The following article has been reproduced with the gracious permission of Ohio University Press. Permission granted by Judy Wilson. www.ohiou.edu/oupress/

Taken from "The Centennial Atlas of Athens County, Ohio", Bush, 1905, reprint in 1975 and 1996 

by O. U. Press, page 60. 


Also see Athens County Rootsweb Infirmary Page for more information on the Athens County Infirmary.

Athens County's New Infirmary Near Chauncey

Going on the principle that the dependant population should be cared for, Athens county, early in 1857, out herself on record as being ready and able to care for her imbecile classes. At this early date the county purchased the Seth Fuller farm of one hundred and forty-seven acres in Dover Township, near Chauncey, paying therefore $14,700. It had old farm buildings erected back in the 40's [1840's], but these buildings were repaired and enlarged to accommodate one hundred inmates, though as many as one hundred and seventy-five had been cared for in a single year, about eighty, however, being the yearly average. James Tinkum was the first inmate, being admitted May 6, 1857. 

     The old plant was destroyed by fire September 19, 1903, but temporary quarters were devised till the present fine and complete building could be finished.

The old Infirmary destroyed by fire in 1903 (above)

The present plant consists of different buildings, but the one used for strict Infirmary purposes has a capacity for about one hundred and fifty inmates, and is one of the finest county charitable institutions in the State. Its cost was $45,496.43. Its appointments are scientific and sanitary. It has some fifty rooms for all purposes, including surgical rooms, baths, etc., and the entire plant covers a half acre of ground. 

     It is lighted with electricity, generated by its own plant. Its floors are of tile and hard wood. the arrangement is such as to separate the sexes entirely, even as to separate dining rooms, porticoes, etc.  The farm is so productive and so well managed as to make the institution almost self supporting.

     Mr. and Mrs. Baker are in their tenth year as Superintendent and Matron.

     The Directors, who pictures are shown herewith, are William James, of Glouster; R. S. Dent, of Millfield, and John McLaughlin, of Coolville.

Too much praise cannot be given the Board of Directors for their splendid management, economical and business-like manner, in handling this institution, and the county can only be assured that her poor and her property are well cared for by these trust-worthy public servants.

     Mr. and Mrs. Baker, as Superintendent and Matron, have long since proven their worthiness and ability. No more suitable people could be found for the places they have so eminently and satisfactorily occupied for nearly ten years. The neatness and system of the place are to be highly commended. 

     Such an institution, so managed, is a saving to the individual and a saving to the county. A saving of the individual from loss and a saving to the county in all its best aspects.

     Athens county can well and proudly adjust and adapt herself to this new institution, inasmuch as it has no superior in any county of the State, if indeed any equal. And it is so constructed as to endure for many generation. The tax levy is so slight for it's maintenance as not to be noticeable upon any one's return. Its work is charitable in the truest and most scientific sense, in that it inculcates and intensifies habits of self-help, which today is the recognized standard of charity. This has a tendency to remove the odor and distaste attached to institutions of a charitable character, and gives the individual inmate a degree of self-consciousness that he is yet a man. We congratulate ourselves in our high attainment and degree of efficiency in caring for our dependent classes.

[The article also included a picture of the Children's Home, which can now be seen on the page devoted to the Children's Home, within this web site]