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Bay County Poor Farm (1858-1962)
Located in Hampton Township, n.w. corner of Hampton & Knight Roads.

Preface:
Within a year of its organization in 1857, Bay County set in motion the process to establish a means to take of its most needy and desolate citizens. The county's population at that time numbered less than 700, and almost all resided in the villages of Bay City and Portsmouth.

The facilities of Poor Farm was a fine one and reflected well on the county's desire to assure decent care for those who needed assistance. It's main building was a large full two and half story structure that housed patients and care takers. The facilities included a farmwith many smaller buildings for storage implements, and house poultry and other farm animals. Patients capable of work, aided in caring for the crops and animals. In addition, it had a portion of land set aside for a small cemetery, and an area in the basement where caskets were made.

Very little was written in early history books about the Poor Farm, other than a passing reference of its existence. What is sure is that its history was uniquely meaningful to the individuals that relied on its support.

__________

1858 - First supervisors of the poor. (Added Sep. 2008)

Portrait & Biographical History of Bay County, MI - Augustus Gansser (1905)

Page 112. The supervisors appointed E. N. Bradford, Israel Catlin and Jule B. Hart as superindendents of the poor, for verily "the poor ye shall have always with ye." The poor board held its first meeting October 10, 1858. The county treasurer's report showed that county poor orders to the amount of $78.14 had been paid, and $2.85 remained in the poor fund.

  • Bay was organized as a county in 1857.

    1866 - Land purchased.

    History of Bay County, 1915.

    COUNTY FARM.

    In the year 1866, the Board of Supervisors purchased a tract of prarie land on the east side of the Saginaw River, near the bay, comprising about 120 acres, upon which suitable buildings have been erected, including a hospital, and retreat for mild cases of insantify, and the ground have been thoroughly ditched, drained and cultivated to a point, relieving the county of a large portion of expense attending the care of the few paupers who make claim as charges upon the county.

    1872-73 State report, describes first poorhouse. (Added Sep. 2008)

    Pauperism and Crime in Michigan in 1872-73.

    BAY COUNTY POORHOUSE
    ------

    Page 11.

    The report of the superintendents for Bay county shows the whole number of paupers at the poorhouse to be sixty-four, and the average number maintained five and five-sixths. If this is correct, it shows a very remarkable fluctuation, the nearest approach to which is found in Marquette county. These counties contain a large floating population, resulting from the employment of larger numbers of men in lumbering and mining operations, and from their being lake ports; and this may account for the unusual difference between the average and the whole number, although in other counties, the difference is not so great.

    Page 101.

    The poor-house is situated in the township of Hampton, about four miles east of Bay City. It is on a good farm and is located a long distance back from the road, affording a fine opportunity for neat grounds in front of the premises. The building is two-story frame structure, and there is a separate house for the keeper. There is a young orchard on the farm, and something of a vegetable garden.

    The surroundings about the house look neat and tidy, and the general appearance of things without and within, except in the men's room, was orderly and good. The keeper is new, this being his first year in the business. The floors are painted, and as a general thing they seem clean. Tobacco is not furnished the paupers, and as a substitute, they use dried mullen leaves. The farm is apparently well worked, and the keeper a good farmer. There is no cellar to the buildings, which seems a great defect. Two children under six years of age are in this house. One old woman is lying on a bed, and is a great care, as she is so infirm as to be wholly unable to do anything. The rooms in the female department appeared to be tidy and clean, but those occupied by the males did not seem to be thus kept; and notwithstanding it was a warm day, yet a half-dozen paupers, any of whom were able to, and should have been required to keep their room cleanly and in order, were hovering in idleness about a hot stove in the men's sitting room.

    We were accompanied by Mr. Israel Catlin, one of the gentlemanly superintendents of the poor.

  • This was the first of three poorhouse buildings erected by Bay County.

    1880 State Report. - Added Dec., 2009.

    Joint Documents of the State of Michigan, Vol. II, 1880.

