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Old City Sanitarium records

Old City Sanitarium records

Posted: 26 Nov 2011 5:24PM GMT
Classification: Query
Does anyone know if old City Sanitarium records (1939) are available for genealogical reasons? On a prior thread from 2002 someone wrote that they were but upon writing to the St Louis Psychiatric Rehab Center they just sent me back a release for the patient to sign. I'm not sure if my great aunt was an employee there or a patient but her death cert states that she was employed as a hospital attendant and did die at City Sanitarium of cancer. The death cert also listed a residence address so I'm really confused as to why she would have died at City Sanitarium. Anyone who could shed some light on this, it would be greatly appreciated.

Re: Old City Sanitarium records

Posted: 28 Nov 2011 1:46AM GMT
Classification: Query
Given the fact that she was employed there, isn't logical that she w2ould taken care there in last days?

Re: Old City Sanitarium records

Posted: 28 Nov 2011 4:01PM GMT
Classification: Query
I don't know if she was employed there or not. That is her occupation listed on the death certificate and it states she was last employed 1/1938 (a full year before her death). She died of colon cancer per the certificate and City Sanitarium was a hospital for the "insane" in 1939, if I'm correct. I don't know what was "common place" back in 1939.

Re: Old City Sanitarium records

Posted: 11 Jun 2012 3:07PM GMT
Classification: Query
Have you tried the St. Louis Public Library? A lot of the historic records may have been sent there for archival purposes.

Re: Old City Sanitarium records

Posted: 11 Jun 2012 3:52PM GMT
Classification: Query
In your post you say, that in 1939 the City Sanitarium was for the insane mostly. Was that the one on Arsenal street? If so was it for the insane in 1915 also? Was it strictly for the insane or other illness as well?

Re: Old City Sanitarium records

Posted: 11 Jun 2012 5:09PM GMT
Classification: Query
Yes, it was on Arsenal Street. I'm unsure and that's what I've been trying to find out. My great,great-aunt was supposedly employed as a "hospital attendant" but I don't know where. She died in the City Sanitarium and the death cert lists the cause of death as "cancer of the intestines". So I don't know if she was a mental patient doing some type of work in the hospital and died there of cancer only because she was already a mental health patient or if she worked there and because of that they took care of her when she became terminally ill. I have written twice now to the present location asking for employment record or hospital record and have been given the run around-----a release for my great,great-aunt to sign!! I told them twice that she has been deceased since 1939 but it doesn't do any good!

Re: Old City Sanitarium records

Posted: 11 Jun 2012 5:21PM GMT
Classification: Query
I just e-mailed them, Anita, and I'll post their response here. Thank you!

Re: Old City Sanitarium records

Posted: 11 Jun 2012 6:32PM GMT
Classification: Query
Sorry I couldn't come out to this sooner. I spent some time this morning searching the web and making a phone calls.

Here's the deal:

The archived records are at the hospital (after a few moves). The records department will not release any records for genealogical purposes. You could get around that, though, by having your doctor request the discharge papers for your relative. Of course, there's no guarantee the records you want still exist.

The records moved from the City Sanitarium to the Missouri Institute of Mental Health Library, then that Library closed for a while. At the time the MIMH Library closed, they sent the records to the St. Louis Psychiatric Rehabilitation Center (the new name for the City Sanitarium).

So, unless that Public Library lead bears fruit, you'll have to see if your doctor will request the records for medical purposes.

Re: Old City Sanitarium records

Posted: 11 Jun 2012 6:34PM GMT
Classification: Query
Edited: 11 Jun 2012 6:38PM GMT
Oh yeah. The really funny thing is that it's all on the same campus.

If you're interested, group tours of the facility are available according to this web page: http://www.mimh.edu/TheInstitute/History/StateHospital/tabid...

See the note at the very bottom.

Re: Old City Sanitarium records

Posted: 11 Jun 2012 6:45PM GMT
Classification: Query
Here is the history page for the facility:
http://dmh.mo.gov/slprc/history.htm

It opened as the St. Louis County Lunatic Asylum on April 23, 1869. It was the 2nd in the state of Missouri to serve the mentally ill population.

This sentence appears about halfway down: "The next overflow crisis occurred in the early 1920s which precipitated a separate building being erected for attendants' quarters."

So it looks like at least some of the hospital attendants lived on the campus. That may be why your relative was there.
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