Union County Poorhouse

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Union County Poorhouse
Opened 1889
Closed 1975
Current Status Preserved
Building Style Single Building
Architect(s) G.W. Bunting and Son
Location Liberty, IN
Architecture Style Italian Renaissance
Alternate Names
  • Tri-County Poor Farm
  • Union County Home


In 1834, the Indiana Legislature authorized an asylum for the poor in Fayette, Franklin, and Union counties. Representatives from the three counties purchased the Thomas Clark farm, 208 acres in Jackson Township. There a small brick building was constructed and opened to residents in the spring of 1835. This facility was in use until June 1856, when Union County bought out the other two counties for the property. The stipulation was that residents from Fayette and Franklin counties had to be removed from the farm by fall of that same year. Fayette moved their poor farm northwest of Connersville and Franklin built their farm south of Brookville. Unfortunately, both have been demolished. It is unknown how long Union County remained at the Tri-County Poor Farm, but c.1875 constructed a new poor farm northeast of Liberty, near Kitchel. This building still stands.

The property in Fayette County is the second oldest existing county home property in Indiana and the only known instance of multiple counties combining resources to serve those in need. The facility served as a county home until 1975. Today two of the main buildings associated with the history of the poor farm remain on the Tri-County Poor Farm site. The main house, which was likely used by the superintendent and his family, still exists and the large L-shaped barn is there. Some of the outbuildings on the property may date from the county home time period but it is not known for sure. It was located south of the main house. The property is now privately owned and functions as a single family dwelling.

Images of Union County Poorhouse[edit]

Main Image Gallery: Union County Poorhouse