The Kaufman County “Poor Farm” is the only such site in Texas, and believed to be the only one in the United States, that is still owned by the county. The history of the Kaufman County Poor Farm begins after the Civil War ended and the number of indigent persons within the entire state became so high that, by 1869 an addendum to the Texas Constitution, Article XII, Section 26, made the care for the poor the responsibility of each county. Under the new law, in1874, Kaufman County Commissioners began scouting for land to establish a “poor house”, or in this case a “poor farm”. In 1881 the county purchased 408+ acres of land, which was located only 1 1/4 miles from the courthouse square. By November, 1883, buildings were erected to house the residents and farm animals, and the operation of the County Poor Farm was underway. From the beginning the purpose of the poor farm was to offer a place where persons designated as paupers could remain there and support themselves by their own labor until they were either financially able to leave or until they died.
Kaufman County “Poor Farm”
KCHC offers “Poor Farm” tours, classroom and service club programs, and student field trips on request. Contact the KCHC office for information.