Do You Believe You Have a Destiny or a Calling?

East Tennessee Hospital for the Insane

Do you believe that you have a destiny or a calling? One of the greatest reformers in U.S. History, left a legacy in word and action that continues to inspire me today. Of her motivation, she explained “In a world where there is so much to be done, I felt strongly impressed that there must be something for me to do.”

Dorothea Dix was born on April 2, 1802 in Hampden, Maine. As a young woman, she established and operated a school for girls and wrote several books. As significant as those accomplishments were she did not find her destiny until she was thirty-nine years old. Having volunteered to teach a Sunday School class for female inmates at the East Cambridge, Massachusetts Jail, she was horrified to discover the mentally ill huddled together with criminals and drunks on the straw covered floor of an unheated, unfurnished, room. Appalled, she began to ask questions. She was told that the insane do not feel heat or cold. Propelled by outrage and compassion, she pursued action through the courts. After a series of battles, she won. She began to visit jails and almshouses in other parts of Boston and throughout Massachusetts. She took careful notes, compiled her data, and prepared a report for the state legislature. Impressed by her powerful conviction, the legislature voted to expand Worcester State Hospital.

Next, she traveled to other states on fact finding trips, reporting her findings, and advocating for the humane treatment of the mentally ill. In October of 1847, her travels brought her to Tennessee to lobby for improvements at the Lunatic Asylum of Tennessee. By the end of February 1848, the state legislature had not only agreed to build a new facility, but had passed a resolution in her honor. Opening in 1852, the new asylum burned during the Civil War, on March 13, 1863. The cause of the blaze was never established, but eight “inmates” burned to death. More buildings were constructed over the years. Known today as Middle Tennessee State Mental Health Institute, the facility relocated to much smaller quarters in 1995.

East Tennessee Asylum for the Insane opened, west of Knoxville, on Lyon’s View Pike, in 1886. Known for many years as Eastern State Psychiatric Hospital, and more recently as Lakeshore Mental Health Institute, this facility closed in July of 2012. With an executive fiat from Nashville, we have come full circle since the days of Dorothea Dix, with the insane back in correctional facilities.

Over 500 patients were admitted and discharged the last six months that that Lakeshore was open. The need has not gone away. We are not saving any money by housing the mentally ill in penitentiaries and local jails, as claimed by proponents of the closure, but have simply, in the case of local jails, transferred the role of tax collector, from state to local government, and in doing so have exposed local government to liability. Law enforcement officers generally are not qualified to care for the mentally ill. A psychotic young man was allegedly beaten to death, by those of who had been entrusted with his care, at the Washington County Jail last year. His family has filed a $20 million dollar plus lawsuit against the Washington County Sherriff's Department. The human cost is incalculable.

I was witness to the beginning of deinstitutionalization of the mentally ill in the early 1970s. My father’s oldest brothers, Olaf and Hubert, had spinal meningitis. Hubert died. Olaf suffered damage to his central nervous system. My grandparents could not take care of him at home. By the time my father was born in 1925; Olaf was already a patient at Eastern State. I don’t think my father ever questioned the wisdom of taking his children with him to visit Olaf. I am very grateful. It was a family experience and an educational experience for me.

The main building at Eastern State, resembling a medieval castle, had two wings extending on each side of the administration. One was for men. One was for women. Both wings were demolished, almost as quickly, as they were emptied during the first mass discharges. I recall that the walls, built of solid brick, fell in one piece. Obviously, the purpose of destroying such majestic edifices was to eliminate the option of reusing them once more to house patients.

Like Dorothea Dix I believe that “In a world where there is so much to be done.... there must be something for me to do”. It is my hope that I, like Dorothea Dix, might inspire others to join me in addressing the social ills of our time. As Catherine Booth, Mother of the Salvation Army, said “If we are to better the future, we must disturb the present.”

It is unacceptable that in an affluent society, such as ours, that many who are unable to fend for themselves, wander the streets and sleep outdoors in subfreezing temperatures while others are incarcerated with and victimized by hardened criminals.

Share

Advertisement

Articles

The Balanced Budget

The Balanced Budget

Historians will record 2018 as the second year in a row of a balanced budget for Union County; likely the most significant legislative accomplishment of the County Commission in a generation. Union County’s budget is one of the most important pieces of public policy the Commission enacts every year.

A New Family Addition

Leyton Taylor Campbell

“God’s most beautiful gifts bloom into children.”

Jordan and Allison Campbell recently received a new blessing to their family. Their son, Leyton Taylor Campbell, was welcomed into the world on Saturday, July 7, 2018 at 12:42 pm at UT Medical Center.

