Emmaus Homes - Marthaville Campus

Emmaus Homes - Marthaville Campus (Google Maps)
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By AKpilotEMT @ 2010-10-01 15:12:50
"In 1892, the Deutsche Evangelische Synode von Nord-Amerika (German Evangelical Synod of North America) voted to set aside its former seminary property as a home for epileptics to be called the Emmaus Asyl für Epileptiker und Idioten (Emmaus Asylum for Epileptics and Idiots) for persons with mental retardation and epilepsy. Pastor Carl Schnake became the first superintendent of the home when it opened on July 4, 1893. The first resident arrived on July 5th, coming from New Orleans. Emmaus was the first institution of its kind west of the Mississippi.

In the 1900 book by William Pryor Letchworth entitled Care and Treatment of Epileptics, the author describes the Emmaus Asylum near Marthasville, Missouri:

The charity was organized by Rev. C. Schnake. Two buildings of stone, spacious, well lighted, and well ventilated, afford accommodations for fifty patients, and, together with the residence of the Superintendent and a small chapel, comprise the buildings of the colony. The estate contains 240 acres, the greater part of which has not been cleared and fitted for field use.

The Emmaus Asylum for Epileptics and Idiots was also known as the Emmaus Asylum for Epileptics and Feeble-Minded, and later was called the Emmaus Home for Epileptics and the Mentally Retarded. Today, Emmaus Homes is a ministry of the United Church of Christ and continues to serve developmentally disabled people in a number of locations in the St. Charles, Missouri area."

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According to the topographic map, the dirt parking lot at the bottom part of the property is where the main building/asylum/sanitarium was located.
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pbenz picture
@ 2010-10-04 07:44:03
Thank you for including Emmaus Homes in your virtual globetrotting site. I was wondering if there was a way to update the information about our organization. While terms used to refer to people with developmental disabilities throughout history were perfectly suitable at the time, today many of these terms are quite offensive. As an organization, Emmaus strives to enhance the quality of life for our 250 residents and, by highlighting the unfortunate use of terms such as "idiot" or "feeble-minded" this takes away from the dignity we hope to instill in our residents today. I would be happy to submit more pertinent information about our services, the people we serve and our field in general if that would be helpful. Please contact me at benzp@emmaushomes.org. Thank you.
AKpilotEMT picture
@ 2010-10-04 09:03:20
Those terms were acceptable once within medical circles and even in society as a whole; they were acceptable even in Evangelical circles for it was men of God who approved using the word "Idiot" in 1892. Ugly words and terms (and worse -- ideas of man) are a real part of the past. Yes, they would be offensive if used today but to pretend those terms didn't once exist would be wrong.

I honor your organization and all you do but you can't change history. Those terms were included here in this map submission for historical reference to the location, to describe the past, not to describe people there today, in 2010 and the 21st Century.

A link to your website was included so people can see the true beauty of the work you do and maybe even make a donation if they choose to :)
kjfitz picture
@ 2010-10-04 21:12:01
I agree with AKpilotEMT.