I can be reached at Rhonda
pages updated July 7, 2008
History of Hospital
Known burials at hospital cemeteries
Photos of Cemetery Markers
Contact hospital directly
Resources of interest
From Florida State Hospital Oct 5, 1890
You will want to read this page!
|Florida State Hospital, Chattahoochee,
Cemetery # 1 (no information as yet)
Cemetery # 2
Cemetery # 3
Cemetery # 4 (in woods behind Cem # 3)
Cemetery # 5 - New Cemetery on Goat Hill (one being used now)
Article on Gadsden Co FL cemeteries in Tallahassee Democrat Sunday, March 14, 1999
Robert B. "Bob" Williams, Director of Programs.
Gates at New Cemetery on Goat Hill
|State Investigations into FLorida
State Hospital , Chattahoochee
You need to read these web pages!!!
|Northampton State Hospital, Massachussettshttp://www.javanet.com/~tclement/NSH/Main.html
This project focuses on memorializing and commemorating the forgotten cemetery of the former Northampton State Hospital. Like many other Massachussetts State Hospitals, NSH buried some of its patients on its grounds. This took place between when it opened in 1858, until approximately the 1920s. Patients buried at NSH were patients that had no family to claim them, and were technically wards of the State. By approximately the 1920s, NSH began instead to ship its deceased, unclaimed patients to medical schools as cadavers. Thus the cemetery fell into disuse. Records have been lost over the years, and any physical markers or indications are long gone. Over the decades, most records have been lost, and those patients who were already cast away from society have slipped even further from memory.All that remains is a grassy hill, some oral history, and a sense that individuals have been forgotten. (Go to this web page to read more)
|Hi Betty, I have a name of an ancestor , who may be of interest to
those researching the surname DUNAWAY , that is buried at Hospital Cemetery.
This information came from a death certificate on BOB DUNAWAY , who was
born in Georgia , but later resided in Orange County, Florida. It was amazing
to me to see how much information was listed as unknown on his death certificate,
by the informant, who is listed as being Florida State Hospital. Cause
of death is listed as myocardial decompensated, acute due to acute bronchitis.It
list him as being 76 years old , birthdate unknown. Widowed , but name
of spouse and parents unknown. Birthplace of Bob Dunaway was listed as
city or town, unknown . State of birth
Georgia. Occupation of deceased - laborer. He was seen by a doctor there from March 19, 1926 to March 20,1926. He died March 21,1926 and burial is listed as - Hospital Cemetery. Date of burial was March 22, 1926. Undertaker- P.L.Laing? I would urge those researching anyone buried there , to try and get a death certificate on their ancestors from vital statistics, and also to use the Florida Death Index as a source , if anyone is unsure of the year of death .I have found this to be a very big help in locating many ancestors. LInda M. Shiver Thomas, Volusia County, Florida, CSAShadow@PVNS.NET
Insanity: Inside Out
By: Kenneth Donaldson (former patient)
Published: Crown Publishers, c 1976
I found a copy at USF, Tampa, FL and they have a copy at State Library in Tallahassee, Fl
Moving account of Kenneth Donaldson who survived years in Chattahoochee, unwanted and unwarranted confinement. From a social perspective the book is important: it raisers in dramatic fashion the critical question of how society treats (or mistreats) people who need (or are mistakenly thought to need) mental health care and treatment.
|We now have a query page for Florida State Hospital, just click on
Query Button below to go to Query page.
This is a list for sharing genealogy info and is NOT a discussion board for moral or political discussions.
Please everyone redo your queries in the new system.
|If you have a picture taken long ago of any of the cemeteries at Florida State Hospital, Chattahoochee, Please e-mail, I would like a copy on these pages. These pictures would be priceless and we would send a copy to Florida Archives. Thanks for any help!|
To see more pictures click here!
"The abuse eventually was exposed by The Tampa Tribune, and then-Gov. Farris Bryant ordered an investigation that led to reforms in the early 1960s."
