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John Bloom discusses the conditions at Fergus Falls State Hospital from the 1950s to 1983. Topics include the population of the institution, and methods such as shock treatment, lobotomies, and drug treatment. He also talks about the growth of social services and the role of the social worker.
John Bloom was born in Thief River Falls, Minnesota and grew up in Grand Forks, North Dakota, and California. After graduating from Gustavus Adolphus College in 1952, he went to work at the Otter Tail County Welfare Department. After a year and a half at Otter Tail County he joined the staff at the Fergus Falls State Hospital in 1953. Mr. Bloom graduated from the University of Minnesota with a Master’s degree in 1958.
Date of Interview
Roland F. Winterfeldt, Mamie Rust, Roy Leonard Anderson, Mary Swanson, Inga Rocky, William Leslie Patterson, Harold Gray, Mike Dugan, Ida Thoreson Saetre, Harold F. Buchstein, John Fitzgerald Kennedy, Dolores Ida Saurer, Ralph G. Hirschowitz, Robert F. Hoffmann
Social workers, Social work administration
Fergus Falls State Hospital, Gustavus Adolphus College, Otter Tail County Welfare Department, Lakeland Mental Health Center, Lake Park-Wild Rice Children’s Home, Ah-Gwah-Ching Nursing Home, Willmar State Hospital, Moorhead State College, University of Minnesota
Minnesota--Thief River Falls, North Dakota--Grand Forks, California, Minnesota--Otter Tail County, Minnesota--Fergus Falls, Minnesota--Battle Lake, Minnesota—Henning, Minnesota--Koochiching County, Minnesota—Bemidji, Minnesota—Walker, Minnesota—Willmar, Minnesota—Brainerd, Minnesota—Leonard, Minnesota—Moorhead, Mississippi, Minnesota—Crookston
Social service, Mental health services, Social work education
Restrictions on Use
Permission to publish, quote, or reproduce these oral interviews must be obtained in writing from Minnesota State University Moorhead Archives.
Oral History | Social Work
Bloom, John, "Oral Interview of John Bloom" (1983). Oral Interviews. 24.