The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

Local News

July 7, 2013

Asylums’ cemeteries lack tombstones

Willard State Hospital, located in the Finger Lakes area of upstate New York, was originally called Willard Asylum for the Insane, and was built in 1866 as a better facility than a poor house, where the insane were often kept in chains or in seclusion.

Willard is no longer in use, and it is just one of several institutions around that state with cemeteries having no tombstones — just numbered markers on each grave.

Linda A. Stuhler’s book, “Inmates of Willard 1870 to 1900,” provides a history of Willard, descriptions of the facility, and the classifications that had been established for “insane” individuals.

Her website at http://inmatesofwillard.com provides links (click on “names”) to Willard’s residents as tabulated in the federal censuses of 1870, 1880, 1900 and 1920, as well as the 1880 US Federal Census of Defective, Dependent and Delinquent Classes. Stuhler reports more than 5,000 individuals are buried in Willard’s cemetery.

Her website also provides links to other New York asylums where burials of inmates are without tombstones — cemeteries at Rochester State Hospital, Binghamton State Hospital, Dannemora State Hospital, Long Island State Hospital, to name a few.

Reading articles of the treatment of individuals is heartbreaking to say the least. Knowing that they lie buried without names or dignity is unacceptable!

Efforts are being made to correct this state of affairs. Legislation was introduced in New York last year, and again this year, to release the names of those individuals.

Stuhler’s mission “is to get the names; dates of birth and death; and location of graves, of ALL former patients who lived and died in New York State Hospitals (Insane Asylums) and custodial institutions released to the public so that these forgotten ancestors can be honored and remembered with dignity.”

What about other states? Is anyone working on a similar project in the state/s where other of our ancestors might be buried?

Text Only
Local News
  • Fair talent contest set

    August 1, 2014

  • Race to help VFW

    August 1, 2014

  • Pottery class set

    August 1, 2014

  • jimmyjohns1.jpg Sub shop to open second city location DANVILLE — Ask Jimmy John’s owner/general manager Seth Hobbs how Jimmy John’s is doing in Danville and he’ll tell you “things are going really well.”In fact, he’s planning to build a new store to reach more customers in the southern part of the city.

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • Mayor to go to design program SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Advancing plans for riverfront development with other professionals is what Mayor Scott Eisenhauer is excited about attending a fall city design session.That is his desire for his design challenge when he is paired up with planners a

    August 1, 2014

  • Police Report Incidents reported to police include:DanvilleMonday:Theft in the 100 block of Minnesota Avenue.Tuesday:Theft in the 100 block of North Bowman Avenue.Theft at Logan Avenue and West Main Street.Deceptive practice reported at First Financial Bank, 901 N

    August 1, 2014

  • Fire Calls Firefighters responded to the following calls:Wednesday, 7:51-8:03 a.m. — A medical call in the 600 block of Jewell Street.Wednesday, 8:34-8:51 a.m. — A motorcycle crash on Interstate 74 at the 214 mile marker.Wednesday, 11:12-11:30 p.m. — A medical

    August 1, 2014

  • Beef House sets production of 'Return to the Forbidden Planet' COVINGTON, Ind. — Get ready for a wild journey into space with The Beef House Dinner Theatre’s production of “Return to the Forbidden Planet.”This jukebox musical will have audiences laughing and singing along to familiar tunes such as “Good Vibratio

    August 1, 2014

  • State cites 3 Danville financial businesses DANVILLE — Three local businesses were issued citations in June by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation.The citations, which were announced on Thursday, and resulting punishments were leveled against Illinois Title Loans,

    August 1, 2014

  • Ornament designs sought

    July 31, 2014

E-edition
Spring 2014 Photos


Buy these photos and more via Smugmug

AP Video
Renewed Violence Taking Toll on Gaza Residents 2 Americans Detained in North Korea Seek Help US Employers Add 209K Jobs, Rate 6.2 Pct House GOP Optimistic About New Border Bill Gaza Truce Unravels; Israel, Hamas Trade Blame Raw: Tunisia Closes Borders With Libya Four Rescued From Crashed Plane Couple Channel Grief Into Soldiers' Retreat WWI Aviation Still Alive at Aerodrome in NY Raw: Rescuers at Taiwan Explosion Scene Raw: Woman Who Faced Death Over Faith in N.H. Clinton Before 9-11: Could Have Killed Bin Laden Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction
NDN Video
Under Armour Launches Biggest Women's Campaign with Inspiring Ad NYPD chokehold death of Eric Garner was homicide: medical examiner Christina Aguilera Pulls a Demi Moore! Man with no arms throws first pitch Chapter Two: Composing for a film in retirement Is Justin Bieber Dating a Model? Guardians of the Galaxy (Trailer) 'Sharknado 2:' Hottest Memes Surfing The Net Snoop Dogg Narrating Animal Footage Is Perfect Raw: Obama Gets Hug From Special Olympian Recapping a Blockbuster MLB Trade Deadline Tigers Acquire David Price - @TheBuzzeronFOX Russell Brand Slams Sean Hannity Over Gaza Conflict Segment Woman's Dive Goes Terribly Wrong Brian Williams Reports on Daughter Allison Williams' 'Peter Pan' Casting News Did Jimmy Fallon Look Up Heidi Klum's Dress? What Drama? Miranda Kerr Poses Topless Plane crashes in San Diego Costco parking lot Justin Bieber Takes To Instagram To Diss Orlando Bloom You Won't Believe the Celeb Cameos in "Sharknado 2"
Must Read