Clio Logo

It was at this spot, in Fort Wayne, IN. That children who were considered "feeble-minded" were sent. Here they learned important school related things like, art and music. This school worked as "feeder" to supply students into force sterilization, that was allowed based on laws that passed in the legislature. It is believed that 75% of people sterilized during this period from this school.


  • Front side of view of the Indiana school for Feeble-minded youth

This next stop is not an easy one to make, that is the Indiana School for the Feeble-Minded Youth in Fort Wayne. This school would become a leader in forcing their students to become sterilized. It was here at this site that an estimated 1,500 students had forced sterilization procedures done to them (that is about 75 percent of the overall estimated forced sterilization in the state of Indiana). This school was created originally when a law enacted by the state legislators lead to funding of the building of this school in Fort Wayne in 1887. The school was built and opened in 1890. This was one of the first schools for students with disabilities in the nation. At this school students learned all different kinds of tasks as young students they took art, music and gym. This school was originally for young children but as popularity grew, it allowed adults to come too. As students were older they learned more gender specific roles. For men that meant, carpentry, agriculture, painting upholstery and making mattresses. For women that meant, cleaning, cooking, canning, dress making, loom weaving and laundry. At the time of opening in 1890, it enrolled 300 students. The Indiana School for the Feeble-minded would become known as many different names and spaces. In 1931, it was renamed the Fort Wayne State Hospital. Which was later changed to Fort Wayne Hospital and Training Center in 1965. The name was changed again in 1980s to the Development Center. Where it stayed that way until the Development Center closed in 2007, and was replaced by what is now Ivy Tech. This stop on our history trail is not an easy one to make, but it accounts for almost 75% of forced sterilization in the state, making it the fifth stop on our history trail.  

"February 25, 1996 (Page 16 of 224)." Indianapolis Star (1923-2004), Feb 25, 1996, https://proxyiub.uits.iu.edu/login?qurl=https%3A%2F%2Fsearch.proquest.com%2Fdocview%2F1900517416%3Faccountid%3D11620 (accessed April 30, 2020).

Eugenics/Eugenic Sterilizations in. (n.d.). Retrieved April 30, 2020, from https://www.uvm.edu/~lkaelber/eugenics/IN/IN.html

Fort Wayne Developmental Center. (n.d.). Retrieved April 30, 2020, from https://www.asylumprojects.org/index.php/Fort_Wayne_Developmental_Center

Allen County Resources. (n.d.). Retrieved April 30, 2020, from https://www.genealogycenter.info/search_inschoolfeeble.php

Image Sources(Click to expand)

http://contentdm.acpl.lib.in.us/digital/collection/coll6/id/3593/