The following article has been reproduced with the
gracious permission of Ohio University Press. Permission
granted by Judy Wilson.
Taken from "The Centennial Atlas of Athens
County, Ohio", Bush, 1905, reprint in 1975 and 1996
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
The old Infirmary destroyed by fire in
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
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
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]