From Kook Science
Henry Hoverman (December 20, 1860 - March 9, 1943) was an American machinist who was reported in October 1898 to have been incarcerated at Columbus State Hospital following an apparent breakdown during which he asserted he was both God and a machine himself. The press attributed his mental state to a decade-long interest in perpetual motion. Hoverman would remain in the care of the state of Ohio from that time until his death.
- "BELIEVES HE'S GOD. Henry Hoverman of Lewis Street Is Violently Insane. WILL BE TAKEN TO COLUMBUS. He's an Inventive Genius and Can Make Almost Anything, but Comes to Grief Trying to Perfect a Perpetual Motion Machine -- Mind Began To Fail About Five Weeks Ago.", Marion Star (Marion, OH): 4, 21 Oct. 1898, https://www.newspapers.com/newspage/299567625
Henry Hoverman of Lewis street, who has been slightly unbalanced mentally for about five weeks, was taken violently insane Thursday and now has to be carefully guarded to keep him from doing himself or family bodily harm. Hoverman is a machinist by trade and up to the time of his losing his reason was employed in the Strobel Manufacturing company's shops. He was a genius in his line and it seems could make anything he tried, excepting, however, a perpetual motion machine. For ten years he labored on this and, like all before him, he failed. About five weeks ago his mind began to fail him and since then he has grown steadily worse. At time he had lucid periods, but soon he would again imagine he was making all sorts of machines. Another thing he imagines is that he is a machine himself and he then claims to be God. Dr. Miller has been attending him. He will be given a hearing Saturday morning and sent to the state hospital at Columbus. His brother, N. W. Hoverman of Kossuth was sent for at once and is here taking care of him. His wife and two children are almost broken-hearted over the serious turn of his condition.
- "TAKEN TO COLUMBUS Is Henry Hoverman Mentioned in Friday's Star", Marion Star (Marion, OH): 4, 22 Oct. 1898, https://www.newspapers.com/image/299568074/
Probate Judge Burke this morning held an inquest of lunacy on Henry Hoverman, a resident of the West End, who has a wife and three children, and whose case was mentioned in Friday's Star. Judge Burke found the man to be of unsound mind and issued an order to Sheriff Battenfeld, who took him to the state hospital at Columbus this afternoon.
- "Thinks He is a Machine.", Marietta Daily Leader (Marietta, OH): 1, 23 Oct. 1898, https://www.newspapers.com/newspage/68094014/
MARION, O., Oct. 22. — Henry Hoverman has become violently insane after ten years' work trying to invent a perpetual motion machine. He believes he is God and that he is a machine himself.
- "HENRY HOVERMAN TAKEN TO INFIRMARY, Is Brought from the State Hospital at Columbus", Marion Star (Marion, OH): 5, 13 Aug. 1907, https://www.newspapers.com/newspage/299574934/
Henry Hoverman, aged about forty years, who was taken to the state hospital for the insane at Columbus eight years ago, is now an inmate of the county infirmary[...] He is suffering of a melancholia that completely veils his memory. He recognizes no one. His wife and four children live west of the city. Hoverman lost his mind as a result of studying the problem of perpetual motion.