Marshall County Asylum

From: History of Marshall County, 1836 to 1880, by Daniel McDonald, pg. 34:

The first county asylum property was purchased in 1849, of John Murphy, for the sum of $1,671.11. It was situated on the Plymouth and LaPorte road, about three miles west of Plymouth. For some cause which does not appear of record, it was ordered sold June 19, 1853, for not less than $1,350, and the Auditor was authorized to sell to Joseph Evans for $900 in Fort Wayne and Chicago Railroad stock, and $450 in two equal annual payments. The record of its sale does not appear, but the offer of Mr. Evans was probably accepted, as he afterward owned the property. The present [in 1880] "Poor Farm" is located about one mile from Tyner City. The building is of wood, 34 x 36, two stories, and was erected in 1862. William B. KYLE is the present Superintendent.

From: Marshall County Roots and Branches, Vol. 16, No. 1, January, 1995; Judy McCollough, editor and compiler.

The County Asylum was first located three miles west of Plymouth on the LaPorte Rd. The farm was purchased from John Murphy and then sold to Joseph Evans in 1853. From 1853 to 1862 the "poor of the county were let out to the lowest bidder and did not always receive the care and attention that humanity would demand." The first "Poor Farm" built was on a farm one mile north-east of Tyner City in 1862. It was sold by the county in 1891 to Andrew Campbell for $6,000. The Independent, a local newspaper, stated in the Dec. 21, 1894 issue that, since the completion of the Asylum near Tyner, "no county in the state has taken better care of her poor than has Marshall."

The commissioners decided to relocate the poor farm at a site nearer the county seat, Plymouth. In September, 1891 they purchased 195 acres from Henry Humrichouser for $19,547.50 and contracts were let for the erection of the new asylum. In 1898, The Republican, another local newspaper, describes the 39 inmates at the home....."They do not belong to the criminal class, though the moral perceptions of some of them are weak because of mental defects, but they are respectable people who are obliged to partake of the bounty of the institution because of physical disability or mental taint and lack of relatives who are able to support them."

Visitors to today's "Shady Rest" Home will find a bright, clean, attractive homelike atmosphere where a resident is cared for with the utmost respect for their individual dignity. While the County Poor Farm of 1891 fulfilled the needs of its time, Shady Rest is truly a home, no longer an asylum.

Asylum Records - An index to the Asylum records held at the Marshall County Research Library.