County Poor Farm, Dodge County, Nebraska

No better index can be had of the true character of a people than to note its respect for its departed dead, and its care for its unfortunate poor. As the county settled up with a mixed population the poor classes came in as well as those in better circumstances, and by 1884 it was decided to not try to care for the paupers of Dodge County by township appropriations, etc., but the commissioners purchased a Poor Farm in section 26, township 18, range 8 (Nickerson civil township). The place mentioned had been leased by the county several years before that date and partly sustained the pauper element in the county. In 1887 the total number of paupers of this county was eighteen. The county farm just named is about four miles to the north and a little east of Fremont.

The inmates who are able to labor are supposed to work a part of their time, but no task-master is placed over these unfortunate men and women, but all are treated well and given good homes so long as they remain citizens of the county. The present condition of the farm and the pauper element of Dodge County is in keeping with the times in which we live. Each supervisor district is looked after by its supervisor, so far as caring for the unfortunate poor is concerned. The last (1919) report of the Poor Farm shows there are only eight men and two women inmates in the Dodge County Poor House. J. W. Sexson was steward of the Poor Farm many years and was succeeded in January, 1919, by the present steward, J. H. Randall, who is proving the right man in the right place, as well as his wife, who is present stewardess.

A report made April 15, 1920, shows the following concerning the Poor Farm and its belongings:

The invoice shows 44 head of cattle, valued at $2,405; 16 hogs, valued at $595; 10 horses, valued at $1,125; 4 harness, valued at $120; 9 tons of hay, valued at $32; oats and corn, valued at $774; hogs slaughtered, valued at $315; merchandise on hand, valued at $25; miscellaneous, valued at $123; machinery, valued at $1,017.

The disbursements for the Poor Farm for the last year were: Dry goods, etc., $214; coal and oil, $664; hardware. $111; groceries, $929; lumber, $109; labor and hauling, $380; veterinary, $241; repairs, $248; livestock, $256; corn and hay, etc., $2,390; meats. $56; ice used. $12; windmill, $212; drugs. $35; harness, $43; salary Steward, $1,400. The total disbursements over the receipts of the farm were $3,547.23.

Dodge County | Nebraska AHGP

Source: History of Dodge and Washington Counties, Nebraska, Rev. William H. Buss and Thomas T. Osterman, Volume 1, The American Historical Society, Chicago, 1921.

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