    Bay County Poorhouse.
    _________

    The poorhouse is a frame building located in the township of Hampton, about two miles from the village of Essexville, and about four miles from Bay City, the county seat. It is in very good condition, and the accommodations are all that could be desired. Recently there has been made, in a part of the house, a comfortable hospital, properly warmed and ventilated, it being the desire of the supervisors to have every place made as comfortable as possible. There is a frame building within a few rods of the poorhouse, used as an asylum for the insane and idiotic, capable of accommodating sixteen or eighteen persons without crowding. The apartments are divided so that the males are entirely separated from the females, and they are not allowed to eat together at the same table. The buildings used for farm purposes, situated about fifteen or sixteen rods from the poorhouse, are in good condition, and large enough to store all the grain grown on the farm of 120 acres. Part of the farm is not very good. The supervisors, during this October session of the board, have made a small appropriation for drainage, which, no doubt, will be of essential benefit to the lower lands. Bath-tubs are used, and the inmates are required to bathe once in each week, and paupers newly arrived are required to bathe and put on clean clothes. All the rooms are warmed by large stoves, burning good hard wood. The rooms well ventilated by transoms over the doors, and windows in very room which, if necessary for further ventilation, can be opened. The paupers are kindly treated and willingly do what work they can, but much cannot be expected, most of them being either crippled, old and infirm, or incapacitated for work by disease most of the diseases having been brought on by intemperance. The food consists of beef, pork, wheat and corn bread, potatoes, and other vegetables that are raised on the farm. Meals are about as follows: Breafast vegetables, bread, coffee, tea, sugar, fried pork, mush and sweet milk; dinner vegetables, boiled corned beef, boiled pork, fish, potatoes, corn and wheat bread, etc.; supper mush and sweek milk, bread and potatoes, and tea for the aged and infirmed. Comfortable woolen clothing and under clothing are furnished during the winter; in summer, cotton good of all grades, but all suited to the season. The permanent paupers have an extra suit of clothes to wear on Sunday. Paupers are furnished with books, shoes, and slippers when needed, a supply of these being generally on hand. The sick have nurses selected from the well paupers, and the care they bestow is all that could be expected from unpaid help. The keeper and his good wife are extremely kind to the sick, and see that their wants are properly supplied. There is a doctor engaged at a yearly salary who visits the poorhouse and asylum frequently, so that the sick have the best of medical attendance. They are provided with such food as is suited to their cases. It is generally ordered by the doctor. The building for the insane and idiotic is a frame one, separate from the poorhouse about 50 feet. It is in excellent repair, well lighted, warmed, and ventilated. The inmates of the asylum are also well supplied with suitable clothing, and an extra suit for Sundays. Children are kept only a short time in the poorhouse, being either adopted or bound out; those not provided for within a short time after arrival are sent to the State School at Coldwater.

    The expense of keeping the poor at the county-house is somewhat greater than in 1879, owing to increase in the price of pork and some other eatables, but in the cities and townships the expense is considerably less than last year, owing, no doubt to there being plenty of work at good living wages ten to fifteen shillings per day. Tramps have not been so numerous as in former years.

    The sanity conditions of the poorhouse has been satisfactory during the year, no deaths and but little sickness having occurred among the permanent inmates. Two cases of fractured legs, and quite a larger number of surgical cases, have been sent there for treatment; also quite a number of cases of remittent and intermittent fevers. There is no partiality used in the furnishing of clothing and food, which we believe is to our interest.

    1880 Census - Contributed by Phil Draper, July, 2009.

    Listing of individuals at the poor farm compiled from the 1880 Census.
    - {View pdf file}

    1889 State report. (Added Sep. 2008)

    Joint Documents of the State of Michigan, Vol. II - 1889
    Page 38.

    Bay County Poorhouse.

