Article from Dec. 8, 1919 - Poor House  --  Greene County, AR

Greene County, Arkansas
Article from Dec. 8, 1919


Grand Jury's report says Inmates are compelled to wallow in unspeakable filth.

The Grand Jury, in a report filed with the court yesturday, severly criticized the management of the county's poor house and recommended that the farm be entirely dispensed with. The report, referring to sanitary conditions under which the poor house inmates are compelled to live, says that the degree of filth can hardly be described. The condition of the jail and other county properties were found to be excellent, but it was recommended that a steam heating plant be installed in the courthouse. The report is as follows:


To the Honorable R.E.L. Johnson
Judge presiding:

We, your grand jury, respectfully beg leave to submit the following report, to-wit:
That we have been in session five days; examined 160 witnesses, and have returned into open court 117 true bills of indictment.

We have examined the court house and premises adjacent thereto and find the same in good sanitary condition, but we respectfully recommend that steam heat be immediately installed in said court house for the convenience of the officers of the court as well as the public generally.

We have also examined the county jail, and desire to report that it is kept in good, sanitary condition in keeping with it's purpose.

We have also examined the county poor farm and the inmates thereof. We found six old men, ranging from 64 to 86 years of age, kept at the poor farm; and we regret to report that the general condition of everything pertaining thereof is in a bad sanitary condition. The bed clothes are filty; and we desire to especially call the attention of this court to the case of one inmate of this farm: He is 74 years old, and is suffering from paralysis; but is compelled to lie in a bed fit for no human to occupy, while the bedbugs and other vermin literally play hide and seek over his person, when warm enough. We would recommend that action be immediately taken to dispose of the poor farm of this county as superfluous proper; and that a suitable location be selected in the outskirts of the city to be used as a home for the aged and infirm of our county, with possibly two or three acres of ground.

We desire to thank all of the officers of this court for the ready assistance rendered us in performance of our duties; and having no furthur business before us, we would respectfully ask that we be discharged.

Respectfully Submitted,


Transcribed from Paragould Soliphone by: Sandy Hardin


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