Lincoln Developmental Center: Surveys of Inmate Progress, July 14, 1869-November 1, 1873; July 27, 1878-October 1, 1880
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Brief Description: Questionnaires filled out by parents or guardians of each inmate include thirty-five questions concerning inmate's improvement while at the institution. Each questionnaire lists inmate's name and residence, length of time at institution, frequency of parent's or guardian's visits, and specific responses to questions on noticed improvement in inmate's health, personal appearance, motor abilities, speech and vocabulary, judgment, memory, classwork, temperament, and ability to distinguish between right and wrong.
Held at:
Illinois State Archives
M. C. Norton Building
Springfield, IL 62756
Phone: 217-782-3492
Fax: 217-524-3930
Record Series Number: 254/020
Created by: Lincoln Developmental Center - RG 254
Volume: 2.0 Volumes
Arrangement: Chronologically by date received.
Biographical Note for Lincoln Developmental Center - RG 254:

In 1865 the General Assembly instructed the directors of the Illinois Institution for the Education of the Deaf and Dumb to establish an Experimental School for the Instruction and Training of Idiots and Feeble-Minded Children in the State of Illinois (L. 1865, p. 78). The school was temporarily located in Jacksonville and after a five-year trial period the General Assembly incorporated it as the Illinois Institution for the Education of Feeble-Minded Children (L. 1871, p. 417).

As one of the state's permanent charitable institutions, it was to provide care, support, training, and education for mentally deficient children. A three-member board of trustees, appointed by the Governor, exercised general supervision and selected a superintendent to operate the institution. They also were subject to the investigative authority of the Board of State Commissioners of Public Charities. Appropriations for the acquisition of land and the construction of buildings were made in 1875 but the institution's permanent quarters in Lincoln were not occupied until 1878. In 1877 the institution's name became the Illinois Asylum for Feeble-Minded Children (L. 1877, p. 13).

The institution had its own hospital and shops in which inmates manufactured brushes, mattresses, and shoes. Inmates also worked on a nearby farm owned and operated by the institution.

In 1909 the Board of State Commissioners of Public Charities and the boards of trustees of all state charitable institutions were abolished and executive and administrative control was transferred to the newly created Board of Administration (L. 1909, p. 102). Under the new board the institution became Lincoln State School and Colony.

With the passage of the Civil Administrative Code in 1917 the Department of Public Welfare assumed all responsibility for the school and retained control until the creation of the Department of Mental Health in 1961 (L. 1961, p. 2666). The school's name which had been shortened to Lincoln State School in 1953 was again altered to Lincoln Developmental Center in 1975 (P.A. 79-581, p. 1895).

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.

Access Restrictions: 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.
Subject Index
Handicapped Children
Lincoln Developmental Center
Medical Histories
Mental Health Institutions
Mentally Handicapped
Physical Characteristics
PreferredCitation: Lincoln Developmental Center, "Surveys of Inmate Progress," Record Series 254.020, Illinois State Archives