Saturday, October 08, 2005

Jacksonville State Hospital in Illinois

My great-great-grandfather's brother, Herman Tellbuescher was in an asylum Jacksonville, Illinois. From what I have been told he died there. Later this turned into Jacksonville State Hospital, since then it has been closed. I went to the court house in Jacksonville but they had no record of his death. I have inquired as to what happened to the records there and no one seems to know. Do you have any suggestions on how to locate this information? Or how I can find out where he was buried? Thank you for any assistance you can give me.


Folks who work in a county facility may not be required to know what's available at the state level. It takes an old timer, who has an interest, to remember such details. Google returned a lot of hits for "Illinois State Hospital" including:

A lithograph of the Jacksonville State Hospital
This page has a link titled "JACKSONVILLE STATE HOSPITAL PATIENTS 1854 - 1870" Transcribed by Shirley Aleguas . See the website at:
A review of the letter "T" did not turn up Herman Tellbuescher, or anyone one with the first name Herman. Its possible that Shirley hasn't transcribed the years your 2nd great-grandfather's brother was in residence.

My guess would be that the state hospital records are at the state level, not at the county courthouse.

Ol' Myrt here decided to go back and read the original page more closely:, which states in tiny letters near the bottom the information on this page was obtained from these resources:

The Simmons College Archives
300 The Fenway
Boston, MA 02115

Illinois State Markers: First Illinois State Hospital for the Insane

Illinois State Archives
By visiting the Illinois State Archives site listed above, ol' Myrt here was able to locate the following sub-group of interest in your case.

-- 252.004 REGISTER OF PATIENTS. November 3, 1851-July 19, 1897. 2 vols. No index.
"Register entries for each patient include register number, name, age, sex, marital status, number of children, birthplace, county of residence, occupation, religion (occasional), date of admission, duration of insanity before admission, number of attacks, supposed cause, and date and reason for discharge. Remarks on prior institutionalization, subsequent admissions, and family background occasionally are included."

Looks like you need to make a trip to the Illinois State Archives, as there are in-house census records of the hospital, and death records, etc. Records appear intermittently for the death certificates themselves.

Illinois State Archives
Margaret Cross Norton Building
Capitol Complex
Springfield, IL 62756

Monday–Friday 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. (Central Time Zone)
Saturday 8:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. (except on holiday weekends)

A note on the archives' contact page states "please call the Archives Reference Desk at (217) 782-4866 before any Saturday visit to arrange for use of records housed in the Archives stacks." This means that the boxes are pulled Mon-Fri only.

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)
6023 26th Street West PMB 352
Bradenton, FL 34207

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