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I can't tell you number of times as a kid groing up, I heard my folks tell me that I was going to put them in the "Poor farm". I never dreamed though, that this may have been a real place! I always thought it to be a sort of figure of speach.

Recently, looking over so many old maps of Houston I came across this. Map

Looking out to the SW side of town theres something refered to as the Poor farm. Was this that legendary place, or just the name of the person who owned the farm? Think I'd change my name!

If there was, what purpose did it serve?

Any info?

Regards,

Rhino

Edited by RhinoVP
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Poor farms and poor houses were run by counties as an early form of social welfare program. There's quite a lot of general info about them on the web. Most were gone by the twenties, as they were pretty horrible places, apparently.

There was a Harris County poor farm; a little searching has revealed:

It was where Southside Place was later developed.

http://www.ci.southside-place.tx.us/Screen...amp;menusubid=0

The road out to it was called "County Poor Farm Road" or "Poor Farm Road." We now know it as Bissonnet, named after a WWI soldier.

There was apparently a "potters field" type of pauper cemetery there, but the graves were relocated when the property was developed.

That's all I can find quickly.

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Almost always in other cemeteries, usually with some kind of official notice and religious ceremony. According to George Wolf, the Harris County Cemetery at the Poor Farm was moved to the present County Cemetery site south of Highway 90 in 1937, and the remains reinterred in a common grave because there were no grave markers.

Here's a newspaper clipping about it.

HarrisCem9.jpg

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Thanks for the reply marmer.

What I should have asked in the first post, seeing as how this was a real place is - What did a person there do? The word "farm" would imply a working enviroment. Was this an actual working farm, or was it just a farm in name?

Also..

Was this the type of place a person would be condemed to, or rather the "Star of Hope" of its time? A place where people could come and go freely from?

I get this image of police rounding up the homeless, and hauling them off to the Poor farm where they would be put to work in the fields.

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I get this image of police rounding up the homeless, and hauling them off to the Poor farm where they would be put to work in the fields.

That's what I think of, too. Sure seen that on many an old map.

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Poor farms were a little different from poor houses. If you couldn't pay your debts, you could be sentenced to a poor house, but a poor farm was more like a really nasty, county-run retirement home for the elderly and disabled. Residents had to work, but they weren't worked as hard as prisoners or folks in the poor house. It's one of the social institutions that Social Security replaced.

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Wasn't the poor farm next to the nut house? ;)

To be honest, when I was a young tad I heard my parents talk about the poor farm but never realized they actually existed. Learn something new every day.

Edited by LunaticFringe
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Poor farms were a little different from poor houses. If you couldn't pay your debts, you could be sentenced to a poor house, but a poor farm was more like a really nasty, county-run retirement home for the elderly and disabled. Residents had to work, but they weren't worked as hard as prisoners or folks in the poor house. It's one of the social institutions that Social Security replaced.

Wow!

So if you were "sentenced" to a poor farm or house, what hope did people ever have of getting out? It's a bit like being banished from society, or exiled even. I can't imagine any way that a person entering here, would not eventualy die here.

I notice from looking at the map, it would have been well outside the city at the time.

By debts, do you mean taxes? It's hard to believe that you could basicly be jailed like this, for failure to pay something like a loan!

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Wow!

So if you were "sentenced" to a poor farm or house, what hope did people ever have of getting out? It's a bit like being banished from society, or exiled even. I can't imagine any way that a person entering here, would not eventualy die here.

I notice from looking at the map, it would have been well outside the city at the time.

By debts, do you mean taxes? It's hard to believe that you could basicly be jailed like this, for failure to pay something like a loan!

Like I said, poor farms and poor houses were different. Poor houses tended to be more like debtors prisons. Poor farms were more like old age homes.

By debts, I mean any debts.

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Like I said, poor farms and poor houses were different. Poor houses tended to be more like debtors prisons. Poor farms were more like old age homes. By debts, I mean any debts.

As abhorrent as we find them today, debtors' prisons served a useful purpose in their day. They were places where people could, through some financial arrangement, "work off" their debt.

They were such unpleasant places people actually worked hard to stay out of them. They were inspired to actually pay their bills. Imagine that. What a concept.

And while we're on this subject, does anybody remember the old City of Houston Prison Farm on Mykawa Road? That was a place where people convicted of misdemeanor crimes were sent to "work off" their sentence. Usually six months or less.

