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Comments on: Contact Me http://cheriebombell.com Kids Behind Bars, Geneva Illinois Thu, 21 Jan 2016 02:14:19 +0000 hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.4.2 By: B A http://cheriebombell.com/contact-me/comment-page-1/#comment-5320 Thu, 21 Jan 2016 02:14:19 +0000 http://cheriebombell.com/?page_id=100#comment-5320 I was a resident in Geneva from November 1963 to December 1964. I left there after graduating with a degree in Cosmetology under the direction of Mrs Tabor. She was a lovely person. After Intake, I lived in Hope Cottage, and then Fabian (the Honor Cottage) ?? Go figure??! and then maybe to Elm. Not sure as it didn’t matter by that time. My starkest memory (Nov. 1963) watