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The Pickens sentinel-journal. (Pickens, S.C.) 1909-1911, May 13, 1909, Image 1

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Entered April 23, 1903 at Plekens, S. C. as second clas matter, under act of Congress of March 3,1879
39th Year PICKENS. S. C., MAY 13, 1909. Number 6
Alleged "Inside Stories" of the States
Mad House Told to the Investigat
ing Commission.
Columbia, May 6.-The tak
ing of testimony by the commit
tee appointed under an act of
the last legislature to investigate
the affairs of the State Hospital
for the Insane commenced yes
terday, one witness, an expati
ent of the institution being on
the stand until shortly after 1
o'clock. In answer to the ques
tions he told of the conditions as
he saw them at the institution
during his stay of several years,
and also made several sugges
tions as to the remedy of these
conditions. The names of all
witnesses are withheld.
A former patient of the insti
tution came to the hearing in
what seemed to be a drunken,
condition, and was promptly re
fused admission by the marshal.
It is said that he was to testify,
but when his condition became
known he was turned down.
He had received a letter from
one of the investigating commit
tee, asking him to meet the com
mitte but failed to appear the
evening before, but he had never
been officially subponaed.
AmongAhe charges made by
th witness were, that pati
ts of the fifth ward of the
hospital had been hathed in the
same water: that amusements
for the patients had not been en
couraged by the managment;
that patient, because he had tri
ed to spit in a nurse's face, had
been whipped and then strapped;
that the kitchen was very un
clean; that the managment was
not particular sbout the personal
appearance of the patients; that
one of the nurses had placed
straps on one of the patients just
for the sport of it: that he knew
of a patient who had been
thrown into a frenzy by a nurse
teasing him, and that the pati
ent was then strapped; that pa
tients often tease each other;
that he went to the room of a
paralytic, and that the paraly
tic's bed was in such a condition
that he, with tears in his eyes,
apologized that one of the nurses
had made a minister who was
confined in the hospital mad by
saving to him "Come on, old
man and take your medicine;"
that often (lelicacies intended for
the patients were used by the
- The witness was a young man
hardly over thirty years of age,
who has been confined in the
hospital on two different occa
sions. He was very intelligent
and made a most excellent wit*
ness, answering every question
without hesitation. His enun
ciation was clear and he seemed
to be very anxious to make him.
self understood on all statements
He spoke of the different dining
places, naming them as the "lit
tie pay," "big pay" and "gen
eral iness hail," telling of them,
as he did to the best of his know
In the general mess hall, he
said, tin plates were used and
the meal was served in them.
He declared that many of the
patients complained bitterly of
the fare, but sonme ate right
along and never made complaint
Said he had never been in the
kitchen. b ut had looked in and
everything was very dirty.
Did not know whether the c'ooks
were hired or not. That to his
knowledge the vegetables used
came from the farm of the insti
tution. Saidl he was very fond
4 of soup but had had his taste
destroy ed by finding a wvorm in
the macaroni soup. Said on the
whole the soup was good.
When asked concerning the but
ter used on the table. declared il
seemed to be butterinec and h4
dislikedI it. As to hominy, saih
he thought it was ground on th4
place but he had found a weevi
in it.
Coming to the matter of bath
ing patients, he said that it was
the custom of bathing them
once a week and that very often
the old and feeble ones were
bathed by other patients. Saw
on one occasion several patients
of the fifth ward bathed in the
same tub of water, but that he
did not stay to look at the pro
ceedings. Said that the bath
room of the fifth ward was very
uncleanly. Said that the socks
of the patients wearing state
clothes were of cotton. All pati
ents of his ward had beds and
that he had never heard of any
sleeping on the floor.
When asked why he did not
report a certain condition to the
authorities, he said that he did
not think it of any use and that
it might get him in trouble.
Said that Dr. Thompson was
very punctual to make the
rounds over the entire male de
partment, and that feeling to
ward him was one of the great
est respect. Said that the
nurses were forgetful in the mat
ter of giving medicine. Knew
of one patient who had been fed
with a tube, and had himself
been threatened.
He told of an incident, when
he and several others were play
ing cards in the alcove and sta
ted that one in the party was
smoking and that one of the
nurses spoke to the man very
roughly without first asking
him to stop.
