Shared Photo: Lewis McFeron. Image 1

+10 votes
66 views

In 1930 when my grandmother, Sarah Mead McFeron died delivering her 7th child, her husband scattered the surviving 5 to willing relatives. My father, who was only 4 did not know or care that his brother Lewis had an intellectual disability. but others did and there were just no volunteers to take in a 13 year old who was just a little different. He was deposited at the Fairview Training Center at the Oregon State Hospital. The other children were told he had died. My father would be a man before he knew, and the father of 4 children who would surely not have been born had he known, so extreme was the stigma of intellectual disability. Lewis Martin McFeron went to Fairview when he was 13. He died there of pneumonia at 39. Meet my Uncle Lewis. So few people have. Say his name.

I wanted to share this family photo of Lewis McFeron. with the community. Location: OR state Hospital Salem OR, USA. Date: 6 May 2016
500px-McFeron_-15.jpg
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WikiTree profile: Lewis McFeron
in The Tree House by Deborah McFeron G2G Crew (450 points)

3 Answers

+3 votes
Hello Lewis! So sad, but you're in a good place now. I'm sure your Father did everything he could for you and your siblings, at the time. People didn't talk about family issues during that time. When I would find out something about the family (like a divorce or something) my dad would say don't put that in your family history, because it doesn't look good. But dad it was 150 years ago, who cares. Thanks for sharing.
by John Noel G2G6 Pilot (712k points)
+2 votes
Hi, Lewis,
I'm sorry you were a lost boy. I had a cousin who spent his whole life in Central State Hospital in Pineville, Louisiana. I met him only once, when he was about 15, but he was in a crib, in a ward. His mother was in a car accident when she was pregnant with him, so it's said that he had brain damage from the accident. I don't know. But his name was Douglas, and we called him Little Dougie.
I'm paralyzed in a wheelchair from a stroke. In different times, I'd be in a nursing home, instead of at home with my husband.
by Sheri Taylor G2G6 Mach 2 (24.7k points)
+2 votes
Thank you, Deborah, for sharing your Uncle Lewis's story with us on the G2G forum.  I have a second cousin who was mentally disabled, born about the time Lewis died.  My cousin was very fortunate to have a mother who was a teacher and ensured that he got the best special education that was available in the area.  He eventually was able to live in a half-way home with supervised care, close to home, thus maintaining a somewhat independent life and close ties to family.  What a difference circumstances and a few decades makes!
by Star Kline G2G6 Pilot (545k points)

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