It was closed sometime back in the 70s or 80s, and the city built the Mykawa Multi-Service Center to replace it.

Edited by FilioScotia
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The Mykawa Rd. Prison Farm was known as the P-Farm. I and I'd bet alot of people, though it was the Pea Farm. I got stopped as teen in the 60's for some (alleged) traffic violation. The policeman told me if if didn't shut my smart mouth that he was going to arrest me and my fingers would "turn green from picking peas out at the pea farm".

It wasn't him that was going to make me a convict, but does anyone on here remember a Police Officer namd Tiny Roman? For years, it seemed, he worked andextra job at every skating rink, movie theatre and public dance in town. He was a great big 6'4" + guy and super nice.

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The Mykawa Rd. Prison Farm was known as the P-Farm. I and I'd bet alot of people, though it was the Pea Farm. I got stopped as teen in the 60's for some (alleged) traffic violation. The policeman told me if if didn't shut my smart mouth that he was going to arrest me and my fingers would "turn green from picking peas out at the pea farm".

It wasn't him that was going to make me a convict, but does anyone on here remember a Police Officer namd Tiny Roman? For years, it seemed, he worked andextra job at every skating rink, movie theatre and public dance in town. He was a great big 6'4" + guy and super nice.

It's amazing that someone remembered that name P-Farm! We teens always heard about it but gladly can say never actually saw it or worse went there.lol Somewhere around Mykawa sounds about right.

Otherwise known as "Indian territory" or The Land that Time Forgot. :mellow:

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A small concrete-lined bayou or drainage ditch that runs from Bissonnet through West U - and possibly Southside Place - is referred to as Poor Farm Ditch on older maps. It connects somewhere near Bellaire to a similar ditch, which drains storm water runoff into Braes Bayou.

No doubt someone here will have more information on its history and location.

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I remember the P-Farm very well. I played baseball in the Southeast National Little League and our baseball fields were right across Sims bayou from the P-Farm. There was wooden bridge at the back of the fields which crossed over to the P-Farm. I used to walk down to that bridge to watch the alligator gars and the various type turtles and snakes down in the bayou.

This 1882 article from the 1882 Galveston Daily News explains a lot about the original "poor farm" operation. The four acres mentioned had originally belonged to the Brashear family. There is still a Brashear street along Washington avenue:

Houston, October 21, 1882 -- To the Honorable Commissioners' Court of Harris county: The undersigned committee appointed by the court to select a site for a county poor-house, work-farm and hospital, and to purchase the same, have a report that they have performed that duty. Quite a number of locations were offered to the committee around and near the city. A personal inspection of the different places was made by the committee, the examination being for the most part made during the rainy weather of September. Opportunity was thus afforded to note the facilities for natural as well as artificial drainage. After a careful examination of all the locations submitted, and a compararison of the places, taking into consideration the cost of improvements, etc, the committeee were of the opinion that the offer of Drs. Stuart, Larendon, and Boyles was the best price and adaptability of the place to the purposes for which it is to be used being considered. This offer embraced four acres and improvements. lately occupied by them for a hospital, and thirty-three acres, lying adjacent thereto and on White Oak bayou, owned by Dr. T.J. Boyles, together with all personal property thereon. The price stated was $9000. Accordingly, on the fifth day of September last, a contract of purchase and sale was consummated, and persuant to this agreement, possession of the property was delivered on the first instant by terms of the agreement of purchase. The contract existing between the county and Drs. Stuart, Larendon, and Boyles was abrogated from and after Octorber 1. Upon taking possession, and inventory of al household effects, furniture, farming implements, stock and other personal property was taken, and is herewith submitted. As will be seen, each item of this property is appraised and the total value is estimated to be $288.80., the original cost being considerably more. The improvements consist of the main building and wing two stories in height, containing twenty-one rooms, besides halls and galleries, a two-story building in the rear of this, about eighty feet in length used for sick wards. Besides these there are two or three small buildings adjacent and a stable and buggy house. THis tract as well as the other, is fenced and in cultivation. There is a good windmill on the place, cisterns, well, etc., and the buildings are supplied with water from the waterworks and connected with the telephone system of the city. The place is located just outside the city limits and is within 200 yards of the Glenwood street car line. On the farm place there is a house containing four rooms, a large barn, a hothouse some thirty feet in length, a cistern, a large elevated iron tank in the field, having a capacity of 610 cubic feet. By means of the windmill this can be supplied with water from the bayou for purposes of irrigation. By building a short dam, a fish pond of about three acres in area and from five to twenty feet in depth can be had on this place. On the farm is a supply of stock and farming implements sufficient for present needs, including a wagon and a large lot of drainage pipe, etc. Some alterations and repairs of the infirmary buildings to hole county convicts sent there, so that the labor may be utilized at once. Some county convicts have already been sent to the farm and ar working satisfactorily. The services of Dr. T.J. Boyles as house surgeon, have been secured until the first day of Janurary next, and an arrangement made by him with the committee giving him the right to use part of the building for the care of his private hospital patients until that time. Beginning with the first of October, the employes of Drs. Stuart, Larendon, and Boyles were continued in their respective positions in the employ of the county until further notice, with the same salaries as heretofore. A competent and experienced market gardener, to supervise the farm work, has been employed. You committee would suggest that if the necessary machinery was purchased, the cost of which would not be great, and cloth, hosiery,etc, necessary for the inmates, and no doubt more could be made and the labor of the female inmates thereby utilized. Pursuant to instructions from the committee, the county clerk has notified all indigent persons now drawing a stipend from the county treasury, that arrangements for their care at the poor-house having been made, such stipends would be discontinued after the present month. It was deemed best to give a month's notice in anticipation of this action of the court, so that no inconvenience should be occasioned them by the sudden stoppage of the allowances. The attention of the court is directed to this matter, as these stipends now amount in the aggregate to $300. Copies of the contract of purchase, etc, are in the hands of the committee, subject to the inspection of the court.

