1849     152 acres were purchased by the county for $3000 from George E. Gordon.

1850     House was built for adults who were poor, aged, or infirm and children whose parents were either dead or unable to support them.  The first superintendents were paid a wage of $125/year.  The goal was to create a self-supporting system where the residents would be involved in all aspects of running the farm.

1854     First recorded burials on property in what became known as the Pauper Cemetery.  Grave markers included wooden crosses, field stones, and eventually rose bushes were planted for ladies and trees for the men.  It is thought that as many as 677 persons were buried in the cemetery.  Formal records were not kept until 1878.   

1855     John Hubbard was convicted of murdering the French family. He is the only recorded person to have been hung Wabash county. The body was buried for a short time, before doctors who wanted to study the cadaver made plans to steal it. Doctors from Wabash, Huntington, and Fort Wayne were involved in a shoot-out at the cemetery while removing the body.

1865    Fire destroyed the infirmary due to a defective flue.  It was rebuilt for $4,547.93.

1870     106 year old Mollie Joy was buried.

1873     August Anders a Master Horseman from Germany was buried in cemetery.

1876    Recorded that Nancy Miller and her 7 children ages ranging from 2-13 were among the 39 residents.

1885    New orphanage was opened in south Wabash, removing the children from the County Farm.

1892    Became designated as “Poor Farm”.

1894    Russell Cressey a hot-air balloon photographer/spy/mapmaker for the Union is buried in cemetery.

1900    Poor Farm became recognized not only for excellent care for the residents, but also for a small herd of Shorthorn cattle.  Hogs, wheat, oats, and hay were also produced on the farm.  A gas engine pump furnished water for all purposes with the exception of bathing.

1904    Edward L. Pickworth, Barnum and Bailey Circus member was buried in Pauper Cemetery.

1920    First recorded African American, Theodore Jordan was admitted to home.

1922    Residents were moved to the Old Park Hospital (Women’s Clubhouse) to allow for repairs to be conducted on the house.

1930    Hog barn was built and housed 15-50 hogs.

1942    Barn was built, rampaging elephant Modoc finds her way onto the farm for a short period.

1944    Monument was erected in cemetery. 

1974     Farm was closed for Poor Farm residents.  It was rented out to a childcare facility for a brief time before the home was closed permanently due to needing $15,000 for a new heating system.  It was debated what would be done with the property for some time.  Some wanted a new jail, industrial park, or new fairgrounds. The Miami Indians of Indiana also requested the property become their tribal headquarters.  In the end the tillable acres were rented out and most of the buildings removed.

1980     Civil Defense used the home barn for storage and office space.

1982    Home was torn down.

Early 1990’s    Wabash County Soil and Water Conservation District takes over the farm to use an outdoor laboratory for local school groups.  Not long after this heavy equipment from the landfill were discovered to have been in the cemetery and several graves were collapsed.  They were stopped and the damage repaired by leveling the ground.  The workers were not aware that the cemetery extended from the main marker and that they were no longer on landfill property.  Wabash SWCD took steps to clean up the area and remove the brush.

1995    Steps were taken to have a pond built.

1998     A part time person was approved to be hired to help maintain the farm.

1999    A secure area was created in the barn to store tools.  Family Conservation Field day was hosted at the farm.

2000    Barn was repainted.  Girl scout camp was held at farm.

2008    Interns were hired by Wabash County SWCD for general maintenance and many other projects.  Two footbridges were built, trails developed, and many landscaping projects have been completed.

2009    Interns discovered more than a dozen bases and grave markers.  One small child passed away on the same day of July in which her stone was found.

CCSI2012     The farm was selected to be a Conservation Cropping Systems Initiative Training Hub.  A state wide approach to educate Indiana Conservation Partnership Staff and producers on the importance of Soil Health.

2013 Barn was able to be reroofed and resided with support from the Mel Boyer Family, the Lowell Smith Family, the Wabash County Commissioners and the Wabash County SWCD.

2013 A Drainage Water Management System was installed, which was donated by Agri Drain Cororation, as well as, the tile for the system that was provided by Fratco Inc.  The existing grassed waterway was reshaped and four Water and Sediment Control Basins (WASCOBS) were installed.  These practices not only benefit the farm, but can also be used for demonstrations.

Find out more about Wabash County History at the Wabash County Historical Museum!


Comments are closed.