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Fountain County - Poor Farm

 (20 August 2021)
Original photo from an old newspaper donated by S. and Dustin B.

(compiled and added here and FindAGrave by Karen Bazzani Zach - ENJOY

NEWS – Fountain County Poor Farm

Source: People’s Friend 1 Oct 1862 p 3
The Commissioners of Fountain County wish to purchase a Farm for the purpose of erecting buildings for the accommodation of the poor, of said county, containing about 250 acres of good land with 100 or 150 acres in cultivation within 7 or 8 miles of Covington toward the center of the county


Source: Crawfordsville Weekly Journal Saturday, 5 December 1874
A distressing accident occurred last week to a family by the name of Peddit (Pettit?), who were en route from Kansas to this county, and encamped on the Wabash near Covington. On Thursday morning, they were preparing to get an early start, in order to reach their destination before night. As breakfast was being prepared, a little daughter, about fifteen years old, drew near the fire to warm herself when her clothing caught fire. The girl, seeing all effort to extinguish the flames were unavailing, ran to the river’s bank and jumped into the water, but not before her lower extremities were burned in a horrible manner. Before night the entire family was furnished quarters in the Fountain poor asylum, and every effort was made to alleviate the sufferings of the child, who died at 10 o’clock the next morning.

Source: Indianapolis News 14 June 1902 p 1

Covington, Ind June 14 – Yells that radiate two miles and more are heard as one drives up the high road along the Wabash River bottoms toward the Fountain County poor house.  One yell after another rose yesterday from a big corn field away off in the lowlands along the banks of the Wabash, heard clearly in the peaceful atmosphere of a summer day in the county. The cries came from Harry Warrick, one of the incurably insane inmates of the poor farm, discharged from a state hospital four years ago.  Though Warrick’s yells are kept up day and night, his voice never fails him or becomes hoarse. Night before last he began yelling at 2 o’clock in the morning and continued it the rest of the night, keeping all the inmates awake. Frequently he yells all night long. The aged and infirm inmates become so worn by loss of sleep due to Warrick’s hallooing that they sometimes threaten to make way with him. The county commissioners are considering the construction of a room with walls that deaden sounds. Warrick’s special liking is to carry water to the workmen in the fields. He is encouraged in this because it takes his yells out into the opening. When he came in with his tin water bucket from the cornfields yesterday noon and entered the dining room, he refused to sit down and eat. He perched at the table and began talking, mixing his words with wild cries. The sane, the insane and the epileptics, men and women, all together in the dining-room  were compelled to hear Warrick. The superintendent, Joseph Glascock, quieted him somewhat but he would not eat until all the others left; then he ate greedily and issued from the dining room cramming down a large hunk of cheery cobbler. Soon he seized his water bucket and hurried away to the corn field, yelling as he walked down the fence rows. In the winter Warrick disturbs the other inmates more than in the summer for then he can not live in the fields. He eats all sorts of things. Often he is found eating an ear of old field corn. One day he made away with six large ripe cucumbers laid aside for seed.

The superintendent tried, without success, handcuffing Warrick and tying a cloth over his mouth. He fears he might smother Warrick if he tied a cloth over his mouth at night. This is one of the many cases that make life at the Fountain County poor farm sad for the sane old people gathered in for their closing years. There are nine discharged rom state hospitals, five insane discharged from state hospitals as incurable and a half dozen insane and simple-minded who have never been to a state institution all there in a total population of 42. Imagine them in a dining room and in sleeping rooms with persons of sound mind.  When the sane and insane men left the dinner table yesterday after a good meal and walked out into the back yard they found John Devault lying on a bench twitching and frothing in an epileptic fit. Devault was discharged from the Central Insane Hospital as incurable in 1901. He has been known to have 24 fits in one day. With nine epileptics, fits are of common occurrence. One of the epileptics, Dug Lotts is unable to walk without help. He is feeble indeed and is arms and legs  are deformed. He is attended by a sore-eyed inmate nearly blind from smallpox, with which he suffered several years ago. Loots does not leave his room.  The institution has no plumbing and the foul atmosphere of the epileptic’s rooms mixed with the odor of bedbug remedies, was most repulsive, although the windows were raised high. In this room were three dirty beds one double and two single.  William Meaker, a waif shipped west from NY years ago is a dangerous epileptic, who is locked in a cell at night.  If anyone happens to laugh, Meaker is likely to think the laughing is at him and then he becomes enraged and prepares to attack somebody.

