The Smith County Poorhouse Cemetery Pictures
These Photos Graciously Submitted by John Waggoner Jr.
Any Comments or Questions
Click Here

County Poorhouse Cemetery
The County Poorhouse Cemetery is located two and one-half miles west of Carthage on the
old county house farm at #78 County House Circle. The farm is now privately owned.

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.

Biographical Sketch from 1866 through (at least) 1887

Report of the Poorhouse Commissioners Oct. 1, 1902

Report of the Poorhouse Commissioners
The report of the Commissioners of the county asylum was read in open court and
upon motion of the same was received and ordered to be filed and placed upon
the minutes of this court. Said report is in the following words & figures to wit:
To the Worshipful County Court of Smith County. October term 1902.
We the undersigned commissioners and Supt. of the Smith County Asylum beg
leave to make the following report To Wit: We have in the county house
the following inmates: Caroline Garner, Mary Green, Martha Timberlake, Frances
Beasley col., Betty Nolen, Julia Phillips, James Blount, Kitty Palls col., Washington Stewart,
Nancy Dickerson, Frances Read, Jerd Hackett, Lilla Bush, Elizabeth Gregory,
George Hardings, Lucy Ledford, W.T. Skelton, J.J. Boulton, Scintha Boulton,
M.J. Boulton, James Patterson, M.M. Pettie, Evaline Gibbs, Rosie Boulton, Ola B.
Boulton, Mary Jenkins, Jerry McGee, Caroline Harrison, Sallie McKinney,
Anthony Hancock, making thirty one. We have had in the county house
during the year thirty eight and an average of 32. We have had two deaths,
Mary Blount died May 18th 1902. William Andrews died June 14th 1902.
The health of the inmates has been very good during the year and still
remains good.
Our county house and farm are in very good repair. We have made a medium
crop of corn considering the dry weather. We made a very good crop of irish potatoes
in the spring and have a very nice and promising second crop. We also have
a nice crop of sweet potatoes coming on which we think will do well.
We also have a fine patch of winter cabbage, turnips, bunch beans, tomatoes. All are
in abundance. We have a good supply of vegetables to do us well thru the winter.
We are making our sorghum we think we will make plenty to do us.
We have had from the county $1011.37 during the year and have spent
$1009.71 leaving in our hands $1.66. The cost per head for the year was $31.55.
All of which is respectfully submitted. This October 1, 1902
John P. Carter, Treasure
N.C. Pope, Commissioner
J.H. Tyree, Commissioner
Charles Moorefield, Supt.

Back To Cemetery Pictures Index