Sunday, November 2, 2008

W B MACHEN - Pages 48-49 Lyon County KY Lunatic Inquest Book

Page 48

State of Kentucky ] SCT Circuit Court May
Lyon Circuit Court May 4th, 1898
W B Machen ] Lunatic

This day W W Martin, Attorney for Lyon County, filed an information as follows, to-wit:

To Hon. L H James, Protem Judge of the Lyon Circuit Court:
I am reliably informed that W B Machen is a person of unsound mind, and a lunatic and therefore ask that a jury be impaneled to pass upon the subject.

W W Martin County Attorney Lyon County
Ordered by the Court, That E H James Esq, an Attorney of this Court, be and he is hereby appointed to defend for and on behalf of the person under trial.
W B Machen

To inquire, etc., comes a jury to-wit: Stephen Burnett, O C Catlett, George Yates, M W Freeman, Sam Moore, F M Hildreth, George Champion, James Boyd, Mike Eison, Lennon Smith, J L Davis and R C Holloway

who being duly impaneled and sworn according to law, after hearing the evidence, returned the following verdict, viz: We of the jury find from the evidence that W B Machen is a person of unsound mind and a lunatic; that the unsoundness of mind was caused from a fall from buggy or recent sickness that he/she was born in _________, and resides in Lyon County and is 84 years old; that he was not brought into this State for the purpose of becoming a charge upon the Commonwealth; that he owns considerable estate personal and real, two hundred & fifty acres of land valued at $2,500 & $1,000 [?] of personal property; that his father is dead and mother dead and said W B Machen is not capable of laboring either in whole or in part for his support.

[signatures of jurors listed above with foreman listed]

wherefore it is adjudged by the Court that said W B Machen is of unsound mind and a lunatic.

Attest: L H James Judge Special Court

Court of Ky
Filed in Court
May 9, 1893
T H Molloy

State of Kentucky
Jefferson Co

We the affiant T J Hargan states that he is a regular praticing physician and that he has personally examined W B Machen alleged to be of unsound mind and verily believe him to be a lunatic and that his condition is such that it would be unsafe to bring him into court. T J Hargan MD
Subscribed & sworn to before me by T J Hargan this 18th day of April 1893
Henry G? Saunders, Norary Public

Page 49

Brief History of Case

1.(a) Age - 84 years
(b) Occupation -
(c) Married or Single -
(d) Habits -
(e) Educated -
2.(a) What relations have been insane -
3.(a) Date of first attack -
(b) How exhibited -
(c) Has it changed in character at any any former period -
4.(a) Supposed cause -
(b) Any peculiar illusions and what -
(c) Subject to fits. How long -
From what cause -
(d) Natural Temper -
5.(a) Attempt at suicide -
(b) Violence toward others -
6.Periodic frenzy -
7.(a) Restraint imposed -
(b) Treatment used -
(c) Bleeding -
8. Injury about head -

1 comment:

J. Carroll said...

Willis Machen contracted the flu in Winter of 1892 and seems to have had depression and mental illness stemming from that. Several area newspapers reported on his internment at Western Asylum (Hopkinsville), which is where he died on September 29, 1893.

Odell and others report stories about him falling of a horse- and there is a vague reference to a fall in this Lunacy Inquest, but it seems to have been romanticized. (IE; He was riding the horse near the RR tracks, the very technology he heavily controlled in the western part of the state and it was the caused his mental decline...)

I find this fall to be much sensationalized, especially when at least three newspaper reporters state he was interned because of influenza complications.

I am very interested in the Machen's and their "mental illneses" because their grand-daughter was Zelda Sayres Fitzgerald. I am currently working on a scholarly article to readdress some of the flaws of her major biographers (of which one was Southern and relatively few did any real archival work in KY or AL).

Thanks for posting these. I had been aware of the Lunacy records, but it is nice to have them digitalized.