Oregon Historical County Records Guide
Wallowa 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 June 2016 is not maintained in paper or microfilm.
Records at the Oregon State Archives:
Law Journal County Court [changes to circuit court in 1971-includes insane commitment records], vol. B, 1920-1985 (1 volume);
Law Journal County Court [includes insanity and citizenship cases], vol. A, 1887-1920 (1 volume).
Records at the Wallowa County Courthouse, Clerk's Vault:
Insanity [Case Files-title varies], ca.1908-1972 (1.15 cu.ft.);
Insanity Record [with index], vol. 1, 1888-1921 (1 volume).
Records at the Wallowa County Courthouse, Circuit Court Office:
[Mental Commitment Case Files], 2016 (.10 cu.ft.).
Records at the Wallowa County Courthouse, Attic, Main Records Storage Room:
Mental [Commitment Case Files], 1981-2015 (5 cu.ft.).