Volunteers to clean graves at Illinois state school cemetery
DIXON, Ill. (AP) — More than 2,000 graves of residents of the former Illinois state developmental center are getting renewed attention.
Sauk Valley Media reports that volunteers are planning to clean the graves and place artificial flowers at the cemetery on the grounds of what is now the Dixon Correctional Center. Dedication of an angel statue will follow in May.
There are 2,189 graves on the site that opened as a “state colony for epileptics” in 1918. It later served as a hospital and school for people with mental health or other disabilities. It was converted to a prison 1983.
Kim Ellis started the project. She was raised with a former resident of the Dixon State School when her mother took the woman in. Ellis wants to honor the woman after her death last fall.
Information from: Dixon Telegraph, http://www.saukvalley.com