Dr. Chastain Caldwell Forbes – The First Superintendent of Central State Hospital

– Contributed by Jay Gravatte113228427_1446520539

Chastain Caldwell Forbes was born Hopkinsville, Kentucky on April 9, 1830. He married Emily McFerran on January 7, 1857 and from 1861-1865 served in the Company S, Confederate States Hospital Stewards Infantry Regiment as an enlisted Hospital Steward during the United States Civil War. Emily would later give birth to their first child Caroline in 1870. In May of 1873 Governor Preston H. Leslie appointed Dr. Forbes as the first superintendent of the newly established Fourth Kentucky Lunatic Asylum near Anchorage, Kentucky. His wife Emily would serve as the first Matron. While in service Emily gave birth to Dr. Forbes second child, Charles Caldwell in 1874. Under Forbes tenure the Asylum grew and prospered until he resigned his position in 1879.

In 1883, Forbes accepted a position as superintendent of the newly opened Arkansas Lunatic Asylum, in Little Rock, and served there until resigning in 1885 due to failing health. Dr. Forbes passed away on March 15, 1898 at the age of 68 in Chicago Illinois at the home of his daughter Caroline, and was later laid to rest in Glasgow Municipal Cemetery in Glasgow Kentucky.

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