Mercer County Poorhouse

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Mercer County Poorhouse
Opened 1863/1871
Building Style Single Building
Location Dublin Township, OH
Alternate Names
  • Mercer County Infirmary


This institution dates from July 19, 1863, when County Commissioners George Speaker, Christopher Schunck and Adam Baker purchased of William Hale and Elizabeth, his wife, for $3,500 the following described premises, for the purpose of establishing the County Infirmary: Northeast fractional quarter of section 3, township 6 south, range 2 east, containing 165.13 acres, less one-half acre of the northeast corner for school purposes. On October 24, 1877, the farm was increased in size by the purchase of a 160-acre tract, adjoining the first mentioned tract on the south, being described as follows: East half of the southeast quarter, the northwest quarter of the southeast quarter and the northeast quarter of the southwest quarter of section 3, township 6 south, range 2 east. The property was bought of David E. Gray for $1,000. The Infirmary farm is located about two miles west of Celina, in Jefferson township. The buildings and grounds are well cared for and present a very pleasing appearance. The farm is almost entirely self-supporting, the only support derived from the county being through the liquor tax. The institution has about 50 inmates yearly. The present superintendent, Sylvester H. Weaver, succeeded Michael Reusch in 1903; the latter was in charge for 15 years, succeeding Alexander Partner.

On September 11, 1863, B. F. Suwalde, George W. Mosier and Thomas Upton were appointed directors of the County Infirmary to take charge of the property until their successors were duly elected. The original house on the Hale property was used until 1868, when an additional house was built at a cost of $1,550, the work being finished by Fred. Beckman. The building was a frame structure, 32 by 42 feet in dimensions, attached to the main building with a hall through the center 12 feet wide and with four sleeping rooms. On July 22, 1871, a brick building was contracted for to cost $8,278, which was completed in 1873. In the latter year a barn, 46 by 72 feet in dimensions, was erected by William Long at a cost of $1,000. The wants and comforts of the inmates requiring new and more convenient rooms, the contract for another building was awarded on March 30, 1876, to J. S. Smith, of Fort Wayne, Indiana, for $7,270, which was finished and completed to the satisfaction of the directors October 13, 1876. Another brick building, erected especially for the male inmates, was added in 1893.