The Decorah Genealogy Association and the Winneshiek County Historical Society will host a program Monday, Sept. 23, at 7 p.m. in the public meeting room of the Decorah Public Library.
Kevin and Carrie Lee will present a program on the people who lived and worked at the Winneshiek County Poor Farm, later called the Winneshiek County Home.
According to the Edwin Bailey's "Past and Present of Winneshiek County Iowa," published in 1913, by 1866 the necessity for a county farm and home, to provide shelter for indigent people, became apparent, and a tract of 60 acres was purchased at Freeport.
This was enlarged by several subsequent purchases, and by 1913 contained 220 acres. Substantial buildings included a separate structure for incurable, insane patients. Every comfort consistent with reasonable expenditure was afforded the inmates of the home, and precautions for their safety were provided. The structures were steam-heated and electrically lit.
The Decorah Republican Jan. 7, 1870, reported that 18 inmates resided at the county poor farm, 12 of whom were children.
"What does this tell us? Why were their so many children living there? What were their lives like there? Who was in charge of the poor farm? Please join us for this interesting and informative program which is free and open to the general public," said Midge Kjome of the DGA.