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Posted By: C. Diamond IAGenWeb volunteer
Date: 1/3/2011 at 10:51:32

Biographical Souvenir of the counties of Delaware and Buchanan.
Chicago: F. A. Battey & Company. 1890.
pp. 401-2, 405.
THE HOSPITAL FOR THE IN­SANE. On the sixth of April, 1868, the General Assembly enacted as follows:
     “That there shall be and is hereby permanently established at Independence, Buchanan county, Iowa, an additional institution for the support and care of the insane.
     “That E. G. Morgan, of Webster county, Maturin L. Fisher, of Clayton county, and Albert Clarke, of Buchanan county, are hereby appointed a board of com­missioners to select a location and superin­tend the erection of suitable buildings for the use of said institution, and in case of vacancy in said commission by death or otherwise, the same shall be filled by ap­pointment by the governor.
     “That said board shall select the most eligible and desirable location of not less than three hundred and twenty acres, and it must not, in any event, be more than two miles distant from said city of Independ­ence; which said lands shall be obtained free of charge to the state, and said board shall take a deed of conveyance of the same in fee-simple to the State of Iowa and cause the same to be properly recorded in the office of recorder of deeds of the county of Buchanan.
     “Said board shall also, at the earliest day practicable, procure plans, drawings and specifications for the buildings necessary and proper for the said institution, the exterior of which building shall be of stone, the stone to be procured within the state, but the plan determined on by the board shall be such as will admit of future enlargement, as to preserve the symmetry, and be, when ultimately completed, of capacity equal to the present building at Mount Pleasant: Provided, that the erection only of such portion of such buildings shall be undertaken by the said board, under the provisions of this act, as may be completed and made ready for occupancy by the appropriation herein made.
     “No contract shall be entered into by said board, which shall, in any event, in­volve greater expenditure than the sum appropriated by this act.
     “There is hereby appropriated, out of any money in the state treasury not other wise appropriated, the sum of one hundred and twenty-five thousand dollars, or as much thereof as may be necessary for the purpose contemplated in this act.”
     Albert Clarke died within a year, and Hon. George W. Bemis, by appointment, filled the vacancy.  In 1879 Mr. Fisher also died and the number serving on the commission was made good by the appointment of A. G. Case, of Charles City. In this connection it is proper to state that these men performed the task assigned them with scrupulous integrity, and by judicious management made a lasting reputation for the institution. After the final report of the building commissioners made in February, 1886, their connection with the institution was ended. It should be here stated that George Josselyn, now of Cedar Rapids, was the superintendent of construction.


Main building, including amusement
hall, store rooms, kitchens, bakery,
laundry, boiler house, also furni-
ture and machinery................................. $889, 450.00
Farmer’s Lodge, built in 1884.............. 25,000.00
Grove Hall, “ “ 1886............. 40,000.00
Carpenter’s shop, “ “ 1884............. 3,000.00
Cold Storage house, “ “ 1884............. 3,000.00
Horse barn, “ “ 1874............. 3,000.00
Cow barn, “ “ 1884............ 3,000.00
Slaughter-house, “ “ 1882............ 300.00
Sheds, “ “ 1882............ 600.00
Hen houses, “ “ 1886............ 150.00
Scales and house, “ “ 1887........... 200.00
Gas house and holder, built in 1876...... 5,000.00
Summer houses, “ “ 1884...... 200.00
Conservatory, “ “ 1891...... 2,000.00
Coal house, “ “ 1891...... 3,000.00
Land, 580 acres, 820 in 1868, 80 acres

in 1884 and 140 .acres in 1888............ 23,200.00
Fences, built in 1874 and 1884............... 1,750.00
Water mains and hydrants, laid in 1888. 16,000.00
Cisterns, laid in 1882 and 1884............... 1,750.00
Root cellar, reservoir, 1880, trans-

formed in 1889...................................... 2,000.00
Sewers, extended to river in 1884.......... 8,500.00
Improving roads and grounds, begun

in 1878................................................... 5,000.00


Total $1,086, 100.00

      The hospital is situated two miles southwest of town; it fronts towards the east; it consists of an administration building and two wings.
      The foundation of the entire building is granite, furnishing a basement which rises four feet above the general surface of the ground. The walls of the central building are four stories high; these are capped with a mansard roof, which adds another story. Each wing is divided into three longitudinal and three transverse sections, which are so linked together as to cause the extremities of the wings to recede. The cornice is iron and the roofs are either of tin or slate. The institution is, to a great extent, made fire proof.
      The north wing is occupied by men and the south wing by women. Each wing has four stories, and each story is divided into three wards. The wards nearest the centre or administration building contain the most orderly and reasonable patients; in the wards at the ends of the wings are placed those inclined to be restless and requiring most attention, while between these extremes are found persons intermediate in mental condition and manners. On the two lower floors are placed patients who are expected to recover, cases recently admitted to the hospital, also certain incurables who are helpful and inoffensive; besides, these floors contain the sick and the infirm. The third floor in each wing contains epileptics and various other incurables. The fourth floor is occupied by able bodied but demented patients.
     The main building accommodates four hundred females and two hundred male patients; the cottages hold one hundred patients each.
     The cottage called Farmer’s Lodge is for men who are incurable but quiet, hearty and industrious. The other cottage, Grove Hall, is occupied by men who have lost their faculties almost completely, who are careless in their habits and quite helpless on account of their debilitated condition.
     The institution has been erected piecemeal, first the domestic department, then the north wing, afterwards the administration building, and last, the south wing. In May, 1873, when the house was opened for patients, there was accommodation for less than one hundred; the present capacity of eight hundred was not reached until fourteen years later. It is understood that the institution also furnishes quarters for one hundred and fifty employees.


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