Epileptic Hospital.In the establishment of this institution the intention of the legislature was to make it a third insane asylum, in order to relieve the crowded condition of the hospitals at Topeka and Osawatamie. It was authorized by an act of the legislature of 1899, which provided that a site should be selected by a committee of the legislaturefour senators and five representativesand appropriated $100,000 for the erection of buildings. There was a spirited rivalry among a number of cities for the new hospital, and when the committee decided to locate it at Parsons, the citizens of Clay Center instituted injunction proceedings. The question was finally settled by the supreme court, which sustained the action of the committee. but the litigation delayed the erection of the buildings so much that the appropriation lapsed. The legislature of 1901 reappropriated the unexpended balance of the $100,000 so that the work could proceed without further delay.
STATE HOSPITAL FOR EPILEPTICS, PARSONS.
In the meantime, the state board of charities, in its report for 1900, said: "In the judgment of the board, it would be better to establish an epileptic colony, and thereby relieve the congested condition of the asylums, than to build a new asylum." Following this suggestion, the trustees of the state institutions reported in 1902, that "After a careful investigation of the subject, we decided to make the Parsons institution one wholly for the treatment of epileptics, both sane and insane. The Parsons purchase is especially adapted to an institution of this character. The large acreage of land gives us plenty of work, and the epileptic patients are not only capable of work, but are benefited thereby."
With the appropriation a dormitory capable of accommodating 70 persons, two cottages capable of accommodating 30 each, and two capable of accommodating 16 each were erected, the institution being modeled after the epileptic hospital at Sonyea, N. Y. The legislature of 1903 made an additional appropriation of $200,000, with which the original five buildings were fully completed and five similar buildings were erected for women. In Oct., 1903, the institution was ready for occupancy and more than 100 epileptic patients were removed from the insane hospitals at Topeka and Osawatomie, and the hospital was opened with M. L. Perry as superintendent. Since the opening an administration building has been erected at a cost of $70,000; a barn, laundry, heating and power plant and a superintendents residence have been built, and in 1910 the property of the institution was valued at $500,000. The legislature of 1905 designated the institution as the "State Hospital for Epileptics."
Sane persons who are merely epileptics are admitted and many of these acquire a good common school education, as the hospital is educational as well as curative. Nearly all the inmates can be taught some simple form of manual labor, and many leave the hospital improved in both mind and body. The institution has been under the charge of Mr. Perry ever since it was established.Pages 595-596 from volume I of Kansas: a cyclopedia of state history, embracing events, institutions, industries, counties, cities, towns, prominent persons, etc. ... / with a supplementary volume devoted to selected personal history and reminiscence. Standard Pub. Co. Chicago : 1912. 3 v. in 4. : front., ill., ports.; 28 cm. Vols. I-II edited by Frank W. Blackmar. Transcribed May 2002 by Carolyn Ward.
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