Three women are epileptics, one going by the name of Kate Moss, another Minnie Lamb and another Cora Harper. The last named becomes unmanageable sometimes and must be locked up.  Minnie Lamb is the child of Kate Moss. She was born at the poor house and may be called a child of the institutional system of former days, which has disappeared or is fast disappearing as a result of reforms brought about by such leaders in charitable and correctional lines as have composed the Board of State Chairities. Minnie Lamb keeps a record of every bit of work she does.  The collection of records, which are old pieces of paper, is stored away in her trunk. She called them her, “Book of Life.”   She patches and sews buttons with evident pleasure and every time she sews a button on or patches a garment she takes a pencil and records the fact and the name of the owner of the garment. When she goes out to hang up clothes she takes her pencil along and makes a record immediately after hanging each garment up. She now and then foots up the records and she can tell the number of buttons she has sewed on or the number of biscuits she has baked during her life.  Yesterday she was barefooted and happy, sewing away in the tattered garment room.

In one of the down stairs rooms are Levi Brown and his wife, a rather fine-looking old couple.  He is 82 years old and his wife 76. Though he has suffered from epilepsy for 40 years, he probably plows more corn than any other man of his age in Indiana. He plowed all day yesterday. When the superintendent asked him this spring not to plow, he was greatly put out and said he would go to an adjoining farm and hire out. The superintendent decided it would not be right to deprive the old man of the pleasure and comfort he finds in working. The idea that “Daddy” Brown wishes to do what he can, while life and strength lasts, to support himself and wife is not without pathos. The aged couple has been in the poor farm about 3 years, and if the old woman had not become paralyzed they would be independent yet.  She was a true helpmeet when the couple lived on a farm. For almost 40 years she helped her husband buckle on the leather harness he wears when he suffers epileptic fits. He could tell by a pain in his side when the fits were approaching. When he felt the pain he went home from his work and put on the harness which was then fastened to a ring in the floor. He is an intelligent man and, learning how unmanageable he became during attacks of epilepsy, he had a physician design leather harness which binds his hands and feet to his body and which he deliberately puts on. He keeps the harness in an old, black valise in his room. So powerful is he in his fits, despite his old age, that it takes five men to hold him, although he is bound hand and foot.

John Q. Brown, discharged from the Central Hospital for the insane as incurable was thought to be harmless. For a year he did not say a word. Suddenly one morning, he cried out, “Talk about the insane.” With that he began talking and swearing. He tore his bed tick to pieces and shouted out the name of every inmate and every horse on the farm. The superintendent says one can never tell when the insane will become dangerous. Last winter, an old widow, past 80, who came of a good family had to live at the poor house. The fits of epileptics exited her and the outbreaks of the insane terrified her. The longer she stayed the worse she fears them until  finally she was a nervous wreck. This summer her daughter was able to care for her and took her away. Like many other poor houses, the Fountain County house has a soldier of the Civil War, as an inmate, George Winters enlisted at Covington in the 60s. He was not strong-minded and it has always been a mystery to his old friends why he was accepted. He wandered away from the Federal troops three times and three charges of desertion stand against him in the war department records. Having been dishonorably discharged, he was unable to get a pension and the superintendent says that efforts to have the records charging desertion amended have failed. Winters was let out of a Southern prison and it took him three years to get back to Fountain County.

The poor farm has no bath tubs and no sewerage system. Superintendent Glascock says the commissioners are planning to put  a sewerage system in and to build an addition to make more room. The institution becomes so crowded in winter that five or six men sleep in a little room.  The walls have been whitewashed and rewhitewashed until they have ceased to look homelike  A coat of colored paint would bring a great deal of cheer to the institution. There isn’t a picture on the walls to relieve the dreariness.

