Columbus Feeble Minded Institute

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Columbus Feeble Minded Institute
Columbus Feeble Minded Institute
Established 1857
Opened 1868 (Second Location)
Current Status Demolished (Original buildings)
Building Style Cottage Plan
Architect(s) Frank L. Packard
Location Columbus, OH
Alternate Names
  • State of Ohio Institution for Feeble Minded
  • Columbus State School
  • Columbus Developmental Institution
  • Columbus Developmental Center (Current)


On April 17, 1857, the Ohio government established the Institution for Feeble Minded Youth. Located in Columbus, Ohio, the institution rented several buildings on East Main Street. In the first year of the Institution for Feeble Minded Youth’s existence, nine students enrolled. By the third year, the institution began to average between forty and fifty students every year.

Due to the institution’s success, the Ohio legislature authorized the construction of an actual campus for the school. Completed in 1868, the institution soon enrolled more than three hundred students. On November 18, 1881, a fire struck the school, destroying several of the buildings. The six hundred students escaped unharmed. The Institution for Feeble Minded Youth rebuilt the destroyed buildings and enrollment skyrocketed to 1,100 students in 1900. Eventually, the institution developed branches across Ohio.

The Institution for Feeble Minded Youth enrolled both boys and girls. These children struggled in the public schools of their own communities, and the institution gave the children a chance to enroll in a more supervised and stringent setting. The Institution for Feeble Minded Youth also provided the children with vocational training, with the boys working on a farm owned by the school and the girls performing domestic duties. This institution helped provide students with various learning and social problems the skills necessary to lead productive lives.[1]

Columbus Developmental Center is now located just south of it's original location. The Center serves 107 people. Individuals live in several different homes situated in a campus setting. The majority of people who reside at CDC are diagnosed with severe and profound challenges and need extensive supports in the areas of daily living, health care, and social skills development.

Images of Columbus Feeble Minded Institute[edit]

Main Image Gallery: Columbus Feeble Minded Institute


Within this cemetery are the remains of those not claimed by family members after they died at the Columbus Developmental Institution. The is located on the grounds of the Columbus Developmental Center off Sullivant Avenue. There are around 650 known graves in the cemetery.