NEVADA STATE HOSPITAL #3
Information for researching former
Nevada State Hospital patients and employees.
1. General Information.
can be difficult to research a family member who was a patient at the
Nevada State Hospital #3, but here is the information that can help you
do so. The Hospital, which was sometimes referred to as the Lunatic
Asylum, in Nevada, Vernon County, Missouri, treated a wide variety of
illnesses and conditions over the years it was in operation: mental
disease, tuberculosis, syphilis, senility, epilepsy, etc.
Constructed in the 1880s, the Nevada State Hospital was enumerated in
the U.S. Federal Census as part of Washington Township, Vernon County,
Missouri. It was usually listed as a separate unit, and the patients
were referred to as inmates. Many hospital employees lived in staff
housing in the massive hospital complex and were enumerated before the
1900 Census for the Nevada State Hospital #3 (J. Baker website)
1930 Census for the Nevada State Hospital #3 (J. Baker website)
3. Hospital Closed.
Nevada State Hospital #3 was closed in 1991; and the large, picturesque
main building was torn down in 1998. Several of the other buildings
4. Disposition of
Remains Upon Death.
While researching Nevada State Hospital patients and working on the new
Vernon County Cemetery Directory, it was noted that when a patient at
the State Hospital died, one of the following usually happened:
the family requested
the remains be shipped to them for burial;
the family paid for
burial in a local cemetery in Vernon County;
the family did not
claim the remains and burial was in the State Hospital Cemetery at
Nevada, MO; or
the remains were not claimed by the family and/or requested donation
to medical science.
5. Confirming Patient
confirm if an ancestor was a patient and date of death at the Nevada
State Hospital, you can write to:
Springs, MO 64744
In your letter, explain
the four following items:
1) who you are researching -- include all known basic information about
your ancestor, such as when and where born, maiden name, married name(s),
and approximate dates they were at the hospital;
2) how you are related to that individual;
3) that you want to confirm that he/she was a patient at the Nevada
State Hospital #3 and when he/she died; and
4) that the information is for family history research.
Southwest Mental Health office cannot accept phone inquiries regarding
former patients. Confirming patient status and/or death is all that
the Southwest Mental Health Office can provide; see below for medical
records. Once a date of death is confirmed, a death certificate can
be ordered if the death was 1910 or after (see below).
6. Missouri Deaths after 1910.
The Missouri State Archives has placed a searchable index on-line of
Missouri deaths after 1910 that are now at least 50 years old. The link
certificates were required in Missouri beginning in 1910, and a
certificate should list both the cause of death and disposition of
remains. Also see suggestions for researching Vernon County
7. Certified Death Certificate.
State of Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services for
information on requesting a certified copy of a death certificate
from 1910 to present or of a death certificate that is less than 50
years old. As of July 2010, the fee for a death certificate from DHSS
8. Medical Records.
The process for obtaining Nevada State Hospital #3 medical records of an
ancestor who was a patient is to submit a written letter of request to:
County Circuit Court
hearing on your request will be scheduled in Nevada, Missouri with the
appropriate County and State officials and you. If you live out of this
area and will be unable to attend the hearing, please so indicate in
your letter. The Vernon County Associate Circuit Judge advises that it
is not necessary to hire a lawyer for this hearing.
9. Add Patient's Death
to Database of Vernon County Deaths.
If you have an ancestor who died at the State Hospital and would like to
add that information to the database of Vernon County deaths, please
email as much of the
following information that you have:
including maiden name of women
Full date of
Full date of
parents including maiden name of mother
Location of burial, even if not in Vernon County
10. Nevada State Hospital #3 Cemetery.
There are numerous flat markers (no upright stones) in the State
Hospital Cemetery. It is kept mowed, and the gate is locked to keep out
people who do not need to be there. The Nevada State Hospital Cemetery
is included in the Vernon County, Missouri Cemetery Directory 2010 as
well as information on many patients who died and were buried other than
in Vernon County. The information was taken from abstracted copies of
the hospital cemetery plat map, various funeral home records, death
certificates, and newspaper notices. Unfortunately, when the hospital
closed and records and files were packed and moved, the State Hospital
cemetery records were misplaced. Click
here for photos of the cemetery entrance.
