View of Rogue Valley from Wagner Butte

Jackson County Poor Farm

These represent several of the articles I read to put together my talk on the Poor Farm for the Windows in Time series in 2011. This is not all of the references but gives a good list of  references to the poor or to the "poor farm or poor house". Let me know if you can add more. 

Oct 27th Tuesday 1857 ... There was a poor old man stoped to Beg this morning. the first I have seen in Oregon. [Welborn Beeson Diary]

Commissioners Journal 7 Jul 1866 ...Dr. L.T Y. Davis for Keeping sick and disabled poor persons of this county expense on the 8th day of July 1866...contract for keeping them (except Chinaman) for 12 months for the sum of $1200. ... accepted.

Moses Williams diary 25 May 1879 [In Jacksonville]... attend funeral of an old German who died in the Poor House

Oregon Sentinel 15 Sep 1880 Madame Holt takes charge of the county hospital today. The patients will be domiciled in building No. 2, two doors South of the old Franco- American Hotel.

Oregon Sentinel 15 Dec 1880 Madame Holt has been awarded the contract for keeping state patients in the county hospital for $1.49 per day. Quite a reduction, as last year $3 per day was thought to be exactly the proper rate. The reduction is due to the determined opposition of this paper to former exorbitant price.

Oregon Sentinel 20 Sep 1884 p. 3 All the patients in the county hospital were removed to their new home on the DeRoboam place near town on Wed. There are 11 patients in the institution now, and it is hoped that this change will prove beneficial and shorten the reports of good juries in the future.

Ashland Tidings 24 Sep 1886 The inmates of the county poor house were moved to their new quarters on J. M. Lofland's farm near Jacksonville last week. Dr. Debar will be the attendant physician. The county pays $4.19 per capita per week for their keeping.

27 Aug 1903 Ashland Tidings W. J. Waldron, who came to Ashland two weeks ago, ill and in a penniless condition, d at the pest house Tues. morning of typhoid fever, aged abt. 35y. Little can be learned of the deceased. In lucid intervals during his sickness he told his attendants that he had come from Nevada that he had been taken sick while on his journey and that he had lain for three days under a tree at Hornbrook. He said he was born in Philadelphia and that his father was now living in NY City. A cousin lived at Salt Lake. His dress and appearance denoted good antecedents and family. The burial services took place yesterday at the Ashland Cemetery. For the greater part of the time the unfortunate man was sick at the pest house he was in the care of two attendants, and the expense of the nurse hire, physicians' services and medicine will cost the city or county about $150. it is said.

26 Oct 1903 Ashland Tidings The death took place Thursday at the county hospital of William D. Cole, aged 81y and Friday morning the remains of the unfortunate old man were laid to rest in the county plot of the Jacksonville cemetery with neither friend nor minister to say a word of good-bye, says the Sentinel. It is but two weeks ago that the old man and his aged wife, she being 78, were admitted to the county hospital from Gold Hill. It is said that years ago he was one of the leading taxpayers of Jackson county and a prominent Odd Fellow, but adversity took away his property and severed his lodge connection and when he and the wife who had been his helpmate for over half a century, could no longer battle against the trials of life nor depend on the charity of friends, they sought the friendly shelter of the Jackson County hospital. It is said that the aged couple have a son who is a machinist but his whereabouts are unknown.

20 Apr 1904 Democratic Times According to the report of E. DeRoboam, the contractor, there are 15 patients in the county hospital, to wit: Wm Hargrave, Chas, Hendrickson, Jas. Smith, Wm Harman, L. Calhoun, T. A. Shaw, N. Ivanovich, Isam Hubbard, C. Best, M. Jerome, Wm Hurst, Robt. Nivens, L. Gradiths, T. Davis, J. Shauer. The last three are State patients.

26 Apr 1907 Medford Mail Tribune ...Dr. Jones out to the county alms house, yesterday on a tour of inspection and he informed the Mail man that he found some improvement in the conditions at that much-talked-about county institution. However, he still thinks that a generous use of more lye and water on the floors and of more soap and water on the inmates would add quite materially to the comfort of the patients. ...

9 May 1907 Central Point Herald Jackson County now owns a desirable site for a home for the county poor...purchased from M.V. Crocker on Bear Creek, near Phoenix, for a consideration of $6500. ...a portion of the old Amerman place subsequently owned by James ante-railroad days... overland stage station. ...A number of buildings are on the property but more will be needed to provide the accommodations required for the care of the county's charges.

