The County Home

In past years, before the welfare system, social security and governmental health care
programs existed, nearly every municipality in the United States had an agency providing
for the care of the indigent and those unable to adequately care for themselves or their families.

Over the years, the Catawba County facility, by whatever name
it was called, has sought to meet the needs of all of the citizens.

The unfortunate children who lived at the Home
were referred to by no less than the Master himself:

"And the King shall answer and say unto them,
Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the
least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
[Matt. 25:40]


Term used to describe facility
(Federal census records )


1850 "Poorhouse" Elijah Cline (1819-1879)
1860 "Poorhouse" E. Coleman Austin (1828-1863)
1870 "Poorhouse" Reuben E. Sigman (1850-1928)
1880 "Poorhouse" Alford (Alfred) Huffman (1820-1889)
1900 "County Home" Burton Sidney Cline (1861-1932)
1910 "County Home" Oren Leroy Cline (1889-1973)
1920 "Almshouse " Earl D. Hefner (1882-1936)
1930 "Home for the Aged and Infirm" Oren Leroy Cline (1889-1973)

Homes were provided for the the residents (variously known as "Paupers" and "Inmates")
until the stigma of that title was abandoned.
Some continued to reside in their quarters until the early 1960's.
The "Home," as it was known, no longer exists as a structure or even a foundation.

The County Home Dairy is a fading memory on the road in Clines Township after which it is named.
At one time, the County Home utilized extensive acreage to provide for the sustenance of the residents.
During this era, it was expected, though not required, that receivers of the dole would repay their keep with 'sweat' equity either working in the fields and gardens or with the herds of cattle and horses.

Today, the farm serves as an example of neglected history. For the lack of a roof, a historic barn collapsed upon itself, lost forever to local history. The other buildings suffer from ignorance and neglect.
Cattle inflict damage not only the buildings but the few remaining grave stones in the overgrown cemetery.
An extended era of historic preservation became derailed at the Catawba County Home!
The Catawba County Historical Association chose not to participate in helping restore this historic treasure.

As a "red-headed step-child," the Home always suffered from a lack of funds.
No director, from 1860 to 1930) served as director longer than ten consecutive years.
All of them could be considered 'middle-class.' Many supplemented their income with farming.
Their directorship of the 'Home' was based on their love for the 'lesser brethren.'

As a genealogist, my first focus was the location and identification of readable grave stones.
In the time I had to explore the site, briars and poison ivy prevented a more extensive survey.

These are the only stones I was able to read on 29 May 2005:

(r) MAHALLEY (Mahala) HAWN DIED OCT 3 1925

In 1977, Cassie Deal, of the Catawba County Genealogical Society,
inventoried this cemetery. Prior to the 30 years of neglect to this cemetery,
Cassie was able to read the following identifiable stones: [**]

  • Albert Deal Died 27 Oct 1929
  • Burton Stafford Died 5 April 1928
  • Lan C. Den Lail Died 22 Jan 1926 Age 74y
  • Hannah J. Beam 28 Jan 1840 - 21 April 1902 Donated by C.W. Beam
  • Harriet Sigmon Died 12 Dec 1927
  • Logan Sigmon Died 7 Feb 1929
  • Eaton Lawrence Died 18 Jan 1925 (Black)
  • James Mauney 17 April 1856 22 Feb 1921 Aged 64y 10m 5d
  • Mary Brockman Died 15 April 1924
  • Robert Taylor Died 6 May 1925
  • Elias Bolden Died 3 Jan 1926
  • Nancy Blalock Died 11 Sept 1924
  • Mahaley Hawn Died 3 Oct 1925
  • M. Mathis Died 11 Oct 1927 Aged 71y
  • Martha Lingle Died 25 Feb 1929
  • Charlotte Bowman Died 10 Nov 1927

* Catawba County Cemeteries Vol 1:71

This is an on-going project

If you would like to know more about the
SIPE ORCHARD HOME, please go here.


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Derick S. Hartshorn - 2008-present
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