Friday, September 04, 2015

Volunteers honoring those buried in unmarked graves at forgotten cemetery for mentally ill

Unmarked Graves
Many graves go unmarked and forgotten.

For almost 80 years, no one is thought to have visited Peter Gauslin's grave.
Relatives didn't know where he was buried or how he died until his great-grandson Andrew Daft began researching family history in 2012 and learned his death occurred at a mental institution. He also discovered that Gauslin, his grandmother's father, is buried in an unmarked grave in Appleton, about 100 miles north of Milwaukee.
Gauslin is among tens of thousands who were buried in unmarked graves around the nation during the 20th century after dying at state- or county-run psychiatric hospitals, then called insane asylums or sanitariums. Families were either too poor for a headstone, couldn't be reached or had forgotten about their relatives.

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