Bullitt County Poor Farm

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Bullitt County Poor Farm
Opened 1903
Closed 1954
Demolished 1982
Current Status Demolished
Location Shepherdsville, KY
Alternate Names


On April 10, 1903, Bullitt County Fiscal Court bought two tracts of land totaling 189 acres from C.L. Croan to be used as a poor farm. The county agreed to pay $5,825.00 at 6% interest paid in four payments the first payment being $2,025.00 cash in hand and one payment of $1,268.00 and two payments of $1,266.00 over a 3-year period. On July 2, 1903, the fiscal court decided that they wanted 2 box houses to be built on the Poor Farm, one for whites and one for coloreds. They opened bids to carpenters for the work. The bid of C.L Croan and J.T. Tucker was accepted. On October 5, 1903, it was ordered that a corn-crib, meat house and a coal house be built on the Poor Farm. It was also ordered that a married man be hired to manage the Poor Farm and that the County Judge, Leroy Daniel, be appointed commissioner of the county poor farm.

The county poor farm would be in operation for the next 50 plus years. Those people who lived on the farm were referred to as inmates and required to work on the farm to earn their keep. If you were an invalid you would not be required to work. Sometimes the unfortunate folks who found themselves there died and, with no family, were buried in the cemetery on the property. The cemetery predates the Poor Farm since it was originally an old family graveyard. Over the years there have been a few poor souls killed on the railroad tracks that were unidentified and listed as John Doe and buried in the Poor Farm Cemetery.

It is unclear when the Poor Farm ended its operations. According to Fiscal Court records, on September 21, 1953, the Poor House was leased out as a boarding house. A little over a year later on December 20, 1954, the tenant was asked to move out. On June 11, 1954, Fiscal Court asked for $8,375.00 for the land on the Poor Farm that the state wants to use for right of way for a toll road. On November 16, 1959, the state of Kentucky pays Bullitt County $4,500.00 for Poor Farm land to be used as right of way for the Kentucky Turnpike on and off ramps. On August 20, 1962, Paul Grubbs, representative of The Bullitt County Chamber of Commerce and owner of Grubbs Development Corporation, approached the Bullitt County Fiscal Court about buying the Poor Farm. Two and half years later Grubbs Development Corporation and the Bullitt County Fiscal Court enter into an agreement to buy the Poor Farm.

Joe Raley apparently lived in the house on the Poor Farm from April 1955 when he started renting and managing until May 15, 1973 when he was asked to vacate the houses. Mr. Raley continued to rent the land only until September 1, 1977. On July 8, 1972 one of the houses was rented out to Mr. and Mrs. Elvin R. Hodge. In March 1973 The State of Kentucky bought additional Poor Farm land from the county for road work. On November 19, 1973 The Fiscal Court ordered the county attorney to regain possession of the house on the poor farm.

Over time the land that was the Bullitt County Poor Farm was leased out by Fiscal Court for various uses. On January 19, 1981 the Bullitt Fiscal Court leased 29.77 acres to the Bullitt County Fair Board for 35 years. On July 16, 1982 Fiscal Court gave Joe Raley permission to dismantle 2 barns on the Bullitt County Poor Farm property and keep the lumber. On July 18, 1983 Bullitt County Fiscal Court leases some of the Bullitt County Poor Farm land to Southeast Fire Department. Another additional 1 acre was leased to the Southeast Bullitt County Fire Department. The Poor House was located at the current location of the Southeast Bullitt Volunteer Fire & Rescue No.2 on Old Highway 245 in Shepherdsville, Kentucky.