1911 Investigation

Governor Walter E. ClarkJoseph Von Kowski was adjudged insane in Tanana on March 13, 1911 and admitted to Morningside Hospital on April 15, 1911. He only stayed at the hospital for a short time, escaping on July 15. He subsequently wrote a letter to the matron of the Fairbanks Jail alleging that Morningside was “worst than any slaughterhouse from the beginning of the World” and that patients were “kept as slaves.” He also maintained that patients were tied up and beaten.

Walter Clark (right), Alaska’s first territorial governor, went to Morningside and spent 4 days “investigating  conditions at the asylum”, where he conferred with Edward Dixon, the Department of the Interior inspector who also conducted the 1909 inspection.

The following documents detail the complaint and investigation.

Von Kowski Complaint: September 21, 9122 (0), Governor Clark Letter: December 11, 1911 (472), Dixon Inspection Report: December 29, 1911 (556)

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