In May of 1839 Henry county commissioners Shawhan, Corwine and Ball, contracted with John Fooshee for the care of the counties indigent persons. The first county asylum was probably a log cabin located on the former property of William Silver, which had been purchased by the county in March of 1839, for the housing of the counties unfortunate citizens. On January 4, 1844, the county commissioners decided to build a new and more modern building of brick at a cost of $1,000.
Then on May 9, 1855 the "new" building burned down. The commissioners ordered a new building to be built at a cost of around $7,000. This building is the one still standing after all these years on the former county home property.
When I first started researching the records of the old county asylum I was pretty well convinced that all records prior to 1855 were destroyed in the fire of 1855. To my surprise one hot day in July 2002, I was contacted by a Ms. Marianne Hughes, curator of the Henry County Historical Society Museum and told that she had found something I might be interested in. While going through all the miscellaneous odds and ends they have stored in the attic at the museum she had come across an old ledger that had been kept by Mark Modln the asylum superintendent for the years 1852 - 1853. These were names I had no record of. These names are of the paupers prior to the fire of 1855.
Thanks Marianne for finding these, and you too Mark Modlin, for saving the records.
In 1852 as of March 1st there were 15 patients at the asylum and in March 7th, 1853 there were 16 patients at the asylum, so those dates are not the actual dates those people were admitted, they were admitted sometime earlier.