Mahoning County Infirmary

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Mahoning County Infirmary
Opened 1855/1897
Closed 1962
Demolished 1968
Current Status Demolished
Building Style Single Building
Architect(s) Owsley & Boucherie
Location Canfield, OH
Alternate Names
  • Mahoning County Poorhouse
  • Mahoning County Home


The Mahoning County Infirmary was located on Herbert Road in Canfield Township. It was known by various names; the County Home, the Poor House and locally as the old “Pogey.” The homeless, handicapped, elderly and poor were housed there. Some stayed only a short time and some stayed until their death. There are records of women who gave birth there and it is also recorded that at times children lived in the home. Prior to Mahoning County’s creation of the Infirmary (Poor House) needy and challenged individuals were cared for by the township where they resided. In some cases reports state that people were run out of town before they had a chance to become a public charge. Also at times the county may have taken a role in the care of these unfortunates. There was a home established in Trumbull County in 1835 and prior to 1846 when Mahoning County was formed, some public charges may have been sent there.

A search was initiated in deed records to establish when the Infirmary was established. Through these records it was discovered that the county home opened in November of 1855. The original proprietors of the land where the Infirmary was located were stockholders in the Connecticut Land Company. They acquired ownership in 1798. Judson Canfield sold this particular lot (lot 1, 4th division) to Otis Guild with a deed dated January 4, 1800. The subject of establishing the Infirmary appears in the Mahoning County Commissioner’s minutes of March 1854; however no action was taken. On April 12, 1854, the selection process of finding a suitable farm for the poor house was begun by viewing several farms in the county. At an adjourned meeting the next day, the choice was announced. Three Infirmary Directors were elected at the Mahoning County general election on October 9, 1955. For three year staggered terms, James Brown, James Jones and Manuel Hamilton were chosen.

The Mahoning County Infirmary was completed in 1898, replacing the original building destroyed by fire in February 1897. Of the 240 inmates, only one died in that fire. In January 1909, the men’s wing of the building was gutted by fire, which started on the third floor. At that time, thirteen men of the total population of 225 in the institution suffered burns; four died.



History of the Infirmary