‘Poor Farm’ update: Plans for women’s shelter still in the works

After much discussion on the ownership of the Knox County Poor Farm, a decision has been made on the ownership of the building.

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‘Poor Farm’ update: Plans for women’s shelter still in the works

The Knox County Poor Farm building stands abandoned. Many questions remain about its future.

The Knox County Poor Farm building stands abandoned. Many questions remain about its future.

Olivia P. Tucker

The Knox County Poor Farm building stands abandoned. Many questions remain about its future.

Olivia P. Tucker

Olivia P. Tucker

The Knox County Poor Farm building stands abandoned. Many questions remain about its future.

Olivia P. Tucker, Sections Editor

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After much discussion on the ownership of the Knox County Poor Farm, a decision has been made on the ownership of the building.

On Nov. 11, the Knox County Commissioners discussed the ownership of the Knox County Poor Farm during their monthly meeting. In 2014, the county signed ownership to Sandy Ivers, who had planned on turning the historic building into a home for women who needed shelter or rehabilitation. She had two years with the transfer of the property to complete the project, but after four years the ownership of the building is returning to the county.

The building that stands on Hart Street was completed in December of 1881 after the original structure was burned down by an inmate. The Poor Farm served as a home to people who didn’t fit in the societal norms in the 1800s in Knox County as the county asylum.

Even though the ownership is to return to the county, the commissioners still support the ideas of Ivers.

“We are trying to work together with her,” Tim Ellerman, one of the commissioners said during the meeting.

Kellie Streeter, the county commissioner president said in an interview after the meeting, “We support her and we support her mission.”

Streeter added that the extent of what Ivers is able to do is in discussion but the county is still willing to work with her and her cause in the future.