The farm has 275 acres and is excellent land. A large garden supplies vegetables for all. Yesterday the inmates had new beets for dinner. There is an abundance of cherries. Already 42 gallons have been canned for next winter’s store. Tobacco is grown. The young plants this year are not promising and some of the old inmates are afraid the rations may be cut off. “Take away our bread, but leave us our tobacco,” they say to the superintendent. Two hired hands are employed by the county.  Little work is got from the inmates, excepting “Daddy” Brown who plows corn between fits of epilepsy. Superintendent Glasscock believes the State should relieve the counties of all insane and epileptics. He would be especially glad to be relieved of the epileptics of which he has an unusually large number, considering the population of the poorhouse.  

Source: Crawfordsville Weekly Journal Thursday 19 February 1874
The infant that made its appearance at the Fountain County Poor Farm a few weeks ago has been taken away by Mrs. Hively, from near Attica, and adopted as an heir in her family.
(*1880 census shows Albert Hively, aged 6 living in the home of Thomas and Margaret Hively)


Household Members Age Relationship

Joseph Glasscock  63 Head
Maranda Glasscock 59 Wife
Ethel Glasscock 20 Daughter
Alfred Ballah 22 Servant
Leo Witbrick 33 Servant
Celia Furr 19 Servant
Emma Spankle  44 Servant
Henry Warrick  55 Inmate
Douglas Lutz 20 Inmate
George Winters  63 Inmate
Edward Peterson  68 Inmate
John Holmes  62 Inmate
Andrew Scott  18 Inmate
Samuel Martin  63 Inmate
James Carral  70 Inmate
Lewis Richardson  57 Inmate
Johnathan Philpot  51 Inmate
Levi Brown 79 Inmate
Mary Ann Brown  74 Inmate
William Meeker  60 Inmate
Hamalton Bartlett  73 Inmate
Lewis Pierson 59 Inmate
Eliza Ewing 63 Inmate
Catharine Moss 47 Inmate
Jane Wilmouth 65 Inmate
Mary Munson 52 Inmate
Minnie Lamb 27 Inmate
Alice Drollinger 40 Inmate
Rebecca Bayley 55 Inmate
Margt Smith 74 Inmate
John Haden 21 Inmate
John Wallace 42 Inmate
David Murphy 84 Inmate
John Mckinsey 60 Inmate
James Langinghan 73 Inmate
John Shaffer 80 Inmate
Jep Tittle 72 Inmate
Lewis Jones 35 Inmate
Sam Shaffer 80 Inmate
Sam Bellmy 4 Inmate
Wm Mccoy 41 Inmate
John Agean 76 Inmate
Sam Barnhart 67 Inmate
William Holt 43 Inmate
Emma Holt  33 Inmate
Floyd Holt 5 Inmate
John G Brown 48 Inmate
John Runian 47 Inmate

Source: Kingman Star  3-29-1907

The Fountain County Poor Asylum has 37 inmates, 26 men and 11 women. Several of these persons are advanced age, one old lady being in her 94th year, but there is not much sickness among them, although there were eight deaths last year.

Source: Kingman Star 9-16-1910 p 1

Little Fay Mills, the orphan child, whose mother was the victim of her unnatural father’s lust, was brought to Covington Wednesday morning from  the Montgomery County Orphan’s Home and following instruction of Judge Schoonover, Superintendent Sam Sowers took the unfortunate child to the County Asylum. The child is now 7 years of age and is an embecile. The authorities at the Orphan’s Home refused to care for the child and the judge could not get it admitted to the home for feeble minded so there was nothing left for the court to do than to have it taken to the County Asylum where, perhaps it is better off after all for it is certain that it will be tenderly cared

Source: Hamilton County Democrat, Noblesville, Indiana Fri 18 Jan 1878 p 7

The Superintendent of the Fountain County Poor Farm reports the value of last year’s product at $3,473.50.

Source: Hamilton County Democrat, Noblesville, Indiana 11 Jan 1879 Sat p 2

There were 22 bidders before the Commissioners last week for the Superintendency of the Fountain County poor farm, the bids ranging from $600 to $1,000, the lowest was $600. The position, however, was given to Daniel Kingore at $700.


Source: Lafayette Daily Courier Jan 28, 1887
Superintendent Severason of the Poor Farm was interviewed today regarding Cynthea Chalmea, the woman who abandoned her babe at the Wabash Depot on Tuesday. He stated that after the child was about two weeks old a young man came to the poor farm to see the woman, and represented himself as her cousin. He was well dressed, of very respectable appearance and gave her quite a sum of money. Before leaving he made an appointment to meet her on the 25th of January at Covington. When that time came Mr. Severson says the woman was not in condition to travel but she insisted, appeared nervous and excited and it was noticed that in taking out her clothes she was particular to keep her own and those of the child separate. It is the opinion of those who have investigated the case that there is more back of the whole matter than has been developed.

Source: Lafayette Daily Courier 4 Feb 1887
The latest report from the woman who deserted her babe at Lafayette last week is that she came to this city and took the tow-path train for Portland, where she was met by a man. It is also said that the two were married on Tuesday of last week and are now keeping house in Shawnee Township – Attica Ledger
Note: Cyntha (Syntha) Hayden married David Chumlea 16 Dec 1881  Fountain County Indiana by Allen Grady, JP
Note: John Covault married Cynthia Haden 26 Jan 1887 – by James P. Ayles, JP


Source: Death Certificate 1910 #36
John Shaffer
Occupation: Inmate County Farm from 1900
JR Hicks Physician County Farm
Died April 5, 1920 – Senile – bacterial? Lungs
Buried Attica April 6 1910 by JA Coffing
Where born: DO NOT KNOW
Age: 90
Father    same
Mother same


Source: Death Record Troy Twp Fountain County Indiana
April 23, 1901 Samuel SHAFER
Dr. George Rowland attended the deceased from April 22, 1901 that he died April 23, 1901 at 6 o’clock p.m. Pneumonia cause – duration 48 years
Samuel Shafer died at age 80 years – months – days
Male, White, Single
Resides County House died County House
Occupation: Drummer
Born: America
Father not known or place of his birth
Mother not known or place of birth.
Buried April 24, 1901 in Attica, Ind
Undertaker: M Boord
Reported by Jos. Glascock Covington
Buried Riverside Cemetery Attica – tombstone 1819-1901 no biographical information

A Wm Shafer age 62
Samuel 48- Painter
Susan 55 - -Attica 1870 census
ALL three born in Maryland – imagine this is him


Source: Indiana Death Record 1910 Fountain County Farm #21
Male White Single
Born: June 14, 1837 Fountain Co IN
Died: County Poor Farm Feb 23, 1910
Dr. ? can’t read possibly J R Hart Hurst?  Covington took care of him from May 1909 to Feb 23, 1910 at 10:30 a.m. of Prostate Cancer
Father --- Sherill b VA
Mother: Malinda Murray b KY
Buried: Mt. Hope Feb 24 by M. Boord
Informant: Henry Sherril Attica (brother? Son? Nephew? Cousin?))

POOR FARM & Darwin obit – wonder what her name is ?

Source: Lafayette Journal and Courier, 25 Nov 1933 Sat p3
Mrs. Darwin and, former resident here, died Tuesday evening at the Fountain County Poor Farm after a long illness.

Source: Lafayette Journal Courier Thursday 29 May 1930 p 11

Covington, Ind May 29 – In an unmarked grave in an old abandoned cemetery once used by the Fountain County Poor Farm lie the mortal remains of Antoinne Rousseau, a hero of the Revolutionary War, it has been established by the local Richard Henry Lee Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution.  Identification was made possible through county farm papers and French government records. Rosseau was a follower of General de Lafayette who helped the colonists overthrow English rule in the American Revolution. It is found that the adventurer was born in France in 1760 and came to America with Lafayette in 1777 on the ship Victoria. He fought through the Revolutionary War, both on land and sea. It was found that he was detailed to the fleet of Compte DeGrasse in the battle of Chesapeake Bay and was also in the siege of Yorktown. The record is lost here but he entered the Fountain County infirmary in 1846 at the age of 86 and died there June 23, 1855. The DAR Chapter is endeavoring to have a government marker placed on his grave.


