Dayton State Hospital

October 22, 2013
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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9 Responses to Dayton State Hospital

  1. Anne smith on June 14, 2014 at 2:43 pm

    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..

    • Teresa Kidd on June 3, 2016 at 1:14 am

      Ohio Archives in Columbus has what records there are but there aren’t many.

    • John-William Duke on July 16, 2016 at 9:10 pm

      If she died and was buried in the Asylum Cemetery, Woodland Cemetery in Dayton owns that land now and would have burial records on her

  2. theresa bomkamp on July 25, 2016 at 4:03 pm

    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 on January 8, 2017 at 4:24 pm

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

    • Bill Stolz on January 25, 2017 at 8:41 am

      Ms. Baker,

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

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