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Oregon Historical County Records Guide

Polk County Records Inventory

Insane Commitment Records

1863-[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.

Records at the Oregon State Archives:
Mental Illness Records [Record of Insane], vol. 1-4, 1892-1954 (4 volumes). 

Records at the Polk County Courthouse, Circuit Court Records Office:
[Mental Commitment Case Files], no. M2029-M3337, 2005-2013 (PDF documents only).

Records at the Polk County Courthouse, Circuit Court Calendaring Clerk's Office:
[Mental Commitment Case Files], no. M3338-M3372, 2013-present (.60 cu.ft.).

Records at the Polk County Public Works Department Complex, Building 12, Circuit Court Records Storage Cage:
Mental [Commitment Case Files-Alphabetical], ca.1949-ca.1966 (2 cu.ft.);
Mental [Commitment Case Files], no. M1-M2028, 1966-2005 (17 cu.ft.).

Records at the Polk County Public Works Department Complex, Building 12, Central Area Pallet:
Insane [Commitment Case Files], ca.1863-ca.1949 (3 cu.ft.).

Oregon Secretary of State • 136 State Capitol • Salem, OR 97310-0722
Phone: (503) 986-1523 • Fax: (503) 986-1616 • oregon.sos@state.or.us

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