Jasper County, Illinois Poor Farm
Directions to The County Poor Farm Site, courtesy of Juanita Dickey, granddaughter of T.J. Earnest:

Turn off State Route 130 at the road going east, about 1.4 mile south of the Falmouth Road. Continue on that road until you must turn right of left, then turn left. The corner where the road continues east to Hunt City is the site of the overseer's house, razed in 1990. Behind it was a dormitory, behind that the outdoor privies, chicken yards and a small orchard. Turn right and that is the site of the gardens and barn.
To the far left on the hilltop is where the cemetery is.


June 1880 - Census Schedule D. for Pauper & Indigent Inhabitants in Institutions, poor-Houses or Asylums, or Boarded at Public Expense in Private Houses:


Jasper County Almshouse - All folks were supported at the cost of the county; none of the folks had been convicted of a crime

©Transcribed by Kim Torp

 

Is this person able- bodied

Is he/she habitually intemperate

Is he/she epileptic

If disabled, state form of disability

Was this person born in this institution

Date of admission

What other members of the family of this person are in the establishment

Kato, William

no

yes

     

Jan. 74

0

Basford, Grant

yes

       

July 75

0

Christian, Savanna

yes

       

Sep 79

mother, brother, 2 sisters

Thresher, Eliza A.

yes

       

Jan 68

1 son, 2 daughter

-----, Rosetta

yes

       

76

mother, brother, sister

-----, Henry H.

yes

     

/

Sep 25, 1873

mother, 1 brother, 2 sisters

Floyde, Rodah

yes

   

old age

 

66

0

Richards, John

no

   

crippled hand

 

apr 80

2 daughters

------, Loise E.

yes

       

Apr 80

father, sister

------, Francis

yes

       

Apr 80

father, sister

Webster, Anna

no

 

yes

   

Apr 79

0

Scott, James

yes

       

Sep 79

mother, brother, sister

------, Melvin

no

   

dropsy

 

Sep 79

mother, sister, brother

------, Caroline

no

   

scrofula

 

Sep 79

mother, 2 brothers, sister

Chambers, Logan

no

   

scrofula

 

May 80

0


The Condition of the Paupers
January 23, 1874, The Newton Press

At the December meeting of the Board of Supervisors of this county, S.J. Monrony, of Granville Township, was appointed by the Board to make weekly visits to the Poor House and take a general supervision over the paupers and report to the Board as to their condition and treatment. On Monday before New Years, Monrony made a visit to McFadden's the overseer of the poor, to make an examination of affairs as directed. When he got there he learned that McFadden was not at home. His wife was standing in a room in which was confined a fittified pauper by the name of GEORGE MITCHELL, who was deranged a greater portion of the time. Monrony requested to go in and see Mitchell, which request Mrs. McFadden reluctantly granted. He entered the room and found the half-starve man eating something off of a board. He was amaciated -- looked very bad, and when he arose to his feet he staggered and could not hardly stand up, and was shivering with cold, being poorly dressed. This was more than the humanity of Monrony could resist and he ordered that he should be taken to the fire, Mitchell being too weak to walk and had to be helped. He had the appearance of a man that was starved. From the condition of the room and the appearance of Mitchell, Monrony was convinced at once that there were most atrocious cruelties practiced upon him. After Monrony left Mrs. McFadden put Mitchell back in his room again. On going back New Year's morning, Monrony learned that Mitchell had died the day before, and the corpse was still lying in a box where he died, and from what Monrony witnessed in his two visits, he felt confident that McFadden's treatment toward Mitchell was the cause of death. After consulting some of the leading of men of Granville township, they concluded to investigate the affair, and if McFadden was guilty of the atrocious crime of starving and freezing a human being to death, that he should be brought to justice, and, consequently, they had him arrested on the charge of murder and brought before Squires Lemon and Ryne, and the evidence that developed in the case is substantially as follows:

That McFadden kept the paupers in an old log house in his yard, formerly occupied by him as a residence; that there was a partition in this house cutting off the west end, which formed the room in which Mitchell was kept; that the room had no fire in it; that the daubing and chinking were out, making several large cracks between the logs, through which the wind and cold came into the room. HIS BED. In this room was no furniture save a box about six feet long and eighteen inches deep and just wide enough for a man to lie down. In this box on some straw with but little, if any, clothes to cover him, this poor, unfortunate man was compelled to lie during the coldest nights of this winter and often tied hands and feet for days and nights. The evidence of Monrony was that he found Mitchell's body in this box the day after his death, but that the box had been removed into the east part of the log house.

On the defense it was not denied that McFadden kept Mitchell tied in the box, but that he did it on account of him having raving spells and he was compelled to do so. From the evidence on the prosecution, Mitchell was a poor, docile, inoffensive fellow that occasionally had fits and was not dangerous as claimed by defendant. The evidence in regard to his food was that McFadden never gave him anything better than cold corn bread and pumpkin butter; that he would bring him in from a hard days work and compel him to go to his cold room and there wait for his corn bread and pumpkin butter, and would never allow him to come into his house to the fire or to the table to eat; that he had been known to tie him up and give him ten or twenty lashes because he refused to work and that he had an ugly scar on his head where McFadden had once struck him with a club. Evidence on the part of defense showed that Mitchell was tied in his box when he died; that some time in the night before he died McFadden and his boy went to this room and found him out on the floor; that they put him back in the box and tied him.

