Delaware Colony for the Feeble Minded at Stockley

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Delaware Colony for the Feeble Minded at Stockley
Established 1917
Opened 1921
Current Status Active
Building Style Cottage Plan
Location Georgetown, DE
Alternate Names
  • Sussex County Insane Department
  • Howard T. Ennis Delaware Colony for Feeble Minded Stockley
  • Delaware State Training School
  • Stockley Center (Current)


The Delaware Commission for the Feeble Minded was created in March 1917 to establish a home for the care and training of the feeble-minded of Delaware, and to provide for the legal commitment of feeble-minded persons. Whenever a person arrested in this state was thought to be feeble-minded, any relative of the person, or any reputable citizen of the state, at any time before the final disposition of the case, could present to the court a petition saying that the person was feeble-minded and should not be charged. The petition would be verified, filed, and then a rule issued against the parent or guardian of the person. Upon the return of the rule the judge would hear the witnesses in support of the rule, one of whom would be a psychologist or an expert on feeble-mindedness, and would also hear any witnesses in opposition to the rule. If the judge agreed that the person arrested was indeed feeble-minded, he could direct that they be arrested in the custody of the Delaware Commission for the Feeble-Minded.

A 1955 act established the Delaware Colony for the Feeble-Minded at Stockley as the primary state facility for the treatment and maintenance of the feeble-minded. This facility had formerly been the Sussex County Insane Department, also under the control of the Farnhurst administration. The 1955 act served to channel the feeble-minded (mentally retarded) to the Stockley facility and the insane (mentally ill) to the Farnhurst facility, keeping a centralized administration for both.

Images of Delaware Colony for the Feeble Minded at Stockley[edit]

Main Image Gallery: Colony for the Feeble Minded at Stockley


To reach cemetery from Millsboro, take Route 113 north, turn right onto the Avenue of Honor to the end. At the stop sign turn right onto Patriots Way (Rd 318) make first left into the Stockley Center (Taramianz Rd.) and proceed to the stop sign. The security booth will be on your right, permission for access to the cemetery can be obtained there and they will provide you through the complex. Hours of operation are 8:00 am - 4:30 pm, call 866-552-5758 for more information on hours.