Holy Rollers' Commitment PapersOregon Insane Asylum

Many of the Holy Rollers were committed to the Oregon Insane Asylum in 1904. They may or may not have been crazy, but they were driving their families crazy, and it didn’t take much to have someone committed. Some of the reasons given on documents related to their commitments seem laughable today, “go upon the streets bare-headed,” and “she goes about with her … hair streaming down her back as all of the women of this sect do.

Below are reasons listed in commitment papers for why seven of the Holy Rollers were committed to the Oregon Insane Asylum.

Frank and Mollie Hurt Committed April 30, 1904: Lie upon their faces upon the floor and pray day and night, claiming to receive messages directly from God; go upon the streets bare-headed, in the thinnest of raiment; destroy clothing and valuable and useful property belonging to themselves, injuring their mind and health by continuation of these practices which they claim are the commands of God. Not destructive except as above stated, not violent and have not been restrained.

Maud Hurt-Creffield Committed May 3, 1904: Religious fanatic--believes in not wearing any covering for the head and the destruction of all the unnecessary articles of apparel.

Sophie Hartley Committed May 3, 1904: Religious fanatic--does not believe there is a Christian in any of the other churches--is identified with the notorious Holy Rollers and claims that she is called to be an apostle and performing [illegible] for same.”

Rose Seeley Committed May 6, 1904: Would not shake hands with others than her sect, because with others it is only a form. Would not sit on a chair, because it is not the natural way, but on the ground or floor. She remained standing during examination. Her church is the only church. Still believes Creffield a child of God.

Attie Bray Committed May 6, 1904: She was stubborn about answering questions. She believes in the restoration of all things and as an indication of some of her beliefs, regarding dress, she goes about with her head uncovered and hair streaming down her back as all of the women of this sect do.

Sarah M Hurt Committed June 27, 1904: Claims her husband is not related to her, and that God is her husband. Goes barefooted, sits or lies on floor, continually and engages in prayer.


Attie Bray's Commitment & Asylum Records

Sophie Hartley's Commitment & Asylum Records

Frank Hurt's Commitment & Asylum Records

Maud Hurt's Commitment & Asylum Records

Mollie Hurt's Commitment & Asylum Records

Sarah Hurt's Commitment & Asylum Records

Rose Seeley's Commitment & Asylum Records


County Court of the State of Oregon for Linn County. In The Matter of the Examination and Commitment of:
Mollie Hurt.  Complaint Filed 30 April 1904.
Frank Hurt. Complaint Filed 30 April 1904.

County Court of the State of Oregon for Benton County. The Matter of the Examination and Commitment of Atta (sic) Bray. Filed 6 May 1903.
Rose Seely (sic). Complaint. Filed 6 May 1904.
Sarah M. Hurt. Filed 27 June1904.

Personal History, Females, Volumes 4B Oregon Insane Asylum, Oregon State Hospital, p. 277.

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