From: The Oakland Daily Evening Tribune, 22 January 1876, Page 3, Column 2-3


An Analysis and List of Cases of Insanity in Alameda County During the Year 1875

There were thirty-one persons committed to the State Insane Asylum from this county last year. Of these, twenty were males and eleven females. Of the males, thirteen were unmarried, five were married, one was divorced, and one had been deserted by his wife. Of the females, seven were married, three unmarried, and one divorced. America furnished twelve, Ireland six, England, France, Norway and China, each two, Switzerland, Germany, Bavaria and the Pacific Islands, one each, and the nativity of one was uknown. Of the twelve Americans, New York gave birth to seven, and Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri and Iowa one each. Three of the commitments were made in January, two in March, two in April, three in May, one in June, one in July, five in September, six in October, five in November and three in December-- none being made in February or August. Seventeen of the cases were put down to unknown causes, five to religious fervor, three to domestic and two to business troubles, one to domestic and business troubles, one to domestic and business troubles and brother Hammond's revival meetings, one to brother Hammond's meetings alone, one to onanism, and one to special or hereditary causes. Following is a list of the names of the unfortunate ones, together with the nativity, age, occupation, state in life, nature of malady and the cause in each case, so far as could be ascertained by Judge Nye of the County Court and the examining physicians:

January 23- William H. McFarran, aged 33, unmarried, nativity unknown, last from Colorado; led fast life during the war, when he was a quartermaster's clerk; chronic mania, imagines he has committed crime [sic] and that a mob is after him.

January 29- Ah Jim, age unknown, native of China; acute mania, violent and incendiary disposition.

January 29- Bella Brown (nee Hamilton), aged about 36, native of Ireland or Scotland, married to James Brown (third husband), has had one child (now dead), last from Oregon, physician and teacher by occupation; religious mania, imagines she is in the immediate keeping of, and has direct communication with God. [The same woman whom Father powers [sic], of San Francisco, brutally treated in March or April of 1874].

March 8- Samuel Bell, aged 42, native of Ireland, married and has three children, last from Chicago, carpenter by occupation; religious mania, superinduced by attending the Hammond revival meetings; suicidal disposition; imagines people are trying to kill him, thinks he has committed great sins and says he "must die for Christ," and has delusions of sight and hearing.

March 26- Joseph A. Carleton, aged 36, native of Massachusetts, married; dementia, superinduced by the desertion of his wife; suicidal disposition.

April [?]- Adolph Rige, aged 46, native of France, unmarried; mania; noisy and violent, sleepless, incoherency of language and actions.

April 24- Catherine Irene Hughes (nee Kennedy), aged about 45, native of New York City, married to Thomas J. Hughes, has three children; dementia, frequently violent; loss of memory.

May 5- William F. Bates, aged 53, native of England, married, has three adult children, miner by occupation; dementia, softening of the brain, superinduced by anxiety and trouble from the loss of $20,000 expended on the construction of a flume, some years ago.

May 28- Isaac Lightner, native of Missouri, aged 48, divorced, children dead, in California since 1849, millwright and machinist by occupation; melancholia and domestic trouble, aggavated [sic] by several weeks attendance on the Hammond revival meetings.

May 31- Frank Godfrey, native of Michigan, aged 23, unmarried, last from Colorado; melancholia, imagines he is the devil and can do nothing to please anybody; suicidal disposition, took laudnum [sic] twice and threw himself before a train of cars.

June 21- Walter Townsend, native of New York, aged 24, single, last from Colorado; dementia, sometimes violent.

July 10- Clara Harris (wife of Edward Harris), native of New York, aged 32, married and has four children, been in California 23 years; melancholia.

September 3- E. Williams, native of Norway, aged 23, unmarried, painter by occupation; mania, tending to dementia; incendiary disposition.

September 17- Hiram Nordyke, native of Iowa, aged 26, unmarried; acute mania from onanism; violent and dangerous.

September 21- Ah Jim, native of China, aged 18; melancholia; homicidal disposition.

September 24- Ernest E. Stevens, native of New York, been in California since 1853; dementia; loss of memory, violent.

September 28- Amelia A. Morrill, native of New York, aged 35, divorced, last from St. Louis, book canvasser by occupation; monomania, great trepidation; domestic trouble the supposed cause.

October 11- Sarah Ahern (nee Manion), native of Ireland, aged about 35, married to William J. Ahern, no children living, last from New York; mania, delusions of sight and hearing; homicidal and incendiary disposition.

October 13-Ellen Frances Dyer, native of Maine, aged 20, single, been in California sixteen years; melancholia, superinduced by the suppression of the menses, superadded to a hereditary tendency to insanity; decided disposition to suicide.

October 14- Frank Silva, native of the Western Islands, aged about 33, unmarried, last from Massachusetts; melancholia from unknown cause; "imagines that somebody is filling him up with something" and lives in the tules.

October 16- Philip Muller, native of Bavaria, aged 53, unmarried, last from New York; monomania; imagines people are trying to play tricks on him.

October 21- J. Y. Harrison, native of New York, aged 42, physician by profession, been in California twenty-two years; melancholia, arising from lack of success in life and unrequited affections.

October 27- Margaret K. Gressee (nee Kleinert), native of Switzerland, aged 47, wife of Henry Gressee, has had three children, only one of which is living, last from New York; mania; attempted to cut her throat and throw herself under the cars; imagines she can have no happiness in this world.

November 5- Margaret Givens, (nee Nolan), wife of J. D. Givens, native of Ireland, aged 42, came from Tennessee in 1853, has two children; melancholia; imagines her neighbors are conspiring against her.

November 5- George Dickens, native of England, aged 62, married, last from Rhode Island; melancholia; his wife deserted him, and he wanders from house to house in search of her and disturbs the neighbors at night by calling for her.

November 6- Thomas Hayes, native of Ireland, aged about 40, married and has four children, last from Illinois; monomania, imagines that hoodlums are constantly pursuing him and trying to hang him. His family is in Illinois.

November 10- Petra G. Hagen, native of Norway, aged 20, unmarried; acute mania; imagines "the spirits" control her.

November 18- Dorothe Petzschler (nee Weht), native of France, aged 53, wife of Duston Petzschler, last from Victoria; mania, imagines she is a titled person and is surrounded by the nobility; became insane from loss of property.

December 6- Frederick Murdock, native of Germany, came to California six months ago overland and on foot; dementedl declined to talk.

December 17- Andrew W. Feary, native of Brooklyn, N. Y. aged 29, married, has two children, marble cutter by occupation; mania, extremely violent, homicidal, and suicidal disposition.

December 18- Mary Barry, native of Ireland, aged 45, last from Pennsylvania; imbecility from unknown cause, loss of memory, mind changeable without apparent cause.