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State Hospitals: Historical Patient Records: Ah-Gwah-Ching Sanatorium

Historical patient, employee, and student records from Minnesota State Hospitals

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Ah-Gwah-Ching Sanatorium

The Minnesota Sanatorium for Consumptives was opened in 1907. The sanatorium was popularly, and its post office officially, known as Ah-Gwah-Ching. Staff included physicians as well as male and female nurses, who were supervised by a steward and matron, respectively. Treatment concentrated mainly on bed rest but in extreme cases included thoracic surgery. In 1957, the official name of the sanatorium was changed to the Minnesota State Sanatorium. After its closing in 1961, the sanatorium at Glen Lake (Hennepin County) was designated as the state facility for tubercular patients. The facilities at Walker became the Ah-Gwah-Ching Nursing Home, a state institution for geriatric patients.

Patient records for the Ah-Gwah-Ching Sanatorium can be viewed in person at the library or ordered online from our  State Hospital Records Request

Patient Records

To order state hospital records for an individual visit our State Hospital Records Request.  

Patient Index Cards, 1907-1962

Patient information cards giving name, address, sex, date of birth, admission and discharge dates, discharge condition, and other information
MNHS call number: Digital Finding Aid

Patient Registers, 1907-1961
Patient registers (1907-1961), include patient number, admission data, examined by, name and address, county, sex, age, marital status, religion, occupation and place of business, maintained by (county or USIS), dependent, family physician, date of discharge, payment, and data on relatives or friends. The volume for August 1921 - July 1925 is missing. Also admission and death registers (November 1943-April 1960). The admission data (November 1943-April 1960) includes patient number and name, admitting date and doctor, age, sex, floor, address, county, marital status, guarantee, veteran, and physician. The death data (January 1944-February 1960) includes patient number, name and address, death date, hour and attending physician, autopsy performed by, cause of death, and mortician.
MNHS call number: Digital Finding Aid

Patient Records, 1908-1975
Records containing information on patients, many on individual patients. They include movement of population records (1908-1975); monthly reports to the State Board/Dept. of Health (1932-1947, 1952-1954); patient admission/application files (1909-1961), examination/X-ray records (1920-1953) and social histories (1953-1961); post-mortem reports (1920-1927, 1935-1961), death records (1921-1953), and cemetery record (1940-1947, 1959); patient follow-up letters (1934-1940); and birth certificate stubs (1937-1941).
MNHS call number: Digital Finding Aid

Aggregated Patient Cards, 1920s-1990s
Part of the Department of Human Services Administrative Records
Aggregated patient index cards from various state hospitals; information includes name, Department of Public Welfare number, birth date, birth place, county of commitment, county of residence, occupation, hospital, hospital case number, social security number, admittance history. Patients may have multiple cards.
MNHS call numberDigital Finding Aid

Note: These records include private information about individuals. Records with private information are closed for 75 years from date of last entry in the record. Researchers must apply for permission to use these records.  Click here for more information on accessing restricted records. 

Employee Records

Miscellaneous Employee Records, 1928-1967
Staff appointments and resignations register, 1945-1967, employee attitude survey, 1960-1961, and personnel record cards, circa 1928-1948. Entries in the Staff appointments and resignations register continue into the period after 1962 when the sanatorium officially became the Ah-Gwah-Ching Nursing Home.
MNHS call number: Digital Finding Aid

Payroll Registers, 1907-1908, 1918-1956
For each pay period, the registers list employee’s name, position, regular and overtime hours worked, board allowance, payroll deductions, and net earned, and sometimes include other remarks.
MNHS call number: Digital Finding Aid

Minnesota Division of Public Institutions Personnel Service Records- Ah-Gwah-Ching, 1934-1938.
Cards listing employee name, address, position, salary, brief statement of duties, data on previous state service, education, training, and personal and family information.
MNHS call number: See the finding aid in the library (Social Security Department: Public Institutions Division).

Note: These records include private information about individuals. Records with private information are closed for 75 years from date of last entry in the record. Researchers must apply for permission to use these records.  Click here for more information on accessing restricted records. 

Other Records

Oral History Interview Transcripts, 1970s​
Transcripts of interviews with 31 former patients and staff of the sanatorium and nursing home. Mainly with staff in the maintenance, nursing, business, laundry and household, and dairy areas, and a guard, dietitian, doctors, and pastor; the transcripts detail activities and work at the sanatorium, treatments, recreations, its jail, and the transition from sanatorium to nursing home.
MNHS call number: See the finding aid in the library (Ah-Gwah-Ching Sanatorium (Minnesota State Sanatorium)).

Ah-Gwah-Ching Nursing Home Records, 1937-2008
The records include annual reports, admission and death records, subject and correspondence files,committee and governing board records, photographs, weekly menus, employee records, published materials, and health department licensing and certification records.
MNHS call number: Digital Finding Aid

The Pine Knot, 1916-1925
Ah-gwah-ching, Cass County, Minn.: State Sanatorium,
MNHS call number: RC313.M6 A3 (v.1-3 in FOLIO)

The Moccasin
The Moccasin started in March 1938 and was in continuous monthly publication through April 1948, although the first issue was actually entitled Ching Sing. From May 1948 to March 1952 publication ceased. It began again in April 1952 and ended with the June 1957 issue.
MNHS call number: See the finding aid in the library (Ah-Gwah-Ching Sanatorium (Minnesota State Sanatorium)).

Note: These records include private information about individuals. Records with private information are closed for 75 years from date of last entry in the record. Researchers must apply for permission to use these records.  Click here for more information on accessing restricted records. 

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