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Dixon Developmental Center - RG 265 | Illinois State Archives

Name: Dixon Developmental Center - RG 265
Variant Name: Dixon State School; Dixon State Hospital; Illinois State Colony for Epileptics

Historical Note:

In 1899 the General Assembly instructed the Board of State Commissioners of Public Charities to prepare plans for the establishment of the Illinois State Colony for Epileptics and to report to the Governor on their activities (L. 1899, p. 8). However no funds for construction and operation were appropriated until 1913 (L. 1913, pp. 17, 131).

A site in Dixon was chosen and construction began under the supervision of the Board of Administration which had succeeded in 1909 to the responsibilities of the Board of State Commissioners of Public Charities (L. 1909, p. 102). The colony opened on May 1, 1918. Since the Board of Administration had been abolished by the Civil Administrative Code of 1917, the new institution came under the jurisdiction of the Department of Public Welfare.

Although the institution originally was designed for the care of epileptics only its duties soon expanded to include care for the feeble-minded. To reflect this change, the colony was renamed Dixon State Hospital and later Dixon State School. A school for practical nursing also was opened in 1927. The Department of Mental Health assumed control of Dixon State School in 1961 and changed its name to Dixon Developmental Center in 1975 (L. 1961, p. 2666; 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.

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