From Kook Science
Erick Ackerland (b. c. 1879 - February 15, 1954) was a farmer who was adjudged insane by a North Dakota court in August 1912 and was thereafter incarcerated at the Jamestown State Hospital (a.k.a. North Dakota State Hospital at Jamestown), where he was held for the remainder of his life. The newspaper notice regarding Ackerland's case was entitled simply "PERPETUAL MOTION" and related he had been "working on the illusive perpetual motion theory, that has driven so many over the verge of sanity," suggesting a link between such pursuit and his mental condition, a popular trope of the period.
- "PERPETUAL MOTION.", Jamestown Weekly Alert (Jamestown, ND): 2, 5 Sep. 1912, https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85042405/1912-09-05/ed-1/seq-2/, "Grafton, N.D., Aug. 29. — Erick Ackerland, a young farmer of Cleveland township, was brought before the insanity board last Friday for an examination, and the board decided the young man was mentally unbalanced and ordered him committed to the Jamestown hospital for treatment. Ackerland, who is 35 years old, has been subject to attacks of melancholia for some time. He would go for days by himself tramping and seeking solitude. He is also working on the illusive perpetual motion theory, that has driven so many over the verge of sanity. He was taken to Jamestown Monday."