Wandering Aimlessly


Children’s Poor Farm, Part II

by Phil Burkhouse


Last week I gave you a preview about the Poor Farm/Orphanage that was operational on Mason Hill from 1912-1920.  As I mentioned last week, the orphanage portion of the name is a misnomer since all of the boarders had at least one living parent.  During this time period if a child lost either a mother or father and the surviving parent couldn’t care for them, they were sent to live at the Poor Farm.

Most of what I will impart in this and next week’s articles comes from an interview with descendants of Fannie Belle Trump Johnson Williams and from letters written by two former boarders, Raymond Birney Coon and June Hugar Wachter Johnson.  The family of Fannie Belle requested any feedback from this article that may be of interest to them.


One Comment

  1. Janet Mellan says:

    Violet Hugar, a boarder at the Mason Hill poor farm. She married George Mckimm Sr. They had 10 children. I am their ninth child and I live in New Jersey. As children, we never heard much about her childhood except when Mom(Violet) and her sister Aunt Mae Hugar Mckimm had their discussions . It is my understanding that Fannieie Mae Williams was of Amish descendant. Also GrandpopHUGAR paid Mrs. Williams to care for his four children. Did Mr. Hugar pay Mrs. Williams and how did she use the money ? Who was the real struggling Mrs. Williams.

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