In 1839 Wayne County purchased the Black Horse Tavern, a stagecoach stop, Located here on the Chicago road, for use as a poorhouse. Early on the poorhouse accepted not only the county's indigent, but the infirm and mentally ill as well. During the late nineteenth century, the number of residents grew, and new buildings were constructed to meet the demand. In 1894 a post office opened on the grounds with the name Eloise, a name that became synonymous with what developed into a 902-acre, 75 building complex. By the late 1920's Eloise's population had peaked at 10,000 patients and 2000 staff, A city in itself. Eloise had its own farm, cannery, bakery, cemetery, employee housing, police and fire departments, trolly and train stations, and 16 kitchens that served 30,0000 meals daily.
Wayne County's medical complex, "Eloise", was founded as a poorhouse in 1839, it eventually became one of the largest public health-care facilities in the U.S. The most advanced medical and psychiatric treatments were used here. During the twentieth century Eloise physicians pioneered the use of X-rays for diagnostic purposes, radium for the treatment of Cancer, "open air" treatment for Tuberculosis. Psychiatric patients underwent electroshock and insulin shock therapy as well as music, recreational, and television therapy. Psychiatric care ended in 1979, and the General hospital closed in 1984. Most of the complex's 75 buildings were razed by the mid-1980s. More than 7,100 patients are buried in the Eloise cemetery, their graves marked only by numbered blocks.