The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Local news

August 1, 2009

Disabled have been helped in Enid since 1910

In 1909, the 2nd Oklahoma Legislature designated funding for the first state institution for “feeble-minded and idiotic persons” as they were called then.

Section 33, township 23 north, range 6 west was set aside for its use. The commissioner of the land office was authorized to transfer the tract of land to the state and the city of Enid agreed to settle the claims of the people who leased the school lands.

In 1910, the Institution for the Feeble Minded opened in Enid. It was under the general charge and control of a board of managers of which the governor of Oklahoma was an ex-officio chairman. The four remaining members of the board were appointed by the governor by and with the advice and consent of the state senate with a tenure of office of two years.

Its original purpose was to care for the feeble-minded between the ages of 16 and 45 and was divided into two departments, a training school and an asylum.

It originally cost $155,000 to construct. The main central building constructed in 1910 was called “The White House.” It still is used as the administrative center today.

In 1947, the institution’s name was changed to Enid State School.

The second state school was at Pauls Valley, where the Pauls Valley State Hospital for Epileptics was renamed the Pauls Valley State School and designated to serve people who were mentally retarded.

By 1963, all state institutions for people with mental retardation were transferred to the Department of Public Welfare, which today is the Oklahoma Department of Human Services.

That year, Hissom Memorial Center in Sand Springs became the state’s third public institution.

In 1971, the federal government created standards through Medicaid for the development of Intermediate Care Facilities for the Mentally Retarded. Enid State School then was able to receive federal funds. It also became subject to federal oversight in regards to quality.

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