A Visit to the Oregon State Hospital, 1916

5 08 2012

This is an excerpt from the Oregon Teacher’s Monthly magazine published in May 1916 (volume 20, no. 9).  Oregon Teacher’s Monthly featured articles written by teachers, students and administrators related to general interest topics and had a news section with a county by county listings of school-related events.  We came across this issue in the holdings of the Oregon State Library.  This excerpt is chapter 10 in a series of articles written by Frank K. Welles, Assistant State Superintendent of Public Instruction, on state institutions.  The information he presents appears to have come from studying published reports of the hospital and a personal tour.

 OUR OREGON STATE INSTITUTIONS

The Oregon State Hospital

 Some of the school children who will read this article have never visited a hospital for the insane and will be interested to know what such an institution looks like, how the hundreds of patients are cared for, what they do and how they live.  The modern hospital for the insane is quite a different institution from what it used to be.  Now it is indeed a hospital for the treatment of persons with deranged minds, most of whom also have some physical ailment, rather than simply an asylum for the detention and safe-keeping of the insane.

Oregon has two hospitals for the insane.  One is situated just east of the city limits of Salem and the other is a short distance west of Pendleton in Umatilla county.  The Eastern Oregon State Hospital was built during 1911 and 1912 and is modern in every respect.  As soon as this institution was completed, 325 patients were transferred to it from the Salem hospital in order to relieve the over-crowded condition at the latter place.  As far as possible, the insane from Eastern Oregon are sent to Pendleton and those from Western Oregon to Salem. The number of insane is increasing so rapidly that the last legislature authorized the construction of a new $100,000 wing to the Pendleton hospital.  This has recently been completed.  There is also a fine farm in connection with that institution.  The last report of the superintendent shows that there are now about 379 insane persons at the Pendleton hospital. Read the rest of this entry »

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A Survey of State Mental Institutions, 1940

21 11 2011

Source: A Survey of the State Mental Institutions of Oregon. Washington, D.C.: United States Public Health Service, 1940.

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Eastern Oregon State Hospital

6 07 2011

On January 26, 1913, 325 patients were transferred from the Oregon State Hospital in Salem to the newly built Eastern Oregon State Hospital in Pendleton.[1]  The first impetus for the new hospital came to the legislature by the initiative process in 1910.[2]  The initiative called for the building of an insane asylum in Eastern Oregon in Baker City, Pendleton or Union.[3]  The 1911 Legislature appropriated a total of $515,000 for the purchase, building and furnishing of the new hospital.  A 450 acre site one mile east of Pendleton was selected.  The hospital soon outgrew its 400 bed capacity and the 1915 legislature appropriated additional funds for a building expansion that would help accommodate an additional 180 patients. [4]  The wing was designed by the Olson & Johnson Company.  Additional improvements that year included the building of an ice plant, installation of cement walks, construction of a chicken house, installation of a coal shed and transformer house, construction of a morgue and crematory, extension of the irrigation system, and the fencing of the grounds.[5] Read the rest of this entry »





Standard Hospital Asylum and Institution Directory, 1928

18 04 2011

The Standard Hospital Asylum and Institution Directory, written by M.F. Teehan and Published by Standard Publishing in Topeka, Kansas, was the directory for hospital workers.  In addition to topical essays on general practices within asylums and institutions, it lists all institutions in the country (and some in the Caribbean as well) and provides detailed information on such things as staff housing situations, uniforms, staff entertainment, time off per week, salaries paid, size and layout of the hospital, size of the nearest town and approximate transportation fare between the town and the hospital.

It had the following to say about Oregon’s 3 institutions at the time [I have expanded upon the original abbreviations for the purpose of clarity]:

Eastern Oregon State Hospital, [closest town] Pendleton — Population 8,000. 2 miles. 50 c taxi fare.
Wing [layout].  Dr. W.D McNary [Superintendent].  Patients 800.  Employees 75. Physicians 3.  Semi-weekly amusements.  Partial married quarters. Uniform: stripe gingham, belted at waist, bib and strap, white apron.  Duty hours: 12.5-14.  Night Duty hours: 10.  Time Off: 3 afternoons a week.

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