 1875 to 1964. Printed annual reports to the Dane County Board of Supervisors are available in the government documents section of the SHSW Library.

Contents List

Container   Title
Box 1 Folder 1
Annual Reports of the Poor House to the State Board of Control, 1880-1926
Trustees of the Asylum
Box 1 Folder 2
Box 1 Folder 3
1884-1924 (includes reports, 1884-1892)
Box 1 Folder 4
Commissioner of the Poor, 1897-1917
Trustees of the Asylum and Home
Box 2 Folder 1
Box 3  
Box 4 Folder 1
Building Committee
Box 4 Folder 2
Box 4 Folder 3
Box 2 Folder 2
Box 4 Folder 4
Journal of Poor House Overseer E.P. Titus, 1877-1882
Inmate and patient registers
Insane Asylum
Box 4 Folder 5
Box 12 Folder 1
1907-1914 (?) (Patients # 1-594)
Box 12 Folder 2
Box 14  
Annual register, 1926-1941
Poor House
Box 13  
Box 5 Folder 1
Overseer's diary of transfers, 1914-1922
Box 5 Folder 2
Overseer's diary of admissions, 1911-1933
Box 5 Folder 3
Box 5 Folder 4
Box 5 Folder 5
Restraint records
Box 6 Folder 1
Box 6 Folder 2-3
Financial records
Poor House
Box 6 Folder 4
Overseer's account book, 1875-1890
Classified expenditure journals
Box 6 Folder 5
Box 7 Folder 1
Box 7 Folder 2
Box 7 Folder 3
Day Books
Box 7 Folder 4
Box 8 Folder 1
Insane Asylum
Box 8 Folder 2
Overseer's account book, 1883-1901
Classified expenditure journals
Box 8 Folder 3
Box 8 Folder 4
Box 9 Folder 1
Box 9 Folder 2
Box 9 Folder 3
Day books
Box 10 Folder 1
Box 10 Folder 2
Joint institutional records
Voucher registers
Volume 1  
Volume 2  
Volume 3  
Volume 4  
Volume 5  
Volume 6  
Volume 7  
Volume 8  
Miscellaneous operating expense records
Box 10 Folder 3
Box 10 Folder 4
Box 10 Folder 5
Box 11 Folder 1
Box 11 Folder 2
Box 11 Folder 3
Expense journal, 1944-1964
Title:  Records, 1891-1978
Quantity: 2.0 c.f. (5 archives boxes, 1 flat box, 1 oversize folder) and


Records of a Dunn County institution originally founded as the Dunn County Asylum for the Chronic Insane (1892) and the Dunn County Poor House (later known as the Dunn County Home). During the 1940s, the two institutions became the Dunn County Hospital and Home. In 1972, a new facility that included a nursing home and a psychiatric unit was opened under the name Dunn County Heath Care Center. The records primarily document the institutions' financial history.
Included are unpublished annual reports, audit reports by the Wisconsin Tax Commission, and reimbursement bills submitted to the state and other counties. Patient records primarily consist of lists of original residents of the asylum, residents from the 1930s and 1940s, and a population movement book, 1955-1970, although additional information about individual patients is included in other records in the series. Miscellaneous records include minutes of the original asylum building commission (which included J. H. Stout and A. R. Hall), architectural plans and photographs, brochures, employee rules and lists, property inventories, a patient diary dated 1915-1916, a journal of crops raised, and leases.
Fond du Lac County
Insane Asylum and Poor House (Wis.)
Title:  Records, 1921-1969
Quantity: 0.6 c.f.
Arrangement: By type of record.
Notes: This series is unprocessed.
[Not given.]
Forest County (Wis.).Clerk
Title: Misc. reports, 1890-1936
Quantity: 0.4 c.f. (1 archives box)
Arrangement: By type of record and thereunder chronological.
Included are statistics of wealth for the 1890 U.S. census; abstracts of taxes (1892 and 1903-1910), assessment rolls (1903, 1905-1910), and indebtedness and assessed valuations (1903-1910); statement of taxes and indebtedness for 1911 (by town); statements of bank stock (1905, 1907, 1909, 1910); tax levy for schools (1903-1905, 1907-1909, 1911); outdoor relief reports (1902, 1904, 1906, 1908, 1910); charges for insane and judgments (1911); and reports for the county home (1935 and 1936).
Grant County (Wis.). Clerk.
Title: Audit reports, 1924-1981
Quantity: 3.0 c.f.
Arrangement: Chronological.
Notes: This series is unprocessed.


