Oregon Historical County Records Guide

Columbia County Records Inventory

Insane Commitment Records


Series documents the examination, commitment, and release of mentally ill persons to and from the state's mental institutions. Series contains statements of complaint and commitment recorded by the county clerk or recorder and includes petitions to have an individual committed; physicians certification that an individual is insane; delivery warrants authorizing a county official (usually the sheriff) to take the individual to the state hospital; patient discharges; paroles or transfers; indexes; and correspondence. Information includes patient and family names, date committed, reason, physical description, and a brief family history. This series may also be known as the Insane Record, Mental Illness Record, and Mentally Ill and Feeble Minded Record. By 1968, in most counties, the commitment of the mentally ill or deficient had become the responsibility of the circuit court. Access to these records may be restricted for 75 years by Oregon Revised Statute 192.496.

The Columbia County circuit court joined the Oregon eCourt Case Information Network (OECI) electronic records system in 2013. Mental commitment case files created since 2013 are maintained electronically.

Records at the Columbia County Courthouse Annex, Circuit Court Old Jail Storage Room 3:
Insane and Feebleminded [Mental Commitment Case Files], no. 104-M1658, 1911-1994 (12.75 cu.ft.);
[Mental Commitment Case Files], no. 94.M1659-08.M214, 1994-2008 (28 cu.ft.);
Record of Insane, vol. 1-3, 1895-1982 (3 volumes).

Records at the Columbia County Courthouse Annex, Vault:
General Index [to mining, judgments, complaints, divorce, insane, and guardianships], 1941-1945 (1 volume).

Records at the Columbia County Courthouse, Basement Vault, Closet Oak Cabinet:
Insane Papers [Commitment Case Files-trifolded], ca.1874-ca.1932 (ca..75 cu.ft.).

Records at the Columbia County Courthouse, Circuit Court Room 203:
[Mental Commitment Case Files], 09.M163-13.164M, 2009-2013 (5 cu.ft.).


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