Monday, September 17, 2012

Ohio County Poor Farm Cemetery

Ohio County Poor Farm Cemetery

            There is an untold story about the Ohio County Poor Farm Cemetery. I regret
that I cannot find the facts as to what actually happened to this cemetery.

            We have documents that prove Ohio County had a “Poor Farm” (sometimes
called a “Poor House” or “County Home”), and these documents include census
records and death certificates indicating burial in the Poor Farm Cemetery. According
to the 1920 census the Poor Farm was located in the East Hartford precinct. The
county also had people employed as administrators of the Poor Farm and its’ cemetery.
The 1920 census shows Charley Smith, age 42, as the “county farm manager.”
Additionally, a book was published for the City of Hartford 1808-2008 Bicentennial
that includes a researched list of the known burials at the Poor Farm (see below). It
appears certain that Ohio County owned and operated a Poor Farm and that there
was a cemetery at the Poor Farm. Neighboring Daviess County also had a Poor Farm
Cemetery as this was a common practice in the 1800’s and early 1900’s in Kentucky.[1]

            Apparently the Ohio County Poor Farm ended its’ activities in the early 1960’s
but I have not found any documents to explain how or when it ended. I assume there
would be minutes of the Ohio County Fiscal Court or the County Executive that could
answer these questions, but I do not have access to these documents.

            I am told that the existing County Club golf course is located where the Poor Farm
and the Poor Farm Cemetery was located (it was recently announced that the County is
purchasing the golf course from its’ current owner for $350,000 which means the county
is purchasing property it once owned). Although I do not have any personal knowledge of
the following, it has been suggested to me that the golf course and some of the buildings
associated with the Country Club were built on the Poor Farm property without removing
and relocating the Poor Farm graves. As most of you know, the Country Club is located
east of Highway 69 and on the north side of Country Club Road.

            If these graves were not properly removed according to the procedures set forth in
Kentucky statutes, then that is a travesty and an injustice to those individuals and their
families. I hope that some day we will know the full facts about what happened to this
cemetery. If anyone reading this has any knowledge about this cemetery, please contact me.

            I found a 1907 map of Ohio County that shows a “County House” located east of
Hartford in approximately the location of the Ohio County Country Club. I assume that
this was the Poor Farm. This 1907 map is shown below:

Compare the above map to the Country Club golf course, which is marked with a red X in the map below.

The Ohio County Poor Farm was in existence from at least 1880 to 1963.  The cemetery no longer exists. 

Here is a list of the known individuals buried in the Ohio County Poor Farm Cemetery:

NAME                                    DATE OF BIRTH (if known) and DATE OF BURIAL