Audit reports and supporting papers submitted to the Board of Supervisors by the Bureau of Municipal Audit or by public accountants employed by the Board to make the annual audit. Each report contains a statement by the auditor on the condition of the financial records of the county and any errors that were found. Summary financial statements of all the county funds showing the receipts, disbursements, and various funds for the year follows. Each volume contains an audit of each county department. Beginning in 1937, the audit of the Grant County Hospital and Home (through time also known as the Grant County Home, Grant County Home and Asylum, and currently Orchard Manor) is bound in a separate volume.
Green County (Wis.). Board of Supervisors.
Title: Board proceedings and papers, 1838-1925.
Quantity: 4.2 c.f. (11 archives boxes)
Arrangement: By year.
Proceedings of the County Commissioners and Board of Supervisors including minutes of board meetings, committee reports, reports of county officers and commissions, financial reports, communications to the board, and other papers. There is substantial material pertaining to the county poor farm and asylum, the county's justice courts, the establishment of town governments, school districts, road building, and tax assessment.
Wisconsin, County Court (Iowa County)
Title: Insanity decisions, 1859-1936.
Quantity: 0.4 c.f. (1 volume)
Arrangement: Chronological.
Finding aid: Index for 1859-1877 on separate pages, inserted in front of volume.
Records of insanity decisions (1859-77, 1892-95) made by the County Court Judge including judge's decision based on recommendations; judge's orders releasing persons no longer judged insane; judge's order granting guardianship of insane persons; and guardians' accounts. Other cases include wife abandonment; dependent child; appointment of guardians for "spendthrifts," and judge's order forcing individuals in the poorhouse. The results of an 1892 jury trial on sanity are included (pp. 1-103, 222-227. 336-369).
Later records (1879-1936) contain only names of insane persons and doctors; date of application for judgment and date of judgment; and remarks on release, transfer, parole, or death of insane person. 1898-1936 records include date of commitment and institution (pp. 200-221, 228-271).
Lincoln County Home (Wis.)
Title: Disbursement journal, 1909-1916.
Quantity: 0.6 c.f. (1 volume)
Arrangement: Chronological.
Journal showing amounts and dates of disbursements to individuals and firms by type of expenditure, e.g. wages, provisions, burial expenses, and "outside help and aid"; and a monthly total of accounts.
Pierce County (Wis.). Clerk
Title:  County welfare records, 1853-1958 and undated
Quantity: 2.2 c.f. (6 archives boxes)
Arrangement: By year.
Records filed with the county clerk dealing with the operation of various welfare and relief programs which the county administered, including the county poor farm, outdoor relief, aid to the disabled, and aid to dependent children. Included are reports of the Superintendent of the Poor and of the county commissions; lists of persons receiving aid; and legal documents such as the commitment of persons to the poor house.
Polk County (Wis.).Clerk.
Title: Report on outdoor relief and pauperism. 1880-1920
Quantity: 0.4 c.f. (1 archives box)
Arrangement: Chronological.
Reports, 1882-1920, of towns to the county clerk giving the number and amount of relief paid by the town to persons not residing at the poor farm; and reports, 1880-1881, of the county clerk to the State Board of Charities and Reform on pauperism, listing number of cases, number of liquor licenses, and costs detailed by town.
Polk County (Wis.). Superintendent of the Poor.
Title: County Home records, 1876-1934.
Quantity: 1.9 c.f. (4 archives boxes and 1 flat box)
Arrangement: By type of record and thereunder chronological or by account.
Finding aid: Ledgers usually include indexes.
Records, primarily financial, of the County Home, also called the Poor Farm. There are 4 volumes of day books, 1882-1920, listing the day-to-day expenditures and receipts of the home; 13 volumes of ledgers, 1876-1934, of the home's accounts with firms and individuals it did business with as well as expenditures on its inmates; 2 volumes of ledgers listing expenditures on Outdoor Relief, 1885-1888; and one volume of minutes of the county committee on the County Home, 1919-1934.
Racine County Hospitals and Home (Wis.)
Title: Annual reports of the Asylum, Home, and Hospital, 1921-1969
Quantity: 0.2 c.f. (1 archives box)
Arrangement: By year.
Records showing cash balances, value of property, detailed breakdown of expenditures, inventories of farm livestock, farm revenues, statistics on the patient population, and statements of the Board of Trustees, Superintendent, and physicians.
Racine County Hospitals and Home (Wis.)
Title: County Home inmates and deaths, 1927-1929
Quantity: 0.1 c.f. (1 volume)
Arrangement: By type of list.
Lists of inmates, lists of friends and relatives of inmates, and dates of inmates' deaths.
Racine County Hospitals and Home (Wis.)
Title:  Inmate records of the County Hospital and Home, ca. 1918-1960
Quantity: 0.8 c.f. (3 card boxes)
Arrangement: Alphabetical by surname.
Cards from ca. 1918-1947 showing name of inmate, date admitted, name of judge who committed inmate, reason for commitment, place of birth, religion, names of friends and relatives, and comments. Cards from ca. 1948-1960 provide fewer details, usually showing only name, admission date, birthdate, source of financial support, and record of transfers
Wisconsin, Municipal Court (Racine County)
Title: Record of commitments to the County Home, 1916-1946
Quantity: 0.8 c.f. (2 volumes)
Printed forms for use in commitment to the County Home and showing name, disability, court appearances, and court orders. Vol. 1 dates 1916-1933; Vol. 2, 1933-1946.
  Note:  There are many, many more records of the Racine County Hospitals and Home!  Go search for yourself.


