Lincoln County Journal

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Tidbits of History from the Lincoln County Historical Society: “The Poor Farm”

Posted on Monday, March 4, 2013 at 8:31 am

In May, 1866, the Lincoln County Court (now known as our commissioners) decided help was needed for those people that were truly down on their luck! The Court purchased 160 A. at $20 per acre from Mr. and Mrs. Francis C. Cake. The land is located on Hwy. J at one and one half miles out of the Troy city limits.

Plan then began to build a building for a poor asylum. It was a brick and stone building for $5,600. The wood, carpenter work and painting cost $4,200. Furnishing this building, the court allowed $525 but the job was done for $399.30, saving the county $125.70.

There was controversy over the final payment on some of the work. The supervisor advised the Lincoln County Court to withhold $1,055 in payment to James H. Green for not meeting the contract. This was in 1868. A jury was held in April of 1870. The verdict was in favor of the plaintiff for $699.91.

Henry Bickel was the first superintendent of the “Poor Farm”. He and his wife were in charge of managing the farm and taking care of the “paupers” for 12 months in Oct. in 1870. Their salary was $650. James W. Brown took charge of the farm in Dec., 1871, for about $420 with an increase the next year.