Kane County Poor Farm

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Kane County Poor Farm
Established 1852
Opened 1853
Closed 1971
Demolished 1973
Current Status Demolished
Building Style Single Building
Location Geneva, IL
Alternate Names
  • Kane County Alms House
  • Kane County Farm and Home



History[edit]

The home, first called the Kane County Alms House, was established in 1852 to house the "needy, the lame, the halt and the blind," according to Thomas A. Mair in his 1990 book "Batavia Revisited." Located on a 179-acre farm on the south side of Fabyan Parkway, it was commonly called the Poor Farm. By 1886 there were 78 residents, 40 of them classified as insane. By the 1930s, between 150 and 200 lived there. By the 1960s, though, the home had closed, and in 1970 the structures were razed.

Cemetery[edit]

Residents who died there were often buried in the on-site cemetery. The cemetery is located on what is now the grounds of the Kane County Sheriff's Dept. and former county jail. Graves in the northern two-thirds of the cemetery were thought to have been dug in the early 1850s until the late 1920s. They were never marked. In the southern third, 167 small concrete cylindrical markers were installed for burials from 1931 to the last one, but many were lost or obscured.