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LaGrange County Historical Society, Inc.
P.O. Box 134
LaGrange, Indiana  46761
lagrange_history.com


The County Infirmary, County Home, or "Poor House"

There is little information known about the "inmates" or facility itself.  This is an attempt to gather information as I find it in microfilm records or from other sources.  Through the years, the county poor were located in various places at different farms.  I am still trying to learn whether each township cared for their poor until the County Infirmary was built or if the total of poor from the entire county were sent to one establishment.  - Charlotte Edsall

COUNTY FARM CEMETERY
 
N SIDE OF 25N AT GOLF COURSE
WEST OF LAGRANGE - CLAY TOWNSHIP

Confirmed Burials

#1 -  Charles A. Bevington, 1815-1898 VET. 12th CAV. 127 REGT.-NO STONE-
#2  - Jacob Tuttle 1824-1888 VET. CO 11 ILL. INF. -HAS STONE-MARKED!-
#3 - August Dowers,  Died May of 1919, See obituary below
#4 - Mary Brown, Did Feb. 1884, see obituary below

** I am presuming that there are none buried at the County Farm Cemetery location without stones, this in itself is not guaranteed.   If you have anything to contribute, I would greatly appreciate it. 



Inmates at County Infirmary but not Confirmed Burials at County Infirmary
- Source: LaGrange County Health Department, Indiana
* these are in no particular order except as I have found them

Full Name
Birth
Death
Age at Death
Parents
Marital Status
Book
Page
Number
Burial Location
Brown, Mary
about 1877, based on age at death
Feb. 1884
7
Unknown
Child



Potter's Field
the "LaGrange Standard," LaGrange, Ind., Feb. 28, 1884
Colwell, John Jackson
1866
March 30, 1933
67 years
Hiram Columbus Colwell  & Emily Longly Colwell
?

H-63
8
11
"The LaGrange Standard," LaGrange, Ind., March 30, 1933 & Health Dpt. Records
Hart, John
about 1830
March 21, 1913
80
Daniel Hart
& Nancy Nelson
Widower
wife was  #1 Elizabeth Rugg
#2 Jane Nelson
E
5
7
LaGrange Co., Johnson twp., Indiana - Woodruff Cemetery
Hart, George Washington
November 06, 1835
January 12, 1916
80 years, 11 months, 1 day
Daniel Hart
& Nancy Nelson
Widower
wife was Mary Emmaline Nelson
E
54
10
Clearspring twp., LaGrange County, Indiana - Sloan Cemetery in Row 17, # 12
Hart, John
about 1815
Sept. 19, 1899
84 years
Parents unrecorded
Widower
B
30
24
Unknown at this time
Dowers, August
about 1847
May 1919
72 years
Parents Unknown
Unknown



Potter's Field
Source: "The LaGrange Standard," LaGrange, Indiana,  May 30, 1919

Poor House Obituaries

Brown, Mary - Little Mary Brown, aged 7 years, an inmate of the County House, died of lung fever week before last and her little form was carried over the hill from the poor house to her last resting place in the corner of the farm where the dead of the County House are buried. - Source: "LaGrange Standard," LaGrange, Ind., Feb. 28, 1884

Colwell, (John) Jackson - 67 years of age, died at the county infirmary at 5:30 this morning from dropsy.  He had been at the county farm three weeks.  Mr. Colwell had lived in the county most of his life.  He leaves a sister, Mrs. Effie Gunthorp of Howe and a brother, Morton at the county farm.  No funeral arrangements have been made.  - Source:  "The LaGrange Standard," LaGrange, Ind., March 30, 1933

Dowers, August - "Glass Eater" Dead," commonly known as the "glass eater," died at the county farm on Wednesday morning of this week, the result of paralysis.  Dowers, who claimed to have been born in Germany, had lived in LaGrange county for many years.  He had no relatives in this country, and worked at no trade.  He traveled over the county in the summer time, but for several years had made the county farm his headquarters in the winter.  He was 72 years of age.  He worked in and around Shipshewana more or less in recent years but claimed no town or community as his home.  His burial took place at the county farm grave yard. - Source:  "The LaGrange Standard," LaGrange, Indiana,  May 30, 1919

Eash, Levi -  who has had charge of the County Farm for nearly two years, died at the County House on the 12 instant, of Typhoid Fever.  The deceased was born on the 13th day of Dec. 1837 nd moved to Newbury twp., where he resided until her took charge of the county farm. He was married in 1858 to Mary Yoder, who, with 7 children, survive him.  He was Assessor and Real Estate Appraiser for 4 years, was a member of the Amish church, a good citizen, and a kind husband and father.  The funeral services were conducted at Shore by Revs. Jacob Weaver and Eli Miller, and his remains laid to rest in the Hostettler graveyard near Parham.  - Source: Clay twp. News: "The Standard," LaGrange, Indiana - Dec. 20, 1883





