Woodward State School & Hospital

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Woodward State School & Hospital
Opened 1917
Current Status Active
Building Style Cottage Plan
Location Woodward, IA
Alternate Names
  • State Hospital and Colony for Epileptics Woodward
  • Woodward Resource Center


The Woodward State Hospital and School is located in Boone County in central Iowa one-half mile north of the town of Woodward, about 32 miles northwest of Des Moines. This institution was opened in 1917 and was originally designed to care for 500 epileptic patients. In 1921, due to the urgent need for additional facilities for the care of the feebleminded of the state, the institution was expanded to include this group and by 1952 had more than 1600 patients including epileptics from the entire state and feeble-minded from the northern half of the state.

Today, Woodward Resource Center (WRC) works with the community to explore all reasonable and appropriate options before a person comes to live on the campus. Generally, people come to WRC because they need the specialized expertise available due to behavioral or medical conditions that are complex and chronic.



The following nearly thirty minute video on Woodward State School & Hospital created by Ray Stewart of WOI-TV Ames, Iowa along with Iowa State University. It is part of the "In Our Care," a 13 week series of documentaries filmed inside Iowa's state institutions. The series won the 1952 National Sylvania Television Award for Production Excellence. The Minnesota Governor's Council on Developmental Disabilities is responsible for uploading it to YouTube.