Licking County Infirmary

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Licking County Infirmary
Opened 1850
Closed 1969
Current Status Demolished
Building Style Single Building
Location Newark, OH
Alternate Names
  • Licking County Poorhouse
  • Licking County Home


The Infirmary housed persons who were impoverished, homeless or otherwise in great need. It was established under the authority of the County Commissioners in 1838. Until 1850 it was officially called the Poor House, and from 1919 onwards it was called the County Home. The original institution was located near the present-day community of Union Station.

The population of the home usually stayed around 100, with people of a large range of ages coming and going. Babies were born there, some children were moved to orphanages or sent out for farm work, and adults might spend most of their adult lives there, helping with maintaining the grounds and operation of the home. Several people ran away only to return later, others were discharged back to their families, and some even died at the home. Families sometimes moved the dead to private cemeteries, but about 260 people were buried in the infirmary cemetery.

James Lucus and his wife were superintendent and matron from April 1914 until February 1939, when Edgar Burrell and his wife were appointed. My late wife, Mary Lou, was a friend of Burrell’s daughter, Burdell, and she spent several nights there. They, of course, had to be kept separate from the residents. The Burrells lasted until July 1960, when Homer Comisford and his wife took over. The home was moved to the old Tuberculosis Sanitarium on Price Road, where Mrs. Comisford was the last superintendent.


The Infirmary Cemetery has been known by many names including "farm plot burials," "County Home Cemetery" and "Infirmary burial ground." Most of its known graves from ca. 1904 to 1955 were marked with stones that only showed identification numbers. There do not seem to be headstones remaining for inmate burials before 1904. Most of the bodies of inmates who died before 1904 might have been taken to private cemeteries or another "potters field." The last known burial in the Infirmary Cemetery was in 1955.