History of Applicants for Admission to

“EXPERIMENTAL SCHOOL FOR THE INSTRUCTION AND TRAINING
OF IDIOTS AND FEEBLEMINDED CHILDREN
IN THE STATE OF ILLINOIS”
May 1865 to May 1868


Surnames A - I
Surnames J - W

“At the basis of all our efforts lies the principle that the human attributes of intelligence, sensitivity and 
will are not absolutely wanting in an idiot, but dormant and undeveloped.  Of the ten pupils in the 
Institution as of November 25th, only one could talk well; two were speechless, the others sadly 
deficient in their power of articulation; several were awkward in their movements, though all could 
walk; one could read; another knew the alphabet.  When attempts at home had been made to teach 
them, they had signally failed.  Not one was able to make a straight line.  With two exceptions, all had 
little or no idea of the distinctions of form or color.  In each case it was very difficult to arrest and fix 
the attention.

All were more or less irregular and uncleanly in their habits, peculiar in the general deportment, and 
at the table.  Some were passionate, disobedient.  Few ere able to dress or undress themselves.  
Many of these things changed for the better as instruction was carried on.

In the school room the results exceeded expectations.  The parents and friends of the pupils in every 
instance expressed satisfaction with what had been accomplished in such a short time since the 
Institution was opened.  Music seemed to have a remarkable effect upon some of the pupils, and was
a very important element in instruction methods.  When hearing others, many tried to sing themselves, 
simple songs and hymns.  It had the same effect that it has on all others of the human race, that of 
refining and elevating their natures.

Starting the school was easy, once the fine home setting was secured.  Getting the funds for the school 
was the hard part, as will be noted here.

The first action in relation to the establishment of an institution of this kind in Illinois was taken by the 
State Medical Society at their annual meeting, held in Bloomington, June 5th, 1855.  A committee of 
three of its members, consisting of Drs. David Prince, E. R. Roe and J. V. Z. Blaney, was appointed 
“to memorialize the Legislature with regard to additional provision for the insane, and the establishment 
of an institution for idiots.”  This committee continued four years, presenting a written memorial to each 
of the two succeeding General Assemblies.

The second action was taken by Dr. Andrew McFarland, Superintendent of the Hospital for the 
Insane, in his fifth biennial report in 1856:  “In repeated instances within the last two years application 
has been made at this hospital for the admission of young subjects of 10 or 12 years of age, and even 
younger, who have been feeble minded or idiotic, sometimes from birth, and having had no well 
regulated education, have become a source of great anxiety, trouble and sometimes danger, to their 
parents or sponsors.  The great majority have been rejected; as we deem a hospital for the adult 
insane ill-fitted to receive those who demand such peculiar and careful treatment.”

The third action came in the eighty biennial report of the Directors and Principal of the Illinois 
Institution for the Deaf and Dumb in 1860, in which Dr. Gillett said: “The exercise of a painful duty has 
devolved upon me in rejecting numerous and constantly recurring applications to admit into the 
Institution children of defective intellect.  The parents frequently suppose their children to be deaf
 mutes, not knowing that those who are afflicted with imbecility, though hearing perfectly, are unable 
to speak.  The constant recurrence of these applications has repeatedly impressed upon me the great 
and immediate demand for an institution in this state which will afford them instruction suited to their 
condition ... A careful investigation shows that two-thirds of the inmates of the county poor houses 
are of this class, who if they had been properly taught when young, might have been rendered persons 
capable of self-support instead of a burden upon society for their life-time...”

And so it was, after many other appeals, and the Civil War was over, a school of instruction at 
Jacksonville started “the ball to rolling” for this needed education.

We do not have an exact date when the institution definitely moved to Lincoln, but we have this 
statement: “At the regular session of the General Assembly in 1871, an act was passed incorporating 
the Asylum for Feeble-Minded Children as one of the permanent charitable institutions of the State.  
“In April, 1875, appropriations were made for land and the construction of buildings for the asylum.  
After a careful survey of the State, Lincoln was selected as the permanent location.  The occupation 
of the first building and grounds in 1878, with its enlarged accommodations, greatly facilitated the
labors in behalf of this noble cause.  The building was soon found inadequate, and further 
appropriations were made in 1899 for the erection of two cottages, one of which was completed 
in 1901, and the other in 1902. ....The number of inmates present October 1, 1905, was 1,439.

