Carroll County Comet

Four changes of guard at the County Home



Editor’s note: County historian Mark Smith has been researching information for articles on the rich heritage of Carroll Manor, from its inception to present day, using local histories and other valid sources. The following is the fifth article in the series.

Mr. Mock continued in charge of the poor farm during the years 1854 and 1855 and until Dec. 3, 1856, when Theodore Smoyer was appointed superintendent of the county asylum for the poor. His salary of $600 was payable in quarterly installments.

On Jan. 30, 1858, the superintendency passed into the hands of John Maxwell, who, on the following March 4, made a report of the situation of affairs showing that during the year preceding, twenty paupers had been received and twentyone discharged; and two deaths had occurred during the year, the diseased being self-abuse and bad whisky. Expenses incurred were $1,839.96; case on hand, $40.61; total $1,880.57. Received from the County Treasurer, $1,716.30; received from produce sold, $164.27; total $1,880.57. Produce sold, outstanding, $413.69.

A change was made in the administration of affairs on Jan. 28, 1859, when Mitchell Girard was appointed Superintendent. From time-to-time since that date, according to the demands of the situation, modifications and improvements have been made in the county buildings for the management and maintenance of the poor. The area of tillable lands and the facilities of the same, have also been enlarged so as to afford employment for as many of the inmates of the asylum as were physically incapacitated for labor. As a rule, the proceeds arising from pauper-labor has been in excess of the amount necessarily expended for their maintenance on the farm; hence, with occasional exceptions, under judicious managements, the institution has been self-sustaining. (History of Carroll County, 1882 by Thomas Helm, pp. 135-6.)

The next few installments will bring readers into more current eras – the latter part of the 19th, early part of the 20th, and the present day – and will attempt to lead into the development of the current facility, using a blend of the History of Carroll County by Odell, 1916, and the National Register Documentation of the present facility.