Oregon Historical County Records Guide
Malheur 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.
Records at the Oregon State Archives:
Insane Record [Commitment], vol. 1, 1926-1941 (1 volume);
[Mental Commitment Case Files-alphabetically arranged], 1911-1941 (2.20 cu.ft.).
Records at the Malheur County Courthouse, Clerk's Office:
County Court Index Civil [indexes civil proceedings-includes insane commitments until ca.1911], vol. A, 1887-1951 (1 volume);
County Court Journal Civil Proceedings [includes insane commitments until ca.1911], vol. A-C, 1887-1951 (3 volumes).
Records at the Malheur County Courthouse, Trial Court Basement Civil Records Storage Room:
Insane Record [Commitment-title varies], vol. 2-14, 1942-1969 (13 volumes);
[Mental Commitment Case Files], 1999-2006 (1.50 cu.ft.);
Mental [Commitment Case Files-alphabetically arranged], 1942-1973 (7 cu.ft.);
Mental [Commitment Case Files], no. 1-327, 1973-1998 (10.50 cu.ft.);
Mentally Ill Register and Index, vol. 1, 1973-1988 (1 volume).
Records at the Malheur County Courthouse, Trial Court Basement Criminal Records Storage
Mentals [Commitment Case Files], 1969-1972 (5 inches of aperture cards).
Records at the Malheur County Courthouse, Trial Court Office:
[Mental Commitment Case Files], 2005-present (1.50 cu.ft.).