February 27, 2016 – Meeting

Morrow County Infirmary

The program featured the history of the Morrow County Infirmary, later called the County Home. Phylis Miller began by asking those present if they had memories of the facility. Bob Brooke recalled visiting a relative who resided there. Jim Patterson spoke of doing repair work there for Levering Brothers Plumbing and Heating. Fritz Miller remembered his mother telling of her family staying there for two weeks when they moved to the county in the early 1900s and found the tenants had not vacated their recently purchased farm.

Phylis then related events in the home’s long history beginning with the county’s purchase of the land from W. Smith Irwin in 1870. She provided details of the expansion of the buildings and grounds and listed the various superintendents. The home was at its busiest during the Depression years of the 1930s with 49 residents and providing for frequent transients. All able-bodied residents worked on the farm and gardens and produced most of the food consumed.

Stan Sipe then talked about the declining years of the institution and the controversy leading to its closing in 1986. He quoted from articles in the local newspapers regarding the conflict between two of the county commissioners. He also mentioned the movie, “Crazy for a Kiss,” which was filmed at the home in the 1990s. No one present had viewed the movie.

Aaron Davis spoke briefly of his research of the burial records of former home residents. He feels certain he has located the sites of two cemeteries on the county home land. Many were buried in public cemeteries.

Phylis concluded the presentation with the fact that all the County Home buildings, except for the barn, were demolished in 3 1/2 hours on February 4, 2002. She mentioned current uses of the property including the Headwaters Outdoor Education Center, the County Jail, the Ohio Department of Transportation facility and the new Dog Shelter. She also said the commissioners had donated some items of furniture to the County Historical Society.