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
  • Group supports chickens in city DANVILLE - A proposed chicken ordinance for the city already has its supporters. Resident Ed Strahl said he's more concerned about dangerous dogs than chickens. "I don't see much wrong with it (chickens in residents' backyards), if contained right,"

    April 23, 2014

  • New arrest in Friday's triple shooting DANVILLE -- Police have made a second arrest as part of the investigation into a triple shooting last week. Joquin Washington, 19, of Danville, was booked at the Public Safety Building jail around 9:20 p.m. Monday on preliminary charges of aggravated

    April 23, 2014

  • Police Report Incidents reported to police include: Danville Sunday: Domestic battery along East Main Street. Disorderly conduct in the 900 block of East Madison Street. Property damage in the 500 block of Highland Park Road. Monday: Retail theft at Mach 1, 510 N.

    April 23, 2014

  • Fire Calls Firefighters responded to the following calls: Friday, 9:23-9:36 a.m. -- A carbon monoxide check in the 1300 block of Harmon Street. Friday, 11:50 a.m.-12:08 p.m. -- An illegal burning in the 1600 block of North Gilbert Street. Friday, 12:28-12:45 p.

    April 23, 2014

  • Fire destroys mobile home DANVILLE -- A leaf fire cost a local man his home Tuesday afternoon west of Danville. A total of seven fire departments, led by Kickapoo Fire Protection District, responded to an out-of-control leaf fire at 16930 Vermilion River Lane. Kickapoo Assist

    April 23, 2014

  • shoes1.jpg Men urged to 'walk in her shoes' at fundraiser TILTON — To understand the issue of sexualized violence against women, men need to take a walk in their shoes — both figuratively and literally.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Kindergarten pre-registration set

    April 22, 2014 2 Stories

  • Group seeks volunteers to help clean up Covington

    Alinda Dickinson and Becky Jones told city council members Monday that the Green Minds of Fountain County will be cleaning up parts of Covington on Sunday as part of the group's Earth Day Celebration.

    April 22, 2014

  • Walk helps crisis center

    April 22, 2014

  • Georgetown aldermen approve budget

    Aldermen approved placing the 2014 - 2015 city budget on display Monday night. City officials anticipate a deficit of a little more than $186,000.

    April 22, 2014

E-edition
AP Video
Bon Jovi Helps Open Low-income Housing in Philly Pipeline Opponents Protest on National Mall Hagel Gets Preview of New High-tech Projects S.C. Man Apologizes for Naked Walk in Wal-Mart New Country Music Hall of Fame Inductees Named 'Piles' of Bodies in South Sudan Slaughter New Yorkers Celebrate Cherry Blossom Blooms SCOTUS Hears Tv-over-Internet Case Justice Dept. Broadening Criteria for Clemency Chief Mate: Crew Told to Escape After Passengers 'Miss Meadows' Takes Holmes Back to Her Roots Biden: Russia Must Stop Talking, Start Acting David Moyes Out As Manchester United Manager Raw: Leopard Bites Man in India Iowa College Finds Beauty in Bulldogs High Court to Hear Dispute of TV Over Internet Stowaway Teen Forces Review of Airport Security
NCAA basketball
NDN Video
Viral: It's Not Pitbull - It's Amy Poehler! Raw: Leopard Bites Man in India Jenna Dewan-Tatum Strips Down Rise of the Milkbots TRENDING: Brian Williams Raps 'Gin and Juice' on ‘Tonight Show’ Middle School heroes rescue students from burning bus WHOPPER OF FISHING STORY: Florida man catches massive Mako shark Maks Chmerkovskiy's "DWTS" Meltdown The many faces of Mike Woodson Ape Builds A Fire And Toasts Marshmallows In Amazing BBC Video Manchester Utd sack manager David Moyes "RHOA's" Dramatic Brawl High school, College Drug Ring Busted In Montgomery County High Court to Hear Dispute of TV Over Internet Raw: Keflezighi, Jeptoo Win Boston Marathon Teen hitchhikes in wheel well of flight from California to Hawaii Lindsay Lohan's Jaw-Dropping Secret President Sends Message To Boston And Marathon Runners LA Pastor Attracts Churchgoers with Pot Lauren Stoner Shows Off Her Incredible Bikini Body
Must Read