Hospitals and Research Facilities

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Hospitals (Civil War)

A wide range of Civil War hospitals in Arkansas included field hospitals established in the immediate aftermath of battle, commandeered houses and churches, and somewhat permanent post hospitals in occupied areas. Union bases tended to have more purpose-built hospital facilities, while Confederate doctors made use of any available buildings, such as colleges, hotels, churches, and private homes. The need for hospital facilities became obvious soon after Arkansas seceded from the Union and the new Confederate recruits became ill from the myriad diseases that afflicted their camps. Hospitals were established wherever large groups of troops gathered, often treating soldiers from specific regiments or from the same states. In early 1862, for instance, Confederate forces in Washington County established the Mount Comfort …

Human Development Centers

From 1888 to 1959—prior to the creation of human development centers (HDCs)—the Arkansas State Hospital provided long-term care to individuals with intellectual disabilities as well as to individuals with severe mental illness. Arkansas lagged behind other states in development of facilities specializing in the care of the intellectually disabled. In the mid-1950s, plans were set in motion to develop a facility that would specialize in the treatment and education of children with intellectual disabilities. Within one year of the opening of the Arkansas Children’s Colony (later renamed the Conway Human Development Center) in 1959, the facility received accolades for its physical construction as well as for its progressive curriculum for residents. Soon after, several other Southern states were following in …