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Illinois Institute for Feeble Minded Children, Lincoln City IL

Illinois Institute for Feeble Minded Children, Lincoln City IL

Posted: 24 Jan 2007 12:43AM GMT
Classification: Query
Does anyone know anything about this place? I don't believe children were necessarily placed there because they were "feeble minded". I think it was a place to put boys whose parents couldn't or wouldn't care for them. I know of an inmate on the 1930 census who went on to hold a job, marry, and father several children. He was in his teens at the time and his younger siblings were in St Hedwigs and the Illinois Industrial School. Anyone have any information? I believe the parents were not good parents and may have lost the children or placed them there to get rid of them.

Re: Illinois Institute for Feeble Minded Children, Lincoln City IL

Posted: 24 Jan 2007 12:49AM GMT
Classification: Query
I neglected to say, the census record shows that he was there in 1930. Also, Lincoln City is in Logan Co. I do not mention his name because his children/grandchildren may not know he was there.

Re: Illinois Institute for Feeble Minded Children, Lincoln City IL

Posted: 18 Jun 2007 5:01AM GMT
Classification: Query
I can't view the census page so can't comment on the census headings and entries. This is Lincoln, Illinois. The "City" reference probably means the City of Lincoln, as opposed to a township location with a Lincoln Post Office address. The institution was located on the edge of town. It closed a few years ago. If you go to the Logan County IL and the Illinois Unknown message boards, you can probably find several messages about the institution, closing, records, etc. (Those are possibly more appropriate boards to submit your queries than this message board. The Lincoln "institution" has had a number of different names. However, it was not an orphanage.)The records for the Department of Mental Health (and most other places like the Illinois School for the Deaf) are closed. However, you can often find information at the county level, such as those declaring a child a ward of the court. (At ISD, the student records are closed but we found records at the county court level showing payments for books, laundry, etc. for a number of children whose parents couldn't provide the necessities when their deaf children went to ISD.) You can google to the "Secretary of State" Illinois website and then check the descriptive inventory for information that is available. I think if you will repost your query at the above message boards, you will hear from others who have also been seeking information. Hope this helps. Kathleen (STANFIELD) COOK at rchrdcck@aol.com

Re: Illinois Institute for Feeble Minded Children, Lincoln City IL

Posted: 18 Jun 2007 5:08AM GMT
Classification: Query
Thank you so much for this information. I will do as you suggest and try posting the message in the other places.
What a coincidence that we have the same last name. Maybe I will be able to get to the bottom of this mystery yet. I had given up. Milli.

Re: Illinois Institute for Feeble Minded Children, Lincoln City IL

Posted: 7 Mar 2008 7:47PM GMT
Classification: Query
I found this link for St. Hedwig Orphanage - 1920 Census maybe this will help?

http://www.pgsa.org/sthedwigorph.htm

Rusty

Re: Illinois Institute for Feeble Minded Children, Lincoln City IL

Posted: 21 Sep 2008 9:27AM GMT
Classification: Query
I tend to concur, in fact I know of one young child who was placed there who was not feeble-minded. He was perfectly healthy. He was placed there because he was an "illegitimate" child. His mother married when he was still less than 2 or 3 years old and the new "father" resented the child and insisted he be placed in this home. the mother, for whatever reason, was unable to resist doing so. I am trying to find out if he ever got out. His brother wants to find news of him. Actually, his half brother. The person I am assisting was the son of the "man" who insisted this child be placed there. The child's names was James Thomas Conroy or Thomas James Conroy, I believe the former, he was born very near January, 1939. It was a tragic situation. I hope he made his way out without becoming institutionalized. How can we find out what became of him. Incidentally, my friend whom I am helping was later placed in a home himself for the reason that he was "unruly" but it was the parents who were unruly actually. Because they got money for letting him live with them they did eventually take my friend back but they used the money for their own purpose and not for my friend's benefit. It is hard for me to remain neutral on this but I do not wish to say too much. Children love their parents, sometimes in spite of what the parents do to them, amazingly. So I do not wish to say too much and risk offending. ANY HELP PLEASE would be appreciated. It is too late now but my heart bleeds for a normal healthy baby boy to be abandoned so cruelly to grow up in a cold institution.

Re: Illinois Institute for Feeble Minded Children, Lincoln City IL

Posted: 21 Sep 2008 9:28AM GMT
Classification: Query
I did mention a name here, too late to change it. I guess I only hope that the child I mentioned was able to get out without becoming institutionalized. I'm having a hard time staying focused on this because it is heartbreaking.

Re: Illinois Institute for Feeble Minded Children, Lincoln City IL

Posted: 21 Sep 2008 11:56AM GMT
Classification: Query
The name of the person I found listed as an inmate is a very unusual name and there would be no doubt of a connection if I listed it. If it was my own family I wouldn't hesitate to use the name but I am searching at someone else's request and so I didn't. Ironically, this same man had his son institionalized when he was in his teens, similar to your story. I guess it is true that very often we raise our children as we were raised. His sisters say there was nothing wrong with the boy except that his father couldn't totally control him. Good luck with your search. Unfortunately, my own search dead-ended some time ago but I still go in and try every now and then, hoping for some new info. I am happy to get a response from you since it shows someone is looking at the messages. Milli.

Re: Illinois Institute for Feeble Minded Children, Lincoln City IL

Posted: 24 Sep 2008 11:17PM GMT
Classification: Query
thanks for your reply.

It is very disheartening that I can find no trace of him at all. I cannot even find if he died or not. What kind of world is this where a child cvan be put into an institution on the whim of his parents and never be found again? I know you must be as frustrated as I am. Just had to voice that frustration.

Re: Illinois Institute for Feeble Minded Children, Lincoln City IL

Posted: 25 Sep 2008 3:36AM GMT
Classification: Query
Unfortunately, he was born at the wrong time as far as census records. 1939 being his year of birth makes it difficult. I suppose you have already searched all of the places I would suggest. If you want to send me the info you have and tell me where you've searched, I would try to help. He was probably born in IL...do you have his mother's name? Have you worked under the assumption that he is still living and searched ZABA? It is possible he was adopted and his name was changed. I'm afraid you may not find anything until you can get to the 1940 census and see if there was any record of where he was then. Your search is a difficult one, as mine is. Good luck. Milli.
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