In reference to the diversion
of the patients, he stated that
the only amusements contribu
ted by the state were cards and
a weekly dance. That some
patients made checker boards or
bought them and played check
ers. Told of how baseball had
been inaugurated by several of
the patients, and that it was a
great pleasure to many. Wit
ness declared that the only thing
that had done him any good dur
ing his stay at the hospital was
the restraint and baseball, but
that the food and air was all
against me.
Told of how he had been invi
ted to the room of one of the
nurses and given a slice off of a
turkey, which was concealed in
a drawer in the room. In the
matter of discharging patients
from the institution he said that
he knew one in the place at the
present tine that should be out.
Declared that while Dr. Bab
cock was in Europe, conditions
were better in some respects,
and that sports were encouraged.
That the only way that Dr. Bab
cock discouraged sports was by
his indifference, and that as soon
as he returned from Europe the
lady patients stopped attending
the baseball games.
Could not recollect any in
stance of friction between the
nurses and attendants and the
management. Had heard of
several employes of the institu
tion being discharged.
Was whipped once and after
wards strapped, because he
thought that he had been order
ed to spit at a nurse. Said that
he had heard several nurses talk
ing, who, commenting upon the
fact, said that Dr. Thompson
had better never .see those
Did not notice any well order
ed attempt to interest patients
in any occupation.
Had heard nurses complain
that other nurses were eating
delicacies bought or sent to pati
etfts, because the patients didn't
have sense enough to object.
Knew several nurses, who
would tease patients, just to
hear them scream and halloo.
Said in reference to a paralytic
that during two years time he
saw him bathed only once.
That most of the patients had
soap and towels.
Trhe hearing will continue
for several days, judging from
the slow progress made at the
first session. The boards of re
gents will not at the present
time employ an attorney, but
Iwill wait until they are forced to.
At the afternoon session an
told of his experiences at the
hospital. He declared that he
had contracted tuberculosis
while a patient. Did not re
member when walls of rooms
had been white washed. His
chief objection was to the nurses
and keepers and also that he
lid not receive employment.
The last witness was a former
keeper who had been discharged
by the authorities. His story
vas practically the same as the
)ther two witnesses.
A letter was read from Mr.
Fred H. Wines of Beaufort, N.
4., an expert, who has been em
ployed by the committee to look
nto conditions and make sug
zestions. Ie says that "the
estiimony of patients and dis
:harged employes must always
)e taken with several grains of
illowance for mental perversion
>r prejudice."
Dr. J. L. Thompson, assistant
hysician of the State Hospital
or the Insane was on the stand
or the greater part of the (lay,
>efore the conmitte appointed
;o investigate the affairs of the
nstitution. This step was a
adical departure from the pro
eedings of the previous day,
hen two ex-patients and a
ormer keeper were heard. It
eems to be the intention of the
ommittee to learn the condi
ions of the hospital in the past
nd the present time, from the
cen who have charge and real
y know just the state of affairs.
From the testimony today it is
vident that the investigation is
oing to be constructive rather
han destructive and that the in
titutinn is badly in need of
nore funds. The need of funds
was biought very strongly when
Dr. Thompson was questioned
in reference to the cost per cap
ta of the patients.
The vory interesting state
rnents by Dr. Thompson were
that the unsanitary condition
was due to the lack of discipline
and that the responsibility lies
too small help and the disloyalty
of nurses.
After Dr. Thompson had been
questioned by the members of
the investigation committee for
seeral hours,Dr. J. WV. Bab
cock, superintendent of the in
stitution took the floor and ask
ed him several very important
questions in reference to his
(Dr. Babcock's) administration
of affairs.
Dr. Babcock in speaking of
cruelty to patients asked Dr.
Thmpson if it was not true that
he had heard that the superin
tendent had caned one of the
nurses, a man by the name of
Kinard for cruelty to a patient,
in answer to which Dr. Thomp
son replied that he had.
Among the most import ant
points brought out by the testi
mony of Dr. Thompson were
that there being no way to seg
regate contagious diseases, nat
urally many other patients
were effected; that the number
of attendants was too small for
the number of patients;that the
condition of the kitchen was not
sanitary from a hospital stand
point; that the conditions in th e
Parker building were bad; that
the food was not altogether ap
petizing and wholesome; that
about fifty patients did not have
beds; that there was no well or
dered system andl organization
about the institution and that
the management were not in
touch with each other.
