Poor farms were county or town-run residences where paupers (mainly elderly and disabled people) were supported at public expense. They were common in the United States beginning in the middle of the 19th century and declined in use after the Social Security Act took effect in 1935 with most disappearing completely by about 1950. (Wikipedia article)
Four poor farms existed in Monroe County. The third poor farm was purchased in 1866 from Peter Bollenbacher and was located between 2nd Street and Walker Street, probably where the County Highway Garage is currently located, just south of Rose Hill Cemetery. This farm was extant from 1869 through 1894.<ref>Richardson, Randi (2009). "Poor House Statistics-1882". Retrieved on February 18, 2009.</ref>
The fourth Poor Farm comprised 160 acres on Airport Road west of the road on which Karst Farm Park is located. It had the formal name of the Monroe County Infirmary, and included a 40-room building. The farm raised hogs, cattle, horses, and chickens, butchered the meat, and smoked it in an on-site smoke house. In addition, there was a garden, a pond, a jail and a padded cell.<ref>Knapp, Liz (November 8, 2002). "The Poor Farm". Retrieved on February 18, 2009.</ref> Hiram J. Nichols was the building architect. Originally part of the Cole Farm, the land was bought by the county from Thomas Mathers in 1892.
At one point, the Cole Cemetery was also on the property. There were several Coles and two members of the Brinkhoff family buried there. Rumors were that some jockeys from a nearby race course were also buried there. It was finally shut down in 1945.
Superintendents of the farm included: