This poorhouse, built in 1885, was the last of several locations in Smith County.
It was destroyed by fire in July 1958 but was discontinued as a county house Jan 8, l952.
The cemetery is exempted on county tax records on Map 046-Parcel 099. The cemetery is in
an open pasture area. An unknown number of inmates were buried here during the operation
of the home and their graves are presently unmarked. The graves were originally marked
with fieldstones which are mostly gone now, however, the sunken depressions give a clear
indication of the graves. There appears to have been at least 6 rows of graves with some
rows having 18 burials side by side. It is possible there are as many as 75 or more graves.
An area resident remembers a shed behind the county house that had a supply of coffins
built and stored for use. We have found the following by checking death certificates:
Baker, Emma 26 Apr 1915 age 62
Petross, Peter 31 May 1915 age 56 occupation "hobo"
Meecham, Grundy 17 Apr 1915 age 88
Jenkins, Mary 11 Nov 1914 age 84
A search of the County Court Minutes provided a report from
the County House Commissioners in October, 1902.
There is a listing in the Smith Co. Tennessee Census for the inmate "boarders" as follows:
1900 Charlie Mofield, Supt 23 inmates (3 were blind)
1910 Charlie Mofield, Supt 25 inmates
1920 James C. Violett, Supt. 18 inmates
1930 Dee F. Bradley, Supt. 15 inmates.
Saunders F. Hailey and his wife, Nannie, were the
last custodians of the county poor house.
GPS 36-15-708N 85-59-833W
For further information see:
History of Smith County Tennessee 1986.
Report of the Poorhouse Commissioners Oct. 1, 1902