Individuals at the County Infirmary & Their Whereabouts or Deaths Unknown after Mention


1.  Morton Colwell at County Infirmary in March of 1933.  He is the son of Hiram & Emily (Longly) Colwell of LaGrange County, Indiana.  - Source:   "The LaGrange Standard," LaGrange, Ind., March 30, 1933






Follow these links to find out more about the people that were at the County Infirmary

1860 United States Census for Poor House in Bloomfield twp.



"An Excerpt from the Health Department Report About the Previous Year"

"The sanitary condition of the county jail is good, the water is supplied from  a large tank in the yard and is of good quality, the sewerage and ventilation are good, and the management is first-class.  The condition of the county infirmary is also very good.  Everything from cellar to garret is in first class order and the management the very best.  Being physician to the infirmary the last year I have necessarily been there a good deal and have always found everything in order and consider Mr. and Mrs. Smith very excellent people for the place.  December 31st, there were 20 inmates, the oldest, 88, and the youngest 16 years of age.  There is one idiot, one paralytic, four insane, and all with possible exception of two, feeble minded." - LaGrange Standard, LaGrange Indiana, March 1890



Harrison Smith became the superintendent of the LaGrange County Infirmary in 1867.  It was located 5 miles south of LaGrange.  He had charge of the institution for six years.  He was only 12 when his father Phillip Smith died and his mother Mary Eliza Smith was a weaver by trade and supported her family in that matter.  At the age of 12 years he began to help his mother financially support his family.  He married Margaret A. Brown whose father was a shoemaker from Ohio.  Margaret Brown Smith was the sister to Peter Brown who married Julia A. Hill of LaGrange County, Indiana, daughter of Ebenezer Hill who was one of the early settlers of that county and one of the infamous "Regulators." -
History of Northeast Indiana, 1920, pg. 408, vl. 2. & Charlotte Hill Edsall



"The LaGrange County Infirmary (or the County Home), located one-half mile west of LaGrange, was for those who were poor," Sink reminisced. The building, now apartments, was built on 150 acres in 1883. A small building to the west housed the insane. Occupants were expected to help with maintenance of the buildings, farm, maintain their rooms and help prepare meals, etc.
- Source: Wanda Yoder, "The
News-Sun," Kendallville, Indiana



An old man named Stowe, suffering from dropsy and unable to walk without assistance was shipped here from Kendallville, last Saturday, to become a charge upon this county.  Superintendent Gushwa of the infirmary, sent him back to Kendallville on Monday.  - The LaGrange News," LaGrange, Indiana, Sept. 1899


"Possibilities of a County Farm"
In years gone by the county poor farm, as it is commonly termed, has been a burden of ewxpense on teh county in which it was located, and he has been considered an excellent manager who could raise enough on the farm to defray the cost of supporting the inmates.  A change is coming about, however, and a number of such farms now show a cash balance at the end of the year.  A plan having this object in view worked out nicelyin thee following instance:  The board of supervisors of a nearby county decided 5 years ago to buy some blooded stock for the county farm and invested $1, 300 for that purpose.  Since that time, $5,000 worth of stock has been sold with a profit to the county of $1,500 while that on hand is valued at more than the original investment.  It was no more trouble to raise blooded stock than scrub, while the returns were decidely larger.  The idea is gaining ground that the county farm might be turned into a sort of county experiment stations, where not only blooded stock, but the best grains and grasses, could be produced, the results achieved being of practical benefit to every agriculturist in the county.  - Source: - LaGrange Standard, LaGrange Indiana, January 10, 1907


Overseers or Superintendents of the County Infirmary Year of Postitioin
Noah and Ursula Austin
1860
Harrison  and Margaret Smith
1867
Morris W. & Sarah Dunton 1880
Levi Eash - died of typhoid fever at County Farm on Ded. 12, 1883
abt 1881-1883
Mr. and Mrs. Smith
1890
Rasceleus and Ellen Gushwa
1900
John C. and Neva Fellers
1910
Joseph and Lucy Hershberger
1920
L. B. Catalor or Hatalor 1930








