Deb Atchley has been running Lyon County, Kentucky lunacy records on her blog, Genealogy, Middle Age & Life . These records provide some great information and are worthy of inclusion in our research plans at the courthouse. Lyon County’s lunacy records begin in the late 1880s while those in Crittenden County were not recorded in a separate book until 1906. Prior to that year, a citizen of Crittenden County thought to be a mentally unsound appeared before a jury of twelve people given the task of determining the state of the person’s mind. Those records are found in the county court records. Be sure to note the possible causes of David Bourland's illness. It does make one wonder what criteria was used to determine the illness.
The following record was found among the loose county court papers in Crittenden County clerk’s office, Marion, Kentucky.
The Commonwealth of Kentucky}
To the Sheriff or any Constable of Crittenden County Whereas it has been suggested to the Judge of our Crittenden County Court by the attorney for said county that David Bourland of said county is of unsound mind and having petitioned said court for an inquisition as to the condition of the mind Estate &c of David Bourland you are hereby commanded to Summon a Jury of Twelve fit and proper persons to appear in our Court instanter[?] on the first day of our present Term to inquire into the State of the Mind of David Bourland and whether he hath any Estate and if any the nature and Extent thereof and such other Matters and things as may then and there be given them in charge concerning the condition of the person and Estate of David Bourland .... Witness Berry S. Young Clerk of our said Court this 20th day of Nov 1862.
Commonwealth of Kentucky County of Crittenden}
We G.W. Elder, M.G. Gilbert, Isaac L. Wheeler, B.B. Crow, John Gilbert, Henry Howerton, J.W. Hill, L.C. Travis, C.S. Cain, H. Davis, H.C. Gilbert, E.M. Lemon, jurors empanneled before J.C. Elder judge of the Crittenden County Court on the 20th day of November 1862 at Marion to inquire into the facts as to whether David Bourland is a lunatic or idiot find and return the following verdict: “We find the said David Bourland is a lunatic and has been a lunactic for Five Months and previous to that time he had been of entirely sound mind from infancy. No other cause than the financial and political troubles of the Country has been developed by the evidence. He was born and raised in Hopkins County, Kentucky, has resided in Crittenden County for the last Fifteen or Seventeen years. Said Bourland owns Real Estate in Crittenden of the value of about Four Thousand Dollars and personal estate about or nearly equal to his liabilities. Bourlands Mother is supposed to be living and in very moderate circumstances. She lives in Illinois. David Bourland is capable of very little or no labor at this time. Bourland is about Forty Three years old, is married and has several Children, is farming, has been a saddler & has lately been merchandizing.”