Waupaca County, Wisconsin History and Genealogy
part of the WIGenWeb Project

 Last updated October 26, 2010

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Waupaca County Asylum
 

Transcribed and submitted by Paula Vaughan

From "Standard History of Waupaca County, Wisconsin" Edited by John M. Ware 1917

     BUILDING OF COUNTY ASYLUM

     The purchase of a site and the erection of suitable buildings where the chronic insane of Waupaca County could be taken care of in a suitable and human way was one of the main questions which agitated the people for many years and at times was the cause of much dissention and jealousy between different sections of the county, this difference arising largely over the location of the site. At the annual session of the county board in 1885 nearly all the members admitted the need of such an institution but no definite action was taken. In the spring of 1886 many of the supervisors were elected upon the asylum issue, those returned from the east side of the county with one or two exceptions being against, while those from the west side of the county were in favor of it.

     When the county board convened in regular session in November of that year the chairman of that body, J. M. Ware, was elected largely upon that issue, he having been for many years an advocate of the project. During the session of the Board Supervisor Myron Reed introduced an ordinance providing for an appropriation of $30,000, to be used for the purchase of a site of not less than 160 acres of land and the erection of the building which would accommodate from seventy-five to one hundred inmates. The ordinance also provided for a committee of five to supervise the  work.  The ordinance was adopted by a narrow margin, the vote standing sixteen ayes to fifteen noes. The committee chosen were Myron Reed, J. C. Hoxie, J. W. Perry, P. A. Hamm and B. L. Taylor. During the winter of 1887 they purchased a site two miles north of Waupaca on the Iola-Scandinavia Road and let contracts for the construction of the buildings, the erection of which were commenced in the spring of that year.

     Not withstanding the fact that a site had been purchased and contracts entered into for the erection of the building the enemies of the asylum did not cease their opposition, and one of their first acts was to get a bill through the Legislature incorporating the City of Clintonville, the primary object being to increase its representation upon the county board to  four members. At the time of its incorporation the village had a population of about 1,100 but by dividing the city into four wards it gave it the same representation as the City of New London and Waupaca, with nearly twice the number of inhabitants and four times that of many of the townships. Immediately after the election of supervisors in the spring of 1887 a petition for a special session of the county board was circulated and it convened April 27th of that year. Another special session was held June 11th, and  third in August. At each of these sessions the board attempted to repeal the asylum ordinance and annul the contracts entered into by the building committee, but the proceedings of these sessions were held to be illegal by Judge Webb. At the annual meeting in November the ordinance was again repealed, but not until a special session of the board in May, 1888, was a final settlement made with the contractors. During all of this period the proper and economical care of the insane was of secondary importance, and a final adjustment showed that there had been expended over one-half the appropriation of $30,000 and the people of the county had nothing to show for it.

     Although the building of an asylum continued to be  live issue, no official action was taken in reference thereto until the annual meeting of the county board in 1898 when Supervisor Brady of Clintonville offered the following resolution: "Resolved, that it is the sense of the county board that Waupaca County erect an asylum for the care of its own chronic insane." The resolution was signed by F. H. Brady of Clintonville, J. M. Ware of the Town of Waupaca, Jacob Wipf of the Village of Iola, and Charles Delo of the Town of Bear Creek. This resolution was referred to the committee of the whole, where it was debated for several sessions and then reported back as unfinished business. At an adjourned session of the board in January, 1900, the Brady resolution was again referred to the committee of the whole. The committee arose and recommended its adoption. It was adopted by the following vote: Ayes-Anderson, Bills, Brady, Brunner, Buslett, Carew, Chapin, Darling, Dimmock, Ghoca, Handgartner, Hotz, McDonald, Millerd, Moore, Olmsted, Palmer, Stewart, William Ware, Wipf, J. M. Ware; total twenty-one. Nayes-Bennett, Burgess, Chase, Dahlen, Etten, Gloeke, Hicks, Hill, Jennings, Kundinger, Norman, Opperman, parish, Pitt, Potts, Schumacher, Steenbock, Sullivan, Ramm; total nineteen.

     An ordinance was prepared providing for the erection of a building sufficient to accommodate from 100 to 125 inmates, under the supervision of a building committee appointed by the board, and for the purchase of a site of at least 250 acres of land and an appropriation of $40,000, which was afterwards increased to $55,000. The ordinance also provided that the location of said site should not be in the limits of the Town or City of Waupaca. This ordinance was adopted by a vote of thirty-two ayes to eight nayes. Supervisor Palmer introduced the following resolution which was unanimously adopted: "Resolved, that the chairman of the Board shall appoint eight members of that body who, with the present chairman, J. M. Ware, shall constitute the building committee provided for in section I of the ordinance for the erection of an insane asylum." The committee appointed consisted of E. J. Palmer, F. J. Dimmock, John E. Moore, E. L. Darling, F. H. Brady, E. H. Ramm, Frank Hicks and W. D. Parish, and organized by electing E. L. Darling chairman and E. H. Palmer secretary. The committee had under consideration a number of sites for the asylum, the two principal ones being the Anderson Farm near Manawa and the Chase Farm in Royalton, the final vote standing four for the Anderson Farm and five for the present location. The building was completed in 1902 and was accepted by the committee and the State Board of Control.