Elizabeth Ashcraft                   January 25, 1901
Marion Bailey                          May 18, 1929 (Death certificate)
Hannah Brown                        September 7, 1914 (Death certificate)
Marion Burgess                       May, 1889 (Hartford Herald)
W N Burgess                          June 9, 1856-August 1, 1912 (Death certificate)
Elizabeth Carter                      November, 1826-November 13, 1893
                        (Moved to Oakwood April, 1894.  Served in Civil War, Hartford Herald)
Dave Chinn                             May 19, 1888
Newton Chinn                         1846-February 21, 1914 (Death certificate)
George Clark                           January 24, 1940 (Death certificate)
Ann Cochran                           1844-July 2, 1911 (Death certificate)
Joe Conner                              1854-February 12, 1914 (Death certificate)
E W Davis                               June, 1892 (Hartford Herald)
Clifton Duggins                        June 23, 1917-July 31, 1917 (Death certificate)
Ike Duncan                             January 23, 1928-January 28, 1928 (Death certificate)
Harden Duvall                         August 23, 1931 (Death certificate)
James Early                             Civil War veteran
Lillian Hunt Eskridge               December 15, 1915 (Death certificate)
Elizabeth Evans                      March 6, 1918 (Death certificate)
Thomas Faught                       February 13, 1937 (Ohio County News)
William Faught                       May 8, 1919 (Death certificate)
Rachel Gilstrap                       February 23, 1917 (Death certificate)
Susan Hardin                          August 14, 1917 (Death certificate)
Andrew Jackson Hardin         1863-February 25, 1910 (Hartford Herald)
Owen Harris                           September 7, 1888
Lafe Hicks                              June 30, 1930 (Death certificate)
S W Hodges                           1847-November 30, 1912 (Death certificate)
Squire Hodges                        1870-February 28, 1914 (Death certificate)
Fanny Johnson                        1896-March 14, 1914 (Death certificate)
Henry Johnson                        June 18, 1929 (Death certificate)
Johnny Johnson                       February 6, 1939 (Death certificate)
Letha Johnson                         February 26, 1933 (Death certificate)
Lillian Johnson                        December 1, 1913-January 23, 1914 (Death certificate)
Ollie Johnson                          1882-April 15, 1930 (Death certificate)
Mary Kay                                March 7, 1951 (Death certificate)
Ben Kaysinger                        1830-February 19, 1914 (Death certificate)
George Kenedy                      November 26, 1923 (Death certificate)
Isaac Kinder                           June 9, 1921 (Death certificate)
Hardin Kuykendall                  October 20, 1919 (Death certificate)
Alfred Allen Leisure                September 7, 1917 (Death certificate)
William Lewis                         November 28, 1938 (Death certificate)
Janey Loney                            June 1950 (Ohio County News)
Female Long                           August 28, 1901-August 29, 1901 (Ohio County Herald)
John Lynch                             August 24, 1856-September 5, 1925 (Death certificate)
Julia Lynch                              March 3, 1925 (Death certificate)
Julia Ann Martin                      November 29, 1917 (Death certificate)
Peter Martin                            1831-July 26, 1911 (Death certificate)
Jessie Mathews                       June 16, 1904-March 2, 1920 (Death certificate)
Isom Matlock                          June 12, 1928 (Death certificate)(Civil War)
Winston Mauzy                       1859-November 18, 1912 (Death certificate)
Tobe Midkiff                           January 10, 1848-July 24, 1935 (Death certificate)
C Walter Miller                       September 5, 1892 (Hartford Herald)
Infant stillbirth Moore              April 22, 1922-April 22, 1922 (Death certificate)
Nannie Morgan                       February 25, 1936 (Death certificate)
S Morgan                                January 9, 1888
William Neitman                      August 15, 1882 (Hartford Herald)
Professor R D Newton           1868-April 1, 1928 (Death certificate)
W M P Paris                           1853-August 3, 1918 (Hartford Republican)
Jim Bob Powers                      February 20, 1934 (Death certificate)
Redmon (Redivan) Prior          May 9, 1922 (Death certificate)
Arvin (Aaron) Lee Pryor          March 13, 1921-March 20, 1921 (Death certificate)
George Robinson                    March 16, 1857-April 8, 1936 (Death certificate)
James Royal                            April 12, 1886 (Hartford Herald)
Dave Sanders                          November 26, 1916 (Death certificate)
Frank Shrader                         August 6, 1869-October 17, 1938
Harry Smith                            1890-October 25, 1912 (Death certificate)
Thomas Jefferson Stevens      January 5, 1911 (Death certificate)
Ben Taylor                              April 9, 1888
James Tooley                          August 6, 1938 (Death certificate)
Amanda Tichenor                   February 1867-June 17, 1936 (Death certificate)
Henry Whitehouse                  May, 1935 (Ohio County News)
Malissa Wilson                       March 2, 1912 (Death certificate)
Virge Wise                             July 7, 1920 (Death certificate)
Miss Matt Woodward             April 4, 1920 (Death certificate)
Thomas Wright                      April 13, 1924 (Death certificate)

Black railroad laborer, Mr. Flax, died 6-2-1907 killed at Centertown.  Buried at “almshouse cemetery” in Hartford (Daviess County Historical Quarterly, Volume 11-12).
Unknown infant died 1924 (Death certificate).
Unknown male murdered on ICRR tracks died April 10, 1936.
Lena Gary died there December 3, 1900.

[1] Wikipedia: Poor farms were county or town-run residences where paupers (mainly elderly and disabled people) were supported at public expense. They were common in the United States beginning in the middle of the 19th century and declined in use after the Social Security Act took effect in 1935 with most disappearing completely by about 1950.
Most were working farms that produced at least some of the produce, grain, and livestock they consumed. Residents were expected to provide labor to the extent that their health would allow, both in the fields and in providing housekeeping and care for other residents. Rules were strict and accommodations minimal.
Poor farms were the origin of the U.S. tradition of county governments (rather than cities, townships, or state or federal governments) providing social services for the needy within their borders; the federal government did not participate in social welfare for over 70 years following the 1854 veto of the Bill for the Benefit of the Indigent Insane by Franklin Pierce. This tradition has continued and is in most cases codified in state law, although the financial costs of such care have been shifted in part to state and federal governments.


  1. Very Disturbing, William Faught is my 3rd Great Grandfather. What can we do about this?

  2. If you have a family plot and would like to have William Faught and who I assume to be a relative Thomas Faught moved, apply to have their bodies exhumed and moved (assuming that it can be done). Of course you would have to pay for the exhumation and the expense to move and reburial.