Indianola NE Historical Society

preserving the history of our town…

Red Willow Poor Farm

I received an email some time back asking if Red Willow had a poor farm. I didn’t know the answer to that question. Can anyone tell me if there was? Since I ran onto this picture that was titled “Red Willow Poor House”. Was it locted on thr Poor Farm??????

Excerpted from: Ninth Biennial Report of the Nebraska State Board of Charities and Correction and State Prison Board Report for Biennium Closing November 30, 1918 (Lincoln: Nebraska State Board of Charities and Correction, 1918), p.24

Historical Notes The building contained 11 rooms, plus halls, a pantry and clothes closets. The home had a furnace and electricity. There was a bathroom but no indoor water system.

It is amazing what you can find on the internet:
Red Willow County has one male and one female indigent. It has a 40-acre poor farm, valued at $15,000. McCook is the county seat.

I have located the house today and it is still standing. Infact some one has recently remodeled it. Below is the picture I took.

I have tried to get the sepia color as close as I could.

2 Responses to “Red Willow Poor Farm”

  1. William D. Lambert says:

    My name is William (Bill) Lambert. I can recall the Red Willow County Farm as a child. The house you have pictured is indeed what was called the Red Willow County Farm. We did not refer to it as being “The Poor Farm”.
    My grandparents, Josh and May (Thompson) Rowland ran this facility in the ’30’s. My grandmother was an outstanding cook and house keeper. She also did the laundry for those who lived both in the home and/or in the little cabins that were built on the north side of the main house.
    I remember that there was a drive-in cellar under the house which my grandparents kept potatoes and other vegetables that they raised on the land. If I recall correctly, the entry way under the house was on the east side of the house.
    When I was about 3 or 4 years old, while playing in the yard with other cousins, I fell into the horse tank. Someone ran into the house to tell my mother and by the time she got out to the tank, I was holding on “for dear life” to the side. I do not remember this but my mother would tell me about it and how frightened she was! I was just wet and frightened and cold!
    I also remember a large fireplace in the home. We, as a family tradition, the Rowlands and the Thompsons, would always celebrate Christmas Eve together. The first year that I remember this celebration is when someone placed crepe paper that looked like bricks over front of the fireplace. At the time Santa was to arrive, all of the young children were brought into that room and surrounded that fireplace. When a certain signal was given, Santa rushed through the paper and began his “Ho! Ho! Hoing! What a thrill that was! I shall never forget it! That year Santa was played by May Rowland’s brother, Donald L. Thompson.
    In 1995, the Thompson/Rowland Family Christmas Party celebrated their 100th year of being together.

  2. admin says:

    Thank you Bill. This is exactly the kind of stories that I would like to add to the sight.

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