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Union County Home Register, 1885-1974
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County Home (Infirmary) Register (1867-1974)
These records show the name, age, gender, marital status, date of birth and place of birth of patient, date admitted, from where admitted, and date of discharge or death. It should be noted that the infirmary records from 1851 to 1884 have been lost, as was recorded in the 1883 History of Union County, Ohio. However, admission records for those coming to the home prior to 1885 and still living there in 1885 is included in the initial 1885 listing and includes their original date of admission.
On February 26, 1816, the Ohio General Assembly authorized boards of county commissioners to construct county poor houses for the care of paupers. Through legislative enactment on March 23, 1850, the poorhouse became the county infirmary. In addition to caring for the poor, the county infirmary served as a place of confinement for the needy, sick, the mentally ill, and the epileptic. Consequently, on June 7, 1849, the Union County Commissioners, after due consideration, agreed unanimously to levy a tax for the purpose of purchasing land on which to erect a county poor-house. In December 1850, seventy-five acres of land was purchased from Josiah Kelsey, to be used as a poor-farm. James W. Evans was awarded the contract for erecting a building on the premise on March 4, 1850, for the sum of $1,409. It should be noted that the infirmary records from 1851 to 1867 have been lost, as was recorded in the 1883 History of Union County, Ohio.
In 1870, the Commissioners decided to construct a new county infirmary, which was completed on November 8, 1872, at a cost of $29,200. The new infirmary was a four story structure with a basement and had one hundred rooms, while the old infirmary was utilized as a barn. In 1883, the infirmary was described as being “one of the finest for the purpose in the State” of Ohio. In the fall of 1883, the Commissioners decided to build an addition to the infirmary for the purpose of keeping insane individuals. The contract was let in January 1884 to Brooks & Kemper of Dayton at a cost of $1,570. The addition was completed later that year. In June 1895, Samuel Amrine added two verandas to the Infirmary for the cost of $250.
On January 1, 1884, the General Assembly prohibited admitting children who were eligible for children’s homes to the infirmary, unless the children were separated from the adult inmates. This legislation resulted in the creation of the Union County Children’s Home that same year. Records pertaining to the Union County Children’s Home can be found under the Children’s Home records. Fourteen years later, it became unlawful to confine the insane and epileptic individuals in the infirmary.
Beginning in the late 1950s discussion began circulating about replacing the nearly ninety year old county home. The Board of County Commissioner accordingly placed a bond issue on the ballot, which after being initially rejected was accepted.
On December 14, 1959, the Commissioners approved the plans presented by Howard Manor, architect, of Bellefontaine, Ohio. Knowlton Construction Company of Bellefontaine was awarded the construction contract on June 20, 1960, for the cost of $290,800. The construction lasted throughout 1960 and 1961, with the Commissioners accepting the new county home, on July 31, 1961. In July 1966, the commissioners decided to make an addition to the county home, which was completed in the spring of 1968. This final addition made the facility into a 32,000 square foot structure with ninety beds. On April 19, 1976, the name was formally changed from the Union County Home to Union Manor.
On January 1, 1995, the County Commissioners relinquished control of Union Manor to Memorial Hospital of Union County. The old county home proved to be inadequate and discussions began whether to conduct a major remodel of Union Manor or to construct a new facility. It was decided to build a new building at Green Pastures in Marysville. Bids went out in May 1999 and construction began in August of that same year. The final cost for the 54,000 square foot facility came in at $8.2 million. On April 1, 2001, Union Manor was officially closed and all the patients were transferred to the new facility, The Gables at Green Pastures.