The 1923 Prison Riot at Eddyville

Author’s note: Though most reports, including the death certificate, list Walters’ first name as Monte, there were reports that his name was actually Chester Walters. Additionally, these reports refute the Texas listing as his place of birth and list him as being born in Iowa. For this post, Walters will be referred to as Monte…

A Brief Look at the Use of Psychosurgery

At the 1949 Proceedings of the First Research Conference on Psychosurgery, Charles C. Limburg of the Human Resources Division, Department of the Air Force, presented his research findings, A Survey on the Use of Psychosurgery with Mental Patients in the United States. To begin, Limburg briefly examined a 1949 article written by Lawrence C. Kolb…

A Brief Look at Public Health Nursing in Kentucky

In the early 20th-century in Kentucky, a growing movement to educate the public about communicable and preventable diseases began taking place. Kentuckians and, arguably, many other Americans were reluctantly content with allowing the progression of diseases for any number of reasons; largely due to a lack of public health education and tools needed to combat…

Trachoma in Kentucky

Sonnet inspired by the sight of a Kentucky child who was restored from blindness A little girl am I, that once was blindAnd shut in darkness from the shining day,And God through you, your loving heart and kind,From prison led me to the sun-lit wayWhere other children walk and dance and seeThe waving trees, the…

Kentucky’s Female-Led Bacteriology Laboratory

In 1910, Kentucky’s General Assembly established the Commonwealth’s first State Laboratory of Bacteriology in a tiny room in Bowling Green at St. Joseph’s Hospital. The room cost the state nothing and was also furnished by the hospital. Dr. Lillian H. South was voted, unanimously, as the State Bacteriologist making her among the first women in…

The Early Anti-Tuberculosis Movement in Kentucky

How Was Tuberculosis Medically Defined in the early 1900s? When affecting the lungs, it was often referred to as pulmonary tuberculosis or consumption and was classified as an infectious and communicable disease. It was common in humans and some animals, especially in cattle. About 1/4th of all deaths occurring in humans during adult life in…

The Louisville Mental Hygiene Clinic

Established in 1914, the Louisville Mental Hygiene Clinic began as a program of Louisville’s Board of Education as an attempt to aid with “unusual” children both “defective” and those of “superior” intelligence. Approximately six years later the program developed into a Psychological Clinic that was located on East Walnut Street. Aside from moving once again…

A Brief History of the Ambulance

Early Ambulance History In 1864 the United States Congress enacted the Union Army Ambulance Corps. Getting sick and wounded soldiers to surgeons as quickly as possible proved to be a frustrating issue with both the Union and Confederate armies. The sheer ratio of soldiers to surgeons prohibited most surgeons from going directly to soldiers on…

They Call Her Sybil: The Case of Shirley Ardell Mason

It was a case that entranced the entire nation and, arguably, the world during the 1960s and 1970s. Dr. Cornelia B. Wilbur, a medical doctor, and psychiatrist, previously on staff at the University of Kentucky Medical Center, presented the case of Sybil Isabel Dorsett to the nation. The case of young Sybil resulted in a…