Friday, July 16, 2010

Lucas County Care Facility

From the History of Lucas County 1978 book

On March 11, 1859 Lucas county obtained possession of a farm belonging to George W. Piper.  Mr. Piper was one of several men that had provided bond for the release of Richard Roe who had been convicted of horse stealing.  After Mr. Roe had been released on bond, he disappeared and failed to appear for his indictment.  As a result, Roe's bondsmen were held responsible.  To compensate for Roe's disappearance, the County made an execution levy on Piper's farm and was successful in purchasing the land at a Sheriff's sale.

This farm was intended to be used as the county poor farm, but for some unknown reason was never used as such.  In 1866 the county purchased 135 acres, near the town of Russell, from Mary C. Adams.  In payment for the land, the county conveyed to Mary Adams the farm, which had previously been obtained from George W. Piper.

The County Board of Supervisors submitted a proposition to the people to erect buildings on the Adams farm.  The voters rejected this proposition by a margin of 36 votes for, 656 votes against.

At the September, 1869 session of the Board of Supervisors, the committee reported that they had sold the Adams farm for $3,500 and that they found the William Skidmore farm favorable as a location for the County Poor Farm.  This farm was offered for sale for $10,500 and the farm and buildings were believed to be suitable for a poor farm.  The county had sufficient funds on hand for the purchase and no additional levy was necessary to pay for the land.  When the question was put before the voters in 1869 it was approved.

That same year, L. Stanley was placed in charge of the Poor Farm and remained there until 1871.  Josiah Critchfield was then named superintendent by the Board of Supervisors.

In 1904, The Board of Supervisors found it necessary to build a new house on the farm.  The lowest bidder for this work was Alonzo Hoagland, an architect from Chariton.  The total cost of the County Poor House including such things as heating, drainage, and the architecture fee was $17,200.

When first built, the Lucas County Home was used to provide housing and work for "poor" Lucas County residents.  Thus it became known as the County "poor farm".  Today the Lucas County Care Facility provides residential facilities for the mentally ill, mentally retarded or indigent persons.  The original concept of the county poor farm no longer exists.

The present Lucas County Care Facility is located on the northwest edge of Chariton.  The facility includes a 200-acre farm, farm buildings, machinery, and the homes.  The steward is Alvin Cooper and Matron, Ruby Cooper.

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