Greene County Poorhouse

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Greene County Poorhouse
Established 1843
Opened 1850
Current Status Demolished
Building Style Single Building
Location Bloomfield, IN
Alternate Names
  • Greene County Infirmary


The first order which appears upon the Commissioned record for the support of the county poor was issued to Catharine Slinkard in January, 1829, for caring for Fanny Law. The method of "farming out" the poor was to sell at auction or otherwise their care to the lowest responsible bidder. Sometimes the indigent fell into cruel hands and were half starved and otherwise misused. In the years 1836-37, the County Board paid $158.99 for the care of the poor.

In March, 1846, a different contract was made with Mr. Barker. He agreed to provide all necessaries for the county paupers, old and young, and keep them at his "Asylum" at Scotland, for $1 each per week. He gave bond of $500 for the faithful performance of the trust. For the fiscal year ending June, 1845, the poor cost $257.80, and for the year ending June, 1848, poor and poor farm $933.54. By March, 1850, the board bought twenty-five acres of John Bradford for $250, to be used as an addition to the poor farm. At this time, Nancy Hatfield became Superintendent of the Poor, and continued as such for several years, or until 1857, when she was succeeded by Samuel Williams. Mrs. Hatfield was paid $1.25 per week for each pauper.

In 1858, G. W. Osborn contracted to build on the new farm a frame poor house, 18X40 feet, ten feet high, to be finished by December, 1858, for $900 in county orders. This contract was faithfully executed. In March, 1859, George Steele became Superintendent, for $575 per year. There were nine inmates of the asylum at this time. The poor cost the county $913.08 in 1857-58. The new brick poor house was erected by M. K. Tatout, in 1877-78, for $5,840, contract price, and a few hundred dollars extras. The total cost was about $6,500.