137 reforms came after the investigation of the Florida Governor's
Office. Many old buildings were torn down and replaced.
To find photo's do a search for Florida State Hospital.
These links may not work. Photos are there will just need to do a search.
Florida's state hospital : Chattahoochee, Florida Post Card about 19?? post marked 1913
Aerial view of
Florida State Hospital, Norman La Coe; Gainesville, Fla.; 1975.
Water Tower and Males Dormitory about 196?
Building H about 194?
B Ward about 196?
Staff about 193?
Dining Room about 1940
Laboratory interior about 1925?
Prison and water tower about 1925
Canning factory about 192?
Examining room about 192?
Fire Station about 1940
Dining Room about 196?
Escambia unit at Florida State Hospital about 196?
Old tuberculosis building about 194?
Male building and water tower about 196?
Building about 1945
Ernest Murphy inside mattress factory about 196?
Landis Hall 1945
Building with patients in secured terraces at Florida State Hospital in Chattahoochee 1945
View of white female convalescent yard, Chattahoochee Hospital about 1905
Building H at Florida State Hospital : Chatahoochee, Florida about 192?
This list changes as we find new information!
Cemetery # 1 (family members of hospital administrators) moved to
Florida State Hospital Cemetery
Myrt Mayne of Tallahassee, FL., was responsible for the idea of the cemetery tour.
Grady Turnage, Historian, leader of the Tour
Don Humphrey, River Junction Prison
|Inmates at Florida State Hospital, Chattahoochee|
June Holcomb has volunteered to transcribe 1900, 1910 and 1920 Hospital Census!
Florida State Hospital was 'founded' in 1878 when the old arsenal building
was updated and became Florida State Hospital for the Indigent Insane.
This is according to Grady Turnage's book "From Mount Vernon to Chattahoochee,
A history of Mt. Vernon, River Junction, Chattahoochee and vicinity". It
was first printed in 1987. Grady Turnage is the historian for Chattahoochee.
He writes a column weekly for the Twin City News, the Chattahoochee newspaper.
He also knows the history of the hospital and can probably tell you where
the old cemeteries are and if there are any left over from the pre-FSH
days. In his book, Mr. Turnage states "As the Second Seminole War raged
in the Central Florida peninsula, the threat of roving bands of Red Sticks
and Seminoles was still very real. A resolution from the Legislative Council
of the Territory of Florida in January 1832 was directed to Joseph M. White,
the territorial delegate in the US Congress, requesting him to urge the
passage of a law to establish an 'arsenal in the territory as measure highly
important to the peace and safety of the country.' Mr. White secured the
inclusion of an item 'for for an arsenal in Florida, twenty thousand dollars',
in an appropriation for the support of the army in 1832, approved April
5, 1832." Mr. Turnage describes all the complications of building the arsenal,
which became known as the Chattahoochee Arsenal or Apalachicola Arsenal.
"The arsenal finally was completed in 1839 under the supervision of Lt.
John Williamson after a total cost of $226,932. By this time, the Indian
threat was about over although there were still roving parties of Red Sticks
around." He does state that on February 25, 1835, while working on the
arsenal, Captain John Hills died of the fever, and Lt. Charles Petigru
took over as supervisor of construction. He too became sick and died Sept.
6, 1835. "Both men are buried in Mosquito Creek swamp along an old road
that led east from Chattahoochee to a crossing point on the creek. Grave
markers may be seen there today near what was later to become a cemetery
for Florida State Hospital patients."
If you have a address or phone number, or any type of inforamtion
that will help a researcher, please send email
and I will post here.
Are there other sites on the internet? If you know the URL please e-mail
Eastern State Hospital
First psychiatric hospital in North America.
