Medina County Home

The original source of income for Medina County helped boost the economy of the county due to the Ohio & Erie Canal going through the county. Immigrants started to come to medina for economic opportunities on the canal, or land to live in and eventually become residents of the United States. the canal ran by the eastern side of Medina county. With the railroads cutting through Medina County, and the canal running next to the Medina County, the immigrants had a variety of way to traveling to find work, or land to settle down in. Immigrants came to the county looking for work in the commercial coal mine, commercial salt mine in Wadsworth, and A.I Root candle factory all provided an economic upstart to immigrants making a living, and provided economic advancements for Medina County.
Some residents of Medina who lived on the square lost their houses in the fire of 1848 and forced to live out on the street, while some residents of Medina not able to afford their house once the immigrants moved west and began competition for housing in Medina. Immigrants able to afford the houses some residents could not, then those residents, along with the residents who lost their houses to the fire of 1848, moved into the county poor house, a house that paupers are maintained with municipal or county funds. Built in 1854, the county house or county infirmary provided economic opportunities during the times of expansionism and isolationism by having residences raise cattle, sheep, hogs, chickens and maintain large gardens. Originally built for indigent, aged, infirmed, insane, or unwed persons unable to care for themselves. A second building added on to the county infirmary southeast of the old building in 1861. In 1864, a fire destroyed the original building but in 1894, the issue passed and the new county infirmary built in the same location the county home found today. The house helped those who faced the economic hardships of the Grand Depression, which significant, considering the number of unemployed, able workers.
This was significant because if you were out of work back before, during, or soon after the Depressions, you were forced to become homeless. If not for the County Home, Medina would have been cluttered with citizens without comfortable housing. Although the majority of Medina was mainly farmland, hence the vast number of farmers in the county, many of them lost their farms; their only form of income.

Images

County Home (1855-1935)

County Home (1855-1935)

This picture features the Medina County Home as it was int he late 1800's. As seen, the field surrounding the County Home is very open and filled with various trees along the paltry borders.. There is also a porch leading to the main floor connecting next to the main office of the County Home. Image Courtesy of Brian Feron View File Details Page

Newspaper Article of Country Home (1950)

Newspaper Article of Country Home (1950)

On the top half of the article, we see the County home as it was in the early 1950's, during the winter, with snow covering the pine trees and the roof. On the bottom, we have Mr. and Mrs. Barth, the owners of the county home at the time. The couple took over the home in 1934, 40 years after the new County home was built. Image Courtesy of Joyce M. Giles View File Details Page

County Home Side View (January 1947)

County Home Side View (January 1947)

Here we have the County Home during the mid 20th century featuring the large side of the building. On the back of the building is a balcony supported by pillars dropping down to the ground. on the right side of the image is one of the many birdhouses in scattered locations around the building. The are also two sheds on the side of the building, one on the right side of the picture, the other in the middle. Image Courtesy of Joyce M. Giles View File Details Page

Diagonal view of the original building of the County Home (1921)

Diagonal view of the original building of the County Home (1921)

Back before the expansion to the home, the County Home consisted of only a tiny apartment building. Along with the size difference, the building was also more formal, being referred to as the "County Infirmary". As you can tell, there are not many windows, meaning that the capacity for clients was lower than the capacity today. The new addition to the county home helped raise capacity levels and help start the care for a wide array of patients. Image Courtesy of Joyce M. Giles View File Details Page

Lafeyette Map

Lafeyette Map

The County Home is located on Route 162, three or four miles from Medina. It is located practically in the center of the county, which is perfect location for ease of everyone in the county. It was originally located here because at the time it was built, no one had motorized vehicles, therefore the only way to get here was by walk or horseback. Image Courtesy of Brian Feron View File Details Page

Marriage Certificate (1880)

Marriage Certificate (1880)

Here we have the marriage certificate of Mr. and Mrs. Barth. This certificate of matrimony joining the two owners stands today on a wall inside the home as it has for many many years. Image Courtesy of Joyce M. Giles View File Details Page

Audio

Upcoming Future

In the early 2000's, the commissioners wanted to close down the home but the county voted on the levy in 2002 to save the home. Brian Feron explains the decisions and how crucial it was to save the county home. View File Details Page

Earn Your Keep

Brian Feron explains that the residents "earned their keep" or doing jobs to help the county home while living there. Men usually worked in the fields with farm work or livestock while women worked in the kitchen and around the home. Brian calls the county home a "communal home" View File Details Page

Story of Finn Dietrich

Brian tells the story of Finn Dietrich, the man he wrote in his paper while writing about the county home. He explains how he escaped the Nazi's in WWII and how he was able to take back his life after a period of alcoholism and shaped up into one of the nicest people in the county home. View File Details Page

Purpose of the County Home

Legislators deemed that some care should be provided by each county in the state of Ohio. The purpose was to provide a custodial care for those who could not take care of themselves. The County Home provided the year round structure that provided a stable home for those who needed a place to go to. View File Details Page

People's Feelings Towards the Home

Over the course of time it has mostly been supported by the people. In levies over the years the county has found it difficult sometimes to keep it running with the upkeep required. Although it has continued to serve as a strong foundation of the county. View File Details Page

Reaction By State

Back then the Home didn't have all the advanced medical services needed for the people, which deeply alerted the state. This caused many letters by the people to possibly close the Home because of the issues. View File Details Page

Stable during Hardships

The County Home has always been a stable for Medina. Its been run by great administrators who always keep the Home running at the appropriate pace. It continues to have animals showed off at the County Fair, many people purchase the livestock then donate it back to the Home, which always keeps the food levels high for the people. View File Details Page

Cite this Page:

Rick, Derek, Jon, “Medina County Home,” Discover Medina, accessed July 21, 2017, http://discovermedina.org/items/show/268.

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