Rock County (Wis.). Board of Supervisors.
Title: Board proceedings, 1839-1971
Quantity: 5.0 c.f. (18 volumes) and
8 reels of microfilm (35mm); plus
unprocessed additions of security negatives.
Arrangement: Chronological.
Notes: Records for 1948-1971 are available only on microfilm.
The paper portion of this series is also on unprocessed security microfilm.
The microfilm was produced by the Document Imaging Management Center, 1997.
Proceedings of the County Commissioners and Board of Supervisors including minutes of board meetings, committee reports, reports of county officers and commissions, financial reports, communications to the board, and other papers. There is substantial material pertaining to the county poor farm and asylum, the county's justice courts, the establishment of town governments, school districts, road building, and tax assessment.

The processed microfilm is a positive print of some of the unprocessed security reels. The remainder of the unprocessed security microfilm duplicates the content of the processed 18 volumes.
St. Croix County (Wis.). Clerk
Title: Annual report of County Hospital & Home Trustees, 1904, 1909, 1920-1938, 1940-1948, 1950-1959
Quantity: 0.2 c.f. (1 archives box)
Arrangement: Chronological.
Annual reports to the County Board by the Board of Trustees of the County Hospital and County Home, published by the County Clerk. Each report includes financial statements, statement of movement of population, and narrative reports of the Superintendent and the Physician. Included in the financial statements is a summary of charges to the state, counties, and private persons for care of inmates. The report for 1904 is included in published County Board proceedings.
  Note:  There are other records of the St. Croix County (Wis) Clerk!  Go search for yourself.
Author/Creator: Wisconsin Division of Public Assistance
Title: County homes social data sheets. 1943-1944
Quantity: 1.6 c.f. (4 archives boxes)
Arrangement: Alphabetical by county.
Social data sheets on new inmates admitted to county homes for the aged, indigent, and infirm showing marital status, health conditions, date of birth, and economic status. Data was prepared for a county home study.
Author/Creator: Wisconsin State Dept. of Public Welfare. Bureau of Research and Statistics.
Title: Monthly population of city and county homes, 1962-1963.
Quantity: 1.0 c.f.
Arrangement: Chronological and alphabetical by institution thereunder.
Notes: This series is unprocessed.
Monthly county home reports (Form SR260) submitted by county homes and listing pertinent population information including number of residents, number of admissions, number of desks, and related information. The file also contains annual county home reports (SR261) showing a summary breakdown of the characteristics of county home residents.
Return to WISCONSIN           HOME