C. Anson Jones, County Judge;

Frank S. Burke, County Commissioner,

Committee

Edited by isuredid
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The Mykawa Rd. Prison Farm was known as the P-Farm. I and I'd bet alot of people, though it was the Pea Farm. I got stopped as teen in the 60's for some (alleged) traffic violation. The policeman told me if if didn't shut my smart mouth that he was going to arrest me and my fingers would "turn green from picking peas out at the pea farm". It wasn't him that was going to make me a convict, but does anyone on here remember a Police Officer namd Tiny Roman? For years, it seemed, he worked andextra job at every skating rink, movie theatre and public dance in town. He was a great big 6'4" + guy and super nice.

A big friendly cop named Tiny Roman? Omigod.. I DO remember that guy. He worked the KILT Saturday night "Sock Hops" at Mason Park for a time, which is where I met him sometime around 1960, give or take. I also saw him a few times at the Broadway Theater, and at that skating rink that used to be on Holmes Road, not far from Telephone Road. And oh yes. Lest we forget. A moment of silence for the Ranger Drive-in, that carhop place on Telephone at Holmes Road.

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A big friendly cop named Tiny Roman? Omigod.. I DO remember that guy. He worked the KILT Saturday night "Sock Hops" at Mason Park for a time, which is where I met him sometime around 1960, give or take. I also saw him a few times at the Broadway Theater, and at that skating rink that used to be on Holmes Road, not far from Telephone Road. And oh yes. Lest we forget. A moment of silence for the Ranger Drive-in, that carhop place on Telephone at Holmes Road.

Now you have me wondering about Tiny Roman. Wonder how long he made appearances at The Broadway Theater? We used to go there around 1968 to its final end and they used to have raffles where some radio sounding guy would announce the winners of new bike's and junk. They did that before or during intermission when we would see double & triple monster extrvanganza's there. I was too small to remember what he looked like but maybe it was this guy? They would roll out the bikes on stage and the kid would run up there all hysterical and stuff.

Wow, now I am soundimg like "the Beave". Chucks! :lol:

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Since I already bent this thread: Tiny also used to work the Garden Oaks and N. Main theatres and the sock hops at Moody Park. I remember there was a picture in one of the three Houston papers

of Tiny standing next to a Crosley car. My sister got his autograph. She also got the manager of our grocery store and the mailman.

With in the past 5 or so years, there was an Obit in the Chron on a Tincey Roman. IIRC, he was 91 years old and lived in Wiemar, Schulenberg, Columbus area. As best I could tell, Tincey was this guys given name. Not sure if it's Tiny or not.

We need more Tiny Romans around today. The worst thing that would have happened when Tiny was around was some kid cutting in line.

