Oregon Historical County Records Guide
Josephine 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.
Josephine County joined the Oregon Judicial Information Network (OJIN) in 1987.
Records at the Oregon State Archives:
Record of Insane [with index], vol. 1-4, 1898-1940 (4 volumes).
Records at the Josephine County Courthouse, Clerk's Vault:
Estates and Guardianships [Numerical Card File-includes mental commitments], 1939-1970 (.40 cu.ft.);
Insane Commitments [Records-alphabetical], 1874-1922 (.65 cu.ft.);
Mental Health Commitments [Case Files], 1923-1959 (6 reels of microfilm);
Record County Court Journal [includes some naturalization and insane commitment actions], vol. 1, 1859-1899 (1 volume).
Records at the Josephine County Courthouse, Trial Court Civil Unit Office:
[Mental Commitment Case Files], 1995-present (10 cu.ft.).
Records at the Josephine County Justice Building, Trial Court 3rd Floor Records Storage Room:
Mental [Commitment Case Files-title varies], 1960-1999 (24 cu.ft.);
Record of Insane [with index], vol. 5-6, 1940-1975 (2 volumes);
Record of Mentally Diseased [with index], vol. 7, 1976-1984 (1 volume).