    ________

    Bay. -- The poorhouse, located in Hampton township about four miles from Bay City, is a two-story frame building, not built for a poorhouse but for a common farm house. It has been added to several times so that it is now all that could be desired for that purpose. It has recently been painted both inside and outside. There are new hard wood floors, the ceilings and walls are freshly whitewashed, and the house is kept very clean and neat by Mrs. Purtell, the keeper's wife, with whose management the superintendents are much pleased. The farm buildings are in fine condition, and some new buildings have been erected during the year which are separate from the old ones and used for different purposes. Facilities for bathing bath-tubs, and each inmate is required to bathe throughly each week. Every one when admitted is required to wash and put on clean clothes furnished by the county. All the rooms are heated by wood and coal stoves. The method of heating and ventilating the sick wards has been changed and greater comfort for the sick secured. Ventilation is by windows in each room and by transom over each door. The paupers are kindly treated at all times and the keeper and his wife are untiring in their efforts to make the lives of the paupers pleasant. All are well fed on good healthy die. The clothing includes woolen shirts and drawers in winter, and in summer linen and calico shirts and light coats and pantaloons. They are clothed as well as their capacity will admit and the clothing and beds are kept clean. The Doctors Newkirk are employed on a yearly salary to attend the sick, and when necessary visit them daily. They visit the poorhouse frequently, averaging about twice a week. The doctors' report is: Number of sick require medicine 18; number confined to bed on account of sickness 6; number of deaths 2 cause, Bright's disease 1; inflammation of lungs 1; fracture 1; operation on chest 8, cold, etc., 8. We have no insane in the poorhouse, all being sent to the Eastern Asylum at Pontiac, where they can have proper attention and care. The idiotic, of who there are three, are kindly treated, the other inmates being kind to them and treating them as brothers. There are no children admitted to the poorhouse. They are generally adopted by the citizens, or in some instances, which are very seldom, they are sent to the State Public School at Coldwater.

    The Bay county farm contains 120 acres of land, all under cultivation and in as good condition as any farm of the same size in the county. Our farmer raises as good crops as any one if not the best in the township. Our last crops were as follows: Wheat, 190 bushels; corn, 800 bushels; oats 750 bushels; peas, 80 bushels; potatoes, 250 bushels; hay, 20 tons; ruta begas and carrots, 1000 bushels; parsnips, onions, beans, 35 bushels; a large quantity of cabbage; milch cows, 7; two spans of horses, colts, etc., pigs old and young upwards of 40, and all the necessary farming implements required. Our keeper and his wife appear to be well qualified for their difficult business. They seem to possess the faculty of controlling the inmates, some of whom are of weak mind, consequently have some difficulty among themselves, but a word from Mr. Purtell acts like oil poured upon disturbed waters.

    The keeper requires all able-bodied men (of who there are a few) to work on the farm all that they are able, and has raised all the above mentioned crops without any hired help, save that of one man and a little help during the harvesting and threshing the grain. The crops now growing on the farm are as followes, viz.: 26 acres of oats; 22 acres of wheat; 20 acres of corn; 10 acres of corn fodder; 8 acres of peas; 4 acres of potatoes; 10 acres of grass and about 6 acres of mangle, wurzel, carrots, squashes, beans and other garden produce, all promising large crops, exepting the corn which is rather backward on account of the very dry season.

    1896 burial at Poor Farm. (Contributed by Jim Petrimoulx, Mar., 2009)

    The Bay City Tribune - Wednesday, February 12, 1896 (page 5)

    THE POTTER'S FIELD.

    Remains of Cora Dagley Place There Yesterday.
    _______

    Cora Dagley was buried in the potter's field at the poor farm yesterday. She was an inmate of the poor house a few months ago and in poor health. Poor Commissioner Walther made arrangements to have her placed with a private family residing at 611 Howard street, where she passed away Monday night. She was alone in the world having no relatives to claim her remains, and they were conveyed to the poor farm by Undertaker Pearsall. It is probable that the medical department at the state unversity will demand the body for dissecting purposes.

    1900 - Bodies moved to burial grounds of Poor Farm. (Added Sep. 2008)

    The Bay City Tribune

    July 20, 1900.

