Augusta Poelke Notes
Hospital Notes for Augusta Poelke Boese
Received in May 2002 from the South Dakota Human Services Center.

Fire Page   Gustav Boese Timeline  

Papers from the South Dakota State Hospital for Augusta Boese.

Warrant of Admission. [form with blanks filled in - these are not links].

State of South Dakota
County of Lake
Office of County Judge

To the superintendent of the Hospital for the Insane at Yankton, in said State:
On investigation in due form of law, had before the Commissioners of Insanity in and for the County, the said Commissioners find Augusta Boese to be insane, and a fit subject for custody and treatment in the hospital; you are, therefore hereby authorized to receive and keep her, the said Augusta Boese as a patient therein.
     The legal settlement of the said Augusta Boese is found to be in Lake County, South Dakota. This warrant with the custody of the said Augusta Boese is delivered to Wm. Lee, sheriff of said Lake County, attended by Gustave Boese, her husband of Lake County, such attendance being in my opinion necessary for the safe delivery of such insane person.
     By order of the said Commissioners: Given under my hand with my official seal hereto attached, this 12th day of September 1891, Wm. McGrath, Judge of the County Court.

Hospital for the Insane at Yankton, South Dakota. Sept 28, 1891, I have this day received the above named patient, with a duplicate of this warrant, and the physician’s return in the case, at the hands of Wm. Lee, Sheriff of Lake County, attended by M. H. Mueller, of Madison, Lake Co.
     Witness my hand with the seal of this Hospital hereto affixed, L. G. Mead, Superintendent.

Return of Physician
To the Honorable Commissioners of Insanity of the County of Lake in South Dakota.
     Gentlemen, Pursuant to your commission to me of the date of 11 Sep 1891, I have this day seen Augusta Boese, the person named in said Commission as insane and made a personal examination in her case as required.
     As result of such examination I hereby certify that according to my judgment, the said person is insane, and is a fit subject for custody and treatment in the Hospital for the Insane. I certify, also, that I have stated correctly the answers I have obtained from the best source within my knowledge, and from my own observation, to the interrogatories furnished, which interrogatories and answers are hereto appended.
     Witness my hand this 12th day of Sep, 1891. A. C. Clough, M.D.

There then follows a page and a half of printed questions [very small print, some hard to read] and the doctor’s answers.

Name, age, children? Augusta Boerse, 29 yr, 5 children, youngest 6 months. [all the hospital notes give surname as Boerse]
Born? Prussia
Residence? Lake Co., SD
Occupation? Housewife
First attack? First attack.
First symptoms? July 2, 1891
Disease increasing, decreasing, stationary?   Increasing
Is the disease variable, are there rational intervals?   Little variable, noregutuly[?]
On what subject is the derangement manifested? religion and other subjects
Disposition to hurt others? No
Suicide ever attempted? No
Disposition to filthy habits, destruction of clothing? Yes
Relatives who are insane? None
Previous manifestations? No
Subject to bodily disease, epilepsy, etc.? No
Addicted to drugs? No
Has restraint been used? such as to keep her on the premises only
What is supposed to be the cause of the disease? [illegible]
What treatment has been used? Sedatives, only temporary effect
Poor appetite, insomnia, general decline

Handwritten note from Judge Wm. McGrath also dated 12 Sep 1891 to Supt. Insane Hospital, Yankton.  “I hand you petition of physician in case of Augusta Boese. We think she may be cured in 3 or 4 months with proper care and treatment which she cannot get here. Please let me know if you can take her by return mail. Very truly, Wm. McGrath”

There are then 10 pages of handwritten notes from her admission in September 1891 to her death in 1899.