     At the annual session of the county board in 1901, the first trustees of the Waupaca county Asylum were elected as follows: C. H. Anderson, Scandinavia, one year; G. E. Beedle, Embarrass, two years; E. H. Palmer, Waupaca, three years. On November 23, 1901, the board met at Waupaca and organized by electing E. H. Palmer as president. On April 2, 1902, it convened at Waupaca and during the afternoon session elected C. M. Hayward superintendent and Mrs. C. M. Hayward, matron of the asylum. During the first part of June, 1902, Mr. Palmer resigned as trustee and Frank Whipple was appointed to fill the vacancy. On June 17, 1902, the board of trustees met at the asylum and organized by electing Frank Whipple president, C. H. Anderson vice president and Geo. E. Beedle secretary.

     In June, 1905, President Whipple died and the vacancy was filled by John F. Jardine. On July 1, 1905, the trustees met at the Asylum and reorganized by electing C. H. Anderson president; John F. Jardine, vice president, and George E. Beedle, secretary. No other changes were made until January, 1906, when F. W. Kundiger, vice president, and  George E. Beedle, secretary. In January, 1907, S. T. Ritchie, of New London succeeded George E. Beedle on the Board of Trustees and on its reorganization was elected secretary. A . A. Buslet, of Northland, succeeded John F. Jardine on the Board of Trustees in January, 1908, and on January 1, 1908, F. W. Kundiger was chosen president, O.A. Buslet, vice president and S. T. Ritchie, secretary. Herman Lindow of Manawa succeeded O. A. Buslet as trustee in January, 1911, and the board elected F. W. Kundiger president, Herman Lindow, vice- president and S. T. Ritchie secretary. In October, 1914, Mr. Ritchie died after having served as secretary for nearly eight years and in the following month the County Board elected S. M. Myhre of Iola to fill his unexpired term. In January, 1915, E. H. Ramm of New London succeeded Mr. F. W. Kundiger of Readfield as trustee, and the new Board organized by electing Simon Myhre president, Herman Lindow vice president and E. H. Ramm secretary.

     Mr. and Mrs. C. M. Hayward remained Superintendent and Matron of the institution ten and one-half years. Owing to ill health, C. M. Hayward resigned as superintendent, and on January 7, 1913, his son, D. C. Hayward, was elected to succeed him in the management of the institution and Mrs. C. M. Hayward was retained as matron. On January 19, 1913, C. M. Hayward passed away, and in his death the institution and Waupaca County lost a valuable public servant and its citizens a faithful friend. Mr. Hayward had been superintendent of the institution since its opening in July, 1902, and largely through his untiring efforts the institution was recognized throughout the state as a model of its kind. In March, 1915, Mrs. C. M. Hayward resigned as matron and Mrs. D. C. Hayward was elected to succeed her.

     The Institution now has a population of 140 inmates-eighty men and sixty women. Eighty of these patients are Waupaca County charges and sixty are kept at the expenses of other counties. The Asylum farm now comprises 346 acres.

     The following amounts of money have been paid out of the general fund of the county treasury for what is known as the Waupaca County Asylum properties: Original bonds paid, $13,500.00; interest paid on original bonds, $3,660.00; paid on principal of state loan, $44,050.00; interest paid on state load, $19,618.46; special appropriations given for Asylum funds, $55,832.12. The total amount of money spent to date that has been raised by taxes is $136,660.58.

     On June 30, 1916, Waupaca County had an investment in the Waupaca County Asylum properties of the following value: Land and land improvement, $17,604.32; structures and attached fixtures, $64,541.17; machinery and equipment, $7,261.20; furniture and furnishings, $6,186.44; live stock and poultry, $7,607.55; cash on hand in county treasury, $13,205.63; money due for maintenance earned during last fiscal year, $18,683.83; consumable materials and supplies, $1,885.40; new steel tank, wells and land purchased not transferred to its proper classifications on books, $8,200.00. Total assets of Asylum June 30, 1916, $145,175.54.

 Waupaca County Asylum: From the Beginning to Present Day

(Information gleaned from various resources.)

 

     The Waupaca County Asylum was built to care for persons suffering from many forms of chronic mental illnesses and disabilities. While living at the facility patients or inmates, who were able, would assist by doing the daily chores of cooking, cleaning, etc. and others may help with the farm chores.

 

     The first patients were admitted to the Waupaca County Asylum in the summer of 1902. During that year over 100 patients were admitted.

 

     In the mid 1950's all Wisconsin County Asylums changed their names to County Hospitals, hence Waupaca County Hospital. During this time the population grew to around 200.