    AN OLD GRAVEYARD
    ------

    Workmen Uncover It During Past Two Days.
    -------

    A reminder of early days of Bay City was brought to light during the past week by the uncovering of the old graveyard at the corner of Columbus avenue and Saginaw street. Friday afternoon the workmen engaged in excavating for Henry William's new machine shop unearthed a couple of coffins containing bones of former residents of the city., and yesterday three other coffins were brought to view, two being very small. There was nothing by which the remains could be identified, so they were thown upon the ground, to be picked over and carried away by the curious. One of the coffins was made of black walnut.

    July 25, 1900.

    WAS WELL PRESERVED
    -------

    Body of Woman Found in Old Graveyard.
    -----

    Half a dozen bodies have been uncovered during the past five days on the site of Williamson's machine shop, Columbus Avenue and Saginaw Street. Late yesterday afternoon one coffin was brought to light which was in a remarkable state of perservation. The body enclosed was that of a woman, apparently petrified and the form was so complete that there was no difficulty in distinguishing the sex. The attention of Captain Wyman was called to the matter and on investation he found a large number of people standing around the excavation. He at once notified Health Officer Ruggles and the latter call Coroner Hyatt to the scene and directed him to take charge of the remains, which were subsequently interred in the county farm. Other coffins were brought to view before the workmen quit last evening and it is thought the autorities will take some steps towards have the bodies interred.

    October 20, 1900.

    MORE BODIES FOUND.
    -------

    Workmen Uncover Another Part of Old Cemetery.
    -------

    Workemen were engaged yesterday in excavating for a sewer in the rear of the police patrol barn on Saginaw street. This property was a part of the old cemetery formerly located in that part of the city and yesterday the workers discovered evidence of this fact in the unearthing of several coffins containing the remains of human beings. One coffin was of unusal size, indicating that the occupant was a large man. The boxes and bones are thrown in a heap at one side of the excavation and will probably be removed by the coroner.

    November 2, 1900

    Coroner W. S. Hyatt took a wagon load of bones and old coffins to the poor farm yesterday for burial. The bones were unearthed lately in the old burying ground on the east side of Henry Williamson's new machine shop on Columbus avenue and Saginaw street. It is estimated that there not less than 100 coffins in that vincinty yet. There ar over 1,000 loads of dirt to give away on a portion of the old cemetery upon which buildings will be erected next season.

    1901 new building. (Added Sep. 2008)

    Bay City Tribune - July 25, 1901 (Page 5)

    DETENTION HOSPITAL
    -------

    Supervisors Will Have One Erected at the County Farm.
    ------
    Building Committee Directed to Solicit Proposals.
    ------
    Plans Contemplate One Story Building With 13 Wards.
    ------
    Brief Discussion of Subject Yesterday Afternoon.
    ------

    The supervisors finished their discussion over the best means of caring for insane patients of the county yesterday afternoon and decided to take steps toward the erections of a detention hospital at the county farm. The question came before the board at a special order on the report of the committee investigating the matter, submitted the day previous. Following a brief discussion Supervisor J. H. Davis moved that the building committee be instructed to procure bids for the erection of the hospital, to be in accordance with plans submitted by Pratt & Koeppe.

    Supervisior Cunningham favored the plan of erecting a building for the care of insane. He thought it might be self-supporting in a short time, citing instances that came under his observation where persons are now being cared for by their families who would be glad of the opportunity to have them sent to a detention hospital and pay their board and furnish medical attendance. The mayor suggested that insanity is on the increase and said many cases would undoubtedly arise as a result of the hot weather. In some instances, he said, brief detention at a hospital of this kind would restore the patient to a normal condition.

    The board voted unanimously for Supervisor Davis resolution and the building committee will at once ask builders for bids.

    _______

    Along this same line Supervisor Cunningham, at the morning session, offered a resolution amending the fee bill of physicians in regard to lunacy cases by providign that lunacy visits, by order of the court, are not to exceed three to each patient at $5 per visit. This was adopted.