POTTER'S FIELD AT GREENWOOD CEMETERY,
LaGRANGE COUNTY, BLOOMFIELD TWP., INDIANA

This is located in the Norhtern section beside the Honored War Veterans & Baby Land in Block #1
The first four rows contain the information given in the LaGrange Cemetery Book.
Lot #
Name
 Birth Date in
Cemetery Records
Death Date in
Cemetery Records
Additional Information On Individuals
Collected by Charlotte Hill Edsall, June 2008
1
William Sayles, Jr.
1921
1921

d. July 30, 1921, Bloomfield twp. at 7 months of age
WPA Record Book H-17, page 60
2
Edith Fisher
1889
1922


d. Mar. 27, 1922 at 33 Years of Age in LaGrange
LaGrange WPA Death Records, book H17, page 69
Daughter of Adam and Rosetta C. Fisher
3
Ira Pifer
1879
1923

d. Apr. 29, 1923in Milford twp.
LaGrange WPA Death Records, H-17, pg. 81
4
Walter Bolan
1876
1923

abt. 47 Years of  age
Walter Henry Bolan - Birth Date:  Nov. 7, 1874
WWI Draft Registration, 1917-1918 in LaGrange, Indiana
5
Lincoln Routsong
1865
1923
abt. 58 years of age
d. 3 Oct 1923 in LaGrange
WPA Records book H12, page 83
6
Elias Kyster
1850
1926
abt. 76 years of age
*maybe this is him?
7
Adam Fisher
1851
1928
abt. 77 years of age
8
Chester Miller
1893
1933
abt. 40 years of age
9
Unidentified Man - 70 years
-
1933
abt. 70 years of age
Born about 1863
10
Nettie Welch
1871
1934
abt. 63  years of age
11
Jacob J. Kime
1868
1934
abt. 66 years of age
12
Charles Blanchard
-
1934
-
13
James Wagoner
1862
1936
abt.74  years of age
14
George Welch
1864
1937
abt. 73  years of age
15
Ellis Watt
1862
1937
abt. 75  years of age
16
Rosetta Fisher
1857
1939
abt. 82  years of age
17
Charles Spencer
1886
1940
abt. 54  years of age
18
Martin Caldwell "Pete"
1875
1941
abt.  66 years of age
19
Charles Crambler
1846
1942
abt. 96  years of age
20
John Rheile
1861
1943
abt.82 years of age
21
Arnold Lobshire
1856
1943
abt. 87 years of age
22
Irvin W. Hosler
1873
1946
abt.  73 years of age
23
Thompson L. Menzie
1917
1946
abt. 29  years of age
24
Milo Ritter
1867
1946
abt. 79  years of age
25
Frank Bennett
1866
1950
abt. 84  years of age
26
Harvey O. Stiver
-
1954
-
27
Baker- Robyn Ann
1965
1971
abt. 6  years of age
28
Grove, Keith L.
1948
1972
abt.24 years of age
- Sources:  Cemeteries of LaGrange County Indiana, 1832-1982, Prepared by Robert and Leonore Current, Published by LaGrange County Historical Society, 1984 & by Charlotte Hill Edsall, LaGrange, Indiana

*Rex Fisher, local Historian, Author, and Firend of the L.C.H.S. makes a note that we do not have record of  others buried at Potter's Field in Greenwood Cemetery after 1972 and before 1921.  There needs to be a further study of this to see what records are available and to discover where the poor at the cemetery were before.




Charlotte's Notes about Individuals buried at Potter's Field in Greenwood Cemetery


1910 US CENSUS in LaGrange, Indiana
Name
Age
Marital Status
Birthplace
Father Birthplace
Mother Birthplace
Township
Elias Kisler
62
Married 2nd time/Edna
Ohio
New York
New York
Town of LaGrange



1920 US Census in Lagrange, Indiana
Name
age
est. Birth Year
Brithplace
Father Birthplace
Mother Birthplace
Marital Status/to whom
Gender
Can read & Write
Township
Adam Fisher
68
1852
Ohio
Ohio
Ohio
Married/ Rosetta C.
Male
Yes
Bloomfield
Rosetta C. Fisher
62
1858
Illinois
Illinois
Illinois
Married to Adam
Female
Yes
Bloomfield
Edith Fisher
30
1890
Illinois
Ohio
Illinois
daug. of Adam and Rosetta
Female
Yes
Bloomfield
Abraham Routsong
58
1862
Indiana
USA
USA
Single/ Boarder with Benjamin Walters Family
Male
No
Johnson



1930 US Census in LaGrange, Indiana
Name
twp.
age
est. bith year
Birthplace
Marital status
Family
Chester Miller
Slearspring
36
1894
Indiana
Married to Sadie E. Miller
Children: George P.- 15, Leroy - 13, Fern - 9, Ralph E. - 5, Mary - 2 & Robert, 10 months




































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