Lima State Hospital for the Criminally Insane
Lima State Hospital, which opened in 1915, served dangerous and homicidal patients from other state hospitals and mentally ill inmates from Ohio’s prisons.
For much of its history, Lima State Hospital functioned largely as a warehouse. Patients sometimes staged dramatic protests against the conditions of their confinement, and frequently escaped (more than 300 escapes by 1978). Conditions improved significantly after 1974 as a result of a class-action lawsuit filed on behalf of the patients. In a landmark ruling, U.S. District Judge Nicholas J. Walinski spelled out detailed requirements for assuring each patient’s rights to “dignity, privacy and human care.” In its last years, the state hospital was used for the filming of a made-for-television movie about the Attica Prison riots in New York. Starting in 1982, Lima State Hospital became a medium-security prison, the Lima Correctional Institution. The prison closed in 2004, though a smaller prison on the site, the Allen Correctional Institution, remains. Source:Wikipedia
Columbus State Hospital
Opened in 1838 and was known as the "Lunatic Asylum of Ohio", On the evening of November 18, 1868, the Columbus Asylum was almost wholly destroyed by fire. Six patients died in the fire, and the remaining 308 were transferred to the state’s asylums in Cleveland, Dayton and Cincinnati. A new asylum was completed in 1877. It closed in the 1980's, and was torn down in 1991.
Longview Insane Asylum
THE LONGVIEW STATE HOSPITAL.
This asylum is one of the notable charities of Hamilton county, for which the State of Ohio makes annual appropriations. It is the outgrowth of a combination of circumstances which have determined its peculiar legal status. It has been the subject of more than thirty years of contention, and its history is that of a great political wrong; and an account of its establishment, growth and present condition might not be uninteresting to the general public.
The first asylum for the insane erected in Ohio was built in Cincinnati, under an act of the Legislature, passed January 22, 1821, entitled, "an Act establishing a Commercial Hospital and Lunatic Asylum for the state of Ohio."
By the terms of this enactment the trustees of Cincinnati township were to furnish a site for said institution, containing not less than four acres of land, within one mile of the public landing on the Ohio river, and erect the necessary buildings (which were to be of brick) for the safe-keeping, comfort and medical treatment of such idiots, lunatics and insane persons of this state as might be brought to it for these purposes. The trustees were to receive certain compensation for the care of such patients, to be paid by the county sending the same, if paupers, or by the friends or guardians, if the patients had estates.
In addition, the trustees were required to admit and care for, free of charge, all boatmen belonging to boats owned by citizens of Ohio or to boats of the citizens of other states which provided hospital accommodations to boatmen of this state. They were also required to receive into said institution, and care for, all the paupers of Cincinnati township.
The institution was to be known as "The Commercial Hospital and Lunatic Asylum of Ohio." The state donated, for the purpose of assisting in the erection of said asylum, $10,000 in depreciated or uncurrent bank bills then in the state treasury, from which were realized $3,500 in specie.
The Commercial Hospital and Lunatic Asylum of Ohio was the parent institution from which afterwards sprung the Orphan Asylum, the City Infirmary, the Cincinnati Hospital and Longview Asylum. It was the beginning, on the part of the state, which has led to the establishment of the great benevolent institutions of which every citizen of Ohio is justly proud.
The legislature, on March 7, 1835, authorized the purchase of land for a lunatic asylum, and at the next session authorized the erection of The Longview State Hospital, an asylum for the insane on the land recently purchased for that purpose at Columbus. Said institution was to be known as the Lunatic Asylum of Ohio. On March 9, 1838, an act was passed, entitled, "an act to provide for the safe-keeping of idiots, lunatics or insane persons, the management of their affairs and for other purposes," which required all persons found to be lunatics to be sent to the Ohio Lunatic Asylum, and repealing all acts and parts of acts inconsistent with the provision of said act. Thus the Cincinnati Hospital and Lunatic Asylum of Ohio ceased to be a state institution on March 9, 1838, although the name remained till March, 1861, when it was changed to Commercial Hospital of Cincinnati.
The state afterwards built two additional hospitals for the insane, one at Dayton and the other in the northern part of Ohio, and on April 7, 1856, the legislature passed "an act to provide for the uniform government and better regulation of the lunatic asylums of the state and the care of idiots and insane," which divided the state into three districts, known as the Northern, Central and Southern Districts. Hamilton county, together with thirteen other counties, constituted the Southern District, the asylum for which was located at Dayton, but, on March 10, 1857, the legislature passed an act making Hamilton county a separate district for lunatic asylum purposes, and providing for the erection and government of an asylum therein, and that the commissioners shall cause all the insane of the county to be placed in such asylum when completed. The act further provided that the inmates of the asylum be supported and the salaries of its officers paid from "a fund consisting of all the money raised in the county of Hamilton by county tax for the support of idiots, lunatics and insane persons, and of such appropriations as shall be made by the state for the support of curable lunatics in said asylum, equal to the amount annually raised by taxation from the county of Hamilton for the support of lunatic asylums in the state." An act of April 28, 1873, which repealed the provision of the act of 1857, and substituted in its place a law which provided that Hamilton county should receive, for the support of Longview Asylum, a sum which should bear such a proportion to the entire appropriations for the support of the curable insane of the state as the population of Hamilton county bears to the population of the state outside of said county.
