in which the poor farm residents (termed inmates) were to live.
The 50 acres
was three miles east of Russellville. That area is now inside the present city
limits of Russellville and the poor farm property located along what is now the
Tyler Road of today. Another 37 acres was bought in 1904 in the same general
building remains to show where the poor farm once was -- a long field stone
building on the west side of Tyler Road was the residence of the poor farm
inmates. In the years since the 1939 closing of the poor farm the residential
building has undergone several renovations and now houses a church.
On Jan. 21,
1899, the commissioners reported another $557.17 in expenses for such things as
livestock, farm equipment, clothing, food and firewood. The total spent was
commissioners received $3 each per day from the county as pay for their work. In
addition, Henry sold a pair of mules to the county for $135 for the poor farm;
Baird sold four loads of wood for $6, and Brown received $101.53 for one cow,
one sow and five pigs, corn, hay and cotton seed.
(G.T.) Brown was appointed as the first superintendent of the poor farm. His
wife, Sarah B., was the matron. The Browns served until sometime in the 1910s.
The 1920 Pope County census shows Matthew D. Hanks (or Hankins) and wife, Julia
A., as superintedent and matron.
County Court records listed J.M. Harris as poor farm superintendent. His salary
was listed as $375 for the third quarter of 1923. Harris' son and
daughter-in-law, Leonard and Ava Harris, moved to the poor farm
after their marriage and worked there for three years in the 1920s.
A 1938 report
about the poor farm by the Justice of the Peace committee composed of W.J.
Grant, S.E. Teeter and H.P. Hudson says:
Mrs. Montgomery are keepers of the home, are pleasant, accommodating people, and
seem to take great interest in the home and inmates."
said there were 12 inmates in the home, "none bedfast but not able to do
any work except maybe look after themselves." The report also said the
residence building with 21 rooms was "well kept and in good repair."
However, the hay barn was "badly in need of a new roof."
report noted the poor farm had produced 200 to 250 bushels of corn during the
year and four or five bales of good meadow hay. There were three head of work
stock on the farm, four milch cows ("with the prospect of plenty of milk
for the home this