Newark State School for Women & Cemetery

CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE VIDEO They’re Buried Where? by Seth Voorhees

New York State School – Newark Custodial Institution for Developmentally Disabled, Childbearing Age Women. February 17, 1932, Begins Accepting Boys.

1878-1885: The Newark State School operated as part of the Syracuse State School.
1885: By statute erected as the State Custodial Asylum for Feeble-Minded Women.
1919: Name changed to Newark State School for Mental Defectives.
1927: Became a part of the Department of Mental Hygiene and name changed to Newark State School.
1932: Accepts boys.

Newark State School 1937

Newark State School 1937

Newark State School 1937-2

Newark State School 1937-2

Newark State School 1937-3

Newark State School 1937-3

1916 Newark State Custodial Institution For Feeble-Minded Women.
Early State Schools in New York.

State of New York Thirty-Seventh Annual Report of the Board of Managers of the Newark State School for Mental Defectives, 1921 – Through – Fifty-Ninth Annual Report of the Board of Visitors of the Newark State School, at Newark, Wayne County, New York to the Department of Mental Hygiene 1943.

Newark State School for Women

Newark State School for Women

Photograph courtesy of The Museum of disABILITY History

The New York State Custodial Asylum for Feeble-Minded Women was established in 1878 in response to an increasing awareness that almshouses were improper places for ‘feeble-minded’ women. Social reformer Josephine Shaw Lowell led the crusade, with assistance from the State Board of Charities. Lowell delivered several reports before the state legislature expressing her concern that feeble-minded women often disregarded moral and sexual restraint when placed in the undisciplined environment of an almshouse and frequently had illegitimate children who, in turn, became dependent on the state for their welfare. Women of child-bearing age, fifteen to forty-five, were admitted into this institution, in order to “prevent them from multiplying their kind.” (New York State Board of Charities Report, 1879).

As far as I know, there is no group for this cemetery and I have no idea where these ladies were buried.

I have created a page for each state hospital and custodial institution cemetery that I know of in the hope that some group: historical societies, former patients, concerned citizens, may be interested in forming their own cemetery restoration, beautification group in order to memorialize and honor the people buried in anonymous, unmarked graves. Of course, we need the names of these people to be released in order to memorialize them properly.

What you would need to do first is to find the forgotten cemetery, take photographs (which I would be more than happy to post), and organize your own group. You can also leave comments on this page in order to get more people involved. This isn’t something that can be accomplished in a few weeks, this will take dedication, an ongoing commitment, and lots of time.

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2 thoughts on “Newark State School for Women & Cemetery

  1. im looking for my birth mother that was here her name is ELIZABETH MAY MCLAUGHLIN.JUST BEFORE THE HOSPITAL CLOSED I WAS ALLOWED BRIEFLY TO LOOK QUICKLY IN HER RECORDS IWAS ABLE TO READ SOME OF IT.THEN THE RECORDS WERE SENT TO ROCHESTER.MY BIRTH MOTHER WAS THERE FOR UNWED MOTHERS AND I DO BELIEVE SHE WAS PREGNANT AT THE TIME UN SURE . I WAS GIVIN UP FOR ADOPTION WHEN I WAS 2 AND NO NOT FROM A RAPE OR ANYTHING REAL BAD.IM HOPING TO LOOK AGAIN IN THE RECORDS FOR IM LOOKING FOR MY BIRTH FATHER HIS NAME IS WILLIAM PINE.MY BIRTH MOTHERS FAMILY IS FROM ITHACA NY.ANY HELP WOULD BE APPRECIATED.

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  2. I am trying to find information about a patient, Raymond Fell. He was in the Newark State School for the Mentally. Defective. We don’t know when he was admitted. He was 23 years old in the 1940 Census. We have not been able to find what happened to him when the school closed. My husband never knew he had an uncle until I started doing genealogy research. We have a grandchild that we are concerned about. We would like to know how he was mentally defective.

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