    _______

    The plans submitted to the board by Pratt & Koeppe provide for a one-story buldng with 13 wards, attendants rooms, kitchen, etc.

    1905 Fire. (Added Sep. 2008)

    Portrait & Biographical History of Bay County, MI (1905) - Augustus Gansser

    County Poor Farm
    -------

    (Excerpt page 362.

    Early on Sunday morning, April 9, 1905, the inmates of the County Poor Farm found flames issuing near the chimney, and in less than two hours all the adjoining buildings were an ash heap. The inmates, many of them aged individuals, were with difficulty removed, and sheltered for the time being in the Bethel Mission, Third and Water streets. Plans for a new county building to cost $25,000 will be approved May 11th.

    (Excerpt page 362.)

    The next act of the board providing for passing an enabling act through the Legislature, which was done April 27, 1905, allowing Bay County to bond for $20,000 for the erection of a new stone and brick home on the County Poor Farm, destroyed by fire April 9th.

    1909 State record. - Added Dec., 2009.

    Michigan State Board of Corrections and Charities, 1909

    Bay County Poor House.
    _______

    The poorhouse is about five miles from Bay City; is an old frame building, or rather a collection of buildings erected at different times, and made to serve the purpose of a poorhouse. There are, first, the keeper's house, about 26x26, two stories; second, the women's ward, about 32x60, two stories; third, the men's ward, about 24x36, two stories; fourth, a hospital for the insane, about 24x50, one story. None of the buildings have basement, the nature of the ground precluding the use of underground cellars. In each ward there were good provisions for washing and bathing, and the entire buildings, beds, and bedding were very clean and free from vermin. The number of inmates when visited, 29; males 21, females 8; of whom there were insane, males 3, females 2; of whom there were idiotic, 3 males, 1 female. None were violent or kept under restraint. No children permitted to be kept at poorhouse. Religious services occasionally by clergy of the city. Superintendents of poor, Robert Leng, Geo. E. Fish, Willard E. Waldron.

    1940 County Records. (Added Sep. 2008)

    Inventory of The County Archives of Michigan (1940)

    No. 9 BAY COUNTY
    (Bay City)
    -------

    XXII. SUPERINTENDENTS OF THE POOR
    -------

    Origin and Composition.

    The first poor relief law dates back to 1805, when Michigan was made a territory. The marshal of the Territory was empowered to contract for the maintenance of certified paupers, not to exceed 25 cents per day. Four years later provision was made for the care of the poor in each county by 3 overseers of the poor, who became known as superintendents of the poor in 1830. This body administered general relief in Bay County until it was abolished under a welfare reorganization act late in 1939. This board was always made up of 3 superintendents of the poor. Statutory provision required the office to be incorporated under the name of "Superintendents of the Poor of Bay County." Two members consituted a quorum with authority to transact business. The board had the general powers of a corporation for public purposes.

    Qualifications.

    Since 1869, no person holding the office of supervisor of any township, of mayor or alderman of any city, or of prosecuting attorney, county clerk, or county treasurer, was eligible to serve as a superintendent of the poor. Prior to that time the only qualification was that all superintendents must be "discreet persons."

    Manner of Selection.

    The superintendents of the poor were always appointed by the board of supervisors. After 1869 any vacancy was temporarily filled by an appointee of the probate judge, upon a petition of the remaining members of the board showing such vacancy, and that the board of supervisors was not then in session. The supervisors, at their first meeting held after such vacancy occurred, were required to appoint a successor for the remainder of the unexpired term.

    Term.

    Until 1869 those superintendents held office for 1 year terms and until their sccessors were appointed. Until 1939 they service starggered terms of 3 years.

    Oath.

    Before entering upon the duties of the office each superintendent was required to take the constitutional oath of office.

    Compensation.

    Originally these officers were allowed such sums for actual attendance and services as the board of supervisors doom reasonable. In 1869 such compensation was provided to be not less than $1.50 per day. Allowance was also made for actual necessary expenses. This legislation was amended in 1925 by providing that the minimum rate of $1.50 a day be changed to a minimum rate of $4 a day.

