Unidentified 1990 to 1999

Police found a teen-age boy in the early morning hours of October 11, 1945, in Jacksonville, Illinois. Unable to communicate, the deaf and mute teenager was labeled "feeble minded" and sentenced by a judge to the Lincoln State School and Colony in Jacksonville. He remained in the Illinois mental health care system for over thirty years. Deaf, mute, and later blind, the young black man survived beatings, hunger, overcrowding, and the dehumanizing treatment that characterized state institutions through the 1950s. In spite of his environment, he made friends, took on responsibilities, and developed a sense of humor. People who knew him found him remarkable. He had a straw hat he loved to wear, and carried a backpack with his collection of...

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