11. Visiting State Hospital #3 Cemetery.
visit the cemetery: between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.,
Monday-Friday, go to the Nevada Habilitation Office located at 2323
North Ash Street, Nevada, MO, where you can view a plat map of the
cemetery and check out a gate key. There is no patient information at
the Habilitation Office beyond the plat map. As with most flat markers
over the years, many have sunk down a few inches and some probing may be
required to find them. Click here
for a Nevada map showing the cemetery.
12. State Hospital #3 Employees.
Persons working at the Nevada State Hospital #3 were employees of the
State of Missouri. As such, their names, job titles, and salaries are
listed in the Missouri Blue Book for the year(s) they were
employees. Copies of the current and previous years' Missouri Blue
Book are available at the Nevada Public Library as well as numerous
13. Other State Hospital Websites.
A great local history and genealogy website with information about the
Hospital #3 is hosted by Lyndon Irwin. Many photos of the former
facility are shown. Another site with information on the Nevada
State Hospital is
14. History of Nevada State Hospital.
The First One Hundred Years of
Mental Health Services 1885-1985
published in July 1985 by the Nevada State Hospital administration and
gives the history of the Nevada hospital and treatment of mental health
over the years. A copy is in the Nevada Library Genealogy Room. Click
on the title of the book to see a copy of its Table of Contents and
15. State Hospital Resources for Researchers.
Several resources for researching former State Hospital patients are
available in the Nevada Library Genealogy Department. Please see the
listing of research resources in the
Nevada Library Genealogy Department for items specific to the Nevada
State Hospital #3.
Generally, if an obituary was published following the death of a
patient, it would have been in the patient's home-town newspaper,
wherever that was. The local Nevada, Missouri, newspaper sometimes had
small articles about the arrival of patients during the hospital's first
several years of operation. Below is one such article which was
published in the Nevada Daily Mail, Nevada, Missouri, on August
AT THE ASYLUM
and Twenty-Eight Patients
Population Growing Fast.
Abbey of Kansas City was received at the Asylum yesterday as a private
patient. She was taken there in charge of Humane Officer Sherlock, who
said he had performed his mission at the request of the young woman’s
mother. Miss Abbey is young, pretty, stylish, and does not appear to an
ordinary observer as being unbalanced in mind.
Ex-Representative John Teel of Lawrence county, who was received at the
Asylum Wednesday, takes matters very calmly. He likes his quarters and
says he was a friend to locating the institution here, being a member of
the state legislature at that time. He says he may be a little out of
line mentally, but that his wife is more crazy than he is, and that she
ought to have been in the asylum long ago. He is 53 years of age, and
has been prominent in politics for a number of years. He is a native of
Illinois, and settled in Lawrence county in the latter part of the
The Asylum received six patients Wednesday and three Thursday.
The institution now has 428 patients, and a capacity for about 600.
17. Newspaper Indexes.
Please check the
newspaper indexes to see if there might have been an article about
18. County Records.
The Nevada State Hospital #3 was a State operated facility. It was not
a Vernon County facility; and therefore, its operation was not under the
Vernon County government so there are no county records of its
If a Missouri
county court adjudged a person insane and to be committed to the Nevada
State Hospital #3, there are records of the court action in that county
where the individual was a resident. Additionally, that county would
have paid fees to the State Hospital for that patient's care/keep.
County records of most Missouri counties have been microfilmed and are
available at both the individual county and the Missouri State Archives.
County, those records are available at the Vernon County Courthouse and
also in the Nevada Library Genealogy Department on microfilm. This
Vernon County microfilm pertains only to county administrative issues,
primarily payments to the hospital, of only Vernon County
residents who were sent to the Asylum by the Vernon County Courts.
The two rolls of microfilm are not indexed and numerous other county
records are also on both rolls of microfilm. The film is labeled as
C23069 and C23070, and section titles on the microfilm include:
Records 1889-1932. (These are not hospital medical records.)
Expenditures Patient 1905-1909.
Insane Notices 1941-44 and 1945-49.
(There appears to be gaps in the years covered; if additional
information is located it will be added to this website.)