Oregon Historical County Records Guide
Lincoln 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.
Mental commitment case information included in the Oregon eCourt Case Information Network (OECI) electronic records system since March 2015 is not maintained in paper or microfilm.
Records at the Oregon State Archives:
County Court Journal [includes insane commitment and adoption cases-with index], vol. 1, 1893-1923 (1 volume);
County Court Journal [includes mostly adoption and insane commitment cases], vol. 2, 1923-1959 (1 volume);
Index Insane [Commitment Records], ca.1910-ca.1949 (1 volume);
Insane Record [Commitments-title varies-with index], vol. 1-4, 1894-1949 (4 volumes).
Records at the Lincoln County Public Service Building, Circuit Court Main Storage Cage B:
Civil Commitment [Mental Commitment Case Files-title varies], 1990-2015 (12 cu.ft.);
Insane Records [Commitment Case Files], ca.1931-1983 (7 cu.ft.);
Mental [Commitment Case Files], ca.1975-ca.1989 (4 cu.ft.).