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Now you have me wondering about Tiny Roman. Wonder how long he made appearances at The Broadway Theater? We used to go there around 1968 to its final end and they used to have raffles where some radio sounding guy would announce the winners of new bike's and junk. They did that before or during intermission when we would see double & triple monster extrvanganza's there. I was too small to remember what he looked like but maybe it was this guy? They would roll out the bikes on stage and the kid would run up there all hysterical and stuff.

Wow, now I am soundimg like "the Beave". Chucks! :lol:

I went there too, I remember the announcer guy. I was scared he was going to call me up there. :o:D Didn't see monster movies, too scary. Probably a Walt Disney one. :P I never appreciated those old movie theaters until later years. What I wouldn't give to walk through those again. Too bad the Broadway one was torn down for a non-existent expressway into downtown. Was glad to read the neighborhood people successfully fought the building of it, and won! That would have displaced so many, and ruined so much of what we love in those areas, not to mention the historical aspect. At least the Bob Bailey pics exist. I know, I'm off-topic.

And while we're on this subject, does anybody remember the old City of Houston Prison Farm on Mykawa Road? That was a place where people convicted of misdemeanor crimes were sent to "work off" their sentence. Usually six months or less.

It was closed sometime back in the 70s or 80s, and the city built the Mykawa Multi-Service Center to replace it.

quote/FilioScotia

I do vaguely remember there always being a prison-related facility over there. There is also an old rectangle house, maybe brick, sitting way back off the road, on acreage, on the west side of the road, going south. Might be a business now, rundown, or torn down. Anyone recall anything like that? I'm trying to stay on topic, but it's not working! :lol:

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I There is also an old rectangle house, maybe brick, sitting way back off the road, on acreage, on the west side of the road, going south. Might be a business now, rundown, or torn down. Anyone recall anything like that? I'm trying to stay on topic, but it's not working! :lol:

Would that have been Mykawa School?

http://www.houstonarchitecture.info/haif/i...showtopic=15939

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No, but thanks for the tip. I forgot to say it was two-story. Have to travel that road to figure it out. Google flying didn't do it for me. It was a lot like the house in the recent post about a Telephone Rd. house that was located after Pearland. (I just looked it up, you posted it, under Coastal Bay/Prairie & Art Deco House/Apt. not too long ago). The structure looked like that one. Sat way back off the road. Don't think I'm mistaken. Those kinds of things I've always noticed, even as a kid.

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Looks to me, from Live Local maps, that the old P-Farm is now F.M. Law Park and a junior golf course.

Right you are. It's also the location of HPD's Southeast Command Station at 8300 Mykawa. There's also a Satellite Municipal Court office. The City acquired the property way back in the stone age to set up the City Prison Farm.

When the "P-Farm" was closed, it sat vacant for years till those rocket scientists at HPD and City Hall snapped to using the land for the Command Station and a City Park with a golf course.

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Wasn't the poor farm next to the nut house? ;)

I'm still searching around to see if there actualy was a "Funny farm"! :D

As abhorrent as we find them today, debtors' prisons served a useful purpose in their day. They were places where people could, through some financial arrangement, "work off" their debt.

They were such unpleasant places people actually worked hard to stay out of them. They were inspired to actually pay their bills. Imagine that. What a concept.

Now, this really had me thinking. Were these places honestly such a bad idea?

Would society benefit from having poor farm's and houses, right now?

Personaly I feel that with limitations,,, it might not be such a bad thing. They sure would fill up fast though! :o

(maybe a poll is in order)

Regards,

Rhino

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silverartfox wrote: A small concrete-lined bayou or drainage ditch that runs from Bissonnet through West U - and possibly Southside Place - is referred to as Poor Farm Ditch on older maps. It connects somewhere near Bellaire to a similar ditch, which drains storm water runoff into Braes Bayou.

No doubt someone here will have more information on its history and location.

As some may know and note from my moniker, I was born and bred in West University Place on University Blvd. "Poor Farm Ditch" runs north/south through the city and Southside Place just east of Edloe Street. We grew up knowing about the actual Poor Farm that was no longer in existence. Our take on the farm was a sad place to end up, but not a brutal one. The ditch mostly had no water in it unless we'd had heavy rains, its function as a drainage ditch only. We were admonished severely to never climb down into it, but everyone did at least once. It was concrete lined to avoid erosion.

