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Kalamazoo State Hospital

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Kalamazoo State Hospital

Posted: 1491503374000
Classification: Query
Not sure this thread is still even active as it's been a long time since the last posting to it.

I'd just like to say that the title of this thread should be the Kalamazoo State Hospital not the Insane Asylum. It went by Kalamazoo State Hospital longer than any other title and encompassed the care of more than just those with mental disorders.

It treated people suffering from many assorted physically debilitating diseases including tuberculosis, cerebral palsy, and syphillis, to name a few. Many families couldn't care for these individuals or simply didn't want to, so they ended up at the State Hospital.

My great-great-grandmother was there for almost 30 years due to early dementia and some physical ailments. Her daughter, my great-aunt was there due to similar issues. Both died there in 1942 and 1945 respectively. I have their death records that are online now. However, you must go through the Health Department of Michigan for the actual death certificates. This is true for adoption records and birth certificates of adoptees. If a patient died in any state run facility their death certificate wouldn't nessarily be in county records. Word of advice.... Make sure you have documentation and contact the Kalamazoo Probate court explaining why you'd like these records. Unfortunately it's a difficult process and I've heard from others that many records have been lost or simply can't be found.

Please have respect for people who either stayed for treatment and left or never were able to leave. "Insanity" was a pretty broad term in the early years of these hospitals and many were there not because they were insane, only ill.

Here's a fantastic book I have...

Asylum for the Insane: A History of the Kalamazoo State Hospital
Book by William A. Decker

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