Kirkbride Buildings Blog

May 22nd, 2008

Explore Clarinda! Well, sorta… maybe…

Clarinda State HospitalThe museum in the former Clarinda State Hospital Kirkbride will be open to the public (without the need for an appointment) on Saturday, June 7th. It’ll be open as part of an Explore Clarinda Day sponsored by the city’s tourism committee.

I found out about this here: Explore Clarinda Allows Residents to See City Like Tourists. What’s not clear from the article is whether non-residents will be allowed to participate. If you don’t live in Clarinda and plan on going, you should probably call ahead just to be sure. You can always call to schedule a visit some other time too. The museum is well worth seeing. The city of Clarinda itself is a really pleasant place to visit as well. I recommend taking a trip there if you live in the general area.

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  1. Suzy Doud Tilden Mortimer September 10, 2010, 10:07 am

    My grandmother Rosa Doud Tilden Irons was put in Clarinda during 1900s because she had TB and died there 1913. I wonder how well she was cared for and what type of experience she had?
    She is buried with her son Carl in unmarked grave at Woodland cemetary. I have been researching this information since being in Des Moines for the past five months. Her father founded Doud Iowa so don’t understand why they turned their back on her. She was my father’s mother and he was left as an orpahn.

  2. Debra Harris October 12, 2010, 3:54 pm

    My great grandmother was also a resident at Clarinda State Hospital due to TB. Her name was Lula Cornish and I located her through 1925 Census at the hospital. I believe she passed away the same year. I am trying to locate information on her burial and whether or not there would be any photos of her along with admission papers showing family information. Any assistance in locating burial or information would be very much appreciated. Thank you.

  3. William Lee August 25, 2011, 11:09 pm

    To Suzy and Debra. On the second floor of the north wing is a museum and in it is a lot of info about treatments used and how the patients lived.Also each of the rooms on that wing are arranged to show different parts of the complex. The hospital was very advanced in its treament and patients were treated very well. They were all encouraged to active with one of the many things the patients did to keep up the hospital. On the grounds is a cemetery that is still there and many of the stones can still be read. In those days, much was not known about how to treat many of the illnesses so patients tended to stay for long periods of time. They also had a hospital on the grounds. It was called Hope Hall. One of the things they did was put people from the same area together so they would feel more at home. Tours of the museum can be arranged by calling the business office. There are several papers that have been collected about the hospital and how it all worked. There have been many dedicated and concerned people who worked there for many years. Try calling 712-542-2161 and I am sure someone can point you to info about that era of the hospital.

  4. Jason Cornish September 12, 2011, 1:39 pm


    Do you have any information on Lula’s parents? I have a Lula Cornish in my line that I am trying to get info on.

  5. Susan L. Moss August 22, 2012, 3:11 pm

    I am reserching my fathers family and just found that my Great- Grandmother was a patient at Clarinda in 1925. Where would I be able to find out why she was ther and for how long. She passed away in 1927 and is buried in a family crypt so was not destitute.

  6. Gerald Harris August 26, 2013, 11:32 pm

    How can I find out if my great grandfather died at the state asylum there at Clarinda?

  7. Ethan August 27, 2013, 12:16 am

    I’m not sure since I’ve never researched hospital records in Iowa, but I think a good first move would be to contact the state department of mental health and the state archives. They might be able to help you find your relatives’ records.

    Iowa Department of Mental Health

    Iowa State Archives

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