Kent County Poor Farm
Also known as the
Kent Community Hospital

In May, 1849, the County Superintendents advertised for sealed proposals for keeping and clothing the paupers of the county until the first of November following. This advertisement was signed by George Coggeshall, William G. Henry and Jonathan F. Chubb as superintendents. In 1855 the county purchased its Poor Farm, on Section 16 in Paris Township � 80 acres of land, at a cost of $1,800, and the paupers were moved there December 1, 1855.  It was located on 32nd St. between Kalamazoo and Breton.. In 1892, a new building was built. By the end of the 1800s, nothing much had changed for this establishment. The poor farm served the county's mentally challenged and poor citizens with no other means of support and care. In 1896 the poorhouse showed 238 men, women and children in residence. Health care was provided them on the basis of which doctor bid the lowest for the job.

The grounds of the Poor Farm also included a cemetery for residents who were buried at county expense. This cemetery is now known as County Home Cemetery. Use of the poorhouse continued into the early 1900s and became known as the Kent County Infirmary in the 1920s. In the 1950s, the institution became Maple Grove Medical Facility and its purpose evolved to serve individuals with chronic illnesses.

By 1968, the county facility became Kent Community Hospital when it was moved to county-owned property on Fuller N.E. within the City of Grand Rapids. By this time, the old Paris Township site had been sold to Lutheran Church of America. Today, Luther Village occupies the former poorhouse site.

Visit our transcription of the D.A.R. readings of the
Kent County Poor Farm Cemetery

Transcriber: Ronnie Aungst
Created: 30 June 1999
URL: http://kent.migenweb.net/histories/poorfarm.html