Several cooks and several pa
tients employed in the kitchen.
Patient cooks handle the food.
That the cooks bathe once each
week. That the place where
the cooks sleep was in a very
foul condition. Never had seen
any of the negroes in the insti
tution walking around in the
In speaking of food, saidl that
the preparation was not ap
petizing to a person of sound
mind. Some foods was nutri
tious and some was not. Nutri
tious food necessary. No ex
amination was made of em
ployes in kitchen. Asked about
thir arrying- germs or diseases
into the kitchen, said it was
probable that they would.
Thought in a general way that
patients got enough to eat.
Pantry where food was kept af
ter being carried from the kitch
en by a "dumb waiter' to the
dining hall was not clean. Some
patients slept on floor on quilts
and their food was -placed there
beside them. Dishes washed by
patients and not properly done.
Plates not as clean as should
be and were sometimes greasy.
Plates and cups were of tin.
Had complained to the superin
tendent about the conditions of
affiars in the kitchen, but had
never complained to the board
of regents.
Dr. Thompson is assistant
physician of the institution and
has charge of the male white
patients. He has been connect
ed with the hospital for several
years and told of the conditions
during his stay. When asked
concerning the death rate
among the tuberculosis patients
he said that it was very light,
but that there was no way to
prevent the spread of a con
tagious disease. That manage
ment could manage a small epi
demic. Stated that there were
fifteen attedants over 357 pa
tients in his department. Bed
ding was not kept as clean as it
might be. That it is claimed
that wood beds can not be kept
sanitary. Many bed-bugs and
both body and head lice. Be
lieved it had been eight or ten
years since first ward had been
Declared competent man not
in charge of the main mess hall
where over 200 patients were
feed. Nurses and patients
waited on the table. Cups and
plates were unclean. Very
likely that some of the patients
realized the condition of place.
Coffee grounds found in plate
of fried eggs. Very careless
way of cooking and method of
unclean. Not acquainted with
conditions at the dairy. Had
been there only once at milking
time. Declared that a patient
working in the milk house was
Clerk Got A Loan of $20,000
The published statement that
H. C. Frick has paid $330,000
for the famous portrait of
Christina of Norway, by Hans
Holbein, reminds old-timers of
how Frick's love for art was at
one time almost his undoing.
Frick was a young clerk in
the Connellsville coke region
when he saw what he consider
ed an excellent chance for in
vestment in coal lands. But he
had no money. He wrote to
Thomas Mellon, then one of the
biggest bankers in the state,
asking for a loan of $20,000.
The application was so
"nervy" that it interested
Mellon, and he decided to look
into the matter. He sent a
trse lan to the coke region
tlokover Frick, who was
keeping a bachelor's apart
ments in a one-story clapboard
shack. The agent found the
place scrupulously clean, and
the walls of Frick's room hung
with pictures and prints, some
of which he had made himself.
He came back and reported
that the youngster was evident
ly "frittering his time away"
making pictures.
Banker Mellon then sent J. P.
Corey of Pittsburg, to look
young Frick up. Corey report
ed that he didn't think the
nervy young man was making
enough pictures "to hurt." Mel
lon made the loan and it gave
Frick his start in the world.
Lived 152 Years.
Win. Parr-England's oldest man
married the third time at 120, worked
in the fields till 132 and lived 20 years
longer. People should be youthful at
80. James Wright, of Spurlock, Ky.,
shows how to remain young. "I feel
jutlike a 18-year-old boy." he writee,
'after taking six bottles of Electric Bit
ters. For thirty years kidney trouble
made life a burden. but the first bottle
of this wonderful medicine convinced
me I had found the greatest cure on
earth." Thley're a godsend to weak,
sickly rundown or old people. Try
hem. rim at all Druggists.
Ex-Gov. M'Sweeney
Falls Senseless.
Strickened While Going to His Home.
While returning from his office
to his home at Hampton on last
Tuesday at about 3 o'clock, ex
Gov. M. B. McSweeney was
suddenly stricken and fell un
conscious. His two young sons
were with him at the time and
summoned help. He was taken
to his home, where he was found
to be in a very serious condition.
