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THE Toledo State Hospital is built upon the cottage system and has been opened for the occupancy of patients about twelve years. Its plan of construction was a radical departure from the structures then in use for the care of the insane, incorporating the most advanced though upon the subject. The idea originated with General Brinkerhoff, of the Board of State Charities, who favored the erection of a new asylum in Northwestern Ohio. When the Sixty-fifth General Assembly came in Noah Swayne, Jr., of Toledo, was chairman of the Committee on Insane Asylums in the House, and Dr. Byers and General Brinkerhoff had frequent interviews with him in regard to a new asylum. He was friendly to the project but insisted that the state finances would not allow an appropriation of over $500,000. The appropriation provided for 650 patients.
There was a great diversity of opinion among legislators as to location. Every one wanted it i his own county, and this came very near defeating the proposition altogether, but in the end, near the close of the session, as a compromise, the whole question of location and plans was undertaken by a commission, of which Governor Foster was president, Dr. Byers was secretary, and General Brinkerhoff was a member. General Brinkerhoff insisted that no plan should be approved that did not provide for 1,000 patients, which was about the number then in the county infirmaries. He insisted that on an average the citizens of Mansfield, and other cities in Ohio, were housed at an average cost of less than $400 per capita, and that $500 per capita certainly ought to make provision for the insane. A resolution to this effect was adopted by the commission. It was argued that it could easily be done with detached buildings at the existing asylums, as it had been done at Williard's Asylum in New York at $250 per capita, and that it should be done for %500 per capita upon the cottage system, of which the only example in the United States was at Kankakee, Illinois. With all the light that could be secured the commission made its decision, and finally let the contract inside of the appropriation. The law did not limit the commission location to any section of the state, from the beginning of the commission was unanimous for the site finally selected.
Dr. H. A. Tobey has been the superintendent of this model institution from the opening in 1889, with the exception of one year, under Governor Campbell, the institution was superintended b Dr. Tupper.
The hospital for men was built in 1898 and occupied September, 1899. The one for women is now under construction. Many improvements and valuable changes are being made and projected. A new boiler plant, entire, was put in last year, and the contract has been let for a new electric lighting plant, the old one being inadequate. Eight of the wards have been remodeled. Everything but the roof and walls; about three fourths of the buildings have been destroyed and rebuilt, these changes being necessary because of the fact that the buildings, originally, were cheaply constructed. A large portion of the success of this hospital is due to the efforts of ex-Governor Foster, who, in addition to being a member of the original committee on location of the hospital, has been a member of the board of trustees from the day it was opened to patients. The fact is that the Governor, being regarded as a father of this great charity, finds much pleasure in looking after it. It is said of him that when a cabinet portfolio was tendered him at Washington, D. C., that had it come to the question of resigning the trusteeship of this hospital or refusing to become a cabinet officer, he would never have been Presidents Harrison's secretary of the treasury.