28 Sep 1891: “She has been very quiet indeed, but she talks no English, and it is dificult [sic] to learn much concerning her mental condition. She shows some disposition to filthy habits.”
12 Oct: “She became so filthy that it was necessary to remove her to ward ten. A plentiful diet has been ordered with egg-nog at ten o’clock of each day.” She was taking Maltine with phosphates of strychnine, quinine, and iron.
21 Oct: Much the same, with a troublesome diarrhea. Prescribed 20 grains of bismuth, 3 times a day.
5 Dec: “She walks continually in a circle. She does not bath and she seems perfectly apathetic. There is considerable distension of the abdomen, and it is possible she is pregnant. There has been no appearance of menstruation since her entrance into the hospital.”
10 Feb 1892: “Is not pregnant. Has improved in some directions and seems to be more rational, but speaks rarely.”
2 Mar: “The pastor of her church called to see her. She was greatly excited and hysterical at first, but soon quieted down and talked with him quite rationally.”
7 Mar: “Yesterday I found Mrs. Boerse in rather a bad condition, some fever, hot dry skin and rapid pulse. Melancholic symptoms very marked. I find that there is an attempt of menstruation, and have ordered her to bed with a hot foot bath and a dose of whiskey.”
9 Mar: “Symptoms before noted have been much relieved. Menstruation very scanty.”
20? Mar: “She has been removed to ward 4. Is very much improved mentally, will answer questions personally and rationally. She can tell nothing about her home and family. Cannot tell where she lived or how many children she has. Is still nervous and excitable, is taking 15 grains of bromide of potassium four times daily. She has a very depraved appetite, eats enormous quantities of food, will eat egg-shells, potato skins. &c. Prescribed Maltine with Hyperphosphosphites tablespoonful four times daily.
4 Apr: “Is very changeable. Some days I feel quite encouraged about her, and at other times she goes back again. Same treatment continued.”
7 Apr: “For the past two weeks she has been taking six eggs, made up into custard daily. This treatment will be continued.”
17 Apr: “At times she seems quite rational, but the greater part of the time she is singing and laughing, or trying to play some prank around the ward, like frightening people or suddenly screaming out.”
29 Apr: “Marked improvement since last writing. Same treatment continued.”
11 May: “Improving.”
9 Jun: “Perhaps a little better, but not much.”
27 Jun: “Not much change. Some days she seems a little higher than upon others, but that is all.”
14 Jul: “Shows some mental improvement during the first week.”
5 Aug: “Not much mental improvement, but there may be a little. Physical condition is good. No medical treatment.”
20 Aug: “Some mental improvement. Has been removed today to ward eleven.”
20 Sep: “Good physical condition. No mental improvement. No medical treatment.”
8 Oct: “No changes.
7 Nov: “No changes, no treatment.”
6 Jan 1893: “No change, no treatment.”
20 Feb: “No change”
15 May: “Lately she has been quite noisy at nights and I have been giving her ? grains of potassium bromide at bed-time. At times it seems as if there was some mental improvement.”
22 Jun: “Mrs. Boerse has been suffering from a severe attack of rhinitis and conjunctivitis. I have given her a mercurial purge followed by Magnesium Sulph. Local applications of hot water are used three times lately, lasting twenty minutes each. There is some slight mental improvement.
15 Jul: “Some local trouble yet, but is much better. Applications of hot water are still used twice daily. No change mentally.”
13 Aug: “No changes. Rhinitis is well.”
For the following dates, no changes or no improvement: 18 Sep, 18 Oct, 27 Nov, 14 Jan 1894, 27 Jan, 1 Mar, 28 Mar, 8 May, 4 Jun.
24 Jul: “There is no change. She seems quite defented [?] and is not willing to do any work about the ward. Her general health is good.”
For the following dates, no changes: 5 Sep 1894, 15 Dec, 5 Jan 1895, 27 Feb, 3 Apr, 29 May, 29 Jun, 15 Jul, 15 Aug, 15 Oct, 3 Dec, 15 Jan 1896, 3 Mar, 10 May, 9 Jul, 24 Aug, 18 Oct, 7 Dec, 25 Jan 1897, 2 Mar, 7 May, 10 Jun, 18 Jul.
24 Jul 1897: “Yesterday Mrs. Boerse complained of pain in the bowels and did not care to eat anything. Today she has some fever and is very drowsy. Removed to infirmary this evening.”
25 Jul: “Restless during the night. At 6:11 A.M. vomited a greenish fluid. . . . Good movement of bowels this morning, the first hard and dark, the second large and loose. At 2:00 P.M. She had a severe chill the temperature running up to 106.4°. No tympanitis, no tenderness over abdomen. Some enlargement over liver. Pres 1/10 gr Hydroy Chlor nile each hour. Cold sponging of body.”
25 Jul: “. . . Tenderness over liver. Vomiting of greenish fluid. Will not take any nourishment. Ordered enema of warm water to be given each morning.”
26 Jul: “ . . . Refuses medicine and milk. Is very irritable and quarrelsome.”
27 Jul: “ . . . Has taken her medicine throughout the day and some nourishment. Vomited greenish fluid at 8:00 P.M."
28 Jul: “. . . Slept well during the night. . . . Less tenderness over abdomen. Has taken some nourishment."
29 Jul: “. . . Sweating freely at 12:00M. Taking considerable milk and feeling much better."
30 Jul: “Feeling much brighter this morning.”
8 Aug: “Gaining rapidly.”
13 Aug: “Is up and dressed and feeling about as well as ever.”
22 Sep: “Physical condition is good. Dementia more marked than previous to her illness.”
Following dates no changes: 9 Oct, 15 Nov 12 Dec, 27 Jan 1898, 11 Mar.
30 Jan 1899: “About two months ago Mrs. Boerse became so much better that she was removed to the open door cottage, where she works some, is quiet and tractable, and much more tidy in her habits and dress. Dementia remains.”
13 Feb 1899: “The cottage burned with Mrs. Boerse perishing in the flames.”