One can only drive over it at University, Sunset, Bissonnet and Bellaire Blvd. There are foot bridges at other streets. If you check mapquest for University and Edloe, you will note that the east/west streets do not go through except as noted, this because of the ditch. I have no idea of its age, but I was born in 1941 with it in place and I am sure it has existed since the actual Poor Farm was set up.

In the 1876 Texas Constitution, a provision was made for each county to set up "a manual labor poor house and farm." Most subsequently did this.

While we are in the old, old neighborhood, is everyone aware that the Burnett-Bayland Orphans Home on Bissonnett was originally established as a home for Confederate War orphans?

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While we are in the old, old neighborhood, is everyone aware that the Burnett-Bayland Orphans Home on Bissonnett was originally established as a home for Confederate War orphans?

Hey WestU...nice to see your name in these spaces again.

You're right about the history of that orphans home, but it's a somewhat complicated history, because today's Burnett-Bayland Home is the result of several relocations, mergers and ownership transfers over more than a hundred years. Here's some information on that from the archives of the Harris County Juvenile Probation Department. (HCJPD)

Here's a direct link to the full archive. http://www.hctx.net/cmpdocuments/20/findin...uvenilecr43.pdf

On May 19, 1914, Harris County Commissioners Court approved the construction of a girls' home in Bellaire, to be known as the Harris County Training School for Girls1. Ethel Claxton and Mary Burnett were hired to be the school's Superintendent and Assistant Superintendent, respectively, on August 1, 1914. On September 26, the home was opened and ready for occupancy. The home filled rapidly. During the Twentieth Anniversary Celebration, Claxton noted that the institution cared for 200 girls in four houses. The school was originally intended to educate both dependents and delinquents, but by 1952, only delinquent girls were living at the facility.

The Bayland Orphans Home, founded as a private entity on September 24,1866, as a home for dependent boys and girls, was turned over to county control in October, 1918. The transfer was problematic, with the original Bayland Orphan Home board members charging that the County failed to fulfill its obligations to the home. By 1922, however, settlements were reached, and the Bayland Orphans Home was fully under County control. The County transferred all the girls in the home to the Harris County Home for Girls, and the Bayland Home became a home for boys, exclusively.

The Harris County School for Boys, which served delinquent boys, was founded at Seabrook in 1910 and relocated to South Houston in 1914. In 1924, the home moved yet again, to Clear Lake on property adjacent to the county park. Beginning in 1936, Bayland and the Harris County School for Boys were consolidated into one institution at the Clear Lake location. After a small fire in 1951 which required moving the boys to the Girls School, the HCJPD realized the benefits of a co-ed home in keeping siblings together. The two homes were merged to create the Burnett-Bayland Home in 1952. The Harris County School for Boys (at Clear Lake) was refurbished and reopened in 1955. In 1972 the School was re-named the Harris County Youth Village.

Edited by FilioScotia
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  • 2 weeks later...
No, but thanks for the tip. I forgot to say it was two-story. Have to travel that road to figure it out. Google flying didn't do it for me. It was a lot like the house in the recent post about a Telephone Rd. house that was located after Pearland. (I just looked it up, you posted it, under Coastal Bay/Prairie & Art Deco House/Apt. not too long ago). The structure looked like that one. Sat way back off the road. Don't think I'm mistaken. Those kinds of things I've always noticed, even as a kid.

Marmer, I ran across a post (#56) from Texianjoe, under Tour De Telephone, where he talks of an old construction office on Mykawa at Dixie. Describes it as being old. May be the one I am thinking of.

Update: I drove Mykawa yesterday, and confirmed the construction company @ Dixie & Mykawa is where I remember the old structure as sitting. Only thing that triggered my memory was the old rectangle ground sign closer to the road. The actual bldg. sat way back off the road. Was barren then, unlike today. It's all developed now.

Simms Bayou is very eerie along that road.

Edited by NenaE
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This was the approximate location of the Poor Farm up until 1921. In 1921 Harris County decided this land was too valuable for a poor farm and sold it for $78,000

Poor_Farm_1921.jpg

Fantastic, isuredid! I have never known exactly where it was before, just grew up with the ditch. I am amazed the location was so close to us and right where Montclair Center, now Weslayan Plaza resides. Funny to think that Randall's Flagship high end store in on land where the literally dirt poor used to toil.

