Nodaway County, Missouri County Farm
notes transcribed by Pat O'Dell: from Nodaway Democrat newspapers
...County farm burials (in Upper White Cloud Items) - a note about the 3 graves at the poor house. Nodaway Democrat, 09 May 1878

...article about County farm - describes the farm. Nodaway Democrat, 14 Nov 1878

...there is an enclosed cemetery at county farm with 5 graves. Nodaway Democrat, 22 May 1879
...6 inmates at poor farm. Nodaway Democrat, 08 Dec 1881
...has 24 inmates. Nodaway Democrat, 23 Feb 1888
...has 15 inmates at present. Nodaway Democrat, 07 Jan 1892
...15 inmates at county farm presently. Nodaway Democrat, 29 Dec 1892
Inmates of the County Farm: from Nodaway Democrat, Maryville, Mo, Mar 9, 1893
name age born when admitted to county farm
Barr, Henry 60 Oh Aug 1880
Betts, Ragena 68 Germ Feb 1893
Chamness, Frank 22 Ia Mar 1887
Curless, Ann 35 Mo Sep 1870
Edwards, Josephine 30 Mo May 1891
Graves, Thomas unk Tenn Sep 1881
Gregory, Sarah 35 Ill Jan 1887
Harris, Martha J. 61 NC Oct 1892
Hulbert, Carrie 30 NY Jun 1891
Jackson, Sarah 77 Va Oct 1885
Kirch, Clara 35 Ks Oct 1887
VanBuren, Geo H. 19 Wis Dec 1891
VanBuren, Jas H. 69 NY Dec 1891
Victory, Angeline 47 Tenn Nov 1892
Wilson, Julia 49 Mich Aug 1886

...15 boarders at the county farm. Nodaway Democrat, 12 Oct 1893

...22 inmates at poor farm currently. Nodaway Democrat, 28 Dec 1893
...15 inmates currently at poor farm. Nodaway Democrat, 27 Sep 1894

...article by F.M. Martin, M.D., about the deplorable conditions of the county farm. Nodaway Democrat, 21 Feb 1895

...county farm needs new buildings. Nodaway Democrat, 07 Nov 1895
...county farm has 26 inmates. Nodaway Democrat, 12 Mar 1896
...about what county farm raises, etc. Nodaway Democrat, 11 Mar 1897
...county farm burials; C.O. Couch, inmate of county farm, died, buried in county farm cemetery. Nodaway Democrat, 24 Feb 1898
Weekly Ignacio Chieftan, Ignacio, Colorado, Sep 14, 1923
Woman Inmate of Poor Farm Acquires $25 to Save Body From Potter's Field

Maryville, Mo.- Miss Anna Curless has been an inmate of the Nodaway County infirmary for 53 years and during the time she has seen a number of bodies taken away from the institution and turned over to medical colleges. The thought of this fate for herself so worried her that she took steps to save herself from such a fate. Although practically without relatives or friends, through 12 years of hard labor at making quilts during her spare time she has managed to amass $25 and with it has purchased a lot in the Miriam cemetery, where, she has been assured by the infirmary officials, she will be given a regular burial. She knows now that no medical students will get an opportunity to work on her body for experimental purposes.

Tells of Struggle to Get $25

With quivering lips Miss Curless told of the hard efforts she had made to acquire the occasional dime, quarter and half dollar through quilting until she had accumulated the necessary dollars to make the purchase of the cemetery lot.

Friends and charitable institutions in Maryville learned of her ambition and she was aided by them to the extent that they gathered quilt pieces and sent them to her at the poor farm. It was slow work for Miss Curless, whose fingers had become stiff in her old age, but she did not give up. For several years it seemed as if her fund was growing awfully slow, but after she had gathered together $10 the remainder of the money seemed to come somewhat easier. It was in 1911 that Miss Curless first began to make her quilts. The finished products were sent to all parts of the United States.

First Inmate of Farm

Miss Curless is the first person ever admitted to the county farm, and she has been under the regime of 16 superintendents.

She has seen inmates of the institution die with no relatives or friends in the world, and no tears, no flowers, no songs at the funeral. Simply an entry in an official-looking book marked the end of a life. Those who die at the farm are buried "over the hill," or are sent to a dissecting room that some medical students may become acquainted with the human body. It was to escape all this that Miss Curless worked for 12 years to save $25 with which to purchase the cemetery lot.

She never attended a school of any kind, but she has learned to read by the use of newspapers and books. She remembers nothing of her parents and her childhood days were spent in sorrow. She was fifteen years old when she came to the Nodaway county intitution and now she is an old woman, well along on the downward hill of life. Altogther she has led a contented life during that half-century period.