Joel Mack & County Poor Farm Recap
[COUNTY POOR FARM.]
The Board of County Commissioners drove out Monday afternoon to view the poor house. Through their courtesy our reporter was taken along. No doubt most of the citizens of this county are aware that we have one of the best locations and buildings for the purpose of caring for the destitute, if not the best, of any county in Kansas. Somewhat over one year ago the County Commissioners purchased the Joel Mack farm two miles southeast of this city, containing one hundred and fifty acres, at fifty dollars per acre. This is a number one piece of land. There is plenty of good water and some timber. This spring the contract was let for a building suitable for the poor. This building occupies a shady grove about the center of the farm, east and west. It stands upon a site from which the surrounding country can plainly be seen and the city of Winfield. The building is 30 x 50; facing north and south, built of stone, the front pitch faced rouge work, the rest of the building rubble work. It is three stories high including a basement. The basement consists of a dining room and kitchen, side by side. North of this is a large room unfinished, which will be used for a cellar and store room. Two short flights of stairs lead out of the dining room and kitchen to the second story. Here a hall runs the full length of the building. At the north end of the hall is the sitting room, a pleasant and commodious room. Opposite this is a room for the sick, or it may be used for a second sitting room. Along each side of the hall are bedrooms of ample size. On the second floor are eight rooms. An easy flight of stairs ascends to the third story. This is not finished yet on account of a lack of funds. When the third story is finished, the house will contain twenty rooms. It struck us at once upon viewing this pleasant place that old age could here while away the most pleasant hours of their existence, away from the bustle of a noisy life. The infirm, the crippled, and the forsaken, the young, the old, and the middle aged can find a home here if they deserve it, and the pleasant surroundings will dispel the cutting thoughts of what might have been. Cowley County has been badly in need of an institution of this kind for some time. The building costs about $3,100, the land $7,500. This more than exhausts the fund of $10,000 appropriated for this purpose. We don’t believe the county could duplicate it today for $12,000. This farm should be more than self-sustaining, and under the able supervision of our “County Dads,” will be so. Our Commissioners have shown excellent judgment in selecting this site and in the management all the way through. The work is all first class. J. B. Stannard is the architect and superintendent, and has shown his ability in this line. Conner & Sons did the stone work in their usual workmanship like manner. Armstrong & Reeves were the carpenters, and did it well. Harvey and Frazier were the plasterers and made a very fine job. Shaw and Barnes executed the painting in a first-class manner. Take it all in all, it is a public institution we can well be proud of.