Oregon Historical County Records Guide
Gilliam 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.
Insane commitment records are also documented in the probate registers, journals, and case files. See the appropriate probate record series in this inventory.
Records at the Oregon State Archives:
Insane Commitment [Case Files], 1885-1903 (.15 cu.ft.);
Journal of Insane Commitments, vol. 1, 1888-1901 (1 volume);
Record of Insane [with index], vol. 2, 1901-1929 (1 volume).
Records at the Gilliam County Courthouse, Clerk's Vault:
Commitments [Insane], 1956-1961 (.10 cu.ft.);
Misc Items [includes mental examination and commitment records-trifolded], 1950-1956 (.05 cu.ft.).
Records at the Gilliam County Courthouse, Lower Vault:
[County Court Probate and Law Journal-includes mental commitment information], 1885 (1 volume).
Records at the Gilliam County Courthouse, Circuit Court Trial Clerk's Office, Room 209:
[Mental Commitment Case Files], 1989-present (.20 cu.ft.).