Terrell State Hospital |+|
|Title= State Hospital
In 1883, when word was circulated that the State of Texas was seeking a location for a second major mental facility and that it would be located in Northeast Texas, the competition among cities must have been quite similar to the quest for industry and other major developments that exist today. |+|
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|−|Terrell was fortunate at that time to include among the citizens of a still young town a large group of people with the foresight to understand what such a facility could mean to a growing city. But even the farsightedness of legendary rancher and banker Col. Jim Harris, who gave the necessary acreage to the state for a meager return, could not have visualized the proportions to which Terrell State Hospital has grown today nor the immense impact it has had on the local economy for over 100 years. |+|
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|−|A total of $200, 000 was appropriated for the purchase of the property and construction of the original facilities. It all began, officially, on February 16, 1883, when the 18th Texas Legislature enacted a statute introduced by Judge John Austin. The word "asylum"--by the original definition--was a place of refuge and safety and that, at best, was the primary service offered by mental facilities in the United States at that time. [[ Terrell State Hospital|Click here for more...]] |+|
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Augusta State Hospital
Mrs. Catherine Winslow, the first woman employed at the Maine Insane Hospital, was appointed matron when the asylum opened in 1840. The asylum was the product of a collaborative effort between the state and two private citizens, Reuel Williams of Augusta (married to Sarah Cony) and Benjamin Brown of Vassalborough. While early mental health institutions may fall far short of present-day standards for treatment for mental illness, the establishment of such places in the early nineteenth century was based, in part, on reforming care for the mentally ill.
Prior to mental health hospitals, the mentally ill were the responsibility of their families, and if their families could not cope, they were either put in poor houses, put out on the streets, or locked away in jail. Mental health reformer Dorothea Dix (1802-1887), a native of Hampden, Maine, worked closely with the second superintendent of the Augusta asylum, Issac Ray (appointed in 1841). The building was state-of-the-art when constructed. All parts had ventilation, lighting, heating, and water. Men and women had separate wings.
Over its 162 years of service, the hospital has carried a number of names and today it is called the Augusta Mental Health Institute. Many buildings on the campus now serve as state offices. A new hospital,Riverview Psychiatric Center, was opened in 2004 to replace the facility. Click here for more...