Memorial Marks Graves Of Patients At Former Insane Asylum

A memorial was dedicated today in honor of the 600 patients who died at Central State Hospital between 1848 and 1947.

  • The Central State Hospital's pathology building,

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    Photo: Indiana Medical History Museum

    The Central State Hospital's pathology building, built in 1895, now houses the Indiana Medical History Museum.

  • Greg ballard and memorial

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    Photo: Eric Berman/Network Indiana

    Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard unveils the memorial at the Central State Hospital on Monday.

Indianapolis city officials gathered this morning on the grounds of the Central State Hospital mental institution to dedicate a new memorial to the patients who died there in the first 100 years of its existence.

Nearly 600 patients died at Central State between its founding in 1848 and 1947.

Their graves are marked with small headstones bearing numerical coordinates, but a large monument identifying the names corresponding to those stones had fallen into disrepair, along with the rest of the cemetery.

About 80 volunteers cleared the graveyard of accumulated trash and debris in 2010, then began looking for a way to properly recognize those buried there.

Indianapolis resident Roy Johnson donated money toward a refurbished monument honoring all those buried there and paid for a personalized gravestone at the cemetery for his grandfather.

“I had a stone marker put down for him, and that was the only way I could show him I loved him,” Johnson says.

The Flanner and Buchanan Funeral Home picked up the rest of the cost and had the monument made.

Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard presided over the unveiling Monday, and the Wayne Township Trustee‘s office has taken over responsibility for maintaining the grounds.

The Indiana Medical History Museum pored over old hospital records to make sure names and grave locations were as accurate as possible.

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