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A HISTORY OF THE ASYLUMS FOR THE INSANE IN MICHIGAN

BY HENRY M. HURD, M. D.

We should at once take steps to secure a suitable location, and provide for the erection of another insane asylum. No private insane asylum should be permitted within our borders. Our citizens should not be compelled (as they now are) to send any insane members of their families to a distant State for treatment; and above all, no insane person, curable or incurable, should be within the w/ills of any jail or poor house in the State. Many of our jails and poor houses are a disgrace to our civilization; but in the best of them no reasonable expenditure of money, nor the kindest of treatment, can accomplish any such results in care or cure as can be secured in an asylum devoted to this purpose and tinder the control oi the State.
As the direct result of his personal efforts, a bill was passed to provide for the erection of an additional asylum in Michigan. By the provisions of this bill $400,000 was appropriated for the purpose. As soon as it received his signature, Governor Bagley appointed Dr. E. H. Van Deusen of Kalamazoo,, George Hannahs of South Haven, and Amos Rathbone of Grand Rapids, to locate the asylum. The work was done most painstakingly, and nearly one-year was consumed in the prosecution of the task. A large number of towns and cities competed for the location of the asylum, which was finally fixed in June, 1874, at Pontiac. The citizens of Pontiac donated two hundred acres of land, eligibly located, and also guaranteed an ample water supply, and the proper removal of the sewage and drainage. The amount of money required; to carry into effect these guarantees exceeded $30,000. It is rare that a State institution has received such substantial aid from any locality as was afforded by the citizens of Pontiac.

MICHIGAN ASYLUMS


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