Henry County Pauper Asylum

From Asylum Projects
Jump to: navigation, search
Henry County Pauper Asylum
Opened 1844
Closed 1988
Current Status Closed
Building Style Single Building
Location New Castle, IN
Architecture Style Greek Revival
Alternate Names
  • Henry County Youth Center


The facility was closed in 1988, information is difficult to find, below is a report from 1877 & a short timeline:

The Henry County Poor Farm comprises 290 acres, located northwest of New Castle, the buildings being about one mile distance from the Court House. The land consist of first and second bottoms, and a portion is very much broken. Of the whole farm only 103 acres are under cultivation, the remaining (110 acres of which is woodland) being devoted to pasture. A field or two of tillable land bordering the creek, are subject to overflow, and for that reason, although possessing a fertile soil, do not always produce a good crop. The greater part of the tillable land is in fine condition, being either naturally or artificially well drained; the fences, as far as we could see, are in good order, the gates on their hinges, and a general air of neatness and system prevailed everywhere.

The buildings on the farm consist of a large two story slate roofed, brick dwelling house, smokehouse, woodshed, milk house, and a large barn. The dwelling has twenty-two rooms, four large halls, and a pantry. The family of the Superintendent occupies six rooms for their exclusive use, one room is devoted to storage purposes, and the remainder of the building is taken up with the kitchen, dining room, and bedrooms of the Poor House proper. The bedrooms are all large, about thirteen by fourteen feet, with high ceilings, and with ample facilities for through ventilation. There are accommodations for sixty inmates.

In March 1869, when Mr. Harvey entered upon his duties as superintendent, there were forty-two inmates in the infirmary. The number has rarely ever gone below that figure, and has on several occasions considerably exceeded it. There are forty-eight inmates at this time. The average for the eight years is about forty-five. This includes only permanent or resident paupers. In December last, the county board forbade the superintendent from boarding and lodging tramps. Previous to that date, these 'knights of the road' had been a heave and constant drain upon the resources of the farm. As an illustration of the extent of this burden, we note that the records of the Poor House show the feeding and lodging of 230 tramps in the months of January, February, and March 1875.

March 8, 1839: The commissioners purchased the farm of William Silver for $2,000.00. May 1839: A log house was built. January 4, 1844: A new brick building was erected. May 9, 1855: The brick building was destroyed by fire. All records were destroyed. 1855: The commissioners ordered a new and larger building constructed, which is today the present building, at a cost of $7,000.00. 1855 - 1859: While the building was under construction all paupers were kept at the farm of superintendent Mark Modlin. March, 1860: The new brick building was completed and all inmates returned to there new home. 1900: By the turn of the century the farm had grown to about 300 acres with the purchase of the bottom land.

The most recent use for the facility was the Henry County Youth Center. The center closed in 1988 and the building has remained unused for several years. [1]

Images of Henry County Pauper Asylum

Main Image Gallery: Henry County Pauper Asylum


Genealogy website


  1. Hassett, Kayla. "The County Home in Indiana : A Forgotten Response to Poverty and Disability." Diss. Ed. Vera A. Adams. Ball State U, 2013. Cardinal Scholar, 05 Apr. 2013. Web. 12 Nov. 2014.