Superintendent of the State Infirmary House

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  • Superintendent of the State Infirmary House

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Superintendent of the State Infirmary House


This is a house now being used as a residence of the Superintendent of the State Infirmary. It was built and owned by Henry A. Jones, M. D., then known as the Resident Physician of the State Institutions. This house was sold by him to the State for a very nominal sum, to provide a home for the Resident Protestant Chaplain. This event did not come to pass and the house has been used for the housing of officers of the State Hospital until of recent years, when it was turned over as a residence for the Superintendent of the State Infirmary. This house adjoins the Brick Oven, so-called, and faces on Pontiac Avenue, and has gradually been encompassed by the gradual acquisition by the State of the farm which was immediately back of it.
Excerpt from: Scrapbook, c. 1930 of properties at Howard (Accession 1998-121)

It was the infusion of large amounts of federal Works Progress Administration (WPA) funds that dramatically altered the appearance of the Howard complex and permitted, if briefly, appropriate physical accommodation for patients, inmates, and attendants. Overcrowding has been a chronic problem at Howard and only the large-scale construction program of the WPA could solve it. Despite the building effort of the 1920s, in 1933 the State Hospital, with accommodations for 1,550, housed 2,235 and was labeled the most overcrowded mental hospital in the northeast.
Excerpt from: Historical Preservation Commission’s Statewide Historical Preservation Report P-C-1 on Cranston, 1980

See also:
Cranston: National Register of Historic Places, 1984

Report of the Committee of State Charities and Corrections Upon the State Institutions at Cranston, Made to the Senate, at its January Session, 1883

Report of the Joint Special Committee on the State Asylum for the Insane Made to the General Assembly at its January Session, A.D. 1868

Rhode Island Historical Preservation Commission:  Statewide Preservation Reports, 1975 - 1982

Article Written by William F. Gleason, M.D....on a State School for Feeble-Minded Children, 1907

Report of State Commission on Public Welfare Institutions, 1943

Special Legislative Commission to Study the Howard Complex records, 1970-1972

Annual Report of the State Hospital for Mental Diseases, 1922-1935

Mother's Aid Annual Report of the State Public Welfare Commission to the General Assembly, 1923 - 1935

State Home and School Annual Report, 1898-1935

External Related Resources:
Rhode Island Historical Society: Rhode Island State Institutions Records, 1839-1968 (bulk 1885-1944)

Missouri State Archives exhibit- Quest for a Cure: Care and Treatment in Missouri's First State Mental Hospital


Accession 1998-121 - Scrapbook of [Photographs], c. 1930 of properties at Howard (Cranston)


Rhode Island State Archives


c. 1930


Copyright is in the public domain unless otherwise specified. We reserve the right to restrict reproduction of materials due to preservation concerns.





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Rhode Island. State Public Welfare Commission, "Superintendent of the State Infirmary House," in Virtual Exhibits, Item #802, (accessed October 15, 2019).