Manteno State Hospital Cemetery

Manteno State Hospital in Manteno,Illinois was once one of the largest mental facilities in the US, they had over 8,000 patients by the 1950s. I had an uncle there as a patient for having Downs Syndrome. The nurses did the best they could with what they had, but that’s another story. There were many scandals and issues throughout it’s short history and it closed in 1985. There is a cemetery close to the facility that was for patients, then after it close the Veterans Administration started using it for the burial of veterans. The graves were separated by religion, Catholic & Protestant. To this day no one has been able to explain what happened to those of other religions. About 4,000 former patients are buried here, they all received a marker, but unfortunately most have sunk into the ground and there’s no attempt to fix them.

Later headstone gave dates and aren’t sinking as bad like this one

Sadly, most look like this one

Although the state says they have no information to share concerning burials, the cemetery is open to the public. The VA using the cemetery to bury veterans, it’s listed as a national cemetery by the federal government. Although they don’t bother to acknowledge the patients that were veterans. I’m currently adding names to the list of names to FindaGrave as I go.

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