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Oregon Historical County Records Guide

Linn County Records Inventory

Insane Commitment Records

1860-[ongoing]

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 files created since 2006 are stored electronically. Contact the trial court administrator for access. The Linn County circuit court joined the Oregon eCourt Case Information Network (OECI) electronic records system in 2012. The microfilm/microfiche records listed at the Hurd Building have been or will be scanned and available electronically. Contact the trial court administrator for more information.

Records at the Oregon State Archives:
County Court Case Files [includes mental commitments], no. 1-2719, 1860-1945 (12 cu.ft.);
Index to Papers in County Court Direct [includes mental commitment entries], 1861-1974 (1 volume);
Index to Papers in County Court Indirect [includes mental commitment entries], 1861-1974 (1 volume);
Insane Complaint and Commitment [Record-with index], vol. 1, 1899-1901 (1 volume); vol. 2, 1901-1918 (1 volume); vol. 3, 1904-1913 (1 volume);
Record of Insane & Feeble Minded [with index], vol. 4-7, 1917-1974 (4 volumes).

Records at the Hurd Building, Circuit Court Storage Room 13:
[Probate-Case File and Journal Index-also indexes mental commitment cases], 1863-1985 (2 inches of microfiche).

Records at the Hurd Building, Circuit Court Storage Room 14:
Insane & Juvenile [Juvenile, Name Change, and Mental Commitment Case Files-title varies], no. 2821-6902, 1945-1974 (10 cu.ft.);
Mentals [Mental Commitment Case Files-title varies], no. 6903-9599, 1974-2006 (22 cu.ft.).

 

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