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Featured Article Of The Week

Independence State Hospital


During the middle of the 19th century, at about the time the Civil War was drawing to a close, there was a growing incidence of mental illness in Iowa. At that time, there was only one state facility for the mentally ill, located at Mt. Pleasant in the southeast corner of the state. In operation but a few years, it quickly became overcrowded. A bill passed by the Iowa Legislature on April 6, 1868, appropriated money for the building of a second hospital for the insane. It was to be located west of Independence. The new asylum became a reality when the doors opened and patients admitted on May 1, 1873. It was built at a cost of $845,000 and took 10 years to complete. Click here for more...