Fulton State Hospital

The Missouri State Lunatic Asylum was established by an act of the Missouri General Assembly in 1847. The hospital opened in 1851 not only as the first public asylum in Missouri, but also as the first public asylum west of the Mississippi. The asylum was housed within a small Kirkbride building designed by architect Solomon Jenkins.

The small building quickly became overcrowded and suffered from other design flaws. The hospital closed in 1861 due to the Civil War, and the building was used as a barracks by Union troops. In 1863, the hospital reopened and has been in operation ever since. The main building acquired many additions over the span of its life. Beginning in the late 1880s, architect Morris Frederick Bell engineered large scale changes to the hospital, including modifications that significantly altered the Kirkbride's appearance. Further additions were added as the hospital grew in size through the twentieth century.

In 1956, a fire damaged the administration section and the wing sections on either side. The administration section was demolished and a replacement was completed in 1958. Today, Fulton State Hospital continues to provide care for the mentally ill. The original building however appears to have been either completely demolished or mostly torn down and modified beyond recognition.

Other names for this hospital:

  • Missouri State Lunatic Asylum
  • State Lunatic Asylum No. 1
  • State Hospital No. 1


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