Keepin' the Old Ways

Macedonia Methodist Church at Andersonville

In order to appreciate how it is or how it might be, our youth need a lesson in the “Old Ways.” Understanding what our ancestors endured will instill a greater respect for their survival and how they prospered.

Pounding Down the Well

Pounding Down the Well

My husband's widowed mother married her former brother-in-law in our living room. Uncle Charlie had hurt his leg putting down our well on the property of what was to be our new home, closer to my husband's work. The minister said it wasn't written anywhere that you had to stand to be married. We were all seated.

Back to the well. The water table was high at the new place. We didn't need to drill a well, Uncle Charlie said. He would help us pound down a well. It was cheaper to do than drilling a well. The three of us could do it.

Fearless Running

Fearless Running

Some spices I am privileged to experience from the side line.

That spring evening, my daughter Sara’s softball team was playing the number one, undefeated team in their league. The other team were all 12 years old whereas Sara’s teammates were barely 10. We went in with no illusions of victory. If we were lucky, we may get one run.

At the top of the third inning, Sara went up to bat. At this point, none of ours girls had made it to first base, which was no surprise. At least they looked cute in their red, white, and blue outfits.

The pitcher threw. Sara swung.

Chicken Biscuit Stew

Chicken Biscuit Stew

I remember when I worked full time in a sewing factory. My mind would wander while sewing. After you do the same stitching over and over, it doesn't take all your attention to do the job. My mind would wander to wondering what I would fix for supper that evening. My kids were in the lower grades in school and came home about the same time I did. They had a long bus ride.

Snake Bit

Copperhead

When you run across a snake, their normal reaction is to get away. But if they feel threatened enough all snakes will bite defensibly. If you are bitten, here are some recommended first aide treatments.

Try to determine if it’s venomous or not. If you’re confident it’s not you can treat the bite like you would a puncture wound. Check with your doctor to see if you might need a tetanus shot booster.

Tags: 

Events

Area Worship Leaders, Pastors, and Faith community leaders

Area Worship Leaders, Pastors, and Faith community leaders

"We invite all area Worship Leaders, Pastors, and Faith community leaders to come together on the last Thursday of each month at Hardee's at 7:30 am. This is to be a time of fellowship, prayer, and discussion about how we as a community of Faith can work together to have a positive impact on our county. All are welcome!" Margaret Chesney

Union County Board Of Education

UNION COUNTY BOARD OF EDUCATION

The next regular workshop and meeting of the Union County Board of Education will be held on Thursday, July 26, 2018 at 6:00 p.m. at Union County High School. The workshop will begin at 6:00 p.m. with the meeting immediately to follow.

REGULAR WORKSHOP UNION COUNTY BOARD OF EDUCATION THURSDAY, JULY 26, 2018 6:00 p.m. Union County High School

Agenda

1. Discuss School Trips

· None at Time of Publication

2. Budget Amendments and Transfers/Director’s Monthly Report—Ann Dyer

Prayer Meeting for Community Worship & Revival

Prayer Meeting for Community Worship & Revival

Thursday July 26 7:00 pm at the ball field in Luttrell is a special prayer meeting asking all the Churches to come join us in prayer for the Lord to guide us in the upcoming Community Worship & Revival scheduled for July 30 through August 1, 2018. Praying together unites us in a common goal of winning souls for Christ.

Community Worship & Revival

On February 22, 2018, A Call To Prayer was made in the Luttrell Community. Several community pastor agreed to go back to their respective churches and call on their members to pray for the Lord to guide in an effort to unite our churches with a common goal of a Community Worship & Revival leading folks to Jesus the only begotten son of God.

Annual Youth and Corn Fest

Annual Youth and Corn Fest

I would like to take a minute to invite you all to the Annual Youth and Corn Fest at the Union County Farmers Market. There will be an abundance of fresh produce, local crafters, children’s activities and games, corn history, crafts, and so much more. Also, this is a great opportunity for youth in grades 4-12 to showcase their arts and crafts in a fair-like entry. See attached entry form for categories and deadlines.

CONTACT BBERGERO@UTK.EDU WITH ALL ENTRIES AND QUESTIONS

Obituary

Euawana G. Wolfenbarger

Euawana G. Wolfenbarger, of (Halls) Knoxville, TN, passed away on July 18, 2018, at the age of 75. She was preceded in death by husband Henry L. Wolfenbarger, son Richard Shane Wolfenbarger, mother Grace Gann, and in-laws. She is survived by son Gary A. Wolfenbarger of Knoxville, TN, daughter Susan A. Carter and husband John Carter of Pensacola, FL, brothers Raymond and Anthony Gann, sisters Linda Tatum, Glenda Warren, and Bobbie Jo Cawood,4 grandsons, several nieces and nephews, and was known as “Mamaw” to many others.

