Cemeteries, Genealogy tools

Place of burial: hospital cemetery

Poor Edna Vining.

The listing of “hospital cemetery” as the place of burial is a major clue to where she died. Ordinary hospitals don’t have a hospital – as convenient as that would be. Edna died in Jackson, Louisiana, which is home to the East Louisiana State Hospital. To this day, it tends to the mentally ill.

I don’t know when the decision was made to create a cemetery for the hospital. It probably didn’t take long to decide one was needed. The dead have to be buried, even if their family doesn’t have the resources or the care to do it.

Edna died of tuberculosis just three days after Christmas 1913. She did indeed die at the mental hospital in Jackson, Louisiana. If the scant information on her death certificate is to be believed, she’d been there two years and no one knew much about her other than her name.

I came across her death certificate while researching the Vining family. Vining is an unusual name that came into my family tree when Evy Vining married my granny’s aunt.

Edna Vining likely wasn’t related to Evy Vining, but her death certificate pulled me in.

Being sick over Christmas is bad enough. Dying of tuberculosis is even worse. And the person filling out Edna’s death certificate didn’t know her age, her parents’ names or even her usual place of residence other than a vague reference to East Feliciana Parish.

The day after her death, Edna was buried in the hospital cemetery.

In Edna’s time, it was called the insane asylum although I don’t believe it was unusual to be placed there because of a tuberculosis diagnosis.

The census taker recorded Edna at the insane asylum in 1910. She was 35 at the time and married. She would’ve been around 38 when she died a few years later. Curiously, the census taker recorded her name as Etna – not Edna.

And that’s all I know about Edna or Etna. Her road ended at an insane asylum in a small town.

3 thoughts on “Place of burial: hospital cemetery”

  1. And we sometimes complain about our lives in the 21st century. I can’t imagine what it was like for poor young Edna to die alone in an asylum.

  2. My great aunt was in and out of State Hospitals in Louisiana. In 1917 New Orleans District Court sent Ethel to Jackson due to insanity from mental strain from work. She was a teacher. She was still at Jackson in the 1920 census. Luckily, Ethel had sisters who cared for her. Off and on, my grandma would have her come live with the family but it didn’t last long. She finally ended up at Pineville & was living there for the 1940 & 1950 census. She died at Pineville in 1967 and was buried with family in Lafayette. I remember visiting her at Pineville when I was a kid in the 1960s.

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