Medford Mail 7 Jun 1907 TO BE A MODEL POOR FARM- County commissioner Patterson, of Talent was in Medford a few days since on business connected with equipping the county poor farm which has recently been moved to the old stage stand on the Ammerman donation land claim, near Talent, where the commissioners have purchased 50 acres of land and have secured the service of M/M J.A.Copeland as keepers of the home at a salary of $2,000 per yr.
The inmates, eleven in number, all males, have been taken from the DeRobam place near Jacksonville to their new home and are now temporarily quartered in buildings which were on the place and in tents.
Plans have been made for the erection of a new home and work on it will be commenced at once. It will be 30x64 feet in size two stories high, with a wide porch extending entirely around it. There will be a basement and in this will be placed a hot air heating furnace, with which the entire building will be heated.
The commissioners have adopted a new plan of caring for the unfortunate dependents, in that they propose to furnish themselves all the requirements of the inmates and as well have a keeper. .50 acres...expected to grow enough vegetables and fruit .... to supply the home... besides being a matter of economy there will be an opportunity given for those of the inmates who are able to do a little gardening and tinkering around... under supervision of Commissioner Patterson.. to so cause the farm to be conducted as will be as little expense and nearly self sustaining as is possible and at the same time make the declining years of the inmates pleasant and comfortable.


27 Dec 1907 Medford Mail Tribune... We desire to speak in the highest terms of praise concerning the action of our county court in erecting the county's present hospital and in purchasing the farm upon which it is situated. This hospital, though not at this time completed, is located on one of the main thoroughfares of our county and at a point about one half mile from the village of Talent. The property upon which it is situated is a very valuable piece of property and belongs to the court. The county has erected there a large, commodious, well ventilated and well lighted building, which we believe and therefore assert to be the finest institution of its kind within the borders of the state of OR. We regard it is a credit to the county and state, and as a monument of duty well done upon the part of those of our officers who have been responsible for its execution.

31 Jan 1908 p. 1 Things Told on the Street

5 Apr 1909 Ashland Tidings d at the Jackson County Hospital, near Talent, OR 2 Apr 1909, George Bush, aged 84y. Born in VA in 1825./ d at the Jackson County Hospital, near Talent, OR April 5, 1909, M.Y. Drake

Medford Sun 7 July 1911 COURT LIKES NEW PAUPER PLAN Paupers of Jackson County may come to Medford to live at the new sacred heart hospital when it is finished....proposition was much favored... present home of the poor and sick who are living at the expense of the county is near Talent on 50 acres of ground owned by the county. There are 20 inmates under the care of A. C. Copland who is paid a salary to care for them. None of these inmates is able to work all being old and feeble and the home offered by the Sisters in their beautiful new hospital would be ideal for them. There is considerable expense and trouble in connection with the present method of caring for them and a contract with the Catholics would eliminate all this. The commissioners will take the matter up ...under the present system the amount, the land will pay in dividends to offset the charge of the Sacred Heart hospital and the advisability of paying as much as the Sisters want.

21 Nov 1912 Medford Mail Tribune Superintendent at county farm p. 3
12 Dec 1912 Medford Mail Tribune... county hospital and farm was “economically and well managed and take this opportunity to commend the management.” The 27 patients two being women, all seemed well fed, clothed, comfortable and happy.

16 Apr 1914 Ashland Tidings TALENT AND VICINITY
Charles Hendrickson d. at the age of 89 at the Jackson County poor farm, Wed. April. 8. He had been confined to his bed for the past two months. He was b in IL and had been an inmate at Jackson county farm for the past 6 yrs. Superintendent J. N. Pace says he was a fine old man and he will miss him, because he was always cheerful.

13 Aug 1931 Medford Daily News... p. 1 [not copied]

10 May 1935 Central Point American YOUNG PEOPLE ENJOY VISIT COUNTY FARM A group from Medford, Jacksonville and Central Point gathered at the county farm Sunday, May 5th to try and bring a little cheer to the old folks there. Vivian and Jerry Jones of Medford sang a couple of duets, Lulu Salisbury of Jacksonville gave a reading. Bob Sweeney of Yreka and Ray Lewis of Jacksonville sang duets and Jack Swark, age nine of J'vlle gave a reading... entertainment was appreciated very much by the audience They are planning on making the trip again soon.

Medford News 27 Aug 1937 p. 2 Apparently didn't care [article about Alvin Drake wandering off from the poor farm and dying ] & 3 Sep 1937 p. 1 Alarm given when Drake disappeared

7 Jan 1938 To the Editor: The Medford News: ... on behalf of the inmates and employees of the county farm I wish to thank all those who made the Christmas season such a pleasant one for all here.....

