Arkansas Poorhouse
the Poorhouse Story

The following is an excerpt from a U.S. Government REPORT summarizing various state poor laws in 1904. .
Click on the link above for more information.

the Poorhouse Story


"When I was a young man back in the 1920's there was a Poor House (called a Poor Farm) in Johnson Co. AR on Highway 103 between Clarksville and Harmony. I recall one poor old lady names Alberta who used to call out to everyone passing in a car, wagon, buggy or walking."
     Bill Mills 

"Uncle Dan" by Glenda Ramsey -- re: Independence County Poorhouse
[This is a really poignant memoir regarding a much loved "un-official" family  member who was sent to the poorhouse...without the knowledge of those who cared about  him... and subsequently died there.]

How would I go about checking if there was a poorhouse in my area? I live where several counties --Lawrence, Sharp, Randolph, Clay -- meet; and would love to find out if there was a poor house near here?" 
: Sherry 

"My great grandparents ran the poorhouse in Craighead Co. Arkansas, my grandmother was raised there with her sisters, and my mother remembers playing with her cousins and the other children left at the fact, my mother's sister was born at the poorhouse....they called it the "poorfarm", the county poorfarm where they raised a big garden, had cows for milk and pigs, chickens, etc for food to feed the "family". I have wanted to learn more about it, and now with this site and the interest in such a place, I will and report back."
     Ingrid Roades 

"In the 1930s there was a "Poor Farm" outside of Mena, Ar. -- actually it was in a place known as Potter. [Polk County] I visited my g-uncle there, and later went back to visit his grave. In trying to locate any information about the "farm" or his burial place now I have been told there is no information available. Were these people just placed there with no records being kept? I would think there would have to be some sort of records, even if only to support their financial expenditures. I do have his death certificate, but it only gives his place of burial as "Poor Farm." Does anyone know of this place?"
     Ruby Martin   Email: 

the Poorhouse Story


The Greene County GenWeb has done a great job with their County Poor Farm section at  (These pages include some newspaper articles and photographs as well as the inmate lists from various census reports. This poorhouse was started in 1891 and was changed into a more modern nursing home in 1957; so much of this information tracks the final parts of the poorhouse era. PHL)

the Poorhouse Story

Greene County     1900 Poor Farm Census

Greene County     1910 Poor Farm Census

Greene County     1920 Poor Farm Census

Pulaski County   1860 Census -- poorhouse residents
- page 188, HN (Dwelling) 174

the Poorhouse Story

the Poorhouse Story

[The following article is  from the POPE COUNTY HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION QUARTERLY -- December 1998]

POPE COUNTY'S PAUPER PROBLEM..............p. 4 - 22

[See also comments on Featured Articles. PHL ]

the Poorhouse Story

For more historical information about Alabama you may wish to check out the state 
American Local History Network site.

the Poorhouse Story

We are hoping to build this base of information about poorhouses in ARKANSAS through the helpful participation of  readers. All are requested to submit items of interest by sending e-mail to The Poorhouse Lady.

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