Along a rural roadside in Stark County, Illinois, sits the County Farm cemetery. Each stone looks like the others. There are no flowers or decorations, but the cemetery is kept respectfully neat and well-groomed. Each soul who lies here had one thing in common – a life that ended in poverty.
Jennie Barto, 1843 – 1930
Charles Bowman, 1851 – 1930
Anna Clifton, died Nov. 3, 1922, aged 84 years
Henry Fisher, died Mar. 15, 1915, aged 45 years
William L. Hartman, 1848 – 1927
Charles E. Headley, 1859 – 1925
C. W. Pate, died May 28, 1911, aged 66 years
Ruphas Yates, died May 11, 1923
Of course, these are not all of the deaths that occurred at the County Farm over the years. Some residents are buried elsewhere, some of the stones here are illegible, and sadly, some are identified only by numbers.