Source: Indiana Death Record
Covington, Troy Twp Fountain County, Indiana – no # for the record just p 192 at the top
Name: Laura Pithoud
Died Jan 4, 1905
Dr WR Stout took care of her Oct 1, 1904 to Jan 4, 1905 when she passed away at 3 o’clock pm
Relapse from typhoid fever congestive chill
Female White Divorced
Born: Jan 29, 1873
32 Years
Occupation: Housekeeper
Born: Indiana
Father; Herman Cory Indiana
Mother: Sarah Patton Ohio
Died County Infirmary
Sarah Finney, informant
Buried Jan 6 at Harveysburg Cemetery

Source:  Indiana Department of Health Death Certificate #97
Died: Troy Twp (Covington) Fountain County, Indiana
County Infirmary
Male White
Born July 29 *27?) 1845 69Y 3 Months 13 Days
Single no wife
Dr. EC Wert cared for him from Oct 1 to Oct 9, 1914 when he passed away at 7:20 p.m. passed of a cerebral hemorrhage.  
Born: Pennsylvania
Father: Fredrick Price born New Jersey
Mother: Hannah Vanfleet born Pennsylvania
Informant Henry Price, Veedersburg
Buried Grahams Cemetery by Harry C. Fishero Oct 11. 1914


Source: Indiana Death Certificate
John Pugh resides Covington, Indiana
Age: 35 Years 7 Months 19 Days
Died Fountain Co Poor Asylum April 23, 1901
Dr. George Rowland
Father Jerry C. Pugh born Madison County, Indiana
Mother: Ellen Young born Union Co Ind
Buried: April 23, 1901 in Steely Cemetery by M. Boord
Reported by: Jerry C. Pugh, Covington
Dr. George Rowland attended John from March 17 to April 22, 1901 when John passed at 3;30 p.m. – Cause of death Pyaemia (blood poisoning) for 4 months


Source: Indiana Death Certificate Covington Troy Twp Fountain County Indiana
Died at County Poor Infirmary
Female White Widowed – husband unknown
Birth date/place Unknown 69 years old
Died Sept 29, 1902
Dr. WR Stout attended deceased from July 1902 to Sept 29th 1902 when she died at 8 o’clock pm.
Chief Cause paralysis since July 14, 1902 – second stroke immediate cause
Parents names/birthplaces unknown
Informant: Joseph Glascock (wish he’d have checked the records ☹
Buried Sept 18, 1902 in Kingman by M Boord


Source: Fountain County Death Certificate
Name: Louis Richardson
Age: 54 Born: About 1847
Died: 5 June 1901 at 11 a.m. at County Poor Farm
Cause of death: Dropsy which he had had for 6 months
Occupation: Farmer
Father: Dan Richardson
Mother: June Phebus
Buried: June 6th at Richardson Cemetery – Wabash Twp
Note: He had brothers: Cyrus, Dan, Henry and Perry.  Sisters: Malissa and Margaret (at least possibly more)


Source: Crawfordsville Review 2 Oct 1923 p 2
Covington, Oct 1 – John Tamberlyn, 72 years of age, died at the county farm, Saturday Sept 29.  He was the son of Henry and Eliza Shular Tamberlyn and was born near Alamo April 4, 1851. His only survivors is an aged mother who is now past 94 years of age.  His father who died 37 years ago came to this country from England in 1830. The Tamberlyn family with the exception of a few years spent in Missouri always lived in or near Fountain County.  Mr. Tamberlyn was at one time married but after the death of his wife he made a home for his aged mother. He was a member of the Presbyterian Church and as long as his health would permit a regular attendant. He was also a member of the Masonic Order at Veedersburg. Funeral services were held at the Lutheran Church in Wallace Monday afternoon.  Mr. Tamberlyn’s mother is in a critical condition from the shock of her son’s death.  


