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Piecing together a history of the Blue Earth County Poor Farm proved to be a daunting task. A visit today, to the residence that once was home to Blue Earth County’s poor and aged, certainly would suggest the building’s rich history. But as we found in our research, much of the story of this historic building was never recorded or has been lost. What records exist are as scant in information as they are in numbers. What does exist to tell us of the Poor Farm, are articles from the newspapers of the area including the Blue Earth County Enterprise, the Mankato Daily Review, the Mankato Free Press, and the Mankato Record. This account is in no way complete, in that the researchers were unable to find the mechanism by which people were consigned to the poor farm nor a thorough demographic look at the residents who lived there for almost 100 years. What we were able to find were accounting of grain and produce, accounts of reporters who went out to visit the farm. Utilizing the work of Ethel McClure who has explored the history of housing services for older Minnesotans exhaustively in articles and books, our hope is to put the Blue Earth County Poor Farm into the context of poor relief throughout Minnesota. Interweaving news accounts of the poor farm with information from McClure we will try to present some picture of this important building in the history of the county.


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Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License