Jacob Lee Foust, Sr.

Jacob Lee Foust, Sr.-age 62 of Maynardville passed away Friday, July 20, 2018 at his home. He was a member of Grace Full Gospel Baptist Church. Preceded in death by parents, Leonard W. and Agnes Foust; brothers, Wilford Frank and Norman Foust; sister, Anna Jane Foust, mother-in-law, Lucy M. Stafford.

Melvin E. Ingram

Melvin E. Ingram, age 79 of Knoxville, passed away July 17, 2018. Family will receive friends 6:00-8:00pm Friday July 20, 2018 at Mynatt Funeral Home Fountain City Chapel with service to follow. Family and friends will meet 10:45am Saturday July 21, 2018 at Pleasant Piney Grove Cemetery in Strawberry Plains for an 11:00am interment. Please leave online condolences at www.mynattfh.com

Sandra "Sandy" Jean Estep

Sandra “Sandy” Jean Estep passed away Friday July 20, 2018 at West Hills Health and Rehab Center. She was preceded in death by mother Helen G. Estep, father Paul D. Estep and brother Danny G. Estep. She is survived by sister Ann Estep Jones, niece Amy Norman Logan (Rhodes), nephew Dale Norman (Melissa), great-nieces Lindsey, Tessa and Wendy; great-nephew Alex, and special friend Brenda Jenkins. Family will receive friends 5:00-7:00pm Tuesday July 24, 2018. Family and friends will meet 10:45am Wednesday July 25, 2018 at Greenwood Cemetery for an 11:00am graveside service.

Benjamin "Benny" Reece King

Benny went to sit on the lap of his LORD and SAVIOR Saturday July 14, 2018 at children's hospital.

Benny our sweet angel is the son of April King. Grandson to Sherri and Matt Bridges. Benny was also a brother to Kyle King and Jesse Perry. Great Grandchild of Barbara Brown along with Ronnie and Tina Bridges. Benny was the nephew of Alley King, Jacob King, Ethan Muehliesen, Leah Bridges, Isaiah Bridges, Faith Bridges and Noah Bridges.

Proceeded in death by great grandfather W.L. Carmon Our love for our sweet Benny will forever be. Always our sweet Angel!!

Donald H. Norris

Donald H. Norris-age 64 of Maynardville passed away Monday morning, July 16, 2018 at his home. He was a member of Cedar Grove Baptist Church. Preceded in death by parents, Roy and Maude E. Norris; brother, David Norris.

Barbara Kay "Momma" Burkhert

Barbara Kay “Momma” Burkhert, age 72, went to be with the Lord on July 15, 2018. She had 3 kids, John J. Viglasky, Liesa Canupp, and Greg Viglasky. She also had 3 grandkids Ashley Taylor, Stacey Canupp, Taylor Viglasky, as well as, 4 great-grandkids. Family will receive friends 5:00-7:00pm Thursday July 19, 2018 at Mynatt Funeral Home Halls Chapel with service to follow. Family and friends will meet 10:45am Friday July 20, 2018 at Fort Sumter Cemetery for and 11:00am interment. Please leave online condolences at www.mynattfh.com

LaVerne McLain Cummings

LaVerne McLain Cummings, of Knoxville, suddenly went to be with her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ Wednesday, July 11th, 2018 at Parkwest Hospital. Preceded in death by parents Ed and Mildred McLain, grandson Chad Breeden, and sister Sandra Leach. Survived by loving husband Harlan J. Cummings, daughter Angelia (Bob) Love, son Brent Cox, grandson whom she raised Matthew (Amber) Cox, granddaughters Amanda Dykes and Brittney Russell, sisters Faye (Roger) Neff and Burlene Tolman, as well as 6 great grandkids. She was looking forward to seeing her great grandson Grantley expected in August.

Michael Ernest Smith

Michael Ernest Smith – age 53 of Maynardville, passed away suddenly Saturday, July 8, 2018.

Michael is preceded in death by his parents, Ernest and Mary Smith; and sister, Barbara Smith. He is survived by his son, Daniel; sister, Debra (Stacy) Lynn; special niece, Emily; special nephews, Derrick and Aaron Lynn; several aunts, uncles and other nieces and nephews.

Barbara Carol Spradlen

Barbara Carol Spradlen, age 68, of Powell, passed away on July 8, 2018. She was preceded in death by father, Andrew M. Vanover and mother, Betty Ann Galloway; special great aunt, Bessie L. Galloway Johnson and her husband, Harrison "Hat" Johnson Jr., and their daughter Helen Jean Johnson York.

The opinions expressed by columnists and those providing comments are theirs alone, and may not reflect the opinions of Russell Computer Systems, Inc or any employee thereof.