Three speakers will discuss the life and career of Dr. Joseph DeJarnette, Superintendent of Western State Hospital from 1905-1938.
First speaker is George Norris, historian and Staunton educator. He has researched and written extensively about Dr. Joseph DeJarnette. His book The Old Dominion and Its Shared Dark Secrets is to be published soon. He will talk about DeJarnette, his training, his public life, and the use of eugenics in Virginia during the early 20th century at Western State and other state institutions
Norris will be followed by ACHS archives volunteers Suzanne Fisher and Jim Hobin, both retired public librarians from Albany, New York, now living in Staunton. Dr. Joseph DeJarnette’s family left a trunk full of papers in his last Staunton residence on Sherwood Avenue. New owners of the house donated the dusty trunk and its contents to the Augusta County Historical Society archives, where Fisher and Hobin organized the documents over the course of several years. They will talk about what they learned about DeJarnette, the man, from the personal papers in his trunk.
Joseph DeJarnette, M.D. was appointed Superintendent of Western State in March 1906. His 38 years at the helm, from 1905 until 1943, represent the longest tenure of any of the hospital’s superintendents. His superintendency was not without controversy but he is credited for some very progressive ideas at Western State.
Thursday, Dec. 3, 7 p.m.
Smith Center Lecture Room 2nd floor
Free to ACHS members; non-members $5 and $1 for students
Come early to get a seat