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Shelby County Infirmary

A Visit to the County Infirmary ~ 1876
(From Shelby County Democrat, April 1876.)
Shelbyana January 2004, No. 98 page 4

As many of the Shelby County citizens are interested in the Infirmary, both as a matter of benevolence and becasue all have a financial interest, we publish some of our observations.
One end of the building is used for male inmated and the other for remailes. Through the middle of each story in both ends are halls connectiing with the main hall through the middle of the building and deparated by dorrs that are kept locked. The rooms for the superintendent and family are adjoining the main hall, placing them between the male and female occupants.
In the rear of the main building is the mad house, meat house, shops, etc.. The mad house is well arranged for ventilaton and e protection of the vicious insane and for the preservation of their lives.
The bakery is suplied with a single kneading chest and an oven where eighty loaves of bread, of as good a quality as can be found anywhere, can be baked at one time. On the third floor of the building are the water tanks, where an ambundance of water is always on hand for the supply of the building.
In the kitchen iis the cooking range, elevators and such conveniences as are necessary to supply the table, arranged so as to reduce the amount of help required.
The building is heated with steam collected by iron pipes in heating boxes in the basements and conveyed to the different parts of the buildin, with an arrangement for heating the mad house, located at six rods distant from the main building.
The farm is in good order and in a good state of cultivation. The inmates numer about eighty, all of whom except for a few children are insane, imbiciles or otherwise unfit or unable to care for themselves They are required to keep themselves in good, cleanly condition, a rule that is strictly enforced. They are fed meat, bread, milk, coffee, potatoes and other items of plain, substantial food.
Having visited all public asylums and institutions in the State of Ohio, we are satisfied the shelby county Infirmary is kept as well, or better than most.

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County Infirmary Burned Down
(From Shelby County Democrat, 14 September 1906. Article Headline is misleading)
Shelbyana January 2004, No. 98 page 3

The Shelby County infirmary was visited with a disasterous fire early Wednesday morning. The large barn was burned to the ground with all its contents. the origin of the fire is not known. It is thought that it was accidently set on fire by tramps who had probably stopped in the barn to spend the night sleeping.
The fire occurred between 2 and 3 o'clock. Some time after 2 o'clock Mrs. SHOWERS, the wife of the superintendent, was awakened by a strange noise. After listening a while she thought it was a team and wagon going along the road. While still listening she heard a noise that sounded like the horses stamping at the barn. She then awakened Mr. SHOWERS, but before they had got from their rooms they heard the farm bell ringing When they got out they found the barn enveloped in flames. The entire inside seemed to e on fire and the flames were coming from all the windows. However the roof, which was slate, was still intact as was the frame work.
The fire had been discovered by some of the inmates of the hospital and they and rung the farm bell. The barn is located east of the man building of the infirmary and Mr. and Mrs. SHOWERS have their room in the northwest corner of the building. When Mrs. SHOWERS was awakened she could see no reflection from the fire and neither she nor Mr. SHOWERS discovered the fire until they stated to the barn to see what was the matter with the horsed, just after the bell rang.
When they got to the barn they could not get near it on account of the heat. The hog stable, which stands near the barn, was saved by carrying water. If the wind had not been blowing in the opposite direction the hog stable would have been burned also despite the efforts put forth.
The barn was burned to the ground and everything in it destroyed Its contents consisted of seven horses, six calves, two farm wagons, surrey, buggy, fanning mill, 650 bushels of threshed wheat from last year's crop, 1000 bushels of unthreshed wheat, 600 bushels of unthreshed oats, 15 tons of hay, some corn, all the harness and many other smaller articles.
The loss is estimated at $12,000. There was only $2,000 insurance carried on the barn and contents. All the horses lost were exceedingly good ones. the infirmary Directors were offered $600 for the bay team. The gray team cost $450. Another bay horse cost $215, one driver cost $160 and the other driver was valued at $140.
The fire will be a great loss and cause great inconvenience at the infirmary, necessitating the hiring of all the hauling and the farm work and necessitating the purchasing of grain, etc., for the institution besides making purchases to replace the articles burned and the rebuilding of the barn, which will be a great inconvenience while building.
Mr. SHOWERS says there was no signs of fire when he closed the barn at dusk and none of the inmates are allowed about it after its being closed in the evening.


Owner/SourceBrenda Wagner
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