By Mrs. Florence Hutchison, published in March 1990.
AP# Name Residence County
153 (No Last Name), Margaret Golconda Pope
124 (No Name Given) Salem Marion
1 Agnew, Tyler Earlville LaSalle
100 Allard, Joseph L. Elizabethtown Hardin
129 Allen, Angeline Sherburnville Kankakee
157 Allen, John D. Walnut Grove McDonough
132 Allen, Lennie H. Union Grove Whiteside
141 Alsup, Beniah Leroy McLean
142 Alsup, John Leroy McLean
97 Anderson, Julia M. Chicago Cook
45 Arrington, Lucinda Jacksonville Morgan
114 Bailey, Oscar M. York Carroll
74 Baker, Luphamia Meriden LaSalle
186 Barr, Sarah F. Peoria Peoria
150 Beard, Theresa J. South Bristol Kenosha, Wi
188 Becker, Henry Beardstown Cass
197 Belay, Mary Evaline Chicago Cook
83 Benz, Eddie Mascoutah St. Clair
106 Biggs, Calvin Bennett Carbondale Jackson
199 Billings, Marion A. Manchester Scott
151 Black, Maggie A. Bridgeport Lawrence
5 Bower, Laura Mt. Sterling Brown
116 Boyd, Elizabeth Reading Livingston
120 Brown, Judson R. Brunfield Peoria
195 Brown, Mary Elizabeth Chicago Cook
40 Bruce, Martha Lincoln Logan
98 Bunker, Mary Chicago Cook
101 Burdett, Chloe Ellen Chicago Cook
53 Burnett, Emma V. Jacksonville Morgan
71 Butler, John Belvidere Boone
11 Cady, Iva M. Manchester Boone
176 Caldwell, Madela Havana Mason
184 Carpenter, Charles F. Chandlerville Cass
70 Chamberlain, Charles A. Sand Lake, Avon Twp. Lake
44 Chapman, Edgar D. Galesburg Knox
165 Chesley, Candia Unionville Whiteside
183 Clark, Asahel Edward Beloit Wisconsin
136 Clougher, Charles Robert Chicago Cook
8 Corrmany, Louisa M. Beloit Wisconsin
17 Crawford, Almeda Wallingford Will
134 Cunningham, Clementine H. Merion Williamson
191 Curtis, William Plainfield Will
112 Cushman, Maggie Ottawa LaSalle
182 Davis, Annie J. Odell Livingston
171 DeFries, John George San Jose Mason
2 Dewse, Richard R. Carrollton Greene
80 DeZeng, Lawrence Lawrence Quincy
140 Dillon, Rosanna Virden Macoupin
109 Donahoe, John Iowa City Iowa
82 Doughty, Madison Bloomington McLean
51 Elzey, Parthenia S. Heyworth McLean
16 Fish, Ida L. Chicago Cook
25 Fosnaugh, Sophronia Mahomet Champaign
146 Foster, Charles B. Monticello Piatt
90 Frager, Philip Springfield Sangamon
49 Freeman, Julius Princeton Bureau
130 Fringer, Josephus Vermilion Vermilion
123 Gabbons, Catherine Prairie City McDonough
61 Goodrich, James C. Chicago Cook
113 Goodspeed, John O. Victoria Knox
63 Gougher, Mancilla Haldane Ogle
62 Gougher, Sarah Ann Haldane Ogle
4 Graham, John Ottawa LaSalle
167 Grant, Walter F. S. Christian Rutherford Co., Tn
72 Grant, William E. Lockport Will
193 Grot, Emma Belleville St. Clair
7 Hait, Wilson S. McHenry McHenry
18 Hankins, David Peotone Will
92 Hansell, Mary Margaret Henry Marshall
126 Hart, James Peoria Peoria
127 Hart, John Quinn Peoria Peoria
147 Healey, Bridge Cairo Alexander
103 Helsby, Francis R. York Carroll
37 Helsby, Frank R. Warren JoDaviess
27 Hockingberry, John Decatur Macon
107 Hood, Charley A. Chicago Cook
144 Hoover, Curtis Bridgeport Lawrence
189 Hopkins, Edward B. Bement Piatt
67 Huddle, James Chicago Cook
6 Hunt, Anna B. Galesburg Knox
192 Hurd, William Mercer
10 Huson, Frank E. Hainesville Lake
172 Hyde, Jasper White Hall Greene

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