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.
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.
 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.