State Hospital Patients’ “New Look”, 1965

23 04 2012

The following is an excerpt from an Oregon Journal newspaper article published on Tuesday, April 20, 1965.  The changes described would not last long.  By 1969, patient clothing reappeared in the news. Articles in the Capital Journal (May 8th) and Oregon Statesman (May 10th) describe phasing out uniforms at the State Hospital.

By Marge Davenport

Journal Medical Writer

There’s a new look at the State Hospital in Salem.

It’s a bright, cheerful look and the patients are going to have it.

About a year ago, a consultant was asked to make an evaluation on the Oregon mental hospital. He was Dr. Hugh Caven of Eastern State Hospital at Medical Lake, Wash.

After surveying the institution he said, “The grounds are beautiful, the buildings are well kept and painted, but why don’t you paint the patients as well?”

HE EXPLAINED to puzzled State Hospital Administrator Dr. Dean Brooks that he thought nice looking, bright clothes for patients would go a long way towards improving morale, and helping the mental patient’s attitude.

Dr. Brooks agreed, but wondered how this could be accomplished on a yearly clothing budget of $9.79 per patient, the amount allowed for each person for the 12 month period. Read the rest of this entry »

An Interview with Simeon Edward Josephi

6 06 2011

From the Oregon Health Sciences University's Archives




The following is an interview with Dr. Simeon Edward Joesphi, physician (1877-1881) and superintendent (1881-1883) at the Oregon Hospital for the Insane and one time superintendent of the Oregon State Insane Asylum (1886-1887).[1]  The article appeared in two editions of Fred Lockley’s column, Impressions from a Journal Man, in the Oregon Journal starting September 1, 1926. The column regularly featured interviews with influential people in Oregon.

Impressions and Observations of the Journal Man

By Fred Lockley

Here begins an installment story of the career of a pioneer physician of Portland, who came hither in 1867.  A second chapter is forthcoming.

Dr. S.E. Josephi is, in point of service, dean of the medical profession of Portland.  When I interviewed him recently at his office in the Corbett building, he said:


“I was born in New York city on December 3, 1849.  My father, Edward Josephi[2], with his brothers Henry and Isaac, conducted a wholesale jewelry establishment in Maiden Lane.  My father was born at what was then St. Petersburg but is now Leningrad, Russia.  My mother’s maiden name was Sarah Mendoza.  Her parents were Spanish but she was born in England.  You can see that I am a product of the melting pot.  There eight of us children.  I had five sisters and two brothers.[3]  I went to school to Professor Quackenbos.  He had a private school in New York city at that time and was the author of an arithmetic that was very popular.  Later I attended the public schools of New York city and still later the Free Academy, now known as the New York college.  I secured work as a clerk in a wholesale hat house. Read the rest of this entry »

Flush with Thanksgiving

24 11 2010

From article "Conditions Today at OSH" OREGON JOURNAL, February 9, 1947.

I had the opporunity to tour the new Harbors Facility at OSH last week.  For someone who spends a lot of time dwelling in OSH’s past, touring the new, clean and spacious facility was an interesting change of pace.  With more discouraging headlines practically every day since then, a 1947 Oregon Journal article I came across today instilled a little Thanksgiving spirit.

In “Conditions Today at OSH,” reporter Tom Humphrey details the many problems OSH was facing in 1947, including inadequate facilities and staffing.  One of the most striking examples given was the state of the bathroom facilities on Ward 19.  The image to the left depicts the two toilets being used by 92 female residents living there.  If that weren’t bad enough, all 92 women also shared a single bathtub for bathing.

Contrast that with the new Harbors facilities, featuring not only private rooms, but private bathrooms attached to those.  In the new wings of the hospital, single and double rooms with adjacent bathrooms will mean that residents will be sharing facilities with, at most, one other person.  That’s something to be thankful for.

As mentioned in the dedication ceremonies at the new facilities last week, we have a long way to go in improving the facilities and programs at OSH.  Let’s not forget to celebrate, too, how far we’ve come.