Dayton State Hospital

Dayton State Hospital, undated (DDN_State_Hospital_01)

Dayton State Hospital, undated

In 1855, the Southern Ohio Lunatic Asylum opened on 50 acres at the southeast corner of Wayne and Wilmington streets in Dayton, a location then considered to be at the extreme edge of the city. The facility originally had 59 patients and an annual budget of $4,900.

Over its first few decades, the facility has changed names several times: Western Ohio Hospital for the Insane (1875); Dayton Hospital for the Insane (1877); Dayton Asylum for the Insane (1878); and finally, Dayton State Hospital (1894), a name it carried officially for more than 50 years and by which it is still often recognized to this day.

After the deinstitutionalization movement of the 1970s, it became known as Twin Valley Behavioral Healthcare, a mental health facility, for many years. Today, it is 10 Wilmington Place, a senior citizens’ residential community set on 34 acres.

Here are some photos of life at the Dayton State Hospital in the mid-20th century:


These photos can be found in the Wright State University Special Collections & Archives:

  • Dayton Daily News Archive, Box 959, File #104,918, Hospitals – Dayton State (2 folders).

Sources of historical information:

  • Dayton Daily News Archive; also Dayton Daily News articles dated June 30, 2008, & July 18, 2013
  • A. W. Drury, History of the City of Dayton and Montgomery County, Ohio (Chicago & Dayton: S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1909), 1:587-591 (“Dayton State Hospital”).
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17 Responses to Dayton State Hospital

  1. Anne smith says:

    I’m looking for my gr8 grandma Eugenia s oswald..she died in 1968. She was placed in the Ohio state hospital around 1940s. She was born 1889 I believe she was placed into this facility against her family was unaware of her existence..I want to know where and what happened to her..where do I go..

  2. theresa bomkamp says:

    I am looking for records of a relative named ezra hiestand, born in 1854 and he died in 1892 at the dayton asylum from epilepsy. I don’t know when he was admitted, but he had a wife and 4 children at the age of 38 and would like to know as much as is possible. he was my grandmother’s uncle.

  3. Jennifer Baker says:

    Does anyone know what “Dayton 10” refers to in relation to the Dayton State Hospital in 1964?

    • Bill Stolz says:

      Ms. Baker,

      We will take a look in our collections to see what we can find. Thanks for the interest in the blog!

    • Connie Curtis says:

      I am pretty sure that refers to the zone the hospital was located in before zip codes came along. I grew up in Kettering, and our address in the early 1960s was Kettering 29, Ohio.
      I hope this helps.

  4. Ken says:

    Dear Sirs or any helpful person,

    Long ago in the 1970’s I worked at both the Dayton State Hospital and the Toledo State Hospital. I don’t know the exact dates or even the exact years with any real accuracy. How would I go about finding information about my employment at those institutions? I am even unsure if the IRS has any helpful information regarding my employment at that time. Would the Ohio State Tax Department retain any such information from that long past?


  5. James Dailey says:


    Our historical collections have some of overlap on several significant subjects. This includes the Dayton State Hospital. I’ve yet to pay a visit to your archives. May I request an audience with you?

    • billstolz says:

      Mr. Dailey,

      Please note the official records of the Dayton State Hospital are located with the Ohio History Connection in Columbus. Our reading room is open to the general public and we are here Monday-Friday from 8:30am-5pm. Additional information on our collections and services are available here.

  6. deloria A doolin says:

    How do I find records of a family member placed in the Dayton Mental Hospital in the 1960s and 1970s?

  7. Rick Patterson says:

    Research tip: January of 1971 name changed from Dayton State Hospital to Dayton Mental Health Center.

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