    Manner of Removal.

    The superintendents of the poor could be removed by the Governor for cause after due process, or by the board of supervisors for failure to furnish such bond or reports as it reasonably required.

    Powers and Duties

    In Bay County the superintendents of the poor until abolished in 1939, always had the duty of caring for indigents to be given aid from county funds. They could care for their charges at the county infirmary or poorhouse, or provide and pay for separate outside maintenance. They had supervision of the county poorhouse, selected its personnel, and dtermined rules and regulations for governing the inmates.

    The superintendents of the poor acted as purchasing agents for the county in furnishing the infirmary with materials, furniture and implements necessary for the maintenance and employment of the inmates. Good manufactured by the inmates were sold and the proceeds used for the support of the poor. Since 1869 the superintendents had the duty of providing education for indigent children under 18 years old. The superintendents may provide transportation for any poor person in the county to the state of his residence. Membership and attendance as meeting of the State Association of Supervisors of the Poor is required.

    On November 1, 1939 the superintendents of the poor were abolished and similar duties were imposed to the new county social Superintendents of the Poor - Reports.

    Record Requirements

    The superintendents of the poor were rquired to furnish annual reports to the Secretary of State as he might direct. The had to furnish such reports to the board of supervisors from time to time as it reasonably required, and they also made an annual report to the supervisiors showing a detailed account of their activities and of all moneys received and disbursed by them. All decisions of the superintendents pertaining to the disposition of a pauper's case were required to be entered in books provided for that purpose.

    The superintendents of the poor were always required to annually present to the board of supervisors an estimate of the appropriation necessary for the support of the county poor during the ensuing year.

    Unless otherwise indicated all records of this office are stored in the special welfare board office.

  • Note: The above document goes on to identify all records archived and their location.

    1964 Infirmary torn down. (Added Sep. 2008)

    The Bay City Times - September 2, 1964

    Razing of Old Bay Infirmary Started
    ------

    Razing of the old county infirmary was started today by workmen of Dore Wrecking Co., Bay City, who expect to level the half-century old building in a week.

    Dore is doing the work under a $2,130 contract with the county. The firm expects to put 30 men on the three-story building which is solid brick, according to Theodore DeWyse, administrator of the new Bay Medical Care Facility.

    County supervisors sold most of the furnishings of the old infirmary at one time called the county "poor farm," and under control of poor commissioners. The sale netted $700 for county coffers and allowed supervisors to accept Dore's bid on razing without salvage, $200 cheaper thant with salvage.

    The medical facilities wing of the old building a portion built in the 1930s and is relatively good condition will be preserved for future county use, along with all furnishings.

  • Related Pages/Notes

    {Click image to enlarge}


    {Burial Grounds}


    [Burial Grounds 2008]


