charles m. meacham



Western State Hospital; Organization of D. A. R.; The Athenaeum Roster.

One of the State’s three institutions for the care of the insane is located one mile from the city of Hopkinsville, on the north side of the Jefferson Davis Highway No. 68. Its farmlands have been added to from time to time, and now it owns several hundred acres on the south side, extending to the east branch of Little River, from which the hospital obtains its water supply, with a plant of its own.

The institution was located by act of the General Assembly in 1848, three hundred and eighty-three acres of land being purchased at that time, at the nominal price of $5.14 an acre. Land was cheap in those days. This was paid for out of a popular subscription of about $4,000 to secure the institution for Hopkinsville. The building was begun in 1849. In the  next two years, $86,036.00 was paid in erecting buildings. By 1852 the state appropriations had exceeded $202,000.00.

- In September, 1854, it was ready for patients, and a few were received. During the next three years, the number received was two hundred and eight, but only about a hundred were there at one time. In 1857 there were a hundred and two in the wards. Facilities for caring for them were improved gradually, and during the next two years two hundred and thirty-five were admitted, and two hundred and sixty-four discharged or otherwise disposed of. It was simply being used as a small institution, to care for the overflow from the other institution.
On November 30, 1861, the main building was destroyed by fire at noon, the fire starting in the shingle roof. There were two hundred and ten patients at the time, and all were saved except one, who fastened himself in his room, and was burned to death in the excitement. The patients were cared for in public buildings in Hopkinsville until the building could be repaired. Log cabins were hastily erected. The main walls were not much damaged, and it was repaired as speedily as possibly, and by 1867 about $404,350.00 had been appropriated to repair and enlarge the asylum. In 1863, Dr. James Rodman, who was superintendent of another institution, was transferred to Hopkinsville and began a career as head of the institution that continued until his resignation in 1889. The hospital was, at first, called the Western Kentucky Lunatic Asylum, but the name was later changed.

During its first ten years, Dr. S. Annan had been the superintendent, but when Dr. Rodman took charge the institution grew and widened its field of usefulness. It was enlarged to accommodate all classes of patients, with separate departments for males and females, and separate buildings for white and colored patients. Dr. Rodman originated the plan of having cottages for certain classes of patients, outside of the main buildings, and as the years passed, a special group of cottages, distant from the other buildings was provided for tubercular patients.
Modern improvements have been installed, the grounds have been beautified, the stately old main building has had wings and wards added to it, until it is now a great community in itself, with a population of fifteen hundred.
For many years the institution was called the Western Lunatic Asylum. Later it was called the Western Hospital for the Insane, and in more recent years, it has been named the Western State Hospital. For fifty years or more, the institution was under the control of a local board of commissioners appointed by the Governor for terms of years. A steward was also appointed and all other officers were employed by the board or superintendent. S. E. Trice was for many years chairman of the board, and after him Charles M. Meacham, Charles Knight and others filled the position until the method of control was changed by the Legislature, and a state board placed in charge of all of the public institutions.

The following superintendents have served the institution: Dr. S. Annan, 1854 to 1863; Dr. James Rodman, 1863 to 1889; Dr. Barton W.Stone, 1889 to 1893; Dr. Ben F. Letcher, 1893 to 1896; Dr. Thomas W. Gardiner, 1896 to 1900; Dr. E. B. McCormick, 1900 to 1902; Dr. W. W. Ray, 1902 to 1904; Dr. Milton Board, 1904 to 1907; Dr. J. W. Stephens, 1907 to 1908; Dr. Thomas W. Gardiner, 1908 to 1912; Dr. H. P. Sights, 1912 to 1916; Dr. F. G. LaRue, 1916 to 1921; Dr. W. W. Durham, 1921 to 1926; Dr. W. M. Elliott, 1926 to 1928; Dr. E. L. Busby, 1928 and present incumbent.

Drs. B. W. Stone, H. P. Sights and W. W. Durham were assistant physicians, before becoming superintendents. Among those who served the institution as steward were Thomas Mallory, F. L. Wailer, J. C. Buckner, Buckner Leavell, W. J. Chiles, S. H. Byars, A. H. Anderson and others. The present officers serving under Dr. Busby are: Psychiatrist, Dr. Sam B. Hays; in charge of white male wards, Dr. C. J. Morris; white female wards, Dr. Edythe A. Bacon; colored wards, Dr. Philip C. Brooks; secretary, Airina R. Latham; receiver, C. E. Goodrum; assistant receiver, Olive V. Goodrum; farmer, L. 0. Brumfield.


In the early part of the year 1897, the first steps were taken to organize a chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution in Hopkinsville, Ky.

In the next two years, about six women became members, and it seemed at a stand still. Several spasmodic efforts were made to arouse some interest in the organization, but not enough to get the required number of twelve members to organize a chapter. In the following six months, renewed and determined efforts were put forth, and at last the chapter was organized.

