Illinois Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois ; pub. 1927; p.492

          Southern Hospital for the Insane, located at Anna, Union County, founded by act of the Legislature in 1869.  The original site comprised 290 acres and cost a little more than $22,0000, of which one-fourth was donated by citizens of the county.  The construction of buildings was begun in 1869, but it was not until March 1875, that the north wing (the first completed) was ready for occupancy.  Other portions were completed a year later.  The Trustees purchased 160 additional acres in 1883.  The first cost (up to September, 1876) was nearly $635,000.  In 1881 one wing of the main building was destroyed by fire, and was subsequently rebuilt; the patients being, meanwhile, cared for in temporary wooden barracks.  The total value of lands and buildings belong to the State, June 30, 1894, was estimated at $738,580, and, of property of all sorts, at $833, 700.  The wooden barracks were later converted into a permanent ward, additions made to the main buildings, a detached building for the accommodations of 300 patients erected, numerous outbuildings put up and general improvements made.  A second fire on the night of Jan. 3, 1895, destroyed a large part of the main building, inflicting a loss upon the State of $175,000.00.  Provision was made for rebuilding by the Legislature of that year.  The institution has capacity for about 750 patients.


Illinois Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois; pub. 1927; p.493

          The Southern Penitentiary, located near Chester, on the Mississippi River.  Its erection was rendered necessary by the overcrowding of the Northern Penitentiary.  The law providing for its establishment required the Commissioners to select a site convenient of access, adjacent to stone and timber, and having a high elevation, with a never failing supply of water.  In 1877, 122 acres were purchased at Chester, and the erection of buildings commenced.  The first appropriation was of $200,000, and $300,000 was added in 1879.  By March 1878, 200 convicts were received, and their labor was utilized in the completion of the buildings, which are constructed upon approved modern principles.  The prison receives convicts sent from the southern portion of the State, and has accommodation for some 1,200 prisoners.  In connection with this penitentiary is an asylum for insane convicts, the erection of which was provided for the Legislature in 1889.

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