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Leper Colony

The Verona Leper Colony, March 2018.


Note from Jesse on 3/20/21:  In the years since this presentation, I have continued to research the Verona Leper Colony, and additional facts have been uncovered since this 2018 presentation.  The most notable update so far is the name of an additional Leprosy patient who was both in the Leper Colony on PB and is buried in the Poor House cemetery by Gus's Diner!  At the time of this presentation I had no proof that Leprosy patients were buried there, and I didn't have such definitive evidence of one of the Leper Colony's patients' names.

On Nov 28, 1894, Norwegian Thomas Lewison was admitted (as patient 1433) to the Poor House in Verona due to Leprosy.  At the time, the superintendent there did not think the Poor House was a fitting place for him, and the superintendent convinced an uncle of Lewison to take him in about a week later.  But Lewison came back to the Poor House again on May 3, 1896.  This time, he was situated by himself in a house on the county's southern 80 acres, which today is the Prairie Moraine Dog Park.  He died on November 1, 1902 and was buried in the Poor House cemetery by Gus's Diner in burial plot B-94.  His headstone is not among the 81 that have been recovered in recent years and replaced at that site.


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