Logansport State Hospital

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Logansport State Hospital
Construction Began 1884
Opened 1888
Current Status Active
Building Style Cottage Plan
Location Logansport, IN
Peak Patient Population 2,260 in 1958
Alternate Names
  • Longcliffe Asylum
  • Northern Indiana State Hospital for the Insane


In 1883 discussions were made concerning opening a state hospital since the state's only mental facility in Indianapolis had become overcrowded. A 160 acre farm was purchased in October 1883 and an additional 121 adjoining acres were donated by the citizens of Cass County. Plans & specifications were submitted May 26, 1884. In the next year the Administration building, a 3-story structure of Victorian architecture was built at the center of the ridge (cliff) in the maple grove. For the next 70 years east & west from the Administration building were to be erected 5 pavilions (wards) arranged in a straight line with fifty feet separation. In the rear of the center buildings was a building to be known as Rear Center. it was designed for offices, assembly room & employees' quarters. Still father to the south was the boiler house, pump house & laundry. A spur of the Terre Haute & Logansport Railroad entered the grounds for rail deliveries.

Only four ward buildings were built on either side of the Administration building. To the east 1-2, 5, 6 & 8-9 for women; A-B, E, F-G, & H-I to the west for men.

Joseph G. Rogers, M.D., was employed by the Board of Commissioners as Medical Superintendent. Dr. Rogers designed the ward buildings and their location. The Rogers family lived on the 2nd floor of the Administration building. The asylum opened it's doors to the first patients on July 1, 1888. By the end of the year 309 patients were admitted, 17 of whom were released or died, patient census was 292.

In the 1890s, new admissions averaged 190 persons per year, with 109 discharges & 44 deaths. New ward & service buildings, maintenance repairs, remodeling & ground work were needed. An assembly hall (later chapel) was completed in 1893 at a cost of $10,000. Activities & church services were held there until the 1950s. Within the original Rear Center buildings, the assembly & sewing rooms were combined into the central dining rooms. As the census rose, the need for more beds became more critical. An annex was built to the 2 terminal buildings known as 8-9 & H-I. Ward buildings 3-4 & C-D were finished in 1900.

Medical superintendents Rogers, Terflinger, Dodds & Williams were the administrative officers covering 45 years. Their leadership guided the hospital through some difficult times. Some problems were: inadequate funding, high admission rate & low discharge rate, need for new wards, deteriorated conditions of existing buildings & equipment, new therapies, World War 1, & in the 1930s the depression.

Census in 1910 was 1,001 present; 1,105 enrolled; up 360 from the decade before. Wards 3-4, C-D, the "tent colony", ward 10-11 & K were completed.

Throughout the years, farming, livestock & gardening were most important. Cattle, pigs, chickens, turkeys, rabbits & ducks were sources of meat. In early years the ice house was filled each winter with ice cut from the pond on the hospital grounds. A cannery, using patient labor, preserved fruits & vegetables. A root house held potatoes.

The 1910s began with the hospital being overcrowded (2 beds in 1 bed rooms) & caused suspended admission applications. The hospital needed the following: pathology building, open air colony, more land, surgical addition, spiral fire escapes, better phone system & cover for water reservoirs.

Admissions averaging 250 patients per year balanced out discharges & deaths. 89 patients were transferred to Richmond State Hospital in 1911. The assembly Hall was unsafe, the Pathology building was completed & wings were added to the Rear Center building.

Records indicate there were 270 employees in the 1910s. The records also show; the great flood of 1913 caused limited damage to the hospital, Wasserman test developed & used at the hospital, hospital still overcrowded, water being pumped from the Wabash River instead of contaminated wells, fire damaged Ward 4, 25th anniversary of the hospital, eugenics study began.

World War 1 years were difficult for employees and employees. Treatment programs, medical care & everyday services were reduced as male attendants & officers went into military service.

The 1925 statistical reports indicate 1,196 patients present, 217 admissions, 87 discharges & 100 deaths. Additions included a new root cellar, southwest road & stone bridge. Additions to the 6th & 7th wards, radiators placed in attendants rooms, new operating room in addtion to the 3rd ward.

Building construction in the late 1920s included: Men's infirmary & Officer's cottages in 1926 & the women's infirmary in 1928. Total acreage was 807 after purchase of 2 farms. The first canteen was opened in 1928. Occupational Therapy for females, radios were installed throughout the hospital created L ward in the basement of the mens infirmary & created hydro & electro-therapy departments in 1929.

By the 1990s new facilities were being built to replace the aging cottages & most were demolished.

Images of Logansport State Hospital

Main Image Gallery: Logansport State Hospital


The Old Longcliff Cemetery was to the south near the hospital, but now can not be located being abandoned in 1891. The cemetery moved to its present location after 1891 and contained burials through the 1950's. It is not in use today.

Museum Information

Logansport State Hospital Museum
1098 S. State Road 25
Logansport, Indiana
Group tours by appointment
Brain Newell/Librarian (574) 722-4141 x-3712