Rock Island County Poor Farm
|Rock Island County Poor Farm|
|Building Style||Single Building|
|Location||Coal Valley, IL|
Beginning December 3, 1839 the county appointed John R. Taylor to watch over the county's poor. In June of 1853, 37 acres were purchased for $900 and farmed until 1860, when the land was sold and a 180-acre farm was purchased in Rural Township. Fred Weyerhauser of Coal Valley was given the contract to build a poor house on this site for $3,000. The 40-by-60 foot building was 3-stories high. The first 18 inmates were moved into the new structure in 1861. In 1869 the building came into use as an insane asylum until the state opened the nearby East Moline State Hospital in 1895. In 1946 this original building was remodeled and turned over to the County Farm Association for use as a boys' school.
A building was constructed for $19,873 by Collins Brothers of Rock Island and dedicated December 2, 1904 after the infirmary had burned December 29, 1902 in -6 degree weather. Fortunately no lives were lost but it brought attention to the need of a newer & safer building. By November 1950 voters approved a $750,000 bond issue (75% of that was paid by the state) to construct a new building. Construction started the following February and the name changed to Oak Glen, honoring Joe Oakleaf & Glen Bull, both county supervisors who served many years on the county home committee.