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It was founded as the Nebraska Institution for Feeble-minded Youth
in 1885 in Beatrice, Nebraska. In 1921, the name was changed to the Nebraska Institution for the Feeble-minded along with a new mission statement, which aimed to provide “custodial care and human treatment for those who are feeble-minded, to segregate them from society, to study to improve their condition, to classify them, and to furnish such training in industrial mechanics, agriculture, and academic subjects as fitted to acquire”. By 1935, in order to assure complete separation from society, NIFM resident’s graves were no longer marked with family names, but with numbers; families desired to disassociate themselves from their “defective” relatives by dehumanizing them.