R.E. Lee Steiner Serves 19 Years, 1926

30 01 2012

Dr. R.E. Lee Steiner served as superintendent of the Oregon State Hospital from 1908 (when he officially took office) through 1937.  The following article was published in the Oregon Statesman March 28, 1926.

Dr. R.E. Lee Steiner was born in 1870, at Bluffton, Ohio.  When he was 12 years old he began work as an apprentice druggist at Lima, Ohio.  He came to Salem with his parents in 1887.  He soon went to work in the drug store of Geo. E. Good, in the the Moores building that stood where the present United States National Bank building now stands.  After Mr. Good sold out to Gibson & Singleton, he continued to work for the new firm.  When he was 19, he went into business for himself, in partnership with Hon. J.C. Smith, now of Grants Pass. They had bought the drug store in which young Steiner was working.  The firm name was Smith & Steiner.  The telephone office was in their building — the first telephone office in Salem, excepting for a few phones that had been in the Western Union telegraph office.  In 1892, Dr. Steiner married Belle Golden of Salem.  After his marriage he attended the Willamette university and graduated from the medical department of that institution.

He practiced in Dallas, and then at Lakeview, and after that had charge of the reclamation service work of the United States government at Klamath Falls, the hospital for tat service being there.  He served a term in the legislature while residing at Lakeview in 1905.

In 1907 he came from the reclamation work to be superintendent of the state hospital (asylum), and has been at the head of that institution ever since — for nineteen years.  That is the longest time ever served by a superintendent there.  Dr. Calbreath served eight years, most of the other heads of the institution four years; one five years. Read the rest of this entry »

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OSH Campus according to Engineer Garson, 1958

3 10 2011

Auditorium, Oregon State Hospital, Oregon State Archives Photo, OSH 00018

The following is an interview with Engineer J.A. Garson published in the October 1958 edition of the Lamplighter, an OSH newsletterThe article coincided with the 75th anniversary of the Oregon State Hospital, and many early staff members and patients are interviewed or profiled. 

When Mr. Garson came to the hospital in 1919, it looked much different than it does now.  For example, from 24th to 21st streets there were hospital orchards of walnut trees.  Where the treatment and surgical buildings sit were poultry and pheasant farms for OSH.  The doctor’s cottages were not in existence, and in their place were berry fields.  The machine shop was located where what is now the freezing department.  The morgue building, 1896, is what is today the paint shop.  The Tailoring Shop, Carpenter Shop were all where the Quonset hut is now located.  Mrs. Steiner, with her superintendent husband, planned the landscaping of the grounds and due to patient labor they were completed.  Read the rest of this entry »