The meeting was held at Mrs. Charles M. Meacham’s, on Saturday, October 28, 1904, with the following charter members:

Mrs. Charles M. Meacham (Elizabeth Tandy), Wm Henry, John Gano. Mrs. A. J. Casey (Lidah Walker), Wm. Walker, Thomas Hynes. Mrs. R. L. Woodard (Georgia Flack), James Flack. Mrs. J. R. Green (Emma Campbell) James Upshur. Mrs. Ritchie Burnett Adoue, James Upshur. Mrs. W. R. Howell (Mary Cook), James Upshur.
Mrs. Mary E. Bronaugh, James Upshur and Col. John Green Mrs. J. K. Hooser (Elizabeth Nelson Edmunds), Col. John Green, Capt. John Dupuy, Major John Nelson, John Rowzee Peyton. Miss Mary Peyton Moore, Col. John Green, John Rowzee Peyton. Mrs. S. A. Edmunds (Mary Stuart Green), Col. John Green. Mrs. Thomas Callahan (Irene Gracey Childers), Capt. James Patten. Miss Harriet Amelia Dietrich, Jacob Dietrich. Miss Lizzie Tyler Moore, Col. John Green.

The following officers were elected: Regent, Mrs. Stuart Ashby Edmunds; vice-regent, Mrs. Andrew Casey; recording secretary, Mrs. Robert Lee Woodard; corresponding secretary, Mrs. John Rowzee Green; registrar, Mrs. Charles M. Meacham; treasurer, Mrs. James Knox looser; historian, Mrs. Mary Edmunds Bronaugh; chaplain, Miss Harriet Amelia Dietrich.

Mrs. S. A. Edmunds was appointed first regent, and made strenuous efforts to organize the Chapter, doing much of the work of tracing the lines and filling out the papers, so that the Chapter was named for her ancestor, Col. John Green.

Thomas Green, the seventh son of Col. John Green, settled in Christian County, at “Broadcastle,” reared a large family of sons and daughters, all citizens of Christian County, Kentucky. Charter members of the Chapter, being descendants of Col. John Green are: Mrs. Edmunds,, Mrs. Hooser, Mrs. Bronaugh, Miss Mary Peyton Moore, and the husband of Mrs. Green, Miss Lizzie Tyler Moore, the thirteenth member, also entered through Col. John Green, although her papers were sent in too late for her to be a charter member.



 1. Geo. C. Abbitt.
2. H. H. Abernathy.
3. James Breathitt, Jr.
4. F. M. Brown.
5. E. H. Barker.
6. T. W. Blakey.
7. C. H. H. Branch.
8. John E. Byars.
9. Austin Bell.
10. H. G. Brownell.
11. John F. Bible.
12. P. B. B. Brooks.
13. E. B. Bassett.
14. Phil E. Chappell.
15. Alvan H. Clark.
16. A. G. Chapman.
17. D. A. Clark.
18. Geo. W. Crenshaw.
19. Jno. S. Crenshaw.
20. J. W. Clotfelter.
21. J. G. Cooper.
22. Lucian H. Davis.
23. John C. Duffy.
24. J. W. Downer.
25. L. W. Doolan.
26. Randolph Dade.
27. A. H. Eckles.
28. W. M. Elliott.
29. John T. Edmunds.
30. F. E. Fallenstein.
31. W. T. Fowler.
32. L. E. Foster.
33. Geo. E. Gary.
34. R. B. Grider.
35. W. E. Gary.
36. J. G. Gaither.
37. J. W. Gaines.
38. W. J. Garnett.
39. H. T. Gill.
40. J. 0. Goode.
41. Jouett Henry.
42. W. B. Holmes, Jr.
43. Barksdale Hamlett.
44. Edmund Harrison.
45. W. H. Harrison.
46. J. T. Hanbery.
47. J. Newton Jessup.
48. Millard A. Jenkens.
49. G. C. Koffman.
50. Horace Kingsbury.
51. A. R. Kasey.
52. A. C. Kuykendall.
53. H. W. Linton.
54. H. A. Long.
55. T. W. Long.
56. Chas. M. Meacham.
57. Rodman Meacham.
58. Jas. A. McKenzie.
59. H. F. McDaniel.
60. T. J. McReynolds.
61. E. C. McDanald.
62. B. G. Nelson.
63. W. L. Nourse.
64. Lewis Powell.
65. Paul S. Powell.
66. T. W. Perkins.
67. W. S. Peterson.
68. Frank Rives.
69. E. V. Rawn.
70. E. D. Sloan.
71. Ira L. Smith.
72. Ira D. Smith.
73. W. H. Southall.
74. W. 0. Soyars.
75. John Stites.
76. Denny P. Smith.
77. H. D. Smith.
78. H. C. Smith.
79. F. M. Stites.
80. H. P. Sights.
81. Everett S. Smith.
82. S. Y. Trimble.
83. Willis Thompson.
84. W. T. Tandy.
85. C. M. Thompson.
86. F. P. Thomas.
87. T. C. Underwood.
88. P. C. Walker.
89. Ed L. Weathers.
90. S. Pettus White.
91. Lorenzo K. Wood.
92. C. E. Woodruff.
93. Arkley Wright.
94. R. L. Woodard.
95. James West.
96. J. C. Wailer.
97. F. W. Fink.
98. B. W. Gaither.

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