Kaufman County, Texas
TXGenWeb Project
~designed & maintained by~
Patsy Vinson, Kaufman Co. Coordinator

Terrell State Hospital

1200 East Brin St.
Terrell, TX 75160



"Terrell State Hospital 1883-2008
Keeping The Flame of Hope Alive

by Benny Britton

Benny Britton

The hardback copy is $45.00 and includes a CD of historical information about the hospital. The soft cover copy is $15.00 without the CD and $18.00 with the CD.  The CD alone contains considerable amount of information not contained in the book.  All proceeds go to the Volunteer Council for funding of patient projects.

The book can be purchased at:
Terrell State Hospital Community Relations Office
P. O. Box 70
Terrell, TX 75160

Postcards of the State Hospital

Postcard of North TX State Hospital in Terrell, 1920
"Supper for 2000 Patients"
Postcard of North TX State Hospital in Terrell, 1920
Submitted by Elaine Martin

The Terrell State Hospital, first known as the "North Texas Lunatic Asylum" opened on July 14, 1885.  In 1888 the hospital was renamed "North Texas Hospital for the Insane".   In 1925 the facility was renamed "Terrell State Hospital".  The hospital was established for the treatment and care of the "chronic incurable insane" whose care had previously been supplied by county jails or poor houses.  It has undergone an almost continuous program of building and enlargement during the Twentieth Century and provides services to the Texas counties of: Bowie, Camp, Cass, Dallas, Delta, Ellis, Fannin, Franklin, Henderson, Hopkins, Hunt, Kaufman, Lamar, Morris, Navarro, Rains, Red River, Rockwall, Smith, Titus, Van Zandt, and Wood.

"TERRELL STATE HOSPITAL." The Handbook of Texas Online.   [Accessed Sat Nov 22 18:59:27 US/Central 2003 ] and http://www.terrelltexas.com/health.htm accessed Nov. 22, 2003.
For more information, see the above sources as well as http://www.terrelltexas.com/history.htm and http://www.cityofterrell.org/index.html.

How to obtain information from the
Terrell State Hospital

(These are new instructions from the Director of the Terrell State Hospital)

There are privacy laws, etc., which forbid the institution from releasing information on the people who were institutionalized in the hospital.  Therefore, the institution will not release hardly any info on these people, even though some of them have been dead 100 years!  If the patient was buried at the Wildwood Cemetery on TSH property, the location of the grave will be released.

To obtain information, a letter must be written to:

Terrell State Hospital
Medical Records Dept.
1200 E. Brin St.
Terrell, TX  75160

The letter MUST include ALL of the following:

  1. The person's complete name (not "I think his name was John T. Brown, but all I have is J. T. so it could be James or even Jacob ....")
  2. The person's birth date or death date (or some identifying date so they can ascertain that the person they had institutionalized there is indeed the same one the query is regarding)
  3. The reason why the info is wanted.
  4. The inquirer's name, address, and some type of picture ID such as a copy of driver's license or social security number, etc.
  5. A full and complete statement showing how the inquirer is related to the patient.  All names of the descendants must appear between the two individuals.

This request will be sent with all the information TSH has on the request to:

DSHS Public Info. Coordinator
Dept. of State Health Services- OGC - M-525
Austin, Texas

The Public Information Coordinator will send the information to the Attorney General´s office for a ruling.  Typically, information is not released by the Attorney General´s office because of HIPAA limitations.


They will NOT reply to queries about:

  1. Why the person was institutionalized
  2. Names of persons related to the individual who was there so do NOT ask for names of mothers, brothers etc.
  3. Who sought to have the person institutionalized (that can be obtained from the Kaufman County Clerk's Office)
  4. Any vital information on the individual (Birth date, Marriage date, spouse, siblings, parentage, children's names, etc.)  They will confirm a date of death, but will not give one out.  They will tell you if the person is buried there, or not, and possibly which mortuary transported the individual's body if they were not interred there


Expect 2-3 weeks for a reply and don't be surprised if they write back and only send you your SASE back.  Each case file is different and what and if you receive information from them will depend on the HIPAA rules affecting the release.

Tip:  Linda Harwell's books, "Kaufman Co., TX Death Notices",
a valuable resource for Kaufman County researchers, contains
obituaries and death notices some of which were for persons
in the North Texas Hospital for the Insane.

This page was created on March 29, 1999.
Additional information and the postcard were added on November 22, 2003.
Copyright © 1999-2015 by Patsy Vinson
Coordinator of the Kaufman County, TXGenWeb Project site

The Kaufman County, TXGenWeb Project Site