Adams County Asylum

From Asylum Projects
Jump to: navigation, search
Adams County Infirmary
Established 1847
Opened 1848/1875
Building Style Single Building
Location Lima, IL
Alternate Names
  • Adams County Poorhouse


In 1847 Adams County purchased the 80-acre farm of H. T. Ellis in Honey Creek Township for a poor farm. By May 1855 a larger farm was purchased in Gilmer Township. County records were mandated in 1874 to show admission, discharge, place of birth, cause of the dependence and other vital data. A report from county poorhouse records to the General Assembly of Illinois in 1881 indicated there were 101 inmates of whom 36 were considered insane paupers. The report stated that a female patient who "occupies a large wooden box filled with straw will not wear clothing, is covered with a canvass cloth, is in constant motion, has bruised herself from head to foot, and put out her own eyes."

A new Adams County almshouse was built southwest of Coatsburg in Gilmer Township in 1875, and another building for insane patients was added in 1895.The Adams County Poor Farm was not equipped to care for the mentally ill. Reports of poor conditions surfaced in the newspapers from time to time. A Quincy Daily Journal story on Feb. 12, 1892, pointed to abuses including underfed and neglected inmates. The same report further indicates a "simple-minded woman had charge of the insane woman's department, food distribution etc."