McFadden was bound over for his appearance at the next term of the Circuit Court, in a bond of $1500 on the charge of manslaughter.

It will be remembered by some of the citizens of this county that a little over one month ago at the Court House in Newton, that McFadden bid against good reliable men and run the price for keeping the paupers down to $350 for which amount he was to keep, clothe and board them at his own expense - an amount certainly inadequate. When a man is so greedy for pelt that he will assume a responsibility that justice to himself does warrant, as McFadden done by undertaking to feed, clothe and keep the paupers of this county for $350, and then oppress, starve, freeze and brutally treat the unfortunate beings who have been placed under him for care and protection, commits a crime so diabolical in its nature that it scarcely finds a parallel along side of the Bender atrocity on the annals of crime and is such a one, if McFadden is proved guilty, will render his name so odious that the very name of McFadden will cast a stigma upon our county.

Newton Press Jan 30, 1874: A POST-MORTEM examination and Coroner's inquest was held, on Wednesday, the 21st instant, over the body of Geo. Mitchell, deceased, who, it is alleged, was starved to death by Elias McFadden and wife, Dr. J.H. Maxwell, assisted by A.B. Faller, performing the surgical operation. The Coroner's Jury, after hearing the evidence of the surgeons and various other witnesses, returned a verdict to the effect that Elias McFadden and Jane McFadden, his wife, were the slayers of Geo. Mitchell. Coroner Yelton immediately issued a warrant and they were arrested, and McFadden was committed on the 22d, and his wife, owing to "ill health," not until last Sunday. The evidence has since been submitted to Judge Allen, and he admits them to bail by the former giving a bond of $2,000, and the latter a bond of $1,000, which have been promptly given.

Oak Point, ILLs., Jan. 2d, '74 (1874):
There is quite a sensation now agitating the people of Jasper County. Mr.
Elias McFadden, the keeper of the paupers for Jasper County, living on Painter Creek, near Granville, has been arrested on the charge of murdering, or causing the death of one of the paupers. The facts, so far as have come to light, are as follows: The pauper, George Mitchell was subject to fits, and was the owner of forty acres of land, and Mr. McFadden had agreed to keep the man as long as long as he lived, for the land, and it seems as if the man was living too long, and hence his death. A post mortem examination revealed that the man's stomach contained only some raw corn and a small piece of gristle, and that he was compelled to sleep in an out house in a box of straw, without anything to cover with and it is the unanimous opinion that the man came to his death from exposure and starvation.
From the scrapbook of George W. Orndorff (1854-1934) of Oak Point, Casey, Clark County.
Not known what paper the article is from.
Transcribed by Sharon Barhydt, great-granddaughter



Newton Press, Dec. 7, 1876: "Old Curly" the prostitute, and her fourteen year old daughter, were taken to the poor farm a few days ago. These unfortunate beings have inhabited the bottoms east of town, living out as the swine since early spring, until Wednesday evening of last week, when the authorities, becoming fearful that they would perish of cold and hunger, had them brought to town and disposed of as above.


Newton Press, Jan. 25, 1877: The prostitute known by the name of "Curly" who was taken to the poor house some time this winter, we understand died a few days ago. Belle LaMasters, another of the like persuasion, is also about making her peace with God preparatory to shuffling off this mortal coil. It is not right to wish any one the misfortune of losing life, but it seems that the sooner the burden of their lives are ended the better it is for them.

From the October 26, 1887 Newton Press:

Isaac Kibler, keeper, furnishes us a list of persons who have died at the poor farm since Feb. 27, 1884:

Letting the Pauper Keeping.

Newton Press,Jan. 30, 1889

To Whom it May Concern.

Notice is hereby given that the undersigned, poor farm committee, will meet at the county clerk's office in Newton, Ill., at 11 a.m. on Monday, February 4, 1889, for the purpose of letting the contract for keeping the paupers of Jasper county. Sealed bids will be received by us up to the date named above for such contract; we reserving the right to reject any or all bids. Dated at Newton, Ill., Jan. 16, 1889.

Committee on Poor Farm:

J.W. Lee, Michael Kratzmire, Frank L. Merceret


Thomas S. Price was awarded the contract for keeping the paupers of Jasper county, Monday, at $1.25 a week per capita. He gets the use of the poor farm and is to feed, clothe, lodge, care for in sickness and provide with medical aid and bury decently all who die while in his charge. Several bids were received. February 6, 1889


Thomas Price was awarded the contract for keeping the paupers of Jasper county, Monday, at $1.50 a week per capita by the committee, Saturday. He is to have the use of the poor farm in addition. This price appears to be a little more like humanity. February 5, 1890




July 12, 1893
As to Pauper Allowances
In the June allowances for pauper claims it appeared as if Mrs.
Bray, of St. Marie, received all of the aid extended in that township, which footed up a large sum. Supervisor Eugene Hartrich has been criticised by some for what seemed to be an extravagant sum spent on her; but as a matter of fact there were several others, viz: Mrs. Ederer and Wm. Bach, who died recently. Their names were unintentionally omitted by the clerk.....


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©2008 K. Torp