Source: Indiana Death Certificate Fountain County IN #73
Bishop Wash
Died: County Farm, Covington, Troy Twp, Fountain County, Indiana
Male White Widowed (Sarah E. Reed Wash – decd)
Born Nov 24, 1843
Age: 66 Years 9 Months 18 Days
Died: Sept 12, 1910 @ 11 p.m.
Born: KY
Father: James M. Wash born Unknown
Mother: Typhrona S. Mann born: Unknown
Occupation: Laborer
Informant: George Wash, Covington
M. Boord Deputy Coroner
Buried Covington Ind by M. Boord (doesn’t say where but since he passed at the poor farm think I will add him to the Poor Farm cemetery) on Sept 14
I’m pretty good at reading the old writing but not sure what he passed from – Cholina morbius ?  
Note: He served in Co. G, 30th KY Infantry


Source: Indiana Certificate of Death #267 (1903)
GEORGE W. WINTER died 7 July 1903
Dr. WR Stout stated he had cared for him from July 5 – 7 and he passed at 11 o’clock in the morning from General Debility.
Male – White – married to Mary Putney
Born 1830 in Indiana – Age 73 years at death
Occupation: Inmate of County Infirmary where he died
Father: Turrell ? Winters b. Ohio
Mother: Elizabeth Musser b. Ohio
Informant: Wm. Winters
Born: Cooper’s Cemetery (Cooper’s Chapel) by M Boord on July 8th

Source: Lafayette Daily Courier Jan 27, 1887

Dr. Spaulding, of Chauncey, throws some light on the mystery which surrounds the desertion of the infant at that Wabash Depot Tuesday. The latter states that the woman gave her name as Cynthia Chalmea, and that of her babe Alphonso; that the woman and a little girl were admitted to the asylum in November and that the woman had said then that her husband had deserted her. On the third of January she gave birth to the child whom she seemed very fond of although she had told the doctor she was poor and unable to take care of it and that she hoped she could find a good home for it. The above was substantially the same as the statement of Mr. Kilborn yesterday. She seemed anxious to go away but to no one did she tell her destination. Perhaps with the name of the woman Mayor Caldwell will be able to learn something of the woman’s past history of her whereabouts.

Source: Lafayette Daily Courier 29 Jan 1887

An employee of the Wabash road, who is acquainted with Cynthia Chalmea, the woman who deserted her babe at the Wabash Depot, states that she was a variety actress and, as far as he knew, was single. He said that she had played through Illinois last season under the name of Minnie Hawkins; that her right name was Cynthia Lewis, and that her home was near Covington. He also stated the little girl who was singing with her mother was an illegitimate child and that she had left home after her birth. Her character up to the coming of her first child, he stated, was beyond reproach and her parents, one of whom is still living, were in comfortable circumstances well known and respected in the community in which they lived.


Source: Warren Republican Thursday, Aug. 29, 1878
  At Covington on the 20th, Thomas Dooley, an Irishman, employed at the County Poor Farm, was found in the Wabash Canal, his head above water and alive. On being taken out, his body was found to be putrefied, and he died in a short time. Dooley was on a jamboree on the 18th, and is believed to have fallen into the canal and laid in the water until found.

Source: Covington Republican May 14, 1897 p1

Last Tuesday Wm. Sleet died at the County Poor Asylum.  He had been in ill health for a long time but was not thought o have been near deaths door and consequently no watchers were at his bedside. He died apparently without a struggle and had evidently been dead some time when found.  He has been many years a mendicant and for the past 30 years has been an inmate of the county house. – thanks Jim V


Source: Covington Republican Friday, December 9, 1898

  John McCown, who, until last fall, had been an inmate of the county poor farm, died at Attica Monday morning, from exposure. – s
Source: Covington People’s Friend Friday, December 9, 1898
  Coroner Myers was called to Attica last Monday to hold an inquest over the body of John McCowan, an old and well known character about town who had died very suddenly as a result of a month’s dissipation and exposure. The Ledger says that the deceased had been a resident of Attica all his life, being 74 years of age. Some years ago he became involved in a quarrel with a man named Wm. Pettice on Main Street and used a knife on the latter with vicious effect that he never fully recovered from the wound. For this offense McCowan received a heavy fine. For years after he did odd jobs around in town, chiefly sawing wood, but his health was not such that he could perform any kind of manual labor and his enforced idleness often drove him to imbibing a little too freely. A few years ago his wife died at the county poor farm from the effects of an operation and since that time McCowan had been gradually going down both in health and habits. He finally became a constant charge on the township and as a last resort was sent to the poor farm where he remained until last election. He came home to vote and next day became intoxicated and it is said has remained in that condition ever since. He has been in the habit of sleeping in Sheridan’s barn for the past month and his food has been such as he could pick up here and there among those who knew him. Sunday night he slept in the barn as usual and on waking started to walk out but was only able to walk a few rods before he fell and expired. He had suffered for a long time with asthma and there is no doubt but what the intense cold of the blizzard Sunday night so thoroughly chilled his weakened and emaciated body s to cause death. The coroner’s verdict was in accordance with the above facts. -s