Thanks for the welcome back, Vertigo58 and Filio, I've been busy with stuff and sadly neglected this site.

Ta-da, there is my house on the map. University Blvd at Community Drive. We were the third house down from Community on the north side of University Blvd, 4226!

Oh, and thank Filio for the full history of Burnett-Bayland, I find it fascinating. Went there once in the 1950's with my Aunt, a real do-gooder (57Tbird, if you read this I'm speaking of Mac's mother, Helen Lou Childers, legendary teacher), she had sponsored an orphan living at the home. We took her Christmas presents that day and sometimes she went on excursions around town with us.

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  • 1 month later...

Poor Farm or Paupers Cemetery #1

Located on the banks of Buffalo Bayou beyond the San Felipe graveyard, away out in the county on the San Felipe Road.

Ca. pre-1866-1890's

Poor Farm or Paupers Cemetery #2 (Poor Ditch) (Poor Farm Ditch)

Harris Co. Cemetery #1

1894-1937

8300 Magnolia, Edloe at Bissonet. West U.

All graves that (could) be found were moved from original site, with most reinterred in a common grave as there was no names etc. Graves were moved to Harris Co. Cemetery #2.

Jesse Baker, Died Apr. 18,1906, age 35 years, at 18-19 streets. Physician: Dr. G. H. Mallison, Buried April 19,1906, POOR FARM, Occupation: Hotel Porter

Sam Archer, Died June 18,1906, at Live Oaks Street, Age 24 yrs. Physician: Dr. S. M. Lyons. Married. Occupation: Laborer. Buried June 20,1906. POOR FARM.

Poor Farm or Paupers Cemetery #3

Harris Co. Cemetery #2

1937-present

5439 Oates road

About 15 acres. Very nice for what it is.

Records on computer beginnning Aug. 1937.

Cemeteries and History of Harris Co.,Texas

www.freewebs.com/boneyardwolf

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http://www.freewebs.com/cemeterywolf/harriscocemiiphotos.htm

Poor Farm or Paupers Cemetery #3

Harris Co. Cemetery #2

1937-present

5439 Oates road

About 15 acres. Very nice for what it is.

Records on computer beginnning Aug. 1937.

Cemeteries and History of Harris Co.,Texas

www.freewebs.com/boneyardwolf

Edited by Cemeterywolf
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As abhorrent as we find them today, debtors' prisons served a useful purpose in their day. They were places where people could, through some financial arrangement, "work off" their debt.

They were such unpleasant places people actually worked hard to stay out of them. They were inspired to actually pay their bills. Imagine that. What a concept.

And while we're on this subject, does anybody remember the old City of Houston Prison Farm on Mykawa Road? That was a place where people convicted of misdemeanor crimes were sent to "work off" their sentence. Usually six months or less.

It was closed sometime back in the 70s or 80s, and the city built the Mykawa Multi-Service Center to replace it.

There's still a JAIL there on Mykawa. I think they just built a newer building over it??

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There's still a JAIL there on Mykawa. I think they just built a newer building over it??

Actually, that "jail" is just a temporary holding facility inside the HPD Southeast Command Station, which now occupies some of the land that was once the City of Houston Prison Farm. People arrested and taken there for processing are transferred to the County Jail as soon as it can be arranged.

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  • 3 months later...

The POOR FARM was a cemetery for Harris Co.,Texas. 1894-1937. In 1937 all remains moved to the newer Harris County Cemetery in one mass grave. I am going through death cert.'s and making a list of those buried here. It would state burial at POOR FARM or COUNTY, P. F. Most are black, some white and hispanic. Large number of stillborn and young babies buried here also. Very sad. Being poor really sucked. Most names are lost forever.

Hope to have a list soon.

GEW

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The POOR FARM was a cemetery for Harris Co.,Texas. 1894-1937. In 1937 all remains moved to the newer Harris County Cemetery in one mass grave. I am going through death cert.'s and making a list of those buried here. It would state burial at POOR FARM or COUNTY, P. F. Most are black, some white and hispanic. Large number of stillborn and young babies buried here also. Very sad. Being poor really sucked. Most names are lost forever.

Hope to have a list soon.

GEW

Cemeterywolf,

Are you saying that The poor farm was a cemetery only, and not some type of working farm or house?

