Hiawatha Asylum for Insane Indians – Canton, SD
N 43° 18.055 W 096° 33.065
14T E 698634 N 4797144
Quick Description: This marker has just been placed along Hwy. 18 just east of Canton.
Location: South Dakota, United States
Date Posted: 12/12/2011 6:55:31 PM
Waymark Code: WMDA6Z
This marker has just been placed along Hwy. 18 just east of Canton. It reads:
“Hiawatha Asylum for Insane Indians. Receiving Congressional appropriations in 1899, the Hiawatha Asylum for Insane Indians was the second federal mental hospital and the first dedicated to American Indians. The first patient arrived in 1902, and through 1934, more than 370 patients –ages two to eighty, from fifty tribes nationwide – lived here. Patients did domestic and agricultural work onsite, were occasionally shown to paying visitors, and underwent treatment with methods later deemed outdated and dehumanizing. From 1929 to 1933, federal inspectors found intolerable conditions, inadequate staffing, several sane patients kept by force, and numerous other abuses. In 1933, John Collier, the newly appointed Commissioner of Indian Affairs, ordered the asylum closed. G. J. Moen, with the Canton Chamber of Commerce, filed an injunction to keep the asylum open, but it was overturned in federal court. Many patients were discharged and those who still needed care were sent to St. Elizabeth’s Hospital, Washington, D.C. The major buildings used by the asylum have since been demolished. The Hiawatha Asylum cemetery, where at least 121 patients were buried in unmarked graves, is located between the 4th and 5th fairways of the Hiawatha Golf Club. In 1998, the cemetery was listed in the National Register of Historic Places.”
Marker Name: Hiawatha Asylum for Insane Indians
Marker Type: Roadside
same as above
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