 

     During the next years many changes were seen, with a big change coming in 1974 when the State of Wisconsin abolished the system of County Hospitals. At this time all county hospitals or homes were required to become licensed nursing homes. This change brought federal funding to the state. In the later 1970's the new facility was completed and named the Lakeview Manor, with capacity of about 100 beds.

 

     Today the Lakeview Manor continues to serve the population of Waupaca County with the facility caring for residents with many different disabilities. Lakeview Manor cares for adults over the age of 18.

 

     The last of the old asylum/county hospital buildings have been destroyed.

 

Transcriptions

Photos of the asylum

R. L. Polk & Co.'s Wisconsin Gazetteer and Business Directory for 1903-04
Second Annual Report of the Trustees of the Waupaca County Asylum June 30, 1904
Fourth Annual Report of the Trustees of the Waupaca County Asylum For the fiscal year ending June 30, 1906
Superintendent's Report: Inmates of the Asylum from July 1st 1906 to July 1st, 1907
Physician's Report - Waupaca County Insane Asylum - Fiscal Year Ending June 1908
Physician's Report - Waupaca County Insane Asylum - Fiscal Year Ending June 1909
Physician's Report - Waupaca County Insane Asylum - Fiscal Year Ending June 1910
Physician's Report - Waupaca County Insane Asylum - Fiscal Year Ending June 1911
Physician's Report - Waupaca County Insane Asylum - Fiscal Year Ending June 1912
Physician's Report - Waupaca County Insane Asylum - Fiscal Year Ending June 1913
Physician's Report - Waupaca County Insane Asylum - Fiscal Year Ending June 1914

Physician's Report - Waupaca County Insane Asylum - Fiscal Year Ending June 1915
Physician's Report - Waupaca County Insane Asylum - Fiscal Year Ending June 1916
Physician's Report - Waupaca County Insane Asylum - Fiscal Year Ending June 1918

Physician's Report - Waupaca County Insane Asylum - Fiscal Year Ending June 1919
Physician's Report - Waupaca County Insane Asylum - Fiscal Year Ending June 1920
Physician's Report - Waupaca County Insane Asylum - Fiscal Year Ending June 1921
Physician's Report - Waupaca County Insane Asylum - Fiscal Year Ending June 1922
Physician's Report - Waupaca County Insane Asylum - Fiscal Year Ending June 1924
Physician's Report - Waupaca County Insane Asylum - Fiscal Year Ending June 1925
Physician's Report - Waupaca County Insane Asylum - Fiscal Year Ending June 1927

Physician's Report - Waupaca County Insane Asylum - Fiscal Year Ending June 1928
Physician's Report - Waupaca County Insane Asylum - Fiscal Year Ending June 1929
Physician's Report - Waupaca County Insane Asylum - Fiscal Year Ending June 1930
Physician's Report - Waupaca County Insane Asylum - Fiscal Year Ending June 1931
Physician's Report - Waupaca County Insane Asylum - Fiscal Year Ending June 1933
Physician's Report - Waupaca County Insane Asylum - Fiscal Year Ending June 1934
Physician's Report - Waupaca County Insane Asylum - Fiscal Year Ending June 1935
Physician's Report - Waupaca County Insane Asylum - Fiscal Year Ending June 1936
Physician's Report - Waupaca County Insane Asylum - Fiscal Year Ending June 1937
Physician's Report - Waupaca County Insane Asylum - Fiscal Year Ending June 1938
Physician's Report - Waupaca County Insane Asylum - Fiscal Year Ending June 1939
P
hysician's Report - Waupaca County Insane Asylum - Fiscal Year Ending June 1940
Physician's Report - Waupaca County Insane Asylum - Fiscal Year Ending June 1941
Physician's Report - Waupaca County Insane Asylum - Fiscal Year Ending June 1942
Physician's Report - Waupaca County Insane Asylum - Fiscal Year Ending June 1943 - (Includes a memorial to August W. Flunker.)
Physician's Report - Waupaca County Insane Asylum - Fiscal Year Ending June 1946
Physician's Report - Waupaca County Insane Asylum - Fiscal Year Ending June 1948

List of Self-Supporting Patients - Board of Trustees Waupaca County Asylum Fiscal Year Ending July 1, 1919, July 1, 1920, July 1921 & July 1, 1922
List of Self-Supporting Patients - Board of Trustees Waupaca County Asylum Fiscal Year Ending July 1, 1924, July 1, 1925, July 1, 1927 & July 1, 1928
List of Self-Supporting Patients - Board of Trustees Waupaca County Asylum Fiscal Year Ending July 1, 1930, July 1, 1931, July 1, 1933, July 1, 1934 & July 1935

 

Essay "A Visit to a poor farm"  written by George McGregor (about 1891)

Other Useful Sites

Wisconsin Sanatoriums - Great information on sanatoriums in the state

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