Acute digestion is given as the
cause of his atttack. The for
mer governor has been in bad
health for the past several
It is said tonight that there is
very little hope that he will sur
vive the attack
The news of the illness of ex
Gov. McSweeney was received in
Columbia with sorrow last night
The former governer was cor
dially liked here, the city,
which was twice his home once
as a printer's apprentice and
later as the chief executive of
the State. And in the years be
tween those two periods of his
life he visited Columbia fre
He was sometimes referred to
as the "'newsboy governer,"_for
when he was just 4 years old his
father died in Charleston of yel
low fever and Miles, as he be
came large enough, sold news
papers. Later he was a printers
apprentice and was awarded by
the Charleston typographical
union a scholarship at Washing
ton and Lee university, but on
account of his lack of means he
was forced to leave college.
While living in Columbia he
assisted in organizing the Phoe
nix Hook and Ladder company
and for years was secretary
thereof. He was also president
of Columbia typographical
union. In 1876 he worked hard
for the cause of Democracy,
having then, at the age of 21,
started The Guardian, at Nine
ty Six. He afterwards moved
this paper to Hampton, where a
newv county had been formed,
and his business prospered. In
1896 he was elected lieutenant
governor of the State and was
reelected in 1898, and in 1899
succeeded to the chair of gover
nor, filling almost the full term
of W. H. Ellerbe, deceased. In
1900 he was elected to succeel
himself. He was sent to a
number of conventions and re
ceived other honers from his
Gov. McSweeney was always
popular among the newspaper
men of the State and that was
what elected him lieutenant
governor. He was at one time
president of the State Press as
Last May Gov. McSweeney at
tended the State Democratic con
vention and enjoyed meeting
with his friends. He had been
confining himself to business at
Hampton after leaving Colum
bia, for his four years in the of2
fice of governer had been very
expensive, as all declare who
have occupied the excutive man
While Gov. McSweeney was a
man of no education except what
he gained at the printer's case,
yet he was regarded by those
who knew him intimately as a
man of wisdom and of determi
nation. This was not so easily
apparent under the cloak of gen
uine friendliness which he at
times wore. For he was a man
of big heart and generous im
During the great Dewey cel
ebration in New York, Gov. Mc
Sweeney was riding at the head
of the troops from South Caro
lina. Seeing a forlorn little
newsboy, Gov. McSwer ney
halted the column for a moment
while he spoke to the lad and
gave him encouragement. "I
once was a newsboy,' he said
alf apolgetically for his show
of sentiment. And that was
characteristic of McSweeney.
The news which reached here
last night was indeed a shock to
his friends and the wish heard
on all sides that he should soon
be restored to health.
His Chicks Drunkards.
Jacob Foos, a farmer of this
place, is seeking a gold cure for
his chickens. Thirty Plymouth
Rocks in his barnyard have be
come inebriates, and Foos feels
it is his duty to reform them.
A week ago Foos placed an
old whisky barrel, with an end
knocked out, in an open space
near the hen house as a shelter
for a hen with a brood of little
chicks that had been hatched
out early. When the sun be
came hot the hen retired to the
barrel with her brood. After a
few days Foos observed that
every chickens in his barnyard
seemed to be in a half stupor
even the young chicks. The
roosters went about the yard
crowing in a hiccoughy way,
and the hens clucks in hoarse
guttural tones.
Foos was puzzled and he call
ed in W. F. Merrill, a veterinar
ian, who inspected the coops
and found nothing wrong.
TI'hen he examined the barrel.
One sniff at the air of the inter
ior enlightened him.
"The chickens are drunk,"
Merrill said. Then he explained
to Foos that the whisky barrel,
which had been in a damp cel
ler all winter had been affected
by the sun, which brought the
alcohol out of the wood. The
'hen that picked at the wood first
must have communicated the
secret to the other fowls and all
became visitors to the barnyard
Foos thought an easy solution
of the difficulty would be to
burn the whisky barrel. This
he did, but the craying for drink
had became too strong in the
chickens. An old rooster with
the instinct of a confirmed to
per, found his way to an im
provised silo where Foos kept
a supply of malt which he buys
from a brewery to feed his cat
tIe. This proved a substitute
for the whisky barrel, and soon
all the chickens were clustered
about the silo devouring the
malt. Foos has shut the chick
ens off from their new form of
dissipation, but fears that un
less he breaks them of the habit
they will wander off the farm
in quest of strong drink.
Able Young Financier
It is an unusual thing to find
a young man under 21 who
thinks more of making and sav
ing money than he does of
spending it; but Mr. C. J.
