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State Institutions and Asylums

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State institutions such as mental hospitals, sanitoriums, state training schools, reform schools, almshouses (also known as poor house or poor farm), orphanages and prisons are a great place to start looking for people who have disappeared from your family tree. Sometimes people contracted diseases that were unexplained or untreatable and persons were put in asylums to confine them from others. Sometimes people were put in these institutions because they were old or there was no one to care for them.

There are a lot of postcard sites out there with photographs of the institutions. The 1940 and 1930 census have patient lists. Censuses before that time are a little harder to find but are available. I will add links to informative sites. If you have any specific links, please send them to me for consideration.

County Asylums



State Schools

See the education center for state schools like Wisconsin Industrial School for Boys, Wisconsin Industrial School for Girls, Wisconsin School for the Blind, Wisconsin School for the Deaf.

State Hospitals


See also specific counties