Warren County Infirmary
|Warren County Infirmary|
|Building Style||Single Building|
In 1829 land was purchased by the county for a poor farm. A two-story brick building called the Warren County Infirmary was built on East Street near Lebanon. Eleven residents moved in on April 13, 1831. Twenty two people were occupants at the end of the year. The property was a working farm. In The Centennial Atlas of Warren County, Ohio, 1903 it states the farm once had more land but at that time had one hundred and eight tillable acres on which corn, potatoes, cabbages, turnips, melons, tomatoes, and other vegetables were grown for the inhabitants. An orchard provided fruit. Animals were also raised: pigs for pork and Durham cattle for beef.
Soon more room was needed in the main building so an addition was added in 1836. The mentally ill had been housed with the poor but this was found to not be ideal. In 1845 a small brick building was built near the infirmary to serve them. A fire in Dec. 31, 1866, destroyed the infirmary, but there was no loss of life. A new building was built in 1867. It was designed by Capt. William H. Hamilton, a county commissioner. The structure was three stories tall with a full basement. It contained 70 apartments with a center court featuring a fountain.
In 1900 the mental health patients were moved to the Dayton State Hospital. The boilers for a steam pipe heat system were installed in the building they had occupied. Heat was piped underground to the main building. In spite of these precautions, a fire destroyed the infirmary on Nov. 2, 1915. Sixty patients were in residence but all were able to escape without injury. The residents were temporarily placed in various locations.
On July 19, 1917, a new infirmary was completed. It was constructed on the same site as the former structure. Lady’s quarters were located on the north side of the building and men’s on the south. The basement area contained the kitchen and dining rooms. The second floor provided residence for the superintendent and his family and the employees. A chapel was in the northwest corner and had a reed organ. On the third floor was a hospital with an operating room, five wards for general use and one for contagious diseases. It was for the residents but the public could obtain services there for a small charge. The building is currently the Warren County Health and Human Services Center.