Hughes, local agent of the Far
mers' Cooperative Demonstra
tion Work, has called the atten
tioni of The Enquirer to the case
of a boy under 9, who if he is
spared and keeps on the way he
is going, will make his mark in
the business world some day.
The little fellow is Master
Robert, son of Mr. J. W. Betts,
who lives about three miles
south of Yorkville. Robert has
among other things, a calf, eighi
guineas, a Wyandotte cock and
15 hens, and a credit of $41.1!
in his savings account in bank
all accumulated principally at
the result of his thrift, economy
and business judgment.
Upon inquiry it develops that
the little fellow has been devel
oping habits of economy and
thrift since he was about threi
years old. He began by saving
the eggs of a hen that wa
assigned to him by his father a
his own, and when there wer
enough eggs to warrant thei:
being converted into cash hi
kept the money against futuri
needs, and it was not a grea
while before he began to drift in
to other ventures.
One of Robert's most success
ful deals was in the purchase o:
a calf for $2. His uncle pas
tured the calf for the manure
and the gown animal wal
finally sold for $25. A deal
that was not quite so lucky in
volved the purchase of a sow
with a litter of pigs for $11. The
sow and all of the pigs but two
died. He gave one of the pigs
to his father for trouble in con
nection with the raising and
finally sold the other for $9.
Not long ago, young Robert
bought a Wyandotte cockerel
for $2.45, andi later he bought a
calf and a pig, and is carefully
looking after the increase of his
different investments.
Some of the neighbors who
have been watching the little
fellow's deals with much inter
est say that he knows the crow
of every rooster and the cackle
of every hen on the place, and
he can tell from the size, shape
or color of each egg which hen
laid it.
He has a suprising stock of in
formation about poultry, live
stock and general farming espec
ially for a boy of his age, and
there is no doubt of the fact that
if he keeps on in the direction he
hasbeen going his accumulations
will eventually amount to some
thing worth while-Yorkville
Robbers Loot Laporte Store
Robbers looted the store of C.
F. Sonneborne of Laporte, Ind.,
May 6. for the fourth time in six
years and covered their getting
away by an explosion of dyna
mite that wrecked and set fire
to the building. The thieves
carried off $1,000 worth of goods
in a delivery wagon, drawn by
Humming Bird (2:04), a valuable
trotting horse, which they stole
from a nearby stable.
The robbers, four in number.
were overtaken shortly before
noon in the Calena woods near
the Michigan line by Sheriff
Anliss and Chief of Police Coch
ran. An exchange of shots fol
lowed, during which three of
the robbers escaped. The
fourth was captured, and all
the plunder was recovered. A
posse is searching the woods for
the escaped robbers.
When the officers arrived
with the captured robber it was
necessary for the police to dis
play their firearms to awe
the crowd of 2,000 persons, who
gathered around the prisoner,
and were yelling "lynch him."
The prisoner gave his name as
Jos. Robesky. He is 26 years
old and says he came from
Sack Of Guano Exploded.
Yesterday afternoon on the
plantation of Mr. S. L. Moore,
between Waterloo and Harris
Springs, a very unusual ac
cident occured.
A ten-year-old negro boy
while trying to untie a sack of
acid had his left hand torn and
lacerated by a terrible explosion,
No one seems to know the cause
of the accident.
The shock and jar were felt
by others at work in the field
and resembled dynamite. The
boy suffered a profound shock,
sand and dirt being blown in his
face and eyes. His thumb and
fingers were amputated by Drs.
Wilbur and Fennel, who are at
tending the case.
An Unusual Case At Hospital
A very unusual case came un
der attention of Dr. J. C. Har
ris at the hospital today. A
negro named Henry Butler was
sent here from Belton yesterday
afternoon suffering from a pe
culiar illness, and was placed
in the hospital under the care of
Dr. Harris. An examination
was made and an operation de
cided upon. This was perform
ed today, and a stone the size of
a guinea egg was taken from
the negro's bladder. The strang
Sest part of the case was that,
imbedded in the side of the stone
bwas a pistol ball. Upon being
questioned, the negro admitted
that he had been shot at a hot
supper about 5 years ago, and
that the bullet had not been re
-moved. He is now doing nicely
and will soon be out.-Andersonl
Dailly Mail.

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