Dixmont State Hospital |+|
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The Western Pennsylvania Hospital was founded in Pittsburgh in 1848 as a general hospital that treated all types of illnesses and became the first institution in western Pennsylvania to offer treatment for the insane. When the Insane Department of the Western Pennsylvania Hospital was moved to a new building in Kilbuck Township outside of Pittsburgh in 1862 it was renamed the Western Pennsylvania Hospital for the Insane at Dixmont to honor the memory of Dorothea Dix, an advocate for reforming the treatment of mental patients. The Dixmont Hospital was legally separated from the Western Pennsylvania Hospital in 1907 when it was individually incorporated as the Dixmont Hospital for the Insane. Supported by private contributions since 1852, it was primarily state appropriations that enabled the hospital to expand its facilities and care for an increasing number of mentally ill persons over the first nine decades of its existence. Despite receiving state appropriations, it nonetheless continued to operate as a private corporation until 1945 when it was taken over by the Department of Public Welfare. From that date, it operated under the name Dixmont State Hospital until it closed in July 1984. |+|
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|−|The Western Pennsylvania Hospital was one of the earlier asylums built on the Kirkbride plan, with three crooked wings stretching to each side of administration; one wing for male and the other for female patients. By the end of the 1800's , the resident population grew to over 1, 200 and a nursing school was established in 1895. As with most asylums, Dixmont became overcrowded to the point that it was not accepting new admissions. During the Great Depression, the hospital tried to sustain itself by paying employees only with room and board, not salaries, and sold any crafts made by patients for extra income. By 1946, the state had to step in , and the institution became known as Dixmont State Hospital. [[ Dixmont State Hospital|Click here for more...]] |+|
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Montana State Hospital
Prior to 1869, Montana Territory made no special provisions for mental patients, their care generally being left to regular hospitals. The Helena Weekly Herald in a September 19, 1867, article on the county hospital commented on the need for a territorial insane asylum, stating that the county hospital was not the proper place for a "lunatic."
Two years later the 6th Territorial Legislative Assembly passed a law authorizing an official territorial insane asylum to be owned and managed on a contract basis by private parties. A board of commissioners was established with one representative from each judicial district to oversee the asylum, establish rules for its operation, and perform periodic inspections. Until 1877 St. John's Hospital in Helena served as the territorial asylum. By 1874 it was accepting sufficient numbers of patients committed by Governor Benjamin Potts to require the construction of a separate building behind the main hospital.
In 1877 Drs. Armistead H. Mitchell (1831-1898) and Charles F. Mussigbrod (d.1893), owners of a hotel and spa at Warm Springs, Montana, were awarded the contract for the care of the territory's mental patients. By 1886 the partners had expanded their operation from 160 acres to 1640 acres and from two buildings to thirty-two buildings, including a larger hotel, a house for convalescents, a separate building for violent patients, a large plunge pool, a laundry, storehouses, icehouses, and many other outbuildings. From 1891 to 1907 the hospital was run by Dr. O.Y. Warren, who was in turn succeeded by Dr. J.M. Scanland, son-in-law of Dr. Mitchell. Under private operation, the asylum continued to operate the hotel and run a large farm, specializing in pedigreed cattle. Click here for more...