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Topeka State Hospital |+|
|Title= State Hospital
Legislature appropriated $ 25,000 in 1875 " for the purpose of building an asylum for the insane at some convenient and healthy spot within two miles of the state capitol building in the city of Topeka. " One condition was that the land would be acquired at no cost to the state. So the city of Topeka and Shawnee County each contributed $6, 000 to purchase the original 80 acres. |+|
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|−|The first two ward buildings, accommodating 135 patients, opened in 1879. Dr. Barnard Douglass Eastman resigned as superintendent of the asylum at Worcester MA to become the first superintendent at TSH. The institution was called the Topeka Insane Asylum until 1901 when the Legislature officially changed the name to Topeka State Hospital. Eastman told legislators that patients who were being released to make room for more patients were "well enough to be in a measure useful. All were of a quiet and harmless character. " |+|
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|−|He described the treatment process this way: "Removal from the worriment, the overwork, the unsanitary conditions and the unsuitable food of many homes ... occupying body and mind in the new employment, cheering the drooping and melancholy and soothing the excited and irritable, are some of the elements of treatment of the greatest value, sometimes working rapid cures with but little medication. " [[ Topeka State Hospital|Click here for more...]] |+|
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Hastings State Hospital Nebraska
With the population of the state increasing, the need for another hospital became evident, and in 1887, the legislature appropriated $75,000 for a "state asylum for the incurably insane" to be located at Hastings if the city would donate 160 acres of land for the purpose. The citizens of Hastings purchased 160 acres one mile west of the city limits. The land area was eventually increased to 630 acres. Patients were first received at the hospital on August 1, 1889 when forty four were transferred from Lincoln. Melvin Meals was assigned Number One and remained a patient until his death in 1895. Through 1916, 4,115 patients had been received. In December, 1916 there were 1,152 inmates, 405 women and 747 men.
Charles C Rittenhouse, Hastings architect, drew the plans for the building which was a three story brick with a tall central tower. In 1891 the north and south wings were added to the original building and in 1902 the North Annex was erected. In 1904 an amusement hall was built where dances and entertainments were held for patients. During this period the farm cottage and two greenhouses were built. In 1914 a large dairy barn was built and a herd of Holstein cows milked each day. A medical surgical building was erected in 1926, and in 1938 a psychiatric hospital was built. In 1957 the All Faiths Chapel was built with funds from thousands of donors.
Politics were the essential requisite for the job of superintendent in the early days of the institution. Dr. M. W. Stone, the first superintendent, came from Wahoo in May, 1889. Click here for more...