Regards,

Rhino

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Cemeterywolf,

Are you saying that The poor farm was a cemetery only, and not some type of working farm or house?

Regards,

Rhino

It was used as a farm area for the poor but mainly to bury the poor. On death cert.'s it states that the person is buried (Poor Farm, or County, or P. F.) I went thru death cert.'s 1910-1912 and already have 500 persons buried there. The cemetery was in use 1894-1937. There were a lot of people buried there. In 43 years that would be a lot of burials and a large area would be needed. Guessament of 43 years X 200 burials a year = 8,600 graves?

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It was used as a farm area for the poor but mainly to bury the poor. On death cert.'s it states that the person is buried (Poor Farm, or County, or P. F., Potterfield, Poor Farm Ditch) I went thru death cert.'s 1910-1912 and already have 500 persons buried there. The cemetery was in use 1894-1937. There were a lot of people buried there. In 43 years that would be a lot of burials and a large area would be needed. Guessament of 43 years X 200 burials a year = 8,600 graves?
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  • 6 years later...

I lived in Garden Villas from '65-'68 and not but a couple blocks from Sims Bayou.

Some friends and I took a Saturday morning to walk along the bayou hunting for pet turtles. Now this was before flood management and the stream was plenty wild.

We headed east from Swallow and were to end up near the P-farm on the other side of Mykawa. One of the other kids had been there before and knew how to get through the fence and he said we could grab some carrots and strawberries.

 

I didn't score any turtles that day but our little clandestine operation into forbidden territory for some ill-gotten booty was pretty scary fun.

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  • 6 months later...

The Mykawa Pea Farm had several hectares (5 to 10 acres) of farmland around it. In the summer there would be rows and rows of peas growing.  Sometimes there would be inmates in stripes picking the peas, with a shotgun toting guard watching.

The building was far back off of Mykawa.  I saw this this about 1965 to 1968.

The thing I remember most was Honda Hill.  It was on the northern edge of the Pea Farm, and back from the road about as much as the building.

It was a hill of dirt about 3 stories tall.  I thought it was either soil that was removed from the fields, or topsoil that was to be put on the fields.

We found Honda Hill was the perfect place to ride our bicycles and minibikes.  I heard stories of guards running the kids off, but I never got caught.

I had a minibike that was not much more than a lawn mower engine on a bicycle frame.  Centrifugal clutch, so it was very primitive.  No lights, no horn, and the only brake was a joke (a paddle that pressed against the rear wheel).

Honda Hill had a steep side (straight down) and a not so steep side.  I had to push my centrifugal clutch up one side and then try to build up enough speed to fly off the steep side.  Big thrill.

Sometime after I moved, the Pea Farm was closed down and a city jail opened south of Bellfort.

I thought that the Pea Farm was north of Bellfort.  Somewhere near Donoho.  I remember reaching Honda Hill from the back, not the Mykawa side.

Does anybody have the address of the original Pea Farm.  Please tell me I was not crazy enough to drive that totally not street worthy minibike several miles down two lane blacktop Mykawa.
 

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I looked at the 1955 map and it does show a prison farm south of Bellfort.  Thanks.

I do not remember any drive-in on Mykawa.  I do not remember anything on Mykawa.  I must have taken back roads and crossed Bellfort before reaching Mykawa.

But I do remember the drive-in on South Park at what would become I-610.  It is interesting that all of that was there in 1955. And Kelso Elementary only had 2 wings.  They had 5, plus shacks for the 6th graders, by the time I got there.
 

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****Does anybody have the address of the original Pea Farm?****

The old P-Farm, short for Prison Farm - not Pea Farm - was on the property now occupied by the HPD Southeast Sub-Station and Municipal Court at 8300 Mykawa. The city held on to the land when it closed down the P-Farm, but found a use for it some time later when HPD started opening sub-stations around town.

