Gilmer County Poor Farm Infirmary

National Historic Landmark — Glenville, West VirginiaGilmer County

Architects Albert Newton West and William Dolivar Whiting designed and built the Gilmer County Poor Farm Infirmary in 1907 in the American Foursquare style. A “Poor Farm Levy” raised $6,000 for the work. Sitting on the 300-acre Poor Farm, the infirmary operated from 1907 to 1941. People living on the farm grew their own food and raised their own livestock. Small frame dwellings provided shelter to abandoned children, the elderly, and indigents who had no other place to go. The 1935 Social Security Act relieved some of the social burden from local governments by providing income and healthcare alternatives to the elderly, and this dramatically reduced the need for poor farms nationwide The infirmary building became a recreation center, and the surrounding property was sold and developed as a golf course in 1942.

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