Henry County, IN 'County Farm'
Grand Jury Report
The Henry County Infirmary is located one mile north-west of New Castle. Seth H. Mills is Superintendent receiving a salary of $700.00 per year. His wife is matron and receives a salary of $300.00 a year. The farm was visited March 3rd by the Charity Board and the following Saturday by the Board of County Commissioners. There are forty-five (45) inmates, 18 women and 26 men and 1 baby, 3 insane, one of which is so violent and has to be locked in a cell at all times. The inmates are well cared for, well fed and clean. The farm is well managed. The inventory shows:
122 hogs, 1 male, 21 sows and 100 spring pigs.
48 head of cattle, 1 male, 13 milk cows, 22 head of young cattle and 12 spring calves. 6 head of horses.
300 Rhode Island red hens, 319 spring chickens and 648 hen eggs. 42 duck eggs and 17 geese eggs setting.
Turkeys are just beginning to lay and there are 6 ducks 4 geese and 6 turkeys for breeder.
Since August 1917 there has been sold $206.99 of poultry from the farm, 378 chickens 13 ducks, 2 geese and 4 turkeys have been used on the farm. 35 hogs were butchered and at this time there are 137 joints of pork, 30 sides and 30 gallons of pickled pork, 832 pounds of sausage canned and 1119 pounds of lard in the cellar and have sold $156.78.
150 bushels of fine potatoes, 1 barrel of sweet potatoes for bedding and 865 quarts of fruit and have used 350 quarts since January. There are 20 tons of hay and straw, 1/2 a silo of silage, 50 bushels of oats. But short on corn as frost last year killed part and greatly damaged the rest. 15 bushels of 1918 crop of navy beans, 10 bushels of onions, 1/2 bushel of sorghum, one barrel of kraut, 10 bushel of turnips. 1200 pounds of laundry soap, 170 pounds of white hand soap made this spring.
A "Genco" electric lighting system has been installed by the commissioners and all rooms and the cellar are provided with lights. The engine is to pump the water and run the separator but is not yet installed. The Superintendent has built an engine house with concrete floor for the engine and also enlarged the administration kitchen, doing the work himself with the assistance of the help on the farm. The farm work is progressing well. Plans are now made for a large garden and a truck patches and 5 acres in tomatoes and 3 acres to water melons as it was found last year by the superintendent that water melons are a great stimulant to get help from the inmates. Hot beds are being made and potatoes will be planted by the last of the week as well as onions and all early garden seed.
The porches and woodwork in the women's department and men's dining room have been repainted. The barn and meat house need repainting and the barn, by all means should be wired for electricity, as carrying lanterns is not only unwise, but it is really dangerous as there are seven men who can help feed and milk, yet are not mentally able to be trusted with lanterns. A bathtub is also badly needed and advised for the employees, with a better water system than carrying the water from the basement of the men's building in pails.
The sexes are in different buildings. Some of the fences are bad and new ones are needed.
The beds are clean with no bed bugs, bed clothing is clean and plentiful. Five daily papers are provided and also magazines. Religious services are held once a month. There is a large orchard and three acres of fruits and an ample supply of rhubarb.
There is an abundance of eggs and butter for all needs, both cooking and eating and the surplus is sold.
The women have pieced 7 quilts and quilted 3 this winter which are to be sold and the cost of material taken out and the surplus is to go to the inmates who made them for little comforts that the county does not provide. There is a plan to exhibit these with some other work done at the institution at the Henry County Fair this year.
A new laundry and heating plant is contemplated this year and if built will add greatly to the comfort and convenience to both employees and inmates. Two farm hands at $30 a month each are employed, one cook at $5 a week and one to care for the insane men at $30 a month
Sold from the County farm since January 1, 1919 to April 1, 1919 a total of $2,194.31.
U. E. Bush, 2000
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