Champaign County, Ohio
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Niles Sanitorium

1910 Niles Sanitorium



A private hospital for MENTAL and NERVOUS diseases, ALCOHOLISM and the DRUG HABIT.
The institution is equipped with every modern appliance and has a separate floor for SURGERY.
Patients received from any locality. Terms MODERATE. For full particulars write the Manager.
EDWARD L. ROWE, Jr., Urbana, Ohio.

[Advertisement in "The Journal of Abnormal Psychology", Volume 3, 1908-1909; Editor: Morton Prince, MD]

The first sanitarium in Urbana was organized in October, 1904, and was a consolidation of the Parkhurst Willow Bark Sanitarium, of St. Paris, with the Champaign Sanitarium, of Urbana. Both institutions had been in successful operation for some years previously, the former being particularly successful. The purpose of the union of the two sanitariums was to provide tetter facilities and more extensive methods of treatment by utilizing the building in Urbana which had been used as a Catholic seminary since 1878. The building was purchased for eighty-three hundred dollars, of which seventy-three hundred dollars was paid in cash. The stock of the company was given for the remainder. This building was located on North Main street and had been used for several purposes besides a seminary since its erection in the fifties. It was one hundred and fifty feet in length, fifty feet in width and four stories high, giving a floor space of twenty-two hundred square feet. It had a capacity of one hundred patients. The building is now occupied by a tool and die factory. While the consolidated institution was in operation, it enjoyed a wide patronage in its five departments, medical, surgical, nervous, psychopathic and orthopedic. Inebriety was given special treatment, and the alcoholic and drug wards were more widely patronized than any others. Special rooms were fitted up for amusement, gymnastic exercises, massaging, vapor baths, etc. The first president and general manager of the sanitarium was Marion W. Thomas ; Dr. G.W. Pickering was chairman of the board of physicians, Marion R. Talbot was treasurer, and M. J. Scott, secretary. C. H. Darnell, who had been one of the stockholders of the St. Paris institution had a financial interest in the new sanitarium. The institution seemed to have all of the necessary qualifications for a successful career, but for some reason it did not achieve the success which its promoters hoped. For seven months after it was opened it met with a hearty reception and yielded its promoters a net return of ten per cent, on their investments. Then the fortunes of the institution changed and it was soon in such financial straits that by September, 1905, its original owners were ready to dispose of it.

The next and last owner of the sanitarium in Urbana was E. L. Rowe, of Dayton, who secured the Champaign Sanitarium in September, 1905, and placed Dr. G. W. Pickering in charge of it. Doctor Pickering had been with the institution since it was established in Urbana. The new institution became known as the Niles Sanitarium, and maintained a more or less successful career until the close of 1914. It was called the Niles Sanitarium in honor of John Niles and wife who left a large estate to the institution. Niles was a wealthy farmer of the county and he and his wife were so impressed with the value of the institution while they were patients in it that they decided to leave a sufficient amount to make it a permanent institution. There has been no effort to establish an institution of this character since the Niles Sanitarium closed. Since that time the county infirmary hospital has been the only institution in the county in a position to handle emergency cases.  ["History of Champaign County, Ohio: Its People, Industries and ...", Volume 1;  edited by Evan P. Middleton; pg. 382-384]

Another enterprise in Urbana which fell by the wayside because of the rapacity of mankind and misplaced confidence was the late Niles Sanitorium. A good man and his wife. Mr. and Mrs. John M. Niles, died a few years ago and left a fortune to the sanitarium and in their honor the sanitarium was rechristened. The institution not only received this benefit, but scores of people of Urbana and vicinity were led to believe that this institution furnished a profitable investment. People reasoned that men might traffic in fences or telephones or glass or alum, but certainly they would not traffic in human lives. But again they were mistaken. Another institution soon closed its doors.   Urbana people had again lost all of their investments.  ["History of Champaign County, Ohio: Its People, Industries and ...", Volume 1;  edited by Evan P. Middleton;pg. 1024]