    {Bay Co. Poor Farm Map}

    Related Pages:
    Memories - Don J. Johnson
    Memories - Mildred Wagner
    Catlin, Israel (Supv.)
    Dill, James H. (Mgr.)
    Knight, Birdsey (Supv.)
    Maxson, Wm. (Supv.)
    Newkirk, Charles Dr.
    Purtell, James (Mgr.)
    Walton, Andrew J (Mgr.)
    Heritage/Places/
    {Potters Field - burial grnds.}
    Notes:
  • The term "Poor Farm" was an appropriate name for the housing of paupers. It was a farm complete with a variety of crops and farm animals which the paupers helped maintain throughout its early history. -- The above link to the "Bay County Poor Farm Map details this along with the farm's property and buildings.
    In 1958 the aging infirmary building was condemned as a severe fire hazzard and too expensive to repair, and it was replaced by the new Bay Medical Care facilties which opened in 1964.
  • The Poor Farm included a small burial grounds for an esitimated 500 indigents who were without means for thier burial. Coffins for them were made in the basement of the infirmary. A number of burials in the cemetery were bodies removed from a Potters Field in Bay City. It appears there were no burials after 1916. The cemetery is now a part of the Bay County Golf Course, there are no longer any head stones, nor a marker attesting to it exisistence.
  • The records for 1869-1914, of the Bay County Poor Farm, are archived at the Library of Michigan in Lansing.
  • James and Louisa Purtell were married on 4 Jan 1871, in Portsmouth village, now the southend of Bay City. Louisa was born in 1850.
  • People Referenced
    Bradford, E.N.
    Catlin, Israel
    Cunningham,
    Dagley, Cora
    Davis, J.H.
    DeWyse, Theodore
    Dore
    Fish, Geo. F.
    Hart, Jule B.
    Hyatt, William S.
    Koeppe,
    Leng, Robert
    Newkirk, Charles T. Dr.
    Persall,
    Pratt,
    Purtell, James
    Purtell (Kempter) Louisa
    Ruggles (officer)
    Waldron, Willard E.
    Williamson, Henry
    Wyman, Capt.
    1880 Census Listing:
    Allman, George
    Arnold, Clemens
    Bragelton, L.N.
    Comuly, Terry
    Gulmage, William
    Flowers, Eliza
    Harris, Joseph
    Indian, Joe
    Jackson, James
    Johnson, Theodore
    Kennedy, James
    Lambert, Martin
    Lynden, John
    McKay, Paul
    McZable, Glade
    O'Conner, Nicholas
    Pierson, J.R.
    Reno, Mary
    Rieun???ille, John
    Salte, Mary
    Thomas, Mary
    Walton, A.J.
    Walton, Caroline F.
    Walton, Clifford
    Wilson, Pearl
    Wood, Sallie
  • {View pdf file]
  • Subjects Referenced
    Bay City, MI
    Bay Co., MI
    Bay Co. Poor Farm
    Bay Medical Care Facility
    Bethel Mission Ch.
    Coldwater, MI
    Dore Wrecking Co.
    Hampton Twp., Bay Co.
    Marquette Co., MI
    Old cemetery (Potters Field)
    Pontiac, MI
    Pontiac Eastern Asylum
    Poorhouse
    Pratt & Koeppe
    State Public School
    Superintendents of Poor
    Williamson machine shop
    Known Managers
    Dill, James
    1870
    Knight, Birdsey
    about 1890
    Purtell, James
    1899
    Reid, William H.
    1912
    Trudell, Albert & Ellen
    about 1912
    Walton, Andrew J.
    1879, 1880
    Known County Supervisors
    Anderson, Charles
    West Bay City
    1896, 1897, 1899, 1900
    Bradford, E. N.
    Unk.
    1858
    Catlin, Israel
    Bay City,
    1858, 1872
    Downer, H.J.
    West Bay City
    1893, 1894
    Emery, James T
    West Bay City
    1890, 1892
    Fish, George E.
    Unk.
    Hart, Jule B.
    Unk.
    1858
    Hood, George F.
    Bay City
    1879, 1897, 1899
    Leng, Robert
    unk.
    1909
    Maxon, William
    Essexville
    1890, 1892, 1893, 1894, 1896, 1897, 1899, 1900
    Meisel, August
    Bay City
    1900
    Waldron, Willard E.
    Unk.
    1909
    Walther, Alpheus
    Bay City
    1890, 1892, 1893, 1894, 1896
    Known Deaths
  • Covelin, John: Died Jul. 12, 1868, age 49.
  • McPhail, John: Died Apr. 7, 1868, age 68.
  • Spingott, Henry: Died Oct. 14, 1868, age 58.
  • Missing Records
    The Michigan State Archives at Lansing holds the archived records of the Bay County Infirmary for the period 1869-1914. Further research is required to determine the names of the those who died and where they were buried. We welcome any assistance from anyone living in or traveling to the Lansing area who would be willing to do some reseach of the records of the Bay County Poor Farm.

    We also welcome contributions of personal or other materials that would further awareness of the former Bay County Infirmary (Poor Farm).
    WRITINGS: History As It Was Written Then.