Winneshiek County Poor Farm

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Winneshiek County Poor Farm
Opened 1866/1915
Closed 1988
Current Status Demolished
Building Style Single Building
Location Freeport, IA
Architecture Style American Foursquare
Alternate Names
  • Winneshiek County Poor House & Insane Asylum
  • Winneshiek County Home


In October of 1866, the Board of Supervisors decided to take bids on area farms. The C.E. Dickerman farm near Freeport was offered at the purchase price of $2,000 for the buildings and $25 per acre. While additional farms were offered up for bid, the Board of Supervisors almost unanimously voted to acquire the Dickerman farm and offered to purchase the property for $4,000. This deal was accepted and the property became the Winneshiek County Poor Farm. Overwhelmingly, the Board discussed the cost of the farm and not the reasons for purchasing one or any humanitarian aspects of developing a place for the needy.

Between June 1, 1910, and January 1, 1911, the farm had 22 patients and Mr. C.A. Funk was the facility steward. Between January 1 and June 1, 1912, the facility had 23 patients, and between June 1 and December 31 of the same year, the farm had 24 patients. In 1915, changes were made to the county farm. While Mr. Funk remained the steward, the county decided to build an addition to the county home and purchase 4 ha (10 ac) adjoining the property from Robert Price. On June 26, 1915, the Board proposed that a new steward's building be erected at the county farm and accepted bids for its construction. John H. Austad, a local builder, won the bidding war with an offer of $4,955 for the main building and $1,060 for the kitchen