"J.A. Poss was awarded the contract for tearing down the Niles Sanitarium at Urbanna and for the erection of a new factory building, two stories, 60x120, on its site.  He has also the contract for the erection of a  12 room modern residence in connection with the plant for the officers of the company." ["Ohio Architect and Builder", Volume 30, July 3, 1917, pg. 8]

The Champaign Sanitarium Company was organized in October, 1904, for the purpose of combining under one management the Parkhurst Willow Bark Sanitarium at St. Paris. OH. with the Champaign Sanitarium Company of Urbana, OH. Its business is to help people get well if they are sick, to rest and recuperate them if they are only tired and nervous, and to free them from the bondage of alcohol or drug addiction. Its chief aim is to supply all the needs of those requiring other than home treatment whether their disorder be mental or physical. To the accomplishment of this they have mstituted a system comprising everything recognized by the present day leaders in the medical and surgical profession as being rational and reasonable in the treatment of both mental and physical ailments. The building is one hundred and fifty feet in length by fifty feet in width and four stories high, giving floor space of twenty-two thousand square feet.
Furnishing first-class accommodation to at least one hundred patients, the building is so constructed that all its rooms are outside rooms, well lighted and ventilated. A broad central stairway leads from the basement to the top of the building, from which point, a view of the surrounding country is had for a distance of three or four miles in every direction. Extensive improvements are now in progress which will make the home of the Sanitorium, both interior and exterior, one of the most beautiful and completely equipped institutions of its kind in the country. The various departments are Medical, Surgical, Nervous, Psychopathic and Orthopedic. In the Medical Department are treated all general diseases, such as Rheumatism, Blood Disorders, Stomach, Intestinal, Liver, Kidney, and in fact all organic and visceral derangements. To execute the needs of this department, is provided all of the modern means for chemical analysis of the blood, urine, sputum contents of stomach, etc. Under the Surgical Department, are classified and treated all cases requiring surgical attention, from the least minor surgical procedure to the most extensive surgical operation. In this department the surgical diseases of women are treated. In the Department for Nervous Diseases, are included all cases belonging to the class known as Nervous Diseases, such as Neurathenia, Nervous Prostration, Insomnia, Hysteria, Chorea, Migraine, Locomotor Aphasis, the different varieties of Paralysis, etc. There is no class of patients demanding so much in the way of special preparation in the exepution of essential principles of recovery as those who have been crippled or deformed to treat Hip Joint Disease, Spinal Disease, Disease of the Bones, Paralysis, Stiff Joints, Spinal Curvature, Club Feet, Knock Knees, Bow Legs, Pigeon Toes, Wry Neck and all other deformities of the body, special apparatuses in the way of braces and mechanical appliances must be at command.
All such braces are made under the personal supervision of a medical director. The Sanitarium has provided for the Psychopathic Department a separate ward and club room, completely isolated from the rest of the building. The club room is furnished with Billiard and Pool Tables, Piano and other amusements, to attract the mind and make both pleasant and profitable the stay of those who need treatment, for inebriety or drug addition. The Sanitarium is so equipped as to give whatever treatment is indicated, not only in the way of medicine but also massage, vapor bate, electricity, gymnasium, exercise, amusements, etc. For inebriety and drug addiction patients, have a tonic to take every odd hour during the day until eight doses are taken. In addition all patients, except ladies, are requested to report at the treatment hall four times daily namely: at 8 a.m., 12 pm., 5 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. for hypodermic treatment; ladies, it should be stated, are always treated in their own apartments. Opportunity is offered for social gatherings, however those who so desire, may isolate themselves entirely by remaining in their rooms. Marion W. Thomas is president and general manager. Dr. G.W. Pickering is chairman of the board of Physicians. M.R. Talbot, treasurer and M.J. Scott is secretary. The officers, managers and physicians are men of high standing in the community, and their connection with the institution is in itself a guarantee of its reliability and trust-worthiness.  [From the Centennial Edition of "The Champaign Democrat", June 15, 1905]


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