Clarinda State Hospital
The Clarinda Treatment Complex was built in 1884 as the Clarinda State Hospital in Clarinda, Iowa of southwest Iowa. It was the third asylum in the state of Iowa and remains in operation today. The original plan for patients was to hold alcoholics, geriactrics, drug addicts, mentally ill, and the criminally insane. An act of the Twentieth General Assembly of the State of Iowa, chapter 201, authorized the appropriation of $150,000 for the purpose of establishing an additional hospital for the insane. The act went into effect April 23, 1884, and provided that the Governor should select three commissioners, with power to locate the site for the hospital somewhere in Southwestern Iowa.
The act provided that not less than 320 acres of land should be purchased in the name of the state, so selected as to insure an abundant supply of good, pure water and to be susceptible of proper and efficient drainage. It was also provided that no gratuity or donation should be offered or received from any place as an inducement for its location; that the commissioners should, as soon as the location was fixed, secure and adopt plans and specifications and estimates for the buildings to be erected. All buildings to be fireproof, the exterior plain and of brick, to be built on the cottage plan; the board to invite bids after publication for 30 days in Des Moines newspapers; the contract to be let to the lowest bidder complying with the requirements of the commissioners. They were to employ a competent architect and superintendent of construction, appoint a secretary and keep accurate minutes of their doings.
The Governor appointed as commissioners the following: E. J. Hartshorn, of Palo Alto County; J. D. M. Hamilton, of Lee County, and George W. Bemis, of Buchanan County. These gentlemen met at Des Moines on May 21, 1884, and organized. George W. Bemis was elected president of the board, E. J. Hartshorn treasurer and J. D. M. Hamilton secretary. Click here for more...