Hospital for the Insane at Clarinda, IA

(still researching....)
the Clarinda Treatment Complex was built in 1884 as the Clarinda State Hospital in Clarinda, Iowa of southwest Iowa. It was the third asylum in the state of Iowa and remains in operation today. The original plan for patients was to hold alcoholics, geriatrics, drug addicts, mentally ill, and the criminally insane. An act of the Twentieth General Assembly of the State of Iowa, chapter 201, authorized the appropriation of $150,000 for the purpose of establishing an additional hospital for the insane. The act went into effect April 23, 1884, and provided that the Governor should select three commissioners, with power to locate the site for the hospital somewhere in Southwestern Iowa.
n October, 1884, the commissioners purchased 513 acres of land one-half mile north of Clarinda. Upon this charming site, commanding a beautiful view of the Nodaway Valley, the hospital was built. The site is well drained and there is an abundant supply of pure water. The cost of the land was $29,425. The Pfiefer Cut Stone Company bid $10,788 for the stone work; the Dearborn Foundry Company's bid on the iron work was $22,100; G. W. Parker's bid for roofing and cornice was $3100. These bids were accepted. The Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad Company, at its own expense, laid a switch from its St. Joseph branch line, just east of the hospital, down to the hospital.
n the 4th day of July, 1885, the corner-stone was laid by the Iowa Grand Lodge of Masons. The Governor was present with many other distinguished men of the state. By December, 1885, the central building and supervisor's department were under roof and one wing nearly so. In 1886 an appropriation of $103,000 was secured with which to carry forward the work. The hospital was first opened for occupation December 15, 1888, with 222 male patients received from Independence, Mt. Pleasant and Mercy hospitals.
It is difficult to give an intelligent pen picture of this ample structure. Its total frontage is 1128 feet; its total depth 840 feet, with a length of extended walls of one mile and a quarter and covering many miles of floor space. It provides comfortable apartments for 1000 persons. The style of the buildings is what is called modern Gothic, most appropriate for the material used in its construction, brick and stone with steep slated roofs and such variety of outline and form that from all points of view there is harmony with contrast, a light and shade that ever pleases the eye. The height of the buildings is generally three stories, though the administration building is four. The structure is fireproof, being composed of brick, stone, steel, plaster, tile and cement. The hospital is especially noted for its light, secured by a judicious separating and spacing of its wings and sections. The shade of one wing does not darken the windows in the adjacent wing. No pains, especially in the newer and later wards, have been spared as regards the sanitary features. Thousands of air flues and ducts facilitate a constant circulation of pure air and by these means carry out all impure air, the latter being accelerated by numerous electric fans. The structure is amply warmed in the winter season by low pressure steam, all from the boiler house at the rear, where many large boilers afford all needed steam both for heat and power. The buildings are lighted by electricity which is generated in the dynamo room at the rear. Good, wholesome water is obtained by a steam-driven deep-well pump and a chain of storage cisterns, besides numerous soft water cisterns. There are infirmary wards with circular bay dormitories, large open fire places and toilet arrangements.
Various industries have been a prominent feature in the economy of this hospital. Thus there has been continually in operation for a number of years a department for the manufacture of clothing. Here all clothing worn by the patients, both men and women, is made, with the exception of white dress shirts for the men and hose and hats. Cloth and material are bought in large quantities by the bolt and are cut by a tailoress and made into clothing under her supervision by several assistants and a number of patients. Clothing not sufficiently worn to be condemned is repaired and put in a suitable condition for further use. A second very satisfactory industrial department is the shoe shop, where all the footwear for both men and women is manufactured under the direction and supervision of a shoemaker, who is assisted by patients who have a liking and aptitude for that class of work. Another industry is that of wood working, where furniture of various kinds is made and repaired; This is located in a separate building, and here under the supervision of a foreman some 12 to 25 convalescing or mildly disordered patients may be seen every week day busily engaged in planing, scraping, matching and manufacturing all sorts of wooden articles and useful pieces of furniture. A simple, modest equipment of machinery is installed in this place and is used to good advantage. In connection with this industrial building is a broom-making department, where all the brooms needed for the hospital are manufactured. The only thing bought is the twine wire and occasionally broom handles, which, however, are used over and over again until" practically worn out. Broom corn is raised on the farm and usually a two-years' supply is laid in stock. A mattress making department is also connected with this building, where in a separate room all the new mattresses used in the institution are made. Mattress hair is bought and also a good quality of material for the cover, which is made up in the sewing room and afterwards filled by patients, who become quite expert in the making of mattresses and who work under the supervision of the foreman of the industrial building. Soiled or worn mattresses in which the hair has become packed are taken apart, thoroughly renovated by steam, dried, thoroughly picked and the hair used over again. Part of the time a tin shop is operated in connection with the industrial building, although it is located in a different building, and the needed repairs to the tinware of the institution are made, but the manufacture of new tinware has not been attempted to any considerable extent.
The hospital is currently known as the Clarinda Treatment Center. The CTC has evolved into a multi- functional state facility that now includes a mental hospital and a correctional facility that share many services with the privately owned Clarinda Academy. The original central building still remains in use as part of hospital complex. In 1980 a minimum security all male prison was built as the Clarinda Correctional Facility and another 750 bed medium security prison was opened on the Campus in 1996. A museum was recently added to the complex and is full of historical asylum artifacts such as medical equipment, paperwork, furniture, photos and other relics. In 1980, a large minimum security prison was built as the Clarinda Correctional Facility.[2] The hospital was closed by Governor Branstad along with Mount Pleasant State Hospital in July, 2015. The Clarinda location has the Clarinda Academy, a privately run school for troubled adolescents, which will continue to operate there for the time being.[3]

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