Missouri Poorhouse
the Poorhouse Story

Caption: Jasper County Alms House, Carthage, Mo.

The Alms House was torn down years ago & the "Y" is now in that spot.



Commemorative Plate for Lemons Missouri's Centennial Celebration 
[Putnam County]
(Includes a drawing of the County Farm)
Putnam (real photo)  

NODAWAY    (Clearmont) 
Note: This is a great photograph of a wonderful old house!  
(It takes a while to load; but it is well worth the wait. PHL )

and another

NODAWAY  (Maryville)  


MARION    Workhouse, Kansas City (Jackson County)      .


Here is the Missouri excerpt 
from a U.S. Government REPORT 
summarizing various state poor laws in 1904. .
Click on the links above for more information.


"I am  interested in information on the poorhouse in Harrison County, Missouri. My grandfather was born in Blythedale, Missouri, Harrison County. In my  research, I found my g-grandmother listed in the poorhouse there. I was  hoping to find some information on her from their records there. Thanks  for your time."  Beatrice L. Shibley    RUSSBEA@webtv.net 

"Would anyone be able to tell me where or how to find information on the Jackson County, Missouri poor farm? My great grandfather died there in 1907. The J.C. historical society had a few newspaper articles, but really didn't know how to go about finding records."
     Sue  BRidgeWi@aol.com 

" My great  great grandmother was in a county farm (known as the poor farm) in our area.  It was  in Ashley [Pike County] Mo. and known as the County Farm.  There was some tombstones but a farmer bought the land and destroyed it all.  Was hoping I could find  information on this place."  Christine J. Dieckmann   chrisjd@ftco.net 

 "I never heard of a 'poor house' in our county, until I began researching family history 3 or 4 years ago. My mother, now 80, revealed that my paternal great grandfather had died in the [Shannon County] 'County Farm'  as it was apparently called, which was located in the Eminence township, apparently just east of Main Street behind the row of shops now opposite the Courthouse. 
   He  is said to be buried in an unmarked grave in the Summer Cemetery at Ink (Shannon County). Given the circumstances, I would speculate that others who died at the County Farm are also buried there."
     Ron Burnett  ron@cryptic.rch.unimelb.edu.au 

"My Great Grandfather William Clark Ray was the manager of the Worth County Poor Farm in or about 1900, My records show that he lived at or near Denver, Mo. Does anyone  have any information on this poor farm, pictures, facts, etc. I would sure like to have some information on this...Thank you!"  
      Pastor Jim Ray  RevJRay@aol.com 

the Poorhouse Story


The Willie Daly Scrapbook web site includes images from some collector stamps which show poorhouse pictures from the St. Louis area.  

Excerpt  from the on-line version of the   "History of Buchanan County and the City of St Joseph and Representative Citizens"
Chapter XV: Public and Private Charities Pages 133-137

"The poorhouse for Callaway County, Missouri was located approximately 1/4 mile West of Ham's Prairie on Hwy 'C' and approximately 1/4 mile South on Poorfarm Road.  38 45' 52"N Latitude  91 55' 33"W Longitude (38.76444N 91.92583W), NAD27, 827 ft elevation.  It was located in NW1/4 of NW1/4 Sec15 Twn46N Rng09W and was comprised of approximately 320 acres. The poorfarm was closed for good in the 1950's and there are no buildings remaining at the present time." 
     Wayne Johnson  johnsonwe@earthlink.net 

Missouri USGenWeb Project information about Franklin County Poor Farm.  

Newspaper Article about the Howell County Poor Farm near West Plains, Missouri. 
It was taken from the local newspaper (The Quill ) on May 22, 1987.

