Thursday, August 30, 2012

Western Kentucky Insane Asylum

Copyright by Brenda Joyce Jerome, CG
May not copy without written consent


An act to establish the Western Kentucky Insane Asylum was passed in 1848 and the hospital opened in Hopkinsville, Kentucky in 1854 with 29 patients. It began as a lunatic asylum and has remained a psychiatric facility ever since. The roof of the hospital caught fire in November 1860 and virtually destroyed the building. A new, larger building was completed in 1867. In 1919, the facility was renamed the Western State Hospital.

Admission to Western State Hospital is usually through court within the county of residence.

Lack of space has often been a problem in the hospital. In his report of 1 November 1885, Superintendent Jas. Rodman stated the following: " ... there is an undue crowding of our patients. The number of people maintained grows larger each year, and is likely to do so continuously. This Asylum has too many patients for its capacity; a state of things I have tried to prevent, but have found it impossible. The original house was designed for three hundred and twenty inmates; it now contains four hundred and twenty five."

Today Western State Hospital is a 222 bed hospital serving adults over 18 years of age from 34 Western Kentucky counties. The 150th anniversary of the hospital will be celebrated 18 September 2012.

The following persons are among the inmates in 1880 under their county of residence. After their name is the date of admission.

Caldwell County
Dodds, F.W. 18 Jun 1873
Boyd, James H. 22 Jul 1875
Hogan, William 29 Apr 1880

Crittenden County
Flanary, Pleasant 2 Apr 1871
Lott, T. Albert 15 Feb 1878
Hodge, Polly 3 Jun 1875
Moore, M.M. D. 3 Jun 1875
Anderson, Sarah A. 26 May 1876

Henderson County
Churchill, Jesse (colored) 11 Mar 1879
Meriweather, Nelson (colored) 11 Mar 1879
Powell, Thomas B. 15 Sep 1879
Bottom, George W. 29 Apr 1880
Hatchett, Ambrose (colored) 31 May 1880
Frey, Margareta 6 Jun 1877
Davis, Kate 29 Dec 1863
Johnson, Minerva (colored) 11 Mar 1879
Letcher, Nancy (colored) 11 Mar 1879

Hopkins County
Miller, Cyrus C. 9 Jul 1867
Wright, Ben Reese 6 Nov 1869
Gooch, Alonzo 25 Jan 1872
Ashby, Henry 2 Jan 1878
Ashby, Orlander 6 Apr 1878
Kilroy, John 19 May 1880
Gibson, John C. 17 Jan 1870
Bond, Huldah 29 Dec 1866
Bond, Mary 29 Dec 1866
Casey, Bridget 5 May 1876
Morton, Debby 20 Sep 1876

Livingston County
Ray, Edmund 31 Mar 1866
Saunders, Benjamin 7 Mar 1874
Lyon, Charles S. 2 Jul 1875
Champion, Edward (colored) 20 Apr 1879
Dowden, Francis (colored) 13 Jul 1879

Lyon County
Larue, William 23 Jul 1878
Edmunds, J.S. 21 Mar 1879
Asbridge, T.C. 21 Mar 1879

Union County
Atkins, Jesse 31 Oct 1854
Pemberton, J.S. 2 Sep 1856
Stone, Jasper 7 Jul 1866
White, George 25 Oct 1871
Harris, James T. 25 June 1875
Railey, George 3 Mar 1876
Givens, John S. 1 Nov 1877
Davis, Stephen F. 2 Oct 1878
Coleman, Anderson (colored) 4 Apr 1879
Brewin, Lavinia 2 Jun 1877
Bricka, Sarah 7 Feb 1879
Smallwood, Alice (colored) 28 Feb 1879
Kilman, Emily F. 5 Apr 1879
Alvey, Elizabeth 26 Sep 1879

Webster County
Prather, Stephen 29 Apr 1865
Smith, Alford H. 15 Jul 1874
Harris, D.C. 16 Aug 1876
Higginson, James 30 Jan 1879
McCoy, Mike W. 23 Jul 1879
Heady, Susan E. 27 Oct 1873
Bowles, Martha 14 Jun 1874


Register of Patients received during the year ending Oct 31, 1880
Martha Wood of Hopkins County, born Kentucky, age 21, married, committed by county court 5 Nov 1879.
Matilda E. Doris of Webster County, born Kentucky, age 37, single, committed by circuit court 15 Nov 1879.
Helen Parker (colored) of Lyon County, born Kentucky, age 35, divorced, committed by circuit court 2 Dec 1879.
John Goodley of Henderson County, born England, age 50, married, committed by common pleas court 7 Dec 1879.
Katie Barks (colored) of Caldwell County, born Virginia, age 60, single, committed by county court 8 Jan 1880.
Sarah C. Sutton of Henderson County, born Kentucky, age 28, married, committed by circuit court 18 Mar 1880.
Isabella P. Dixon of Henderson County, born Kentucky, age 62, married, committed by circuit court 19 Mar 1880.
Walter Armstrong of Webster County, born Kentucky, age 18, single, committed by county court 23 Mar 1880.
William Jackson of Webster County, born Kentucky, age 18, single, committed by county court 16 Apr 1880.
John Price of Webster County, born Kentucky, age 26, single, committed by county court 27 Apr 1880.
George W. Bottoms of Henderson County, born Kentucky, age 46, widower, committed by county court 29 Apr 1880.
Martha E. Milam of Lyon County, born Kentucky, age 50, widow, committed by county court 26 May 1880.
Martha G. Gray of Lyon County, born Ohio, age 51, widow, committed by county court 31 May 1880.
Ambrose Hatchett (colored) of Henderson, born Kentucky, age 19, single, committed by Henderson city court 31 May 1880.
John Eisom (colored) of Caldwell County, born Kentucky, age 20, single, committed by county court 8 Jun 1880.
George B. Coffin of Crittenden County, born South Carolina, age 35, single, committed by county court 3 Aug 1880.
Elizabeth Clay of Henderson County, born Kentucky, age 38, married, committed by county court 1 Sep 1880.

No comments: