Monday, November 4, 2013

Infirmary Registers

In 1838, an institution called the Poor House was established in Licking County.  It was originally intended as a home for destitute or severely mentally ill residents of the county.  Eventually, severely mentally ill persons tended to be committed to the Ohio State Hospital and elsewhere, while paupers and others with chronic physical conditions continued to live at the Poor House.  The name of the Poor House was changed to the Infirmary in 1850, and it was then known as the County Home until it closed in the 1960's.

Our department has volumes called Registers, which offer interesting information about the people who lived at the Poor House / Infirmary / County Home.  From the beginning, the Registers indicate when a person entered and left the Home, where they came from, what their age was, and a general reason why they were committed there.  There are also brief comments about the habits or morals of the residents.

Below are left- and right-handed pages from a Register volume.  A record for one person stretches across both pages.

Left Page, with Date Committed, By What Authority Committed, Name, Residence, Age and Disease (or the person's condition, or reason for entering the institution)


Right Page, with Habits, Birthplace, Birthdate and Remarks (usually whether the person died in the institution or was discharged)

We also have other records of the Home.  The Journals tell about the business of running the institution.  The Board of County Visitors Reports describe the conditions of the Home between 1892 and 1924.  If you would like to look at any of these records, please call us at 740-670-5121, or send us a message at http://www.lcounty.com/frmFeedback.aspx.  More information about the County Home, including a lengthier history and a list of burials, is at http://www.lcounty.com/records/frmInfirmary.aspx.