Until the 1840's the mentally ill received little therapy and often were neglected. Upon recommendation of Governor Epaphroditus Ransom
, the legislature, in 1848 established Michigan's first state institution for the treatment of mental patients. Kalamazoo was chosen as the site in 1850. Construction of the first building began in 1854, but it was not completed for five years. The first patient was admitted on April 23, 1859. The superintendent, Dr. Edward H. Van Deusen, anticipated many methods of treatment that later won general acceptance. Linda Richards, America's first trained nurse, was the superintendent of nurses here, 1906-1909. This hospital was the first in Michigan to open an out-patient psychiatric clinic and to begin a home-boarding program. Adoption in 1910 of the name Kalamazoo State Hospital, replacing the original name, Michigan Asylum for the Insane, symbolized a new concept of mental illness.