Friday, August 5, 2011

History has not Been Kind to Iowa's Disabled

A fascinating timeline of the history of care for the developmentally disabled in Iowa. It's amazing to see how much things have changed for the better.

Building boom of mental institutions in 1800s
The first patient was admitted to the Iowa Lunatic Asylum in Mount Pleasant.

1867: The Iowa Legislature established the Asylum for Feeble Minded Children in Glenwood. It eventually became the home for thousands of children and adults with developmental disabilities.

1873: A portion of the Iowa Hospital for the Insane in Independence is opened, though it took 10 years for construction of the entire institution to be completed.

1885: The state’s third mental hospital was built in Clarinda to relieve crowding at the first two facilities. It housed only men.


  1. thank you for this post I am new to iowa and this topic fascinates me for some reason. if you could have given more depth to this it would have been better you did not mention woodword i think i spelled that right. it was in a video i fould on youtube and the video featured an epileptic man and woman talking about how good the care was however the terms they used for the kids were horrifying by today's standards. I don't mean to use run on sentences I am used to chatting not commenting on blogs and the like I will use your links for my reading no i am not reenventing the wheel and redoing your work. I am simpling exploring and will hit on missouri in a few minutes when i am done with Iowa.

  2. the des moins register article you linked too aparently has been removed I will see if i can track my sought information elseware but thank you again for your efforts. s.d I am blind and mentally ill. so theres your plus I would have been in one of those instutions in those days