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Jackson County people buried at Athens Lunatic Asylum Cemetery


Martha Rolfe 1865 -  1886

17 Jun 1886 Waverly Watchman

Scioto County people buried at Athens Lunatic Asylum Cemetery

Ross County people buried at Athens Lunatic Asylum Cemetery

b. 1832 d. 1906 buried at Athens

12 Aug 1886 Waverly Watchman

A bird's-eye view of the State Hospital in Athens in 1900.

Athens Lunatic Asylum, was a mental hospital operated in Athens, Ohio from 1874 until 1993. During its operation, the hospital provided services to a variety of patients including Civil War veterans, children, and violent criminals suffering from various mental disabilities.

Although not a self-sustaining facility, for many years the hospital had livestock, farm fields and gardens, an orchard, greenhouses, a dairy, a physical plant to generate steam heat, and even a carriage shop in the earlier years. The architect for the original building was Levi T. Scofield of Cleveland. Construction of the facility began on November 5, 1868 and the hospital opened on January 9, 1874.

There are 1,930 people buried at the three cemeteries.  Of those, 700 women and 959 men lay under the headstones marked only with a number. There were some patients who had died that were reunited with their families and buried in cemeteries around their homes. By 1943, the State of Ohio began putting names, births, and deaths, on the markers of the patients who died.

Since nearly the time of the opening of the cemeteries the State of Ohio has allowed families to erect private markers at the graves of their loved ones, There are very few graves marked in that way, most likely because descendants are unaware of the opportunity.

Here is some reasons you could be sent there: "The leading cause of insanity among the male patients was masturbation, according to the annual report of 1876. The second-most common cause of insanity, as recorded in the first annual report, was intemperance and dissipation. In the hospital's first three years of operation, eighty-one men and one woman were diagnosed as having their insanity caused by masturbation. Fifty-six men and one woman were diagnosed as having their insanity caused by intemperance and dissipation during this same period of time."

Epilepsy was also considered a major cause of insanity and reason for admission to the hospital in the early years.  Also common ailments faced today such as epilepsy, menopause, alcohol addiction and tuberculosis were cause for enrollment in the hospital.


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Pike County people buried at Athens Lunatic Asylum Cemetery