25 May 1944 Central Point American ... when you see the budget in the paper we hope you will read it carefully. Among other things, you will note that the budget for “Care of the Poor – not at the Farm” otherwise known as the public welfare dept. had to be increased by some $26,000 over last yr. There seems to be no end to this constantly increasing program. More and higher payments are necessary under our so-called social security program. Old age assistance is steadily increasing, as is the aid for dependent children. But until there is change in the OR law relating to old-age pensions – in other words, so long as the assistance is given on the basis of “need” we can see nothing for it but to shoulder the load more or less gracefully

20 Jul 1944 C. P. American Musings by the Editor [not copied]

13 Jul 1945 Medford News Ralph Sweeney, county treasurer, states that Jackson County is in such excellent financial condition that it has not been found necessary to levy the special one mill tax for the reconstruction of the county hospital and the road fund to accumulating a large sum of money for postwar road construction. Sweeney believes that the total assessed valuation of the county will probably over $37,000.00 for the year. .. Funds from the O & C lands administration increased from an anticipated $125,000 to $163,000. Sweeney states, and the resulting $33,000 was used to cancel this year's special hospital levy, approved by the voters last fall. ... old age pensions and other forms of public assistance cost the county about $7600 a month, he said and the juvenile delinquency control program is costing the county between $600 and $800 monthly Sweeney declared. Tax bills for the current fiscal year totaled $1,323,351. the treasurer said of which approx. 90 per cent has already been paid with another fine percent to be received by August.

15 Jul 1948 p. 1 C.P. American PLANS BEING DRAWN For new hospital

30 Sep 1948 p. 1 Musings by the Editor C.P. American

2 Dec 1948 C.P. American p. 1 Musings by the Editor

1 Jun 1949 Medford Mail Tribune [aerial photo]

Medford News 22 Jul 1949 Bids have been awarded to R. H. Puddycomb for construction of the Jackson County farm home, the county court announced this week with expectation that the contacts would be signed this week... H.E. Hawks received the contract for plumbing and heating and Emery and Bohm for electrical installations. ... est. cost was $194,000. The old farm home will not be moved until the new structure is ready for occupancy but the nurses; quarters garage and chicken house will be moved to make way for the construction in the near future.

Medford News 4 Nov 1949 ... work on the new buildings at the county farm home is making good progress and it is now expected the improvement will be finished on schedule. General contractor R. H. Puttycomb has advised that he will be through about Dec. 15th.

23 Mar 1950 p. 1 Cornerstone laid at county farm home

8 Jun 1950 C.P. American Our daughter Took us up to the county farm the other day to see how the new Farm Home is getting along. And we sure were mighty proud of having had anything to do with the planning and construction of such a building. Jackson county can well be proud of the way these “senior citizens” are being cared for up there. They were just getting ready to move the first patients from the old building into the new and were far from settled, but one could easily see how comfortable they will be when they are all done. The next big job will be to tear down the old main building and also the old barn and with the salvaged lumber build a new barn farther away from a new barn farther away from the new structure. Take our advice and go up and see for yourselves.

Medford Mail Tribune 14 Jul 1950 Employees of Marin L. Larsen of Eagle Point this week are razing the old Jackson County Farm Home. The old frame structure was sold to Larsen by the county court last week for $1500. After the building has been removed, the grounds of the new county farm home, immediately to the rear of the old building, will be landscaped. Plans also call for construction of a new hog house and diary barn at the farm. The new concrete, 52-bed farm home near Talent is now in full operation under the supervision of Mrs. Susie Maust.

Medford News 8 Mar 1951...COUNTY FARM PLANS SUNDAY OPEN HOUSE...Mrs. O.C. Maust, superintendent of the hospital and assistant director of the home... all meat used at the home is raised on the place. Since the home opened last yr., 12 hogs averaging 225 pounds have been butchered plus 6 beeves of abt 400 pounds each, according to Mr. Maust, who has charge of farm operations. The dairy is now milking 9 cows, and eggs are supplied by the home's 100 chickens.

After 1958 when Janice Grove grad. From HS she got a job at the Poor Farm – she brought home Mr. Cozad from the Poor Farm for Thanksgiving while she worked there because she didn't want to see him have no place to go for the holiday. Her father wasn't crazy about the idea but she did it anyway.

4 Aug 1963 Medford Mail Tribune Misdemeanor Prisoners helping out at the Poor Farm...[not copied]

26 Feb 1977 Medford Mail Tribune [ not copied- this one has a heart-rending photo of an old man being transported away from the “County Hospital” the headline- “It's cruel” county home patient copy at library]

10 May 1979 Medford Mail Tribune MOVING? p.8A [ not copied]