Poor  Farm

The assets of the Chautauqua county poor farm foot up to $3,000.
(Topeka Daily Capital ~ Friday ~ October 27, 1893 ~ Page 5)


The Reporter some time ago spoke of the propriety of the county commissioners purchasing a poor farm, believing that in the end it would be found a most economical measure that would save much money to the people of this county.  The Sedan Times-Star has this to say of Chautauqua county's poor farm:

Chautauqua county has made no better investment than the farm which it uses as a poor asylum.  Its commercial value is increasing every year; its productiveness is increasing and its expenses decreasing.  This year it has a wheat crop of 2,147 bushels testing 63 pounds.  It averaged almost thirty bushels per acre, some of it running up to 40 bushels and this so disgruntles the howler, the man who never says a good word for anything Kansas or Chautauqua county has, that he moved to say, "It would take 1,000 bushels per acre to pay the expenses of that institution."  A man with that sort of disposition needs comforting.
(Independence Daily Reporter ~ Saturday ~ July 7, 1894 ~ Page 5)

The Chautauqua county poor farm more than pays its own way.
(Western Kansas World ~ WaKeeney, KS ~ Saturday ~ December 15, 1894 ~ Page 2)

The superintendent of the Chautauqua county poor farm wishes to find homes for a couple of lads now in his charge.  They are aged nine and six.  There is nothing wrong with them, the Times-Star says, "except that they are poor and without friends."  It's tough to be poor; tougher to be without friends.  The two conditions taken together form about the toughest possible combination.
(Topeka Daily Capital ~ Tuesday ~ October 18, 1898  ~ Page 4)

Besides good crops of corn and wheat there are three producing oil wells on the Chautauqua county poor farm; just like getting money from home, for the county.
(Topeka Daily Capital ~ Tuesday ~ July 21, 1903 ~ Page 4)

OIL  ON  POOR  FARM --- The Chautauqua county poor farm has three producing oil wells.  The farm raised good crops of corn and wheat this season.
(Meade County News ~ Thursday ~ July 30, 1903 ~ Page 2)


After Evan Nelson had died at the county poor farm in Chautauqua county, it was discovered that he had hoarded away $40 to be used in burying his body by the side of the two wives who had preceded him across the dark river.  It seems to have been his one pride that he should not be buried in the potter's field, and his one sentiment that his body should rest by the side of his dead wives.
(Baxter Springs News ~ July 14, 1904 ~ Page 7)



Three Hundred and Twenty Acres In the Farm --- Paupers Well Housed, Well Fed and Well Card For --- Decent Treatment

Sedan Times-Star:  The Chautauqua county poor farm a mile northeast of Peru is withal one of the most interesting places in the county.  Few people know much about it, for everybody's business is nobody's business and few ever go there except when they have to.  From one standpoint it is not an inviting place; from another, it is as cheerful as that kind of a home for the poor, and unfortunate can be made.

The farm consists of 320 acres of bottom land lying west and north of the Caney river.  Much of the land is good and tillable; some of it is timber, and some hardpan that produces but little.  The farm is now covered by 100 acres of corn, 10 acres of oats, 50 acres of cane, 40 acres of alfalfa, 1-1/2 acres of potatoes besides a garden, orchard and feeding yards, etc.  Much of the crops is good, expecially the corn.  The alfalfa is only fair.  The sotck on the farm consists of 16 or 18 head of cattle, 35 hogs, 4 mules and 2 mares.  The place complete represents an investment of $7,000 originally, to which $3,000 has been added.d

The farm is operated on the cottage plan.  The main buildings are situated well up from the lowlands just where the hill begins to rise high and steep at the rear of the farm.  The house, occupied by Supt. Isaac Study and family, is really divided into two parts, although from the outside you could not tell it.  The east wing contains the dining room downstairs, while upstairs are three rooms occupied by the three women inmates.  The five men live in three of the cottages, but all eat in the main dining room except one paralytic whose meals are carried to him.

It is an interesting and yet pathetic crowd that three times a day gathers about this dining table.  One of the inmates, quarrels so much with the others that he is served at a table by himself.  At the main table may be seen three women.  One is old and gray and wrinkled and while she says she is over 90, the indications are that she is about 75.  She has a mania for dolls, keeping seven of them in her trunk and one sitting out all the time on a writing desk.  Oen of them she has tried for years to give away to anyone, and everyone, but no one will take it from her.  She says she simply doesn't like that particular doll.  She reads her Bible as best she can, but the print is too small for her and she says she wishes some one would send her one with larger type.  She had been reading Revelations Tuesday morning and was "seeing things" all about her.  She would take her fan to drive the spirits away.  The last pages of the book were gone and said she was very sorry, for she wanted to finish the story.  It was pathetic to hear her talk of it.  Of the other two women, one is a young woman whose waywardness placed her where she is and the other is a middle-aged woman who was more sinned against, no doubt, than sinning.

The men present an interesting study of human nature.  In one cottage are two old men calmly resting for the last call.  One is 95 years old and the other is 89.  The younger in speaking of the other said:  "He's the chairman, and I'm the speaker of the house.  When I get out of order he calls me down.  We're patiently waiting the end of life, but I'm not worrying about it."  Then he launched off into a narration of his personal experiences with old John Brown.  He told how Brown had always held prayers every evening and he recited a stanza of an old hymn that he said he heard Brown offer in a prayer while going from Lawrence to Athcison in the 50's.  After talking quite awhile, the odd man suddenly said:  "Well, I guess I've talked too much, but I'm getting old."  Then he sat down and for a few minutes cried like a child.  The other old man, 95 years old, also knew John Brown.  Back in New York----"York state," he called it---by Lake George he bought copper kettles from the old hero of Osawatomie.

The other men inmates are a paralytic and a half-witted middle aged man, beside a negro boy whose mother recently died there on the farm.  The boy says the farm is good enough for him and he will stay there.

The farm has not been paying its way for several months, but the commissioners are going to try awful hard to put it on a paying basis.  In June it ran $115 behind its receipts.  In the fall, however, it is supposed to lay up a surplus from its crop sales, etc.  The oil wells which formerly brought in an income from royalty are bringing in nothing now, and have not for several months.  The farm has more implements than it needs and some of them will probably be sodl at some of the public sales this fall.  There is not pasture enough to keep the cattle at home so they are sent to a pasture west of Peru.  The commissioners and superintendent are going to try harder than ever now to economize at the farm and yet not stint things.

The inmates all spoke kindly of Mr. and Mrs. Study and the treatment they receive.  Everything about the houses is as clean as it can be kept and the generla appearance of the whole place indicates close and careful attention up on the part of the superintendent
(Evening Star ~ Independence, KS ~ Saturday ~ July 22, 1905 ~ Page 4)

Ike Godymont, an inmates of the Chautauqua county poor farm, was declared insane last Thursday by a commission.  He is nearly 90 years old and was brought to the farm from Cedarvale.  He was taken to the asylum this week.
(Coffeyville Daily Journal ~ Friday ~ June 30, 1911 ~ Page 7)

J. I. Smallwood of Sedan was here today on business.  He is guardian for an aged woman who has a brother here.  He came here to see if the brother could take care of his sister, but he could not.  The old lady will probably be sent either to the Chautauqua county poor farm or to the asylum, her mind being affected by the troubles through which she has recently gone, these being matrimonial as well as financial.  The woman owned a good farm near Niotaze until a year ago, when she married an old man.  Since then her farm, her money, her husband and her mind have all departed.  It is a pitiful case.---Independence Reporter
(Daily Republican ~ Cherryvale, KS ~ Friday ~ December 12, 1913 ~ Page 5)


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