Massillon State Hospital
|Massillon State Hospital|
|Building Style||Cottage Plan|
|Peak Patient Population||3,100 in 1950|
On March 31, 1892, was passed a bill authorizing the appointment of a commission to select a site for a new institution as the Eastern Ohio Insane Asylum, now the Massillon State Hospital. The commission was appointed by Governor McKinley very shortly after the passage of the bill, and consisted of Dr. A. B. Richardson, Columbus; George R. Davis, Wapakoneta; and Dr. C. W. King, Dayton. This commission selected a site two miles south of Massillon, Stark county, Ohio, and on November 30th, same year, the Governor appointed a board of trustees, conform with the law establishing the institution. This building board consisted of Robert Sherrard, Jr., Steubenville; S. J. McMahon, Cambridge; Wm. H. Mullins, Salem; Dr. A. B. Richardson, Columbus; Dr. H. C. Eyman, Cleveland. Under the supervision of this building board a dining-room building, a kitchen and bakery building, a store house, a boiler house, a power house, a carpenter shop, a laundry building, a hospital building, an infirmary building, a superintendent's residence, a steward's residence and seven cottages were constructed.
During William McKinley’s first term as the governor of Ohio, the city of Massillon was chosen for the very first state hospital in the United States and Canada in 1892 (the site was authorized in this same year). The construction of the hospital began in 1893 with the groundbreaking for McKinley Hall. This hall was built while William McKinley was governor, and was the first hall used to house mental patients. The hospital opened on September 6, 1898, housing 300 patients from 21 different counties.
Even though it holds the name of a “city” hospital, it was not really owned by Massillon itself. This is because there was no money collected from the city in taxes, and the “hospital supported entirely from the money received from patients for services rendered”. The hospital is both a member of the American and Ohio Hospital Associations and it functions through the Board of Trustees (consisting of nine local men).The hospital was originally the Eastern Ohio Mental Asylum, but was later changed to the Massillon State Hospital.
The McKinley Hall hospital was one of the most popular and “the most beautiful institution in the world”. By 1950, the hospital housed 3,100 patients with approximately 365 full and part time workers and nurses. The expanse of the land was so beautiful that many family picnics took place on the lawn, as well as the Massillon football and baseball games.
Under Dr. Hyde, the most popular superintendent of the hospital was very well liked and Judge John H. Lamneck said that Dr. Hyde “did more than any other single individual in Ohio for the mentally ill”.
As philosophies for mental health treatment shifted by the mid-1970s, more than half of the patients were transferred to other facilities. The state hospital changed its name to Massillon Psychiatric Center and then to Heartland Behavioral Health Center, which remains its name today, with only a few hundred patients remain. Other community organizations and mental health agencies have stepped in to help and make services available to the community.
Apparently this was one of the first hospitals to be designed on the Cottage Plan.
Images of Massillon State Hospital
Main Image Gallery: Massillon State Hospital