The injustice of the law of 1873 has been so apparent that no General Assembly since 1880 has insisted on its enforcement. In the years 1880 to 1883, both inclusive, the legislature appropriated $10,000 each year in excess of the amount due under the statute of 1873. Since 1883 the legislature has wholly disregarded the rule of 1873, and has appropriated to Longview gross sums, in the same manner that appropriations were made to the other asylums.
The Longview State Hospital.
The care of the insane in Hamilton county is an exception to the general system of the state, and for more than twenty years spasmodic efforts have been made on the part of the state to acquire the ownership and control of Longview, and to make it part of the state system, but to no practical end.
Athens Lunatic Asylum
The Athens Lunatic Asylum was a mental hospital operational in Athens, Ohio from 1874 until 1993. During its operation, the hospital provided services to a variety of patients including Civil War veterans, children, and violent criminals suffering from various mental disabilities. It is best known as a site of hundreds of the infamous lobotomy procedure, as well as various paranormal urban legends.
After the hospital's original structure closed, Ohio University acquired the property and renamed the complex and its surrounding grounds "The Ridges". Today most of the buildings have been restored and are in use by the university, and the grounds surrounding them have been used as a nature preserve.
It began operation in 1874. Within two years of its opening, the hospital was renamed as the Athens Hospital for the Insane. Later the hospital would be called the Athens Asylum for the Insane, the Athens State Hospital, the Southeastern Ohio Mental Health Center, the Athens Mental Health Center, the Athens Mental Health and Mental Retardation Center, the Athens Mental Health and Developmental Center, and then (again) the Athens Mental Health Center.
The original hospital was in operation from 1874 to 1993. Although not a self-sustaining facility, for many years the hospital had livestock, farm fields and gardens, an orchard, greenhouses, a dairy, a physical plant to generate steam heat, and even a carriage shop in the early years. The architect for the original building was Levi T. Scofield of Cleveland. Construction of the facility began in 1868 and the hospital opened on January 9, 1874.
The designs of the buildings and grounds were influenced by Dr. Thomas Story Kirkbride, a 19th century physician who authored an influential treatise on hospital design, On the Construction, Organization and General Arrangements of Hospitals for the Insane. Kirkbride buildings are most recognizably characterized by their "bat wing" floor plan and often lavish Victorian-era architecture.
The hospital grounds were designed by Herman Haerlin of Cincinnati, a student of Frederick Law Olmsted, the landscape architect of Central Park in New York. Some of Haerlin's other landscape designs are seen in Cincinnati's Spring Grove Cemetery and the Oval on the campus of Ohio State University in Columbus.
Haerlin also based his designs on Kirkbride's plans that stated extensive grounds with parks, lakes, and farmland were beneficial to the success of an asylum.
For many years, the hospital was Athens, Ohio's largest employer. The state hospital was eventually decommissioned and, in a land swap between the Department of Mental Health and Ohio University, the hospital's property was deeded to Ohio University. Appalachian Behavioral Healthcare, Athens Campus (as Southeast Psychiatric Hospital was renamed), still serves as a psychiatric hospital in Athens. With the original Athens Lunatic Asylum situated on a hill south of the Hocking River and the newer hospital on the north bank of the river, the two facilities are still within sight of each other.
The history of the hospital documents some of the now-discredited theories of the causes of mental illness, as well as the practice of harmful treatments, such as lobotomy. The leading cause of insanity among the male patients was masturbation, according to the annual report of 1876. The second-most common cause of insanity, as recorded in the first annual report, was intemperance and dissipation. In the hospital's first three years of operation, eighty-one men and one woman were diagnosed as having their insanity caused by masturbation. Fifty-six men and one woman were diagnosed as having their insanity caused by intemperance and dissipation during this same period of time.
For the female patients hospitalized during these first three years of the asylum's operation, the three leading causes of insanity are recorded as "puerperal condition" (51 women), "change of life" (32 women), and "menstrual derangements" (29 women).
Epilepsy was also considered a major cause of insanity and reason for admission to the hospital in the early years. The first annual report lists thirty-one men and nineteen women as having their insanity caused by epilepsy. General "ill health" accounted for the admission of thirty-nine men and forty-four women in the first three years of the hospital's operation.
The hospital closed in 1993. However, the institution of the state hospital continued to function in Athens, with patients and staff relocating to a newly constructed facility which, at the time of the transition in 1993, was called the Southeast Psychiatric Hospital. The psychiatric hospital in Athens is now named Appalachian Behavioral Healthcare.
The Ohio State School for the Blind
The Ohio State School for the Blind was established at Columbus in 1837. It is governed by the State board of administration, with inspection by the board of charities. Day schools are in operation, under a State law. in Cincinnati, opened in 1905; in Cleveland, opened in 1909; and in Toledo, opened in 1915. Provision is made for higher education In l910the name of the school was changed from the Ohio Institution for the Education of the Blind. Until 1911 the school was in the hands of a special board of trustees. From 1852 to 1856 a single board directed the schools for the deaf and for the blind and the asylum for the insane.
[Submitted by Tina Easley]
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