Source: Covington Republican Friday, March 31, 1899

Last Friday morning a tramp was brought down to the poor farm from Attica, and he presented a horrible sight, being literally roasted. About half past three o’clock Friday morning parties at the Wabash depot, Attica, were startled by a series of shrill shrieks in the direction of the tile factory, and on looking in that direction were horrified to see a man all a mass of flames rushing toward them. After recovering from the shock they shouted to the fellow to lie down and roll on the ground. But he kept on running until he stumbled and fell into a small stream of water running through a ravine near the depot. Parties then ran to his assistance and found him lying on his face in the water and perfectly helpless. The flames burned nearly all his clothing from his body and his arms, breast and back were literally roasted. A physician was summoned who did all in his power to relieve the poor fellow’s sufferings. It was learned the unfortunate man was a tramp by the name of Frank Armbuerts, and his home was at Garrett, Ill. He had gone to one of the tile kilns, started a fire and laid down to sleep, the flames had ignited his clothing and when he awoke he was a mass of flames. When brought down to the poor farm, he was under the influence of opiates. On regaining consciousness he was informed that he could not survive his injuries and was questioned as to his family. He gave his name and home and said he had two sisters living at Peru, but would not give their names. He claimed to have been a soldier in the war of the rebellion and to have been on his way to some point in Ohio to secure evidence in a pension claim. All that was possible was done for him, but he suffered untold agony until late Friday afternoon, when death came to his relief.


Source: Covington Republican Friday, February 25, 1898

  Samuel McCartney, a long time resident of Attica, died at the poor farm early Friday morning, aged 77 years. The deceased was born in Ohio in 1821, and for the past thirty-four years has lived in Attica, and although he never accumulated much means he always maintained an integrity that brought him the respect of all who knew him. Old age with its infirmities crept upon him and rendered him unfit for work, so about three weeks ago he was brought to the poor house to be cared for in his declining years. The remains were taken to Attica at noon Saturday and laid to rest in the Riverside cemetery beside those of is wife. His life was an honest struggle for subsistence and is worthy of emulation.
(Note: He married Sarah Young 12 Sept 1864 in Covington, Fountain County – she died in 1894 after having consumption for many years – no children I don’t believe)


Source: Covington People’s Friend Friday, September 23, 1898
  Ignats Graff or “Notsy,” as he was familiarly called, has answered the eternal roll call of God and is now keeping silent vigil in the bivouac of the dead. The death angel visited this poor old man Monday, while he lay helpless on a cot at the county house. Many of our readers will remember the deceased, for not many years ago; he could be seen on the streets of the city enjoying life and seemingly in good spirits. He worked at odd jobs about town and what money he made he saved. He bought him a little home where he lived until old age came creepin’ on, and he was unable to care for himself. Finally nearly all his money was spent and it was “over the hill to the poor house” for poor Ignats Graff. It has been over three years since the doors at the asylum closed behind him, and during all that time he has been lying in bed as helpless as an infant babe. Not a relative of his resides in this county. By referring to the register we find the following entry: “Ignats Graff, age 64, admitted April 20, 1895. Helpless, old and feeble.” The remains were laid to rest in St.  Joseph cemetery Tuesday morning, after requiem mass had been said at the Catholic Church. The deceased had caused to be laid away $200 to bear the funeral expenses.   Deceased was born in Dunniniger, Germany, State of Woodenburg. He came to this country in 1860.   The pall bearers were J. W. Sullivan, John Miller, Wm. Kreusch, Philip Hunt, John Slattery, and John H. Spence.

