The Way Things Worked - Sometimes



With thanks to and the permission of the Kroner/Wagner Families

(materials copied to Facebook by John Christopher Shedlock)

Dr. Lawrence R. (Larry) Kroner was the Superintendent of the Laurelton State School and Hospital from 1965 to 1970.  Excerpts from his notes are sorted into these categories:  Administrative,  Personnel Actions, Physical Plant, and Resident Concerns among others.   It would be interesting to know whether these items would have been Federal or State mandated, generated from the Laurelton  State Village employees, or initiated by the Superintendent/Staff Leadership Team.  This story includes some topics from each section during the years of Dr. Kroner's tenure.


July 1965 - initiated daily Department Heads meetings.

October 1965 - Publicity Program started.

Articles by individual Department Heads were to appear weekly.

Imaginary case histories were to be written by a volunteer worker and the Volunteer Coordinator for the Centre County papers.

May 1966 - Planning continued for the return of 35 older students to Allegheny County.

August 1966 - A Budget Meeting was held with G. Edwin Lint, Assistant Superintendent for Rehabilitative Services; Dr. Kroner; Harry Davis, Farm Manager; William Long, Institution Engineer; William Z. Sleighter, Business Manager; and Marion Graham, Personnel.

September 1966 - There was a visit by the Pennsylvania House of Representatives Sub-Committee, investigating mental health institutions.

September 1967 - The institution was not approved for accreditation by the Joint Commission on Accreditation for Hospitals.

January 1968 - Medical Staff By-Laws were adopted.

Disaster Plans were drafted.

December 1968- Geographic Responsibility of the Laurelton State Village was designated as Clinton, Centre, and Lycoming Counties.

February 1969 - Psychology Department plans were made for an Outpatient Diagnostic Clinic.


July 1965 - Dr. John F. Quackenbush was named the Director of the Department of Institutional Life and the Department of Psychology.

Mr. Andrew Karpinski was named the Director of the In-service Training Program.

Employee members of the Admissions Board named were:  Mr. William I. Delaney, Chair;

Dr. J. F. Quackenbush; Mr. Andrew Karpinski; Dr. Frederick S. Derr; and the Superintendent.

Dr. Frederick S. Derr was appointed Medical Director.

June - August 1966 - A Management course for Department Heads on education and work training was

provided by the Pennsylvania State University.

October - 1966  - A teacher was to be assigned to the canteen.

October - 1967 - Paul Lehman, RN was employed.

The Cottage life and Nursing Departments were merged.

February 1968 - With the employment of Mr. G. E. Lint rehabilitation services were merged.

June - August 1968 - Cottage nurses and psychologists were assigned specific cottages.

October 1968 - Daily Department Head meetings (initiated in July 1965) were changed to a weekly schedule.

December 1968 - Attendants and supervisors were chosen for the 11 p. m. - 7:00 a. m. shifts.

June 1969 - A "Sick-in" was held by staff to emphasize the need for pay increases.  80% of the general

staff and 90% of the nursing staff participated.

January 1970 - An "Austerity Program" was necessitated due to suspension of three psychological consultants.


November 1965 - Ward A of the hospital was converted for the Speech and Hearing Department

May 1966 - Renovations and equipping the Blankenship house (former Chaplins' home) for the Education Department for a "Home-Training unit was done. A sound-proof room was done for Speech and Hearing with funds acquired through Title 1.  A math instruction program with a monetary reward program and an industrial stress-free program were instituted.

September 1966 - Sketches for a new school building were approved.  A survey for a new

building was completed for a new building and it was found that there was not enough

room for a Mansfield-type building.

October 1966 - An alternative site for ? was selected at the east end of the hospital building.

March 1967 - Plans were started for a behavioral modification cottage.

April 1967 - Ward A in the hospital began operations.

December 1967 - Phase 1 of the lock system was completed.

January 1968 - Installation of protective screens was done. 

August 1968 - Plans were made for the revamping of the electrical wires.

March 1969 - Construction was begun on the new school building.

May 1969 - Ward B of the hospital was designated for male students.

June - August 1969 - It was proposed to close Cottages 2 and 3.  Glover was closed.

Actions concerning RESIDENTS:

July 1965 - Plans were begun for the revision of students' main charts.

August 1965 - Cottage 2 was designated for intensive training with a social worker, psychologist, recreationist, teacher and OT workers.

Church, choir, and orchestra became voluntary attendance activities.

September 1965 - An organized dance was held with male Selinsgrove students.

October 1965 - The possibility of a student government was discussed.

November 1965 - A student government began operating in Johnston Cottage. 

December 1965 - Censorship of mail was discontinued.  A Student council was established.  A 

Clothing committee was formed. 

January 1966 - More appropriate reading material was being developed.  

April 1966 - Student help in dietary was scheduled.  Routine lateral skull X-rays were added to the admission procedure.

May 1966 - The music program, the summer recreation, and day camps were expanded.  There were renovations for a home training unit.

October 1966 - A book -binding shop was expected to be in operation, part-time 5 days weekly.

June- August 1967 - Adult Education Classes begun.

November 1967 - Students in Cottage 2 were exchanged with Johnston Cottage.

January 1968 - New seclusion policies were adopted and instituted.

February 1968 - Plans were made to do sickle cell testing on all Negro students and new admissions. 

November 1968 - A Privilege System was to be initiated on a trial basis in Cottage 9.

January 1969 - Plans were made to transfer Cottage 6 residents so that male students can be admitted. Plans were adopted to transfer some students to Western State School.

June - August 1969 - The first 2 male students were admitted in July.

January 1970 - Student kitchen workers were phased out.