History of Eastern State Hospital
Old records of State Hospital have been donated to Florida State
Archives..... and may be seen there. The State Hospital
is entering data in computer ....
|Here I am (Betty Mae Smith) walking thru what we were
told was the old State Hospital Cemetery
at Chattahoochee. It was almost dark when
Sandra took this picture. We did not find
any markers. Sandra believes her great-
grandmother is buried here. We were told
the hospital does have a record of where
and who is buried here.
photo by Sandra High McLin
New Cemetery: Go Hwy 90 east from Chattahoochee, cross bridge, 1st road to right (south), go about 1/2 mile and you will come to gate. Most days the gate is open and you can drive the lanes in the cemetery. If gate is locked there is a pass thru that you can walk thru and walk over the cemetery. It is a very large and well keep cemetery on a hill. Most graves only have a number on the grave. I am informed that a family may install a small headstone (per cemetery requirements) on a family members grave.
The Old Cemetery: Sandra Shepard phone # 850 663-7221 Senior Clerk, FL St Hospital
The older cemetery (before 1900 period) is on the west side of
road as you drive down the hard road to the new cemetery. Another
way to old Cemeteries is to start at overpass and walk south down the old
railroad bed to a drainage ditch under tressel (about 300 yds).
There will be pieces of a fence off to the left - there will be a rain-washed
trail- go into woods there. Go about 400 yds. You will see
a stream after making your way around the stream, the headmakes will start
after another 100-200 ft. Look very closely- they blend into the
Gadsden County, Florida census
Persons at the state hospital were listed on census of Gadsden Co FL. and the conditions for which persons were sent to the hospital is listed.
TO CONTACT FLORIDA STATE HOSPITAL
Florida State Hospital
Betty: I've got some info on how to get records of ancestors that were in Florida State Hospital at Chattahoochee. One will need to write to: Mr. Mark Campbell, Health Information Manager, FSH, POBox 1000, Chattahoochee, FL 32324, giving specific information regarding the patient inc. full name, date of birth, SSN, when they may have been there, anything specific that can help to identify the person. I spoke with Lola Whitehead, Mr. Campbell's secretary, at 663-7780, who told me also that they will need an "authorization from the nearest living relative of the patient". NOTE: We discussed that this will have to be the person requesting the information, unless someone closer is known and can be located.
They will only take requests in writing, no phone calls.
You can also walk-in to H Building (the one by the flag pole) 2nd floor, room 228, see Sandra Shepard who will look up the information.
She also needs a signed authorization (but she has forms on hand).
Lola explained that they only keep records for seven years then they are destroyed, except for a card file that gives only limited information, ie, how long they were there, when they died, what happened with remains, etc. I explained to her about the web page, but that didn't seem to mean anything to her. She is not familiar with the internet.
I told her the reason for my questions, and explained that the person
making the inquiry would probably be a descendant of the patient and asked
if they needed documentation of this descendance and she didn't indicate
that it was necessary (probably because there would be no way that they
could disput whatever they are told).
Hope this helps, MM
Social Security Administration
Freedom of Informaton Office
4J9 West High Rise Building
Baltimore, MD 20235
(send your documentation with your letter, ask for a copy of the file on the person at the State Hospital) This only works for people who had a social security number. That means after 1936.
Also, ask for a copy of SS-5. send SS# if known as it will
Florida State Hospital Complex
Which hospital or department?
(Can anyone help fill this list)
1. T B
2. Syphyllis (left untreated causes mental and physical deteoration)
1. Mental Insane:
2. Criminal Insane:
A book you may want to read
Women of the Asylum
Voices from behind the Walls
Jeffrey L Geller and Maxine Harris
forwarded by Phyllis Chesler
Anchor Book published by Double Day
Hardback with cover
$4.95 plus shipping order from:
Edward R Hamilton Booksellers
Falls Village, CT 06031-5000
order # 681660
coordinator Florida State Hospital at Chattahoochee web page
copyright 2001-2008 Rhonda Smith
I wish to thank Betty James Smith for creating these pages originally
and allowing me to use the info on them.
Go to Gadsden Co FL website