"I went to the 1876 and 1898 indexes to the Jefferson County atlases and lo and behold found County Farm listed in both of them.  Why didn't I think of that sooner???  The county map shows the farm to be in Township 40 North, Range 3 East, Section 5.  It is slightly southwest of Hillsboro and  Highway B runs right through it today. (To be sure, it was news to me that we had a "Poor Farm" in Jefferson County!)
     Betty Olson   azz002@mail.connect.more.net  

 The good pastor of the Presbyterian church in DeSoto [ Jefferson County] and his Woman's Christian Temperance Union decided one November afternoon in 1896 to visit the poor 'inmates' at this institution!"
Charlotte Maness CManess@Lescom.org
[This refers to "A Crying Shame": an open letter which describes very deplorable conditions. PHL

Vicki Allen  vdallen@whoever.com typed and submitted an excerpt from The History of Laclede County, Missouri which tells about the county poorhouse. 

"Laclede county will continue with its present county farm, the poorest in the entire state of Missouri, according to last week's Laclede County Republican; unless the county court makes new plans for the holding of a special election to vote on a bond issue for purchasing a county farm and building a poorhouse." (``The Conway Weekly Record,'' January 5, 1922)
     found at http://www.llion.org/conway/jan1.html 

"The Miller County  Mo. County Farm for aged and unfortunate people was built in 1930 , 2.5  miles southeast of Tuscumbia on Hwy 17."

"My great-grandparents ran a poor farm in Clearmont, Nodaway County, Missouri.  The family tends to call it a nursing home and only accede that it was a poorhouse when pressed.  The house was burned down by the fire department years ago."     (See Link to Photo above.)
     WIGenWeb-Rock County coordinator,  Lori Niemuth  dawnlea@ticon.net 

NOTE:  There apparently was also at one time another poorhouse for Nodaway County, but this one was in Maryville.  PHL  (See Link to Photo above.)

"In Stoddard County, We have a poor farm.  The building is now being used for a Home Care Facility under private ownership, but is essentially the same as when it was built.  The farm was about 160 acres and they attempted to raise everything they ate.  There is a paupers cemetery.  [See Cemetery section below.]  We have a list of interments, but there is only one stone.  That part of the farm is still owned by the County. We are putting together a group of people to clean up and fence the paupers cemetery and erect a monument with the names of all the interees.
   In the last few years, the County has given a portion of that tract of land to the Stars and Stripes Museum/Library.  The first Military Stars and Stripes was printed in Bloomfield in 1861 by Illinois soldiers.  The Veterans Cemetery will be built on 70 acres of the old county farm property."  
        Gary Capps  Industrial Development Authority idasc@sheltonbbs.com 


"For What it's worth, St. Louis Co. Mo. Poorhouse was located in the town of Allenton, St. Louis Co.Mo. on old Hwy. 66 now I-44, Six Flags Over Mid-America is located on a portion of the property, Now part of the city of Eureka, St. Louis Co. Mo. Oh, part of one of the old stone buildings, is a part of a Fancy Ritize Motel, Ain't life amazing."
     M.Peeples  mcp@rollanet.org 

Special Note: In the  State Constitution of Missouri we found the following in Article VIII SUFFRAGE AND ELECTIONS

"Section 6. For the purpose of voting, no person shall be deemed to have gained or lost a residence by reason of his presence or absence while engaged in the civil or military service of this state or of the United States, or in the navigation of the high seas or the waters of the state or of the United States, or while a student of any institution of learning, or kept in a poorhouse or other asylum at public expense, or confined in public prison."

"ENCYCLOPEDIA OF THE HISTORY OF ST. LOUIS, A COMPENDIUM OF HISTORY AND BIOGRAPHY FOR READY REFERENCE (1899), was edited by William Hyde and Howard L. Conard. It was published by the Southern Publishing Company of New York and Louisville, Kentucky. Copies of this four-volume book set are available at the following St. Louis Public Library locations: Baden, Buder, Cabanne, Carondelet, Carpenter, Lashly, Machacek, Central Library Stacks, and St. Louis Area Studies Center (Central Library). (Call Number 977.866 Non-circulating)
Significant names and topics have been indexed by volume and then page."

          i.e  Poorhouse- Missouri- St. Louis ---------------------- II-1010

[We found the above entry at http://www.slpl.lib.mo.us/libsrc/hyde2.htm#P 
It could be very helpful to researches who come to The POORHOUSE STORY if some kind reader out there in Missouri could consult that book and share with us the information in that entry.  PHL ]

