Western State Hospital 1870
Western State Asylum, 1870

Western Lunatic Asylum

This is NOT an official site for Western State Hospital.  This is merely a guide to

genealogical information about early patients of Western State Hospital as part of
Christian County, KY History & Genealogy.
We have no affiliation with this institution.
We cannot provide records or information on patients.


The following history of Western State Hospital / Western Lunatic Asylum is an excerpt
from "County of Christian, Kentucky" By Wm. H. Perrin, 1884.

On the 25th of February, 1848, the Legislature of Kentucky provided for the location and erection of a second lunatic asylum. The Spring Hill tract of 383 acres of land (which proved to be of indifferent quality) on the turnpike road east of Hopkinsville, was purchased for $1,971.50 (only $5.14 per acre). This sum was refunded by the citizens, and $2,000 additional paid by them. There was expended upon the buildings and other improvements in 1849 $43,052; in 1850, $43,484; the additional outlays for these purposes do not appear in any documents before us. The Legislature appropriated
$15,000 in 1848, $20,000 in 1849, $45,000 in 1850, $35,000 in 1851 $43,000 in 1852, $44,017 in 1854; total, $202,017. September 1, 1854, the first patients were received. By December 1, 1857, 208 had been admitted, but only 102 were then in the institution, the others having died, eloped, or been restored and discharged under the care of the Superintendent, Dr. S. Annan. The number admitted in 1858, 106; and in 1859 to December 1st, 129 ; total for two years, 235 ; during the same time 133 were discharged, of whom 65 were restored, 56 died, and 10 escaped.

On the 30th of November, 1861, the main building was destroyed at mid-day by fire, which caught from sparks from a chimney falling upon a shingle roof. The 210 patients escaped uninjured, except one, who fastened himself in his room, near where the fire originated, and perished in the flames. The court house and other buildings in Hopkinsville were kindly tendered for the use of the unfortunates; twenty-three hewed log-cabins were speedily erected at about $90 each, and everything done that could well be to mitigate the sufferings of the patients. The walls being mainly uninjured it was estimated that $50,000 would replace the brick and wood work, and $67,000 more (including $3,856 for tin roof and gutters) would complete the building. In February, 1861, the Legislature made an appropriation to begin it, and before January 1, 1867, had appropriated in all $258,930 to complete the rebuilding. This, added to the manager’s probable net valuation of the property after the destruction by fire of the interior of the main building $145,420 (exclusive of the enhanced value of the land itself, makes the total value of the improvements at that time (1867) $404,350, providing comfortably for 325 patients.

Some time in the year 1863 the present able and successful Superintendent, Dr. James Rodman, took charge of the asylum. The total number of patients received and treated up to October 10, 1871, was 1.273. of whom 321 were then in the asylum. Calculated upon the number of patients received, 50.847 per cent were discharged restored, eight were discharged more or less improved, two were unimproved, one escaped and twenty-two died. There is (nearly) one insane person (October, 1871) in every 1,000 persons of the population, at least 1,400 in Kentucky, of whom there is room in the two asylums for only 850, and both are full.

Since the above article was penned for Collins’ History, the asylum at Anchorage has been built, and some changes have been made in the one located here, so far as relieving it of a crowd of patients it was unable to accommodate. As a conclusion to this sketch, we give the officers and board, which are as follows: Dr. James Rodman, Superintendent; Dr. B. W. Stone, First Assistant Physician; Dr. B. F. Eager, Second Assistant Physician ; Frank L. Waller, Steward; John B. Trice, Treasurer; George Poindexter, Clerk of Board. The present Board of Commissioners: S. E. Trice, Chairman; S. G. Buckner, John N. Mills, James E. Jesup, J. C. Tate, George 0. Thompson, R. T. Petree, John Feland and Charles M. Meacham. The commissioners are appointed by the Legislature—three at each session. The term of the first three mentioned will expire in 1886; that of the next three in 1888, and that of the last three in 1890. The institution bears the name of being one of the best-managed in the United States. The present Superintendent, Dr. Rodman, has been in charge of it for over twenty years; no other words in his praise are needed—his long period of service denotes his fitness for the responsible position.


1860 Census of Patients & Employees
Transcribed & Submitted by Kathleen Hill

1870 Census of Patients & Employees
Transcribed & Submitted by Kathleen Hill

Obituaries / Death Certificates of Patients
Abstracts  from early records / newspapers submitted by Christian County Researchers

Allen Co. KY Lunatic Register 1904 -1921

Obituaries for Webster Co. Patients
Links to Obituaries on the Webster Co. Message Boards

Patient / Inmate Database
Information on patients/inmates submitted by Christian County Researchers

Misc Articles for Western Asylum
Misc Newspaper Abstracts submitted by Christian County Researchers

Patient Records

Be advised that a court order is required to obtain patient records!

Cemetery Records

Listing of Burials sent by contributers
Listing of Unknown Burials
Bodies Donated to Science
Confirmed Burials Elsewhere

NOTE:  The list of known burials
from Western State
has now been published in
***Cemeteries of Christian County***

Despite my best effort, I was not able to obtain the list of burials
from Western State. However, the Christian County Genealogical Society was
able to obtain and publish these records. The book contains listing of burials from the
mid-late 1920's through the late 1950's. It contains name, county of residence,
date admitted, date of death, date of burial and age if known.

Bequeathal InformatioN
From U of L

Contact Western State Hospital at
2400 Russellville Road
PO Box 2200
Hopkinsville, KY 42240-2200

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