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Featured Article Of The Week

Osawatomie State Hospital


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In 1868, the Kansas legislature appropriated funds for a permanent treatment structure to replace all of the existing structures on the asylum grounds. State architect J.G. Haskell presented plans drawn according to the recommended design by Dr. Thomas Story Kirkbride of Pennsylvania. The center of the building had twin turrets for administrative offices with extended wings offset right and left for patients. The wings were placed so that fresh air could reach them from both sides. As the 1868 Kirkbride plan for new buildings progressed over the next 18 years, the need for additional patient space presented a continual problem for the asylum.

The years 1892 and 1895 saw the addition of two detached buildings, the Knapp and Adair buildings. The Knapp building, named for former superintendent Abram H. Knapp, was completed in 1892 and housed 300 "chronic" or "incurable" male patients (the Knapp building was closed in the 1960’s). Abram H. Knapp served as superintendent from 1873-1877 and again from 1878-1892. His tenure as superintendent was considered stormy and tempestuous. Knapp was a controversial figure from the start, two months after he assumed authority as superintendent, a number of asylum employees protested against the "new and more rigid form of administration" by marching off in what was considered a "mutiny." Click here for more...