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Illinois Veterans' Home - RG 259 | Illinois State Archives

Name: Illinois Veterans' Home - RG 259
Variant Name: Illinois Soldiers' and Sailors' Home

Historical Note:

In 1885 the General Assembly created the Illinois Soldiers' and Sailors' Home at Quincy to provide subsistence and a home for honorably discharged and disabled veterans of the Mexican and Civil Wars (L. 1885, p. 16). In the succeeding years Illinois veterans of all wars became eligible for admission. Beginning in 1903 wives of veterans at the home also were admitted, provided they met certain age and marriage requirements. If unable to meet these requirements, wives could apply for admission to the Soldiers' Widows' Home at Wilmington. And in some cases wives, mothers, and daughters of veterans were admitted to the home at Quincy.

Three trustees, appointed by the Governor, operated the home under the supervision of the Board of State Commissioners of Public Charities until executive and administrative control of the home passed to the Board of Administration in 1909 (L. 1909, p. 102). The Civil Administrative Code of 1917 abolished the Board of Administration and transferred control of the home to the Department of Public Welfare. The home remained under the Department of Public Welfare until 1961 when the Department of Mental Health assumed jurisdiction (L. 1961, p. 2666).

In 1963 the newly created Department of Children and Family Services assumed responsibility for the non-psychiatric services and facilities of the Department of Mental Health, including the Soldiers' and Sailors' Home (L. 1963, p. 1064). At the same time the Soldiers' Widows' Home at Wilmington was closed and all women residing there were transferred to the Soldiers' and Sailors' Home at Quincy. Thereafter admission regulations were altered to allow widows of veterans to enter the Soldiers' and Sailors' Home directly. The Illinois Soldiers' and Sailors Home became the Illinois Veterans' Home in 1973 (P.A. 78-309, p. 1024) and was transferred to the Department of Veterans' Affairs in 1976 (P.A. 79-1384, p. 1232).

Access to some of these records is restricted according to the provisions of P.A. 79-453 and the State Records Act of 1957 as amended.

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