Among the many things needful in
every county is a poor farm, where those who have become old
and helpless, as well as unfortunate in acquiring an
adequate store of this worlds riches, may find a home, and
be well taken care of. Midland County was organized in the
year 1855, and in 1865 the Board of Supervisors bought of
Samuel P. Chapman, for the protection of her poor and
unfortunate, a farm and building at a cost of $2,500.
This farm has a very pleasant location in Midland Township, on the bank of the Tittabawassee River. Since its purchase by the county, the house has been enlarged, and at present consists of a north wing and main building, each containing nine rooms, besides kitchen, dining and sitting rooms, a workshop, cellar and closets. There are two large barns, in good repair, and these are well filled, the one with grain and the other with horses, cows and pigs. The inmates are neat and cleanly, the river on the boundary of the farm being utilized for bathing in summer, while ordinary tubs are used in winter. The rooms are heated by stoves, and wood is used for fuel The paupers are treated with consideration and kindness, and all who are able to work render material aid in helping about the farm and buildings. They are plentifully supplied with common farm food, such as meat, vegetables, bread, butter, syrup, milk, etc. They are provided with good, stout woolen goods for winter, and cotton for summer. A county physician is employed for the treatment of the sick, besides their having their personal care of the overseer and matron. For the insane and idiotic there are six properly furnished cells, and inducements are held out to get them to perform light labor. The children are sent to a district school about 90 rods distant.
The house is surrounded by a farm of 130 acres of good land, 80 acres of which is under cultivation. A number of fruit-trees have just been set out, and in due time will produce a good supply of fruit.
The present overseer is Wm. Babcock, who, with his competent and amiable wife, manages the farm in the most successful manner; and their care of, and kindness to, those placed in their charge cannot be too highly commended.
source: Portrait and Biographical album of Midland County; Chapman Brothers, Chicago 1884
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