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State Hospitals: Historical Patient Records: Willmar

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

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Willmar State Hospital

The Willmar State Hospital was established by the legislature in 1907 as the Hospital Farm for Inebriates. It admitted patients who voluntarily sought treatment for addiction to alcohol or drugs. Construction of the facility to accommodate fifty patients was completed in 1912 at a site in Willmar, in Kandiyohi County.  In 1917, the hospital expanded its program to include treatment of the mentally ill and became known as the Asylum for the Insane at Willmar. The name of the hospital was changed to Willmar State Asylum in 1919, and to Willmar State Hospital in 1937. The hospital provided care and treatment for patients who were transferred from other state institutions until 1951, when it became a receiving hospital. In 1985 the name was changed to Willmar Regional Treatment Center. In a much reduced capacity, the hospital now treats patients from twenty counties in southwestern Minnesota.

Patient records for the Willmar State Hospital 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 Records, 1907-2008

Records documenting patients in the hospital, including statistical records and patient index cards, population movement reports, inmate property record, admission log books, autopsy and death records, tuberculosis reports, commitment papers, burial records, and surgical records.
MNHS call number: Digital Finding Aid

Patient Registers and Indexes- Willmar, 1912-1924
Part of the Minnesota Division of Public Institutions Series
Alphabetical index by patient name, and statistical record that may include admission date, patient’s name and residence, relative, gender, age, marital status, nativity, parents’ nativity, occupation, habits, number of attacks, insane relations, number of admissions, previous hospital residence, discharge date, condition on discharge, and remarks.
MNHS call number: Digital Finding Aid

Index to Burials in Cemetery, 1912-1976
Index to burials in the Willmar State Hospital cemetery, compiled by hospital staff from extant records in the facility. Gives name and grave number only. 
MNHS call number: 112.K.15.6F

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

Personnel Records, 1912-1946
Records documenting hospital personnel. Includes payroll registers and personnel services records.
MNHS call number: Digital Finding Aid

Minnesota Division of Public Institutions Personnel Service Records- Willmar, 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

Index to Burials in Cemetery, 1912-1976
Index to burials in the Willmar State Hospital cemetery, compiled by hospital staff from extant records in the facility. Gives name and grave number only. 
MNHS call number: 112.K.15.6F

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