In Missouri, county government was legally bound to provide that "poor persons shall be relieved, maintained and supported by the county of which they are inhabitants" (Missouri R.S. 1909@1333). The county treasurer had to maintain a separate fund for this purpose. The statutes further provided that "aged, infirm, lame, blind or sick persons who are unable to support themselves and when there are no other persons required by law and able to maintain them, shall be deemed poor persons."
In Greene County the County Poor Farm was charged with the care of indigent and ill citizens who had no other resources for care. This agency was later known as the County Home and in 1955 became Sunshine Acres. The facility closed in 1978.
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The following also talks about the same facility:
Alms Cemetery and Alms House
The Almshouse Cemetery is notable for its original modesty. The majority of the headstones were hand-made of concrete by the residents of the Almshouse. The Cemetery is not large by some standards, but many bodies are believed to be buried there which may have never had markers (estimates are as high as 1,000). The cemetery was literally abandoned when the last Almshouse known as “Sunshine Acres” discontinued operation. The buildings were demolished and the property was turned into a pasture. There is a large marble Historic Marker (placed at the site in 1979) which stands near the Northwest corner of the cemetery. The Almshouse Cemetery, although ostensibly barren of names and dates, actually may ultimately provide a wealth of information about the people of Springfield and Greene County, their attitudes concerning the poor, the mentally disturbed, the abandoned and the individuals not otherwise entitled to a more distinguished place in society. As information surfaces about this cemetery, insight into the lives and culture of the people of Greene County in the period from 1930 through 1970 is revealed. The lives of Greene Counties’ rich and the influential are well documented. This site is special for its potential to tell the little-known stories of the other people of Greene County.
County registration date: Aug. 21, 2000.
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