The Galveston County Commissioners Court began planning in 1886 to purchase a farm to house and care for the county's indigent citizens. A site was chosen, and by June 1887 the county purchased 213 acres of land on the banks of Clear Creek. The first building constructed was designed by local architect Nicholas J. Clayton and contained a dining hall. Joe Meyers was hired as the first superintendent.
Poor farms were the accepted manner in which local governments cared for the less fortunate during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Those housed at the Galveston Poor Farm included county citizens who were poor, elderly, mentally ill, or convicted of crimes. All physically able residents were required to help with farming chores, including cultivating and harvesting crops and caring for farm animals. When residents' services were not needed at the farm, they were hired out to work for the County Road and Bridge Commission, or by local residents to help on their family farms.
Funding for maintaining the farm was inadequate, and complaints about living conditions were investigated by the county. Portions of the Poor Farm land were sold to help finance operation of the facility. By 1913, the Commissioners Court closed the site.
The land lay dormant until 1928, when the Galveston County Park was established at the urging of local citizens. A pavilion was constructed in 1929, and the park became the site for recreational activities and social gatherings. The pavilion was refurbished in 1975 and reconstructed in 1994 after a fire. In 1985 the site was named the Walter G. Hall Park.