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|HAMILTON COUNTY POOR FARM -- Historical Notes|
|Submitted by Mona Sarratt Knight MonaNAriz@aol.com|
|The County Poor Farm of Hamilton County, Nebraska, was situated near Orville City, Nebraska, northwest of Stockham, on section 22. In the spring of 1881, Andrew J. McConaughey became the manager of the County Poor Farm at a salary of $3.50 per day, for days he actually worked. Mr. McConaughey came from Iowa to homestead in Nebraska in 1871, locating on the east side of Section 30 in Grant precinct, about 2 miles northwest of Aurora, Nebraska.
The need for a Poor Farm became apparent when some early settlers were deserted, others were poor and unable to find work or food, and it yet others were orphaned. The Poor Farm was in operation for 60 years until it was closed down in 1944. There were a total of 8 couples who managed the farm during those years: Andrew McConaughey and wife, 1881-94; William H. Kinner and wife, 1891-1896; the Pearsons, 1896-1900; John Mintun and wife, 1900-1917; William Casteel and wife, 1917-1923; Ed Hunt and wife, 1923-1936, and Alfred Kohtz, 1936-1944.
An early cemetery was situated on the southwest corner of the farm property, and the first graves were those of a mother and baby who died about 1871-76. The Poor Farm residents were buried there as they passed on, unless they were claimed by relatives. A minister from Hampton, Nebraska, visited once a week for religious services, and a doctor from Aurora, Nebraska, visited every week to help with any medical problems.
|Information was obtained from the 1888 Atlas of Hamilton County, Nebraska.|
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