The San Antonio State Hospital has nearly 2,700 unmarked graves in two different cemeteries on their property. After a KENS 5 story in 2008 about cleaning up the cemeteries, volunteers decided to find out all the names and locations of each marker.
SAN ANTONIO -- Volunteers from different companies and churches throughout San Antonio have come to together to identify thousands of unmarked graves outside the San Antonio State Hospital.
People who died in institutional environments were often treated very differently in than those who died within their home communities. Often times, little more than a number on a cement slab, post or knob was left to commemorate the life that once resided behind the walls of asylums to the world.
Mentally ill patients have been buried at the state hospital since 1892. Until recently, Texas law did not allow them to put names on markers.
"In those days in the state hospital they were just forgotten people. Thank God that's changed for the better,” said a visitor who wished to be annonymous.
Almost all the graves have been located and identified. The names have been placed on 14 monuments donated by a local funeral home.