Building Plans

Epileptic Cottage in Abilene, Texas

Epileptic Cottage in Abilene, Texas

In 1915, the 47 patients at the Canton Asylum for Insane Indians filled the building to capacity. Both the present superintendent, Dr. Harry Hummer, and the previous one, Oscar Gifford, had made requests for additional buildings. The buildings were not only for the purpose of expansion, but also to separate types of patients. Dr. Hummer was extremely happy to see his capacity almost double when a requested hospital was approved; he mentioned that he would initially use it to separate epileptics from the rest of Canton Asylum’s patients.

Hummer was also delighted when he gained approval for a residential cottage. He, his wife, and two sons could live separately from the patients and gain a bit of privacy and respite from the constant activity inherent in an asylum. Hummer received two bids for the project and recommended accepting the bid from Martin Granos:

“He agrees to give us three coats of plaster, a larger basement [than the other bidder], a larger cistern, beamed ceiling in the living-room, stained shingles, a $58.00 range, a $31.00 ice-box built in, oak finish throughout the interior, fireproofed fireplace and three kinds of water in the bath-room.”

Later inspectors found this cottage very nice, indeed, especially in contrast to the living quarters of the rest of the asylum’s employees.

From a Bathroom Catalog, 1915

From a Bathroom Catalog, 1915

1915 Kitchen Range

1915 Kitchen Range

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Click here to order "VANISHED IN HIAWATHA: The Story of the Canton Asylum for Insane Indians" by Carla Joinson.

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