Family History Request Kankakee State Hospital

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I am looking for information about my great-great grandfather, John (Johann) Kr├╝ger or Krueger or Kruger who was hospitalized in Jacksonville, Illinois in the 1870's and later, I believe, moved to Kankakee after the asylum was built there, because that is where he was living when he was sent to Jacksonville. He died in 1898 and is buried in Mound Grove Cemetery in K3. I have a letter that he wrote while he was in Jacksonville, but it is old German script. I am hoping to find his date of death. Anything else will be a bonus.
If this website doesn't get involved in this sort of request, I apologize.
Thank you. R J Krueger

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I've split this off into a new thread for consistency.

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In Illinois the records for the mental health facilities were all taken in by the department of mental health. This was done to separate the mental health facilities records from other public welfare programs and to establish a better system for managing finances. Based on this the records are actually held by the Illinois state archives and accessible through contacts at the link below.

http://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/departments/archives/di/218__002.htm

Access to some of these records is restricted according to the provisions of the Mental Health Code and the State Records Act of 1957 as amended. (per the government website.)

The facility you are looking for records from changed names several times as well, most of the records would be listed under it's final official name, which was shortened to the Kankakee Developmental Center.

Other names include
Shapiro Developmental Center (Kankakee), Illinois Eastern Hospital for the Insane, Kankakee Mental Health Center, Kankakee Developmental Center, Governor Samuel H. Shapiro Developmental Center

The hospitals address is 100 E Jeffery St, Kankakee, IL 60901 and is still operating so you may be able to get more information on historic records requests through the hospitals official channels or by contacting the secretary of state who is the states holder of all older medical records that are added to the archives.

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It's a safe bet there aren't records that old at Kankakee, they turned over most of there patient files in the 1960s to the state archives. On the 1930 census at Kankakee State there is a John Krueger, cant find anything from before 1898. Illinois death records only go back to 1898 unfortunately.

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I added the contact for kankakee, as they would probably know better whether or not he is even going to be able to get the files if he requests them. They are really odd in Illinois about releasing files. Not as bad as some states, but still not always an easy task. The people at Kanakakee may also have better contact information for who to send requests to at the archives which are maintained by the Illinois Secretary of state.

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Quote:Evilavatar Fri 4th 4:46 pm
I added the contact for kankakee, as they would probably know better whether or not he is even going to be able to get the files if he requests them. They are really odd in Illinois about releasing files. Not as bad as some states, but still not always an easy task. The people at Kanakakee may also have better contact information for who to send requests to at the archives which are maintained by the Illinois Secretary of state.

Kankakee has some fairly unhelpful staff. People have trouble just getting permission to see a relatives grave in the cemetery. Sometimes they will tell people there is no cemetery, not sure what their deal is.

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Well that sucks, if people want me to push this i have a few contacts with the sate I can try calling. Don't know that it will help, but you never know until you shake the tree.

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Kankakee State Hospital Information
According to Illinois Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka, if you want information on State Hospital graves, you should contact Mr. Jim Carlson, Cemetery Oversight Division (888-756-8331) There is definitely a cemetery. They surrounded it with a tall wooden fence that you can neither see over or through. There is no way to access it without an official opening it. Guess they are afraid someone is going to steel the bodies. The fence went up when they put up the water park. We feel they arer waiting for everyone to forget the graves are there so they can move them and develop the land.

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History of mental in family from my mother.
I am respectfluuy requesting if at all possible to find medical records on Ruby Lee Walls or Ruby Lee Jackson: DOB:11/10/1939:Birth State Louisiana: Her mothers madien name Wilson. At the time she was admitted I was an infant in 1954; please if someone can help me i'd be very greatful. I have a son whom has violent mental disorders.He stabbed me with a knife & feels that i'm trying to poison his food & kill him. I need to understand how this happen to such a loving boy now turned man. I do have a Power of Dual Attorney for my mother. Any help would be appreicated. Thank You
Hazel Ann Williams-Metoyer or call [email protected] 623-340-7441
7002 W. Indian School Rd.
Phoenix, Arizona 85033

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The best I can do is to try and help you with finding where she might have been housed so that you can request the records for yourself. Do you know if she was hospitalized in Florida? If so any idea what city she was living in at the time? The issue with records from that time period is facilities close, move, change hands, or records just plain disappear. I am very sorry to hear about your son and am more than happy yo help as much as possible.

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Kankakee State Hospital (Shapiro Dev. Center)
Requests to the governor's office, comptroller's office, cemetery oversight for the state of Illinois and the Ill. History Preservation all came up empty for information on this institution in Kankakee, Illinois. Seems no one knows who is in charge of this department. The only contact that I have found is the head administrator, Ira Collins, 815-939-8217, but this is also not very helpful as they do not want to help you. At this point, start contacting the Illinois state representatives, such as Mr. Durbin. It never hurts to start at the top when there is no assistance from the bottom.

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I am looking for any information on Thomas Wayne Swinford Born: April 5, 1954, Died: November 5, 1968. I was told that he was in either a home or an institution but I'm not sure which or even where. Basically, I'm trying to find out where he's buried. his Father was Sherman Swinford, mother: Mary E, (nee: Clough) Swinford. Born: November 29,1926, Died: June 1993.

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Quote: Tue 14th 6:34 pm
I am looking for any information on Thomas Wayne Swinford Born: April 5, 1954, Died: November 5, 1968. I was told that he was in either a home or an institution but I'm not sure which or even where. Basically, I'm trying to find out where he's buried. his Father was Sherman Swinford, mother: Mary E, (nee: Clough) Swinford. Born: November 29,1926, Died: June 1993.
I had no luck finding him on ancestry. The only Thomas Swinford I found was born in 1883.

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Do you think that he was a member of Kankakee? Maybe you could find out what state he died in. That would be very helpful in narrowing down where he may have lived just before his death? It would help us a lot in pointing you in the right direction for your genealogy research.

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That's the problem. I'm not really sure. Obviously no one in his family asked questions and the ones who knew are gone. As far as I know, he lived in Illinois. His Mother was Mary E. clough: born-Nov.29, 1926 died-june 1993 His father was Sherman Swinford: born- Dec.29, 1926 died-Dec. 21, 1997. He has two half brothers. John David (Swinford)Robinson born may 7, 1962 and Scott Lydell (Swinford) Robinson born Oct. 3, 1964. John and Scott were adopted by friends of the family.

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I was going to post to the ancestry.com forums but I see someone has already asked for info on him, not sure if it's you or not. I called the hospital Monday & the woman I talked to was less the happy to talk to me, sadly that's what I expected. She said "I don't know, I'm not some sort of human computer" and hung up. They're consistent if nothing else, I'll give'em that. That said, I was told by a reliable source that Illinois State University has many old records from Kankakee & several other state institutions. Given his age at time of death, he might've been at either Lincoln or Dixon State School.


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