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Iowa HOSPITAL FOR THE INSANE,
INDEPENDENCE, Iowa. At the commencement of this biennial period Dr. A. Reynolds, the former Superintendent, took leave of the institution as its Superintendent. Failing health, which had caused him considerable anxiety for years, induced him to resign the position, contrary to the wishes of the entire Board of Trustees.
Dr. G. H. Hill was chosen Superintendent in his place. Dr. Hill had been the first assistant physician of the Hospital nearly all the time since its organization. He, therefore, brought to the work an intimate knowledge of its affairs. He had a personal knowledge of each patient, and the peculiarities of his or her malady. He was also acquainted with all the other officers and employes, and knew all of the needs and resources of the institution. The change, therefore, was not as great as though some new person, a stranger to all, had come into the control.
Under the management of Dr. Hill the business of the institution has been conducted in a systematic and successful manner.
There were in this institution as patients for treatment on the first day of October, 1881, two hundred and twenty-four males and two hundred and forty-eight females, or a total of five hundred and twenty-two. During the period covered by this report there have been admitted:
There were in the hospital for treatment on the 30th day of June, 1883–
For a more particular description of the causes of death and the peculiar condition of all the patients, and the movement of the population, reference may be had to the report of the Superintendent which accompanies this report.
There has been no epidemic among the inmates of the Hospital. The patients have been free from contagious diseases, and the general health of all has been good.
The appropriations made by the Nineteenth General Assembly for the use of the Trustees of the Hospital were as follows: For three new boilers (six thousand dollars)......
.$6,000.00 For completing water supply (five hundred dollars).
500.00 For contingent expenses (three thousand dollars)..
The three new boilers were contracted to be made of best homogeneous steel plates, each fourteen feet long and five feet in diameter.
We also contracted for fronts and grates of the most approved patterns. These boilers were received and set during the fall of 1882, and have so far done good service. The grates, we think, have been the means of saving a large amount of fuel to the Institution during the past year.
These boilers cost......
.$ 3,000.00 The grates and fronts cost.....
1,320.00 Setting the boilers and connecting the same to the chimney and covering the domes and steam-mains cost..
The labor in setting these boilers was paid out of the current ex
The money for completing the water supply has been used for that purpose, but has proven wholly inadequate for the purpose for which it was appropriated.
The three thousand dollars of contingent fund has been used as follows:
The farm during the biennial period has produced well, and the produce has all been used by the Institution. We have had to purchase, besides what has been raised on the farm, a large amount of produce
Hay, corn, oats, and potatoes have to be purchased in considerable quantities. A large part of this outlay could be avoided by purchasing eighty acres of land that adjoins the land now owned by the State and corners into it so that the southeast corner of this eighty is within a few rods of the barn owned by the Institution. This eighty has for some years belonged to a Mrs. Gray. In the spring of 1883 she was determined to sell the same. Our Superintendent, Dr. G. H. Hill, purchased it in order to sell it to the State, as the State very much needs this land and ought to have it. Dr. Hill proposes to sell it for what it cost him, if the State will take it. It would cost no additional outlay to work this land; it could be done by the patients, and would greatly increase the income from the farm.
On the 22d day of June, 1882, a severe wind-storm from the northwest blew down the large chimney, unroofed the main building, and several of the wings of the institution, moved some of the towers on the building, blew down the fences and some of the out-buildings, doing a large amount of damage, and leaving the rooms so that at each rain-storm the water came in through the ceilings, and made the rooms damp and unhealthy. The chimney fell upon the boiler-house, crushed in the roof of that, and damaged two boilers that had been set outside the boiler-house to use while repairs were being made.
Thus, for several days, the Institution was left without steam and without any way to make it. All the washing, ironing, and carrying of water had to be done by hand.
As soon as could be done after this storm the Trustees were called in extra session; the Governor was requested to convene the Executive Council at the Hospital, which he did.
The Trustees and Executive Council when together could find no warrant in the law for either to act in making the necessary repairs: on the other hand, the strict letter of the law made it a crime for either the Governor, Executive Council, or Trustees to use any funds sufficient to make the repairs necessary to protect the property, and care for the unfortunate people committed to the charge of this Hospital.
The estimated cost of the repairs made by the Trustees was thirteen thousand, nine hundred and eighty-five (13,985) dollars. This included only that which was necessary to be done to enable the patients to remain through the winter.
After this estimate was made and during the progress of the repairs it was deemed best to put an iron roof upon the boiler-house, which cost about three thousand dollars extra.
The Executive Council gave the Trustees the sum of four thousand dollars out of the providential contingent fund, and authorized them, so far as their authority extended, to borrow money to complete the
Thus we found ourselves with five hundred and fifty-two insane people, one hundred and twenty employes and attendants, the buildings unroofed, our steam apparatus crushed, property that had cout the State cight hundred thousand dollars in danger, and no moner