Monday, May 17, 2010

Iowa Hospital for the Insane

We are indebted to our attentive friend, Hon. T. H. Stanton, of the House, for the first biennial report of the Superintendent and Trustees of the Iowa Hospital for the Insane, from which we glean some interesting particulars.

It has now been seven years since the first appropriation was made by the General Assembly for the erection of an Asylam [sic] for the Insane. The plan of the building was conceived on a scale of philanthropy worthy of a great State. It was designed to be as perfect as that of any similar institution in America.

On the opening of the hospital the influx of patients was rapid. One hundred were admitted in less than three months. During the nine months between the first of March and first of December, there were admitted one hundred and seventy patients. Of this number, nineteen have recovered and been discharged; two have been discharged improved; two have been removed unimproved; one has eloped; and six have died. Of the admissions, forty-eight were recent cases, of less than one year’s duration; of this number sixteen have recovered; and of one hundred and twenty-two chronic cases, of a longer time standing, three have recovered. It is gratifying to observe that the hospital, at the outset of its career, furnishes as large a proportion of recoveries as the most successful institutions of the kind.

In accordance with the provisions of law, the trustees fixed the price of board and the care of patients, at two dollars and fifty cents per week at the opening of the hospital.

The report of the Treasurer and Steward, which accompanies this report, exhibits the receipts of the hospital at $17,960.69, of which amount $1,409.96 was received from patients, and the balance from the State. The expenditures have been $17,950.02, leaving the small balance in the treasure of $10.67.

Among the improvements being made at the hospital is an Artesian well, which has reached a depth of seven hundred and twenty feet, and no water yet.

The east wing of the building only is finished. It is capable of accommodating one hundred and fifty patients; as yet the number has not exceeded one hundred and forty. It was the original intention to devote one wing to the female, and the other to the male patients.

The grounds about the hospital have been left in a rough and broken condition. If there is a human being in the world in confinement, who ought to be soothed by the prospect of an agreeable landscape, it is one who is bereft of his reason; the trustees therefore recommend an appropriation of one thousand dollars for the purpose of beautifying the grounds around the institution.

– Published in The Davenport Daily Gazette, Davenport, Iowa, Monday Morning, February 10, 1862, p. 2

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