DOCTOR SANBORN was born in the town of Standish, Maine, July 11, 1839. His parents,
Warren Sanborn and Jane Warren, were among the prominent citizens of his native town, and were representatives
of the best familes in our State. His illustrious grandfather, John Sanborn, was a soldier in the war of the Revolution.
Doctor Sanborn was brought up on a farm, and contracted those habits of industry and frugality which have contributed
so much in making New England men distinguished and successful in whatever they undertake. His education was acquired
in select schools, and be finally finished his academic course at Limington Academy, one of the oldest and best
institutions in our State.
After some deliberation, he wisely made choice of the profession of medicine as his field of future labor and usefulness,
and after a three years' course of hard study graduated at the Medical School of Bowdoin College with distinguished
honors. On this account, by the recommendation of the medical faculty, he was immediately selected as first assistant
physician in the Maine State Insane Asylum in the year 1866. He served in this capacity for seventeen years, and
during this long period was eminently successful and won the esteem and entire confidence of the official management
of the institution, so that when the late distinguished and beloved Dr. H. M. Harlow retired, on account of physical
disabilities, from the superintendency of the Maine State Insane Hospital, where he had spent nearly forty years
of active and efficient service, Doctor Sanborn was found adequate to meet the demands of the occasion, and in
1882 was elected and assumed the responsibilities of Superintendent of the Hospital.
He immediately spent several months in investigating the workings of similar institutions in other States, thus
early bringing to the management of his own charge the most advanced practice and modern modes of the older and
larger hospitals, and a professional knowledge of the most approved features in the practical workings of the best
asylums in the country. He has always been an assiduous student in medicine, and particularly in that department
of mental disease to which he has given thus far his life work. His many medical essays delivered at stated meetings
of the medical profession, in this and other States, have been considered as words of original thought and research,
and have always been received with favorable consideration.
His large experience in mental diseases has frequently brought him into the courts of our State, where the judgment
and evidence of so distincruished an expert have great weight and influence in determining personal cases of insanity,
where responsibility and justice should be carefully considered. Consultations in regard to insanity outside the
routine work of the Hospital have been and are continually being sought and arranged by anxious families with Doctor
Sanborn, and he has always responded, when official duties would admit, thus securing the thanks and good-will
of many of the citizens of our State.
The several yearly reports of the Trustees of the Insane Hospital furnish the best evidence of the high consideration
and esteem which have followed Doctor Sanborn in the discharge of his multitudinous and responsible duties, during
twenty-seven years of active service, which was manifested several years ago by giving one of the large buildings
of the Hospital the name of "Sanborn Hall." While Doctor Sanborn is everywhere known as an educated painstaking,
and careful physician, he also unites the qualifications of a practical mechanic and business man, winch are so
essential in the management of the physical wants and economic demands of a great State Institution.
The History of Kennebec County, Maine, says: "The two large hospital buildings in the center of the background
of the Institution were erected under the superintendence of Doctor Sanborn in 1888-9; in fact, less than one-half
of the present equipment of the Institution was in existence when be was elected assistant physician in 1866, and
nearly one-half of the buildings have been erected under his supervision. It is a great credit to the Commonwealth
of Maine that the existence and efficiency of so liberal a charity to unfortunate bumamty stands as one of its
proudest monuments, and it is only just to a broad-minded and capable public servant, to note here that this noble
Institution, under the liberal provisions of the State, has made such progress and reached its most important period
of proficiency within the decade maked by the management of Bigelow T. Sanborn."
The social, intellectual, and moral entertainments at the Hospital have largely increased in variety and power
with excellent results during the past ten years. The increased works of art which please the eye and the introduction
of modern articles of comfort have materially changed the appearance of the interior of the Hospital and make it
far more attractive to the unfortunate, but appreciative, inmates; and the artistic arrangement of beds of beautiful
flowers and variegated shrubbery, and the shady walks through the extended grounds of the Institution, each and
all have contributed to make hospital life far more endurable, and recoveries more speedy and sure, and collectively
is a monument to the fine taste and accomplishments of Doctor Sanborn.
Doctor Sanborn married Miss Emma F. Martin, an accomplished and highly esteemed lady of Augusta, in 1872, and her
department in the Hospital has been wisely administered and well conducted. 1 heir pleasant and bright family of
children consists of the following names: Maud S., Warren B., Walter M., and Ray F. Notwithstanding his constant
and laborious public duties, Doctor Sanborn finds great enjoyment in the pleasures of the family fireside, and
he has given his time and influence in favor of the advancement of all great moral questions, and always aided
in all public efforts which have contributed to the educational and business prosperity of the State of Maine.