Grave Marker

Description (Brief)
For many years, this grave marker marked the final resting place of Bertha Flaten in the cemetery at Faribault State School and Hospital in Minnesota. Flaten spent much of her life in an institution because she had a seizure disorder. When she died in 1905, her grave was located by a number rather than her name or dates. This stark record-keeping practice was common in state institutions across the country. Former patient in-mates, their families, and descendants have been replacing such markers with proper recognition, in an effort to restore their humanity.
Currently not on view
Object Name
grave marker
Date made
ca 1905
Physical Description
stone (overall material)
overall: 34.5 cm x 20 cm x 19 cm; 13 9/16 in x 7 7/8 in x 7 1/2 in
place made
United States: Minnesota, Faribault
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Health & Medicine
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Medicine
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
Gift of Helen M. Diers, Lee Flaten and Jane D. Wong

Visitor Comments

Add a comment about this object

**Please read before submitting the form**

Have a comment or question about this object to share with the community? Please use the form below. Selected comments will appear on this page and may receive a museum response (but we can't promise). Please note that we generally cannot answer questions about the history, rarity, or value of your personal artifacts.

Have a question about anything else, or would you prefer a personal response? Please visit our FAQ or contact page.

Personal information will not be shared or result in unsolicited e-mail. See our privacy policy.

Enter the characters shown in the image.