Edited by FilioScotia
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The Harris County Poor Farm, known as the Harris County P Farm was located, just off the north side of Mykawa Road and the entrance was where the Junior Golf Course entrance is now. It was located behind the HPD Southeast Sub Station. The house you were interested in, was located on the southeast side of the P Farm and  was a white wooded structure and was where a family lived. The father was a Guard or the Warden for the P Farm. There were no other homes that I recall on the P Farm. There was also a wooded garage next to it, with a fence in between the home and garage  where the family had geese. The family had 2 children, 1 girl and 1 boy living in the house when I was there for a sleepover, with their daughter. Sorry I don't recall their names. The prison was small 1 store structure, if I recall correctly, was made of Concrete Blocks and with Iron Bars. It was northwest from the home further down the road. The P Farm was on the north side of Sims Bayou. I never saw a farm there but I never saw the far west side of the prison.. I lived nearby there since the 1960's. There Prisoner were transported in a white buses marked "Harris County P Farm Prison Bus" in black letters, to different place to work. There was no fence or gates like a normal prison with barbwire. North of the P Farm was a open field, with Mykawa Road on the east side, Vasser Road on the north side, a ditch that ran down to Sims Bayou, on the west side and the P Farm on the South side.  As a child, my brother and I, with other kids in the neighborhood , would play there. There was also a big hill called Hondo Hill made of dirt on the Mykawa side of the field, that we road our Bikes on. When they closed down the P Farm, late 1970's or early 1980's, they demolish the hill, and planted several trees there. They then built, what is now Law Park on the Vasser Road side of the field, and the HPD Southeast Sub Station on the Mykawa Road side of the field,  which was first Houston Police Academy. I know this because my brother went there, to train to be a Houston Police Officer. I never went into the area where prisoner were held and do not know what kind of prisoner were held there. I did see the P Farm Prison Buses numerous times driving down Mykawa Road. The P Farm was  south of Vasser Road and on the north side of Sims Bayou, off Mykawa Road. I also never saw a cemetery there. 

.      

Edited by Kathleen Acres
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As for a Drive- In Theater on Mykawa Road It was at Mykawa Road and the north side of Wayside. They tore it down and put up warehouses, one of them being UPS. I went there may times as a child with my family and on dates as a teenager. I was sad to see it torn down. The Rath  Meat Warehouse was at Dixie and Mykawa.         

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I just found out that I had a great uncle, Robert L. Meyer, who was never mentioned by my grandmother. In the 1930 US Census he was listed as an "inmate" of the Harris County School for Boys. There's no record on Ancestry.com of his death. I wonder why he was an "inmate" and what happened to him. Why was he never mentioned by my family? Perhaps this is the proverbial "skeleton in the closet."

On 6/7/2008 at 4:51 AM, FilioScotia said:

Hey WestU...nice to see your name in these spaces again.

You're right about the history of that orphans home, but it's a somewhat complicated history, because today's Burnett-Bayland Home is the result of several relocations, mergers and ownership transfers over more than a hundred years. Here's some information on that from the archives of the Harris County Juvenile Probation Department. (HCJPD)

Here's a direct link to the full archive. http://www.hctx.net/cmpdocuments/20/findin...uvenilecr43.pdf

On May 19, 1914, Harris County Commissioners Court approved the construction of a girls' home in Bellaire, to be known as the Harris County Training School for Girls1. Ethel Claxton and Mary Burnett were hired to be the school's Superintendent and Assistant Superintendent, respectively, on August 1, 1914. On September 26, the home was opened and ready for occupancy. The home filled rapidly. During the Twentieth Anniversary Celebration, Claxton noted that the institution cared for 200 girls in four houses. The school was originally intended to educate both dependents and delinquents, but by 1952, only delinquent girls were living at the facility.

The Bayland Orphans Home, founded as a private entity on September 24,1866, as a home for dependent boys and girls, was turned over to county control in October, 1918. The transfer was problematic, with the original Bayland Orphan Home board members charging that the County failed to fulfill its obligations to the home. By 1922, however, settlements were reached, and the Bayland Orphans Home was fully under County control. The County transferred all the girls in the home to the Harris County Home for Girls, and the Bayland Home became a home for boys, exclusively.

The Harris County School for Boys, which served delinquent boys, was founded at Seabrook in 1910 and relocated to South Houston in 1914. In 1924, the home moved yet again, to Clear Lake on property adjacent to the county park. Beginning in 1936, Bayland and the Harris County School for Boys were consolidated into one institution at the Clear Lake location. After a small fire in 1951 which required moving the boys to the Girls School, the HCJPD realized the benefits of a co-ed home in keeping siblings together. The two homes were merged to create the Burnett-Bayland Home in 1952. The Harris County School for Boys (at Clear Lake) was refurbished and reopened in 1955. In 1972 the School was re-named the Harris County Youth Village.

 

Edited by AliQ
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