Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Lincoln Insane Asylum Lincoln, Nebraska Established 1870

"Prior to the location and building of the hospital at Lincoln, the insane of the State were sent to Iowa's insane asylum. The bill locating and appropriating funds for the hospital building was introduced in the Legislature and passed in 1868.
Joseph Ward, of Lincoln, received the contract September 15, 1869. The building was completed at a cost of $137,000 and accepted by the commissioners November 29, 1870.
The institution was opened December 22, 1870, Dr. Larsh as superintendent, with twenty-six inmates; but its usefulness was of short duration, for it was burned April 17, 1871, and three inmates are supposed to have perished, as that number was missing. The building was heated with hot air and it is thought the fire originated in a defective flue. June 6, 1871, a bill was approved in the Legislature providing for rebuilding the hospital, which was to cost not to exceed $70,000. The commissioners were William E. Hill, D. W. Scott and Samuel Maxwell. The insurance on the first building was nearly sufficient to build the second, which is of light gray sandstone from the Atchison quarries. The central or main building is four stories in height, the wings which extend north and south, are three stories. The ground dimensions are 328x54 feet. The coming year two additions are to built, one on the north and one on the south, each four stories, 44x56 feet on the ground, which will give the building a very fine appearance. These additions are needed, as there are now 232 inmates, nearly its full capacity. Total cost of buildings thus far, is $165,000.
The following are the several superintendents: Drs. N. B. Larsh, C. F. Stewart, D. W. Scott, F. G. Fuller and H. P. Mathewson, the present incumbent, who assumed control in the fall of 1877. The assistant physicians have been Drs. H. D. Gilbert, S. B. McGlumphy and J. F. Hay. Messrs. J. C. Shurts, O. M. Druse and L. F. Taylor have successfully held the position of steward. The Commissioners of Public Lands and Buildings, Secretary of State, Treasurer and Attorney General constitute the Board of Commissioners of this, as of every other charitable institution in the State.
The hospital owns 480 acres of land, by means of which it is nominally self-sustaining, or more nearly so than similar institutions of any other State. The cost per capita per week, has been reduced from $7.70 to $3.45. Nebraska provides for all of her insane and in a very generous manner. The building is commodious, the grounds are pleasant and well kept, and in a few years will be picturesque and inviting"
from the Andreas History of the State of Nebraska, a book first published in 1882 by The Western Historical Company, A. T. Andreas, Proprietor, Chicago, IL.

1 comment:

  1. The insane asylum has been torn sister, some friends and I all went to it before it got torn down in 2006. We had to run across a large field through a bunch of trees to hide from the prison guards that often check up on it. We had to climb a two story barbed wire fence because there was train carts stacked up all around the fence. When we finally got inside the fence, we looked up at the building trying to see where we were going to enter the building. We all looked up at the very top middle window because there was a light on and you could see a shadow of someone walk right by the window. We thought there were other kids here exploring because it was a pretty popular place to check out if you were athletic enough to enter. We had to go all the way around the building to the back and climb up to the second story where there were holes made for people to climb in, probably made by other kids. When we got inside, there were holes in the floor where some of the building had collapsed. We went looking for other people that might have been the shadow we saw..there was absolutely no one else there that night. We went all the way to the basement where the cells were and found these weird chairs that had metal wrist holders with sharp screws sticking in toward where the wrist would be..I picked it up and it had old crusted blood on it. It was said that the patients were tortured there and that is why it was shut down..It has since been bulldozed down.