Cemetery notes and/or description:
While the area now known as the State of Idaho was Idaho Territory, the Idaho Insane Asylum was created by territorial legislation during the 1884 - 1885 session. It first opened its doors to patients on July 2, 1886. Prior to that time patients were cared for in a private asylum in East Portland, Oregon (until October 1883) and then in the State of Oregon insane asylum at Salem. Its name was changed to State Hospital South in 1931 by an act of the state legislature.
Over the years, the hospital has served patients diagnosed with a mental illness, communicable disease (e.g. tuberculosis), dementia, and other maladies requiring special treatment. Patients have included war veterans (including 3 Civil War veterans) and a member of the United States Congress.
A cemetery was created and received interments from 1886 to 1982. It was originally called “Asylum Cemetery” and appeared that way on death certificates until the name of the hospital was changed to State Hospital South.
If you feel that you have a relative buried in the cemetery, you can contact Tracey Sessions (phone number and address are given below) with the name of your relative, Date of Birth, and Date of Death (if you know them). Note that some patients’ real names were not given when they were admitted for one reason or another, so provide any names that the person may have gone by – maiden name, nicknames, etc., - that will help in locating information on the person.
About 1,000 graves are within the cemetery boundary. Of those, only a small number currently have markers. The hospital has a goal to place a headstone on each grave.
Contact Info: 208-785-8402