Lake County Ohio GenWeb

County Infirmary Inmate Records
History and Introduction to the Records

The State's Role in County Homes

Some of our county residents were unable provide for themselves financially (paupers). The state, in 1805, passed legislation patterned after England's Poor Laws, to be administered by the "Overseers of the Poor" appointed by the township trustees. In 1816 the state permitted the counties to establish Poor Houses for care of the indigent of the county. This was later expanded to include the permanently disabled. These establishments were designated "County Poor House" until 1850, when the state changed their designation to "County Infirmary"; it was not until 1919 that they became "County Home".

Originally, the county commissioners appointed a seven man board of directors, reduced to three in 1831. The board was elected by popular vote for three year terms in 1865, and in 1913 the commissioners took over the responsibilities of the board.

The board of directors appointed the superintendent, who in turn appointed a matron and other employees, It was also the superintendent's responsibility to keep record of all of the inmates; it is these records which are provided here.

The Lake County Infirmary/County Home

In 1852, the county commissioners purchased a farm of some 116 acres from the Pettingel family for $4000. The farm buildings were used to house the inmates. The earliest admissions recorded are on 22 July 1852. A contract for the present building was let in 1878 (although most sources say 1867) for $30,000. A fire escape was added in 1898.

In 1897, a "cottage hospital" was added at a cost of $1421.95; in 1924, the commissioners permitted the Home to send inmates to Lake County Memorial if they could not be adequately treated at the Home's hospital.

About these Records

Volume 1, 1852 - August 1896

It appears that the superintendents were trying to organize these records in some manner. There are records from 1852-1856 on pages 1 & 2, 11 '11b' & 12, 22 & 23, 31, 41-43, 51, 61, 71, 81, 91, 101, 111, and 121. Then the records start again on page 3, and continue more or less in date order through the book. There are some exceptions:

pp 1-30

pp 31-77

pp 78-138

pp 139-212

pp 213-238

pp 239-263

pp 264-292

Volume 2, September, 1896 - June, 1911

This volume is essentially in date order.

pp 1-19

pp 20-38

pp 39-58

pp 59-81

pp 82-106

Volume 3, July 1911 - June, 2004

Note: This volume contains records of persons still living, and therefore has not been put online.

This volume starts with four pages of persons who died during this period, but were admitted earlier. Yet another attempt at ordering these records. The remainder of the volume is in date order.

The first two volumes had Date and Information columns. There are many more columns in this volume. Name, Sex, Age, Color, Admitted, Native of, Received From, Discharged, Readmitted, Died, Where Buried, Grave Number, and History/Remarks. The use of multiple date fields reduced the need for separate entries for admission, discharge, etc.

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Last updated 27 Oct 2005

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