Morgan County Poorhouse

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Morgan County Poorhouse
Established 1849
Opened 1852
Building Style Single Building
Architect(s) H. McGrath
Location McConnelsville, OH
Alternate Names
  • Morgan County Infirmary
  • Morgan County Home for the Insane


In 1849 the county commissioners purchased a county farm, or poor farm, as it was then styled. The tract contains 314 acres, and is situated upon the river two and a half miles below McConnelsville. The price paid for it was $6,600. Work was at once begun, new buildings erected and old ones repaired, and the paupers removed to their new home. From March 6, 1849, to January 1, 1852, the county paid for farm buildings, improvements and superintendence the sum of $20,600. The paupers are properly cared for by the proceeds of the farm, aided when necessary by a county tax. The infirmary building is of brick and stone, two stories high, eighty feet from and thirty feet wide, with a wind of the same size. It is well arranged, properly ventilated, and the building and its surroundings kept in good order. Among the earliest superintendents of the farm were George Campbell, 1849, William Thompson, 1850-53, Enoch Parker and Eden Updike. James McAdoo became superintendent in the year 1885.

With the insane charges of the county a course similar to that formally adopted with respect to paupers was pursued. In the commissioners' records, under the date June 7, 1830 we read: "This day the commissioners put up John Smith, an insane person, to sale to the lowest bidder; whereupon it appears that John Shriver was the lowest bidder, for which said Shriver agrees to keep said Smith for the time of one year in clothes and good, wholesome food, etc., for the sum of $49.25"

In 1885 it was decided to erect an additional building at the farm in which to keep the incurable insane, and in May, plans, specifications, etc., were presented by H. McGrath, architect, which were adopted at the July session of the board of commissioners. The contract for the building was let for the sum of $5,724.