The Summit County Infirmary – also known as the County Poorhouse – stood from 1865 to 1919 off West Exchange Street near the present site of Westminster Presbyterian Church between Rose Boulevard and Mull Avenue.
A Hellish Place
When the Infirmary opened it was praised as “an honor to the county and a mark on the exalted humanity and liberality of her people.” Just two years later, in an 1868 report to the Ohio Board of State Charities, the institution was described as “hellish”. A terrible stench permeated the entire building, inmates were covered in filth, some were even being kept outside naked in ”rude board pens.”
There were many accusations of rape, abuse, and neglect that ultimately went unanswered. The institution was accused of nepotism, mismanagement of funds and selling bodies to doctors for experimentation.
After the report and subsequent hearings, conditions gradually improved at the infirmary.
Bodies of those who died at the infirmary were buried in what is today Schneider Park. The unmarked graves remain there, mostly forgotten.