Indiana Poorhouse
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Caption: Adams County Poor House


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Newspaper article from The Democrat 2 Feb 1871
"The County Alms-House Its General Condition--
The Number and Character of its Inmates" 

With a detailed description of the Huntington County Infirmary, 
including names and profiles of 13 inmates.


Notes from Kurt Garner (Wythougan Valley Preservation Council)
Marshall County Home -- Which has been at risk for demolition, but now seems to have been preserved through a very resourceful plan!


from "History of Clay County, Indiana"; Blanchard; 1884 

"The first poor farm, located two and a half miles northwest of Bowling Green, was purchased from a Mr. Blunk, at the March term of the Commissioners' Court, 1856, for $2,100.25. The present poor farm, lying two miles southwest of Bowling Green, was purchased from James and Smith Campbell, in January, 1875, for $7,900. The contract for the present buildings was let to Slocum & Co., in December, 1875, for $10,857.96. These buildings were completed and occupied the following year."

Submitted by:  Jeanette S. French 

Source: Owen County Indiana ~ a history ~ 1994

"The Owen County Home in Clay Township on State Road 43 was built in 1878. An earlier facility, known as the County Asylum or Poor Farm, was built about 1860 two miles down river from Spencer on State Road 67. It was a two story frame building, large enough, but by 1878 not large enough. The County traded that former Tornmy Howe farm for 395 acres known as the Col. John Franklin farm and let a contract to William F. Mcgenhardt to build a brick County Asylum for a cost of $8,000. The earlier house is still standing in good repair, and is the home of Bill Edwards. The outward appearance of the 1878 brick County Home, a pleasant well-maintained facility, has changed little over the years. The property no longer functions as a working farm, and the barn and other outbuildings have been torn down. Sixteen people reside at the County Home in 1994." 

As of today, 12-20-2000, the home is still active. The county just authorized maintaining the home after much "debate"! See attached picture. (Scroll up to top of page.)
     Bob Hubbard 

Obituary which appeared in the McHerald XIV-4, Shoals, 14 April 1881  
     "Isaac Henson of Martin Couny, IN, one of the pioneers of Martin Co., died Monday night at the poor    farm. According to his statement he was one hundred and two years old. He liked to talk about his early life and of his hunting expeditions when bears were plenty."  
     Pat Saupe 

See the historical notes for the Grant County poorhouse by clicking on the link below (under CEMETERIES)  

This one is so GREAT! (Wish we had this for every single poorhouse!)

And students at Turkey Run JHS did this! Let's hear it for dedicated teachers--like Karen Zach-- and the students they inspire to understand and respect their history!
Parke County Indiana Poor Asylum INDEX

Click here to see (off-site) a WONDERFUL research project on the Henry County Paupers' Asylum -- complete with photos, original historical documents, and much more!    (Click on the link to the left that says County Home.)

History of Scott County Poor Farm -- Lexington

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Click here to read the excerpt dealing with Indiana
copied  from a U.S. Government
summarizing various state poor laws in 1904.  

This is a scan of a rather lengthy description of poor laws in Indiana as of 1904, but it is well worth taking time to read.   PHL

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"The Danville 'Poorhouse' listed on your website is still standing in Danville, IN in Hendricks County. It is still used as the county home. I look at it every day as I drive through town."
     Lori Craighead   

"The Vigo County "poorhouse" became a nursing home (same building) until it was closed (within the past 15/20 yrs.)  Building was in bad shape and couldn't meet codes, so it was torn down and there is a modern nursing home located there now. It is on Maple Ave between 19th and Fruitridge Ave. Not sure of the exact address nor of the name. Sure that there would be information at the Vigo County Library on this County Home." 
     M. Campell   

"The Clay county poor farm was west of Bowling Green about two miles, on the South side on us 46. 
It is being used today as a nursing home.

My great grandfather was the superintendent in the early 1900s." 
     Thomas Lincoln Newport 

"An ancestor, John Shanks, was supposedly a "keeper of the poor house" in Carroll County, Indiana. Wondering if anyone has information about  a poor house in this county?"
     Cindy Home [ ]

" I am wondering if you have any information on the OWEN county, Indiana poor house (farm). Our ggrandfather Francis (Frank)Marion Turley,Sr.was supposed to have died there but I  have never been able to get any info on this.  Any help would be appreciated."
   Bessie Turley 

"I know of a Poorhouse and it's cemetery here in Northeast Indiana. It was called the Adams County Poor Farm, aka Poor Farm or County Farm. The building is still standing but the cemetery is made into just a lawn now with trees. You can't even tell that there was once a burial ground there. The cemetery supposedly runs along the side of the rode and up beside the Poor Farm."
     Trina Bogle 

[Note: Trina referred us to a webpage about this cemetery at  
It is a good write-up; unfortunately the author's e-mail address no longer works. If someone knows how to reach her, please let us know so we can contact her. Trina did, however, send us the list of names of people buried in that cemetery which the author sent to her. You will find a link to that list at the bottom of this page in the section for Cemeteries.  PHL ]

Recollections of the Jackson County Poorhouse 

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Kosciusko County, Indiana  County Farm Records 1879 - 1953 

This is a huge database -- "Over 1500 records covering individuals at the County Farm (also known as the County Infirmary)" on the Kosciusko County GenWeb site at  
[ We know how much work this must have been for Sue Zellers and wish to offer our sincere thanks! In many ways, this format (an alphabetized list) offers many more context clues and is for that reason much more useful than a simple searchable database.]

Article from The HOOSIER GENEALOGIST, 1989, "The Union County Poorhouse in the 1860 Census." 

List of residents of the Greene County Poorhouse in the 1860 Census 

List of residents of the Randolph County Poorhouse in the 1870 Census  

List of residents of the Union County Poorhouse in the 1860 Census  


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Henry County Paupers' Asylum burials (Click first on the link to the left that says County Home, then on the link that says Last Burials at HCPA.)

Adams County Poorhouse Cemetery List  (See article by the person who was the source of this list.)  

Grant County Poorhouse Cemetery  List (Mount Hope Cemetery) 

"Wayne Township Cemeteries, Allen County Indiana" was published by Allen County Genealogical Society, Ft. Wayne, IN. 1982  It includes the Allen County Poor Farm cemetery.  

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We are hoping to build this base of information about poorhouses in INDIANA 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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