Wood County made use of Poor Farm, infirmary

Historical newspaper excerpts from the Wood County Historical Society:

Ill and hungry

Some days ago a young man who gave his name as George Fletcher appeared at the home of Mr. Bartlett, near Nicolette and asked permission to stay all night. He was ill and thinly clad. The next day the young man went to the county infirmary. Mr. Nicely, saw that he was ill and needed attention and he summoned a physician who has been giving the young man attention. Fletcher now has a well defined case of typhoid fever. The young man told Mr. Nicely that for the past four weeks he had been tramping around through the country. His home is back of St. Marys in Pleasants County. His reason for leaving home was because his father was abusive to the family and when he interfered his father assaulted him. He struck his father with an axe handle and then left home, and has been begging his way through the country all during the coldest weather, sleeping in barns and sheds, until he was totally worn out. His condition indicated as much.

The Parkersburg News

Feb. 5, 1912

Saved his corn

When George Nicely, superintendent of the county infirmary, who is rated as one of the best and most progressive farmers in the county, discovered several days ago that some of the midnight marauders were stealing his corn out of the field, he got busy. Putting a large force of men at work, he finished husking and placed the last of the crop in cribs on Thursday morning.

The crops on the infirmary farm this year were the largest ever grown there, and with the other supplies there is enough to run the infirmary through the winter. The crop of wheat yielded 412 bushels, the corn crop 600 bushels, and in addition there were many tons of hay and cowpeas. Three steers raised on the farm will be butchered for the use of the inmates as well as eight large hogs, one of which will dress over five hundred pounds. Eight good cows furnish milk and butter for the table. With a good building for the unfortunates of the county, instead of a ramshackle building which is used to house them in, there could not be any complaint from any quarter.

The Parkersburg News

Nov. 25, 1913

New building contemplated at infirmary

Mr. Stahlman, a member of the court, was seen yesterday by a reporter for The News, and he spoke as follows of the existing conditions at the infirmary.

“There is but one thing necessary for the proper accommodation of the county poor – a new and much larger and more modern house is a necessity. The house now in use is much too small; it is poorly ventilated, and is not built on proper plans for an institution of the kind.

“At this date there are but 27 inmates, but as soon as winter comes there will be twice that number in all probability.”

The Parkersburg News

July 7, 1902 (in part)

Court is spending day at infirmary

The members of the County Court drove out to the county infirmary this morning, where they will spend the day looking after matters at that institution. The old infirmary building is being moved from its present location to another part of the premises, and will be remodeled and repaired and will be used as the residence for the farmer and his family. It is the intention also to build a silo and the location for this will be decided today. Some of the outbuildings will be moved to other points, making it much more convenient.

The Parkersburg News

September 1917

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The Wood County Historical Society works to preserve yesterday for tomorrow. For more information, contact P.O. Box 565, Parkersburg, WV 26102