Dallas County Poor Farm

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Dallas County Poor Farm
Opened 1869/1937
Closed 2014
Current Status Preserved
Building Style Single Building
Location Adel, IA
Alternate Names
  • Dallas County Care Facility


Dallas County purchased 160 acres in 1869 to establish a "poor farm" to house people who were unable to care for themselves and who had no family willing to keep them. Residents were expected to work to help raise food and cover expenses. Most Iowa counties had at least one such "poor farm," and over time most evolved into places for people with mental disabilities or illnesses. The Dallas County farm eventually grew to 562 acres. The existing two-story brick building was constructed in the 1930s as part of the Depression-era Works Project Administration.

It operated as the Dallas County Hospital from 1934 to 1954 and later as the Dallas County Care Facility, before finally closing in 2014. The land was annexed into Adel in 2015. Dallas County will move several health and human services departments into the newly renovated facility about five miles north of downtown Adel in 2016.