Pickaway County Infirmary
|Pickaway County Infirmary|
|Building Style||Single Building|
The Pickaway County Infirmary was located on the Columbus Pike north of Circleville, Ohio - now North Court Street- the Commissioners having bought 36 acres of land from Joshua Folsom and his wife for $1,800, on the 11th of April, 1831, and erected a building thereon- the house located where the residence of William E. Crist now stands. The institution was closed out in a few years, the property sold and for more than 30 years the county was without an Infirmary. At the October election in 1865, the commissioners submitted to vote a proposition to buy a farm and build an Infirmary, which received 3,206 votes to 1,087 in the negative. On September 8, 1868 the farm in Washington township, four miles from Circleville, on which the Infirmary buildings are located, was purchased from Christopher F. Branstadt paying $18,000 for 256 acres. The farm of Lewis Lutz, south of Circleville, containing 180 acres, had been purchased the previous year for the purpose, but there were objections and it was sold and another farm selected. The building of the Infirmary was commenced in 1872 and finished August 1873.
The commissioners having accepted the building from contractors, placed the directors in charge and on the 9th of September the institution was formally opened. The structure cost $125,000 and was substantially built under the superintendence of William Doane, who was the master mechanic and expert builder. The first superintendent and matron were John Morris and his wife , Elizabeth Morris, who continued in the positions until April 1, 1896 - 23 years and 8 months - their administration being completely successful.They were succeeded by S. M. Yates as superintendent and his wife, Martha Yates , as matron, who managed the institution judiciously and economically for six years, their successors, Mr. and Mrs. Louis Schneider, the present efficient superintendent and matron, taking charge April 1, 1902. The number of inmates on the 31st of August, 1906, was 64 males and 25 females - less than half the number of inmates until recent years.
Pickaway County had a total of 118 people remaining in the infirmary on September 1, 1879. Of that total, 76 had been received during the year. Four babies were born there, making a total of 198 cared for during the past year. Only 10 inmates had died while 88 were discharged to return to their homes or to find a place to live. None ran away from the institution. Insane people, epileptic, idiotic and children were all taken care of at the infirmary. During the year 1856, a report of deaf and dumb, blind, insane and idiotic people in our county revealed some interesting facts. Of the blind, two lost their sight from exposure, two from fever, one from inflammation, one from cold and one was blind from birth. One person was blind as the result of amaurosis. Causes for idiocy were unknown, but insanity resulted from a fall, fevers, rickets and fits. Most of the people listed were farmers, most uneducated. Relationships of the parents before marriage were also listed, apparently to show some congenital cause for the child's defect. Pickaway reported a total of 32 people who were deaf, blind, insane or idiotic compared to 15 from Hocking County.