"MISSOURI, OSAGE COUNTY, Osage County Poorhouse, MO 621, 0.5 mi. S of Linn, Linn vicinity, 98000038, LISTED, 2/13/98"  [We found this addition to the NATIONAL REGISTER OF HISTORIC PLACES at http://www.cr.nps.gov/nr/listings/980220.htm  [Again, if anyone has further information about this poorhouse, we would greatly appreciate its submission to The POORHOUSE STORY.  PHL ]


the Poorhouse Story



Previously we had published the list of people who died while they were residents of the St. Louis Poorhouse (1850-1908).  It appears that we were in violation of copyright laws in doing that. This is not the responsibility of the person who submitted the information to us.  We made an incorrect judgment
about whether our selection of a subset from an Ancestry.com database was an
acceptable procedure for publication on our own website.  Our apologies to Ancestry.com and to the St. Louis Genealogical Society  PHL
To find out who the people were who died in this poorhouse, you will need to access the  "St. Louis City Death Records, 1850-1908" on the pay-for-use Ancestry.com pages. This database includes the person's address. If you query the database for "Poor House" you will get 2592 hits for people who died while they were poorhouse residents. The majority do not have cemeteries listed, but many show they were buried in "Potters Field", while some ended up in medical colleges. Of course, if you are merely wanting to determine whether a specific individual did indeed die in that poorhouse, you can simply enter their name into that database.


"The original Jasper County poorhouse ledger can be found at: Jasper County Records Annex, 125 N. Lincoln, Carthage MO 64836 417-359-1100     Steve Weldon is the Jasper county Archivist. The original ledger is unindexed and I doubt that the archive staff would search without a very good date." 
     Brenda Langston - McMinn  genealogyfairy@mcmsys.com 

Franklin County./Clerk. County Court records.
County Ward and pauper records. 1871-1939
from http://mosl.sos.state.mo.us/rec-man/archweb/accessions.htm

List of Gentry County Poorhouse Residents from the 1880 Census  

List of Stone County Poorhouse Residents from the 1920 Census on the Stone County Missouri MOGenWeb

List of Putnam County Poorhouse Residents from the 1880 Census   

List  (partial) of Montgomery County Almshouse & County Farm from the 1910 Census 

Information about Registers of the Greene County Alms House  

"1910 Federal Census  3 May 1910
Missouri, Cole County, Marion Township, Elston and Marion Road  
Enumeration District #55, House #159/Family 163  
Sheet #8A, Line 36 lists Herman PRENGER as Almshouse Keeper
and on Lines 45 through 51 lists 7 'inmates' under his care."
     John T P Dryden   johntpdryden@prodigy.net 

"Register of Inmates at Poor Farm 1895 Webster County"
The above article may be found in the Summer 1990 issue of Ozar'kin - a quarterly periodical of the Ozarks Genealogical Society.

the Poorhouse Story

See St. Louis Poorhouse Deaths above (in Records). 

"The Jasper County poorhouse cemetery is accessible by the first N/S road to the east (under the water tower), and has only 1 modern stone dedicated to all who were buried there. (I have a picture of it around here somewhere.... if I come across it, I'll send it along). My nieces have told be of finding a "pile of headstones" in a wooded patch, not far from this spot, but I haven't been out to check it out yet"
Brenda Langston - McMinn  genealogyfairy@mcmsys.com 

List of those buried in the cemetery for the Cooper County Poorhouse on the Cooper County Missouri GenWeb site for cemeteries.

List of those buried from the Franklin County Poor Farm, etc.

List of those buried in the Howell County Farm cemetery.   
[This is a scan which may take a while to load.]   See Photos 

List of those buried in the cemetery for the Stoddard County Poor Farm (County Home) Cemetery  
[This is a four page document which has been scanned. Those pages take a while to load. Thanks for your patience.]

List of those who died in the Harrison County poorhouse & description of the cemetery  
from the book, Harrison County Cemetery Records, published 1985, by the 
Harrison County Genealogical Society.   


See Notes From Readers (above) for information about possible burial place for Shannon County.

the Poorhouse Story

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