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Latah County Poor Farm

Updated: Apr 10


Before programs like Medicare, the county was responsible for supporting the indigent. Poor Farms were established to take care of the county’s indigents and the elderly. Above are the layout and photos of the Latah County Poor Farm, just north of Moscow.


The Latah County Poor Farm eventually became the Latah Care Center through the efforts of Grace Wicks and other community members.


Excerpt from the Latah Legacy, Vol. 22, No.1, Spring 1993. “How Latah Care Center Became No. 1”, p 4-5.


“[The Latah County Poor Farm] was located north of Moscow near the site of what is now Radio Station KRPL. The indigent and the aged who were indigent were housed in the big farmhouse. The farm itself provided an opportunity for those who were able to work doing various jobs to help pay their way and to enhance their self-esteem. […] Besides the main farmhouse, the complex of buildings included: a woodshed and rooms used sometimes to house patients; a cellar for storage; a hospital; a smoke house; a granary; a machine shed; a blacksmith shop; a chicken house; a pest house (used in earlier years to house patients with communicable diseases); a hog feed cookinghouse; a cow barn; a horse barn; a hog house; a pump house, and a root cellar. And of course there was an outhouse or two.”

Other sources include “Latah Health Services initially created to replace poor farms”, from the Moscow-Pullman Daily News, July 6 &7, 1996, p1A.

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© 2020 by the Latah County Historical Society.

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