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A HISTORY OF THE ASYLUMS FOR THE INSANE IN MICHIGAN

BY HENRY M. HURD, M. D.

In the meantime, however, it became apparent that it would be impossible to provide for all the insane of the State at Kalamazoo. The legislature of 1873 accordingly authorized the location and erection of an additional asylum in the eastern portion of the State. The subsequent history of the asylum may be briefly summarized. In 1878 Dr. E. H. Van Deusen, who had ably borne the arduous responsibilities of the position of medical superintendent for nearly twenty years, resigned, and was succeeded by Dr. George O. Palmer, who had been connected with the asylum for the previous fourteen years. In 1883 a hospital, or infirmary building was authorized by the legislature, and speedily erected, adjacent to the female department, in strict accordance with the original plan of the building. In 1885 the legislature gave authority to purchase a tract of dairy land, at a distance of three miles from the asylum, and thus inaugrated a movement which promises to become general throughout the United States. I refer to what is known as the extension of existing asylums and the care of the insane in "colonies. " By the purchase of this land it was practicable to erect adjunct buildings for the care of certain classes of the chronic insane who no longer required the close supervision of the main asylum, but were able to enjoy the comfort and freedom of ordinary home life. The success of the first "colony" was so great that the legislature of 1887 authorized the purchase of a tract of farming land at a distance of two miles, in another •direction, which at the present writing is being supplied with similar "colony buildings" for the care of the chronic insane.

MICHIGAN ASYLUMS


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