Union County Infirmary

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Union County Infirmary
Established 1848
Opened 1851/1961
Closed 2001
Current Status Demolished (Original building)
Building Style Single Building
Architect(s) Jones & Gartner
Location Marysville, OH
Alternate Names
  • Union County Home
  • Union Manor


In June 1848, Liberty Township in Union County petitioned the County Commissioners for the construction of a poorhouse in that township. No action was taken on the petition, but the issue of the need for a county poorhouse was duly noted. A year later on June 7, 1849, the Union County Commissioners, after due consideration, agreed unanimously to levy a tax for the purpose of purchasing land on which to erect a county poor-house, and a tax of one-half mill on the dollar of valuation, for a total of about $850, was ordered. In December 1850, seventy-five acres of land was purchased from Josiah Kelsey, to be used as a poor-farm. James McIlroy was awarded the contract for erecting a building on the premise on January 5, 1850, for the sum of $1,400. McIlroy was subsequently charged with forgery, and the Board of Commissioners re-awarded the contract on March 4, 1850, to James W. Evans, for $1,409. The building, as constructed, was 40x31 feet in dimension, two stories high, with a hall across the middle; also a wing, one story high, with a cellar under, and a porch in front of the wing eight feet wide; the whole building was constructed of brick.

In the winter of 1866, an amount of land equal to the original purchase was bought from G.W. Kent, making the farm 150 acres. On May 19, 1870, the Commissioners advertised for proposals for 500,000 brick, and on June 6 authorized the levy of a tax of two mills on the dollar for the purpose of building a new Infirmary. In July they awarded the brick contract to John Weaver Sr. for $6.50 per 1,000 bricks. Commissioners Joseph K. Richey and James Fullington along with Infirmary Directors John F. Sabine, Daniel G. Cross and John Guthrie, met and considered plans for the new building on January 30, 1871. They selected the one presented by Jones & Gartner, architects, of Columbus, Ohio. On March 31, 1871, the Board of County Commissioners met to consider bid proposals and awarded the contract to R.N. Jones & Company of Delaware, Ohio, for $27,600, not including heating appliances, with C.A. Garrow to superintend the work. Several changes were made in the plans, and the entire cost, exclusive of heating apparatus, was increased to $29,200. The building was completed on November 8, 1872. The new infirmary was a four story structure with a basement and had one hundred rooms, while the old infirmary was utilized as a barn.

In 1883, the infirmary was described as being “one of the finest for the purpose in the State” of Ohio. In the fall of 1883, the Commissioners decided to build an addition to the infirmary for the purpose of keeping insane individuals. The contract was let in January 1884 to Brooks & Kemper of Dayton at a cost of $1,570. The addition was completed later that year. In June 1895, Samuel Amrine added two verandas to the Infirmary for the cost of $250. On January 1, 1884, the General Assembly prohibited admitting children who were eligible for children’s homes to the infirmary, unless the children were separated from the adult inmates. This legislation resulted in the creation of the Union County Children’s Home that same year. Records pertaining to the Union County Children’s Home can be found under the Children’s Home records. Fourteen years later, it became unlawful to confine the insane and epileptic individuals in the infirmary.

During the Great Depression the Work Progress Administration (WPA) constructed a new porch, resided and painted the woodwork where applicable on the County Home and also demolished in 1937 one unused building on the Infirmary grounds, probably the original infirmary building. In the spring of 1949, this porch was removed and replaced with a cement and steel porch.

Beginning in the late 1950s discussion began circulating about replacing the nearly ninety year old county home. The Board of County Commissioner accordingly placed a bond issue for $680,000, $615,000 for the building and $65,000 for equipment, on the November 1958, ballot, which the voters rejected by 317 votes. A reduced bond levy, this time for only $470,000, was tried again on the November 3, 1959, ballot. It passed 3,216 to 2,283, with a fifty-nine percent majority. On December 14, 1959, the Commissioners approved the plans presented by Howard Manor, architect, of Bellefontaine, Ohio. Knowlton Construction Company of Bellefontaine was awarded the construction contract on June 20, 1960, for the cost of $290,800. The construction lasted throughout 1960 and 1961, with the Commissioners accepting the new county home, on July 31, 1961. In January 1962, plans for demolishing the old county home were placed in motion with the contract finally being awarded on September 25, 1962, to Lima Building Wreckers, of Belle Center, Ohio, for $3,600. The demolition was completed on February 11, 1963. In July 1966, the commissioners decided to make an addition to the county home, which was completed in the spring of 1968. This final addition made the facility into a 32,000 square foot structure with ninety beds. On April 19, 1976, the name was formally changed from the Union County Home to Union Manor.

On January 1, 1995, the County Commissioners relinquished control of Union Manor to Memorial Hospital of Union County. The old county home proved to be inadequate and discussions began whether to conduct a major remodel of Union Manor or to construct a new facility. It was decided to build a new building at Green Pastures in Marysville. Bids went out in May 1999 and construction began in August of that same year. The final cost for the 54,000 square foot facility came in at $8.2 million. On April 1, 2001, Union Manor was officially closed and all the patients were transferred to the new facility, The Gables at Green Pastures.