CARRIEL, HENRY FROST, M. D. , for twenty-three years Superintendent of the Illinois Central Hospital for the Insane, Jacksonville, now living in retirement in that city, was born at Charlestown, N. H., August 20, 1830, the son of Hiram and Permelia (Frost) Carriel. His father died in 1839, leaving a wife and four young children, of whom Henry F. was the eldest. Four years later the home was broken up by the death of his mother, and Henry F. found a home with an uncle and aunt (the latter a sister of his father), who were most kind and generous in their treatment of him. He attended school in a little red school house near his home, and during his youth and early manhood taught school during the winter months, the summer seasons being devoted to work upon a farm. While finishing his classical studies at the Wesleyan Seminary at Springfield, Vt., he determined upon a career in medicine. Dr. Knight, with whom he lived, suggested that he go to Woodstock, Vt., and attend medical lectures, which advice he followed. He afterward studied with Dr. Knight at Springfield, Vt., and subsequently attended a medical school at Pittsfield, Mass. While there he met Mr. Blakesley, an old school friend, who prevailed upon him to take his place as apothecary at the insane asylum located at Hartford, Conn. After occupying this position four months he returned to Pittsfield to continue his medical studies. Later he returned to Hartford to resume his former position as apothecary, and in the fall accepted the position of Assistant Physician in the Hartford Retreat, then under the management of Dr. John S. Butler. Early in the following summer he became connected with the asylum for the Insane at Flushing, N. Y., where he was Assistant Physician for three months. After these valuable experiences in study and practice, he entered the College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York City, where he completed his course and in 1857 obtained the degree of Doctor of Medicine. In February before his graduation he received the tender of a position as Physician at the Bloomingdale Asylum, but declined the offer. A short time afterward Dr. Horace A. Buttolph, Superintendent of the New Jersey State Asylum, at Trenton, requested him to become Assistant Physician at that institution, a post which he accepted in March, 1857. There he remained until July, 1870, when he removed to Jacksonville to become Superintendent of the Illinois Central Hospital for the Insane, a post for which he was highly recommended by Dr. Buttolph, and which he filled with marked ability until 1893.
When Dr. Carriel came to the Illinois institution-which was founded in 1847, and at that time was the only hospital for the insane in the State-he found the 450 inmates surrounded by conditions which were far from being of the best. Perhaps the greatest hindrance to the improvement of the general health of the patients was the lack of a proper system of ventilation. There were many other features susceptible of great improvement, and these conditions Dr. Carriel immediately set out to improve. In 1871 he erected the boiler house and laundry, at an expense of $20,000. In 1873 he built the carpenter shop. By 1877 he found it necessary to increase the capacity of the institution still further; and, with the consent of the State Legislature, erected the wings to the main building, thereby providing accommodations for 150 additional patients, equally divided as to sex. In 1878 he erected the domestic building, at an expense of $8,000. In 1879 a floral conservatory was built, and a room which had been used as an ironing room was converted into an amusement hall, a feature entirely lacking up to that time. In 1881 the conveniences were still further enhanced by the construction of the refrigeration building. The greatest development, so far as accommodations for the rapidly increasing list of patients were concerned, was the erection of two capacious annexes to the main structure of the institution. The State Legislature having made an appropriation of $135,000 for the purpose, in 1884 Dr. Carriel began the erection of the North Annex, which accommodates 300 patients. With an eye single to the benefit of the institution and the welfare of the State, he succeeded in building this annex for $20,000 less than the amount appropriated for the purpose; and this balance, which was reappropriated for the purpose, he employed in the improvement of the water supply. The South Annex, which also accommodates 300 patients, and the amusement hall, erected in 1889, with all the furnishings, including the pipe organ, were paid for out of the appropriation of $120,000, intended for the construction of the annex alone, leaving a balance of about $2,500, which was returned to the State Treasury. In the interim (1889) Dr. Carriel built the barn and stables. The only important work of construction done since his retirement has been the erection of the infirmary in 1901, an undertaking which he recommended in his last annual report. Dr. Carriel's resignation from the important post which he had filled with distinguished ability for a period of twenty-three years, was prompted by his anticipation of the injection of the "spoils system" into the management of those State institutions which ought to be, and usually are, outside the pale of politics.
In 1863 Dr. Carriel was united in marriage with Mary Catherine, daughter of Dr. Horace A. Buttolph, who died in 1873. They were the parents of the following children: Dr. H. B. Carriel, present Superintendent of the Illinois Central Hospital for the Insane; Horace A. with the Edison Electric Company at Los Angeles, Cal.; and Frank B., a merchant at St. Joseph, Mo. In 1875 Dr. Carriel married Mary L. Turner, daughter of Prof. Jonathan B. Turner, a sketch of whose life will be found elsewhere in this work. The children of this marriage are: Howard T., a physician located at Redstone, Colo.; Fred Clifford, a civil engineer residing in Chicago; Charles Arthur, a student in Illinois College; and Ella K., the wife of William Doss Roberts.
In reviewing the life work of Dr. Carriel, it is not easy to comprehend how so much labor and such weighty responsibilities could be borne by one man. The work of a lifetime appears to have been crowded into less than a quarter of a century. It was not long after his assumption of the duties of Superintendent of the hospital at Jacksonville that he realized that he had a gigantic task before him. But he loved his work, and that made his progress less difficult. To mental endowments of the highest order, heightened and broadened by liberal culture, he added such persistence of application and well-ordered method of procedure as to elevate, purely through association with him, the moral and intellectual status of those susceptible personalities who came within the radius of his influence. As an alienist Dr. Carriel won an international reputation, the institution in his charge for nearly a quarter of a century being recognized as a model.