Source: Warren Review Thursday, April 8, 1909
  Eliza Ewing, who is supposed to have been the oldest inmate of the Fountain County Poor Farm, died in that institution last week at the advanced age of 70 years. She and Henry Warrick have been inmates of the farm since the early sixties, or for about 55 years.

Source: Warren Republican Thursday, July 30, 1914

  Samuel H. Sowers, one of the well-known men of Fountain County, died at the home of his sister in Covington Sunday evening at 9:30 o’clock. He had been superintendent of the county poor farm for six years. Funeral services were held in Covington Tuesday and burial made in the Lutheran Cemetery at Wallace.


Source: Death Record

Died Nov 15, 1907 – sick from Oct 5th – with Pulmonary TB and Hemorrhage of lungs.  Born May 12, 1869 Fountain County – single age 38 Years 6 Months 3 days.
Father: Spencer Ferguson born Ind.  Mother: Narcissus Penner.  Buried Mt. Carmel Cemetery Nov 16th.  George Law, Poor Farm Superintendent gave the information died 4:05 a.m.


Source: ?
This is so sad.  Elliza was born 9 Aug 1838 somewhere in Switzerland and passed away in the County Poor Farm in Covington on March 7, 1908.  She had a couple of brothers (Daniel born Jan 1842 for one) and their father was John.  Imagine the two brothers and Eliza came here together.  She passed after being sick for six years with Potts Disease (basically tuberculosis of the spine = very painful). What was so odd is that in the 1900 census she was the head of the household (brother Daniel and “daughter” – not sure that woman was her daughter or imagine Daniel’s) and was listed as a CAPATALIST then eight years later dies in the poor farm and has no tombstone although it said she was buried in Attica.

Source: Death Record

Died March 22, 1911 – born April 19, 1847 Fountain County.  Listed on his death record, “Inmate County Farm,”  Informant was Henry Lindley of Silverwood. Passed of Bright’s Disease.  Father: Aaron born in NC and Mother: Julia Dotson born NC.  Buried “Cates” by M. Boord.


Source: Lafayette Journal and Courier Friday 22 July 1927 p 14

Covington, Ind July 22 – Robert Hartley, colored resident of the poor farm was bound over to the circuit court Wednesday by Justice of the Peace Asa Osborn, bond being fixed at $500 which he was unable to furnish and he was returned to mail. He is charged with assault and battery with intent to commit a felony, the charge growing out of an alleged attack on M. Sougen, County Farm Superintendent. Mr. Sougen was somewhat bruised.

Source: Lafayette Journal and Courier Sat 22 Nov 1930 p 9

Covington, Nov 22 – At a meeting of the county council a few months ago the county rural electrification committee met with the county officials and presented the Fountain County Plan for Rural Electrification to those men in view of supplying electric power for the county farm.  It was necessary to make an appropriation of $2,000 toward the construction of the line from Covington to the county farm, a distance of three and one-half miles. This action was approved and the money appropriated. In the meantime, the farmers of this section became interested and by cooperating with the county could secure service. This idea met approval and a committee of farmers with the rural electrification committee soon found that there was a good interest. After a short time a real demonstration was made, showing that the local farmers, when interested, can put over their own proposition. The line has been approved by the electric people which will add about 5 miles of line to the county program and serve 20 more farmers including the county poor farm. This line will be constructed immediately according to FM Hartman of the Wabash Electric Company of Clinton, field representative for this territory.  The construction of the line will begin about Nov 25 and will be completed within 3 weeks if weather permits, which means another community in Fountain County will have electric lights for Christmas. The local committee consisted of HM Osborn, Ira Coffing and Charles Denton. The whole community deserves credit including the city council of Covington which granted the franchise. The line will run up the river road to the county farm; a branch will take off at the Shelby corn and run east to Salem Church, thence south to HM Osborn’s.  The farmers have been wiring the past week in that section.  In brief, more work has been completed in two years time than it was felt could have been done in five.  In the US there are 9.2 % of all farmers with electric service. In Fountain County two years ago, there were only 7 farms electrified and today more than 10% of local farms are on high tension lines, besides half that number with individual lighting plants.  

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