Lucas County Infirmary and Hospital

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Lucas County Infirmary and Hospital
Opened 1838
Current Status Demolished
Building Style Single Building
Location Toledo, OH
Alternate Names
  • Lucas County Poor Farm
  • Lucas County Infirmary
  • Northwestern Hospital for the Insane



History

In Toledo, early care for the mentally ill fell to the Lucas County Poor Farm, later renamed the Lucas County Infirmary. The Lucas County Poor Farm was established in 1838 and located at the southeast corner of Detroit and Arlington Ave. The farm sustained many of society’s outcasts, including the mentally ill, the infirm, the disabled, elderly, epileptics, and others that were unable to support themselves. In 1861 the Lucas County Commissioners voted to construct an asylum on the poor farm to handle the mentally ill that were being housed in jails. It was also at this time that the name of the institution was changed from the “Poor Farm” to the “County Infirmary.”

In 1869 the Ohio Board of State Charities (OBSC) deemed the county infirmary to be inadequate and need of improvement. Along with improvements to existing structures being made, a new building to replace the previous asylum and house the growing numbers of mentally ill was constructed and completed in 1871. This building was named the Northwestern Hospital for the Insane. This three-story structure accommodated up to 100 patients and was in operation until 1888 when many of the patients were transferred to the newly constructed Toledo Asylum for the Insane located on the southwest corner of Detroit and Arlington. The Toledo Asylum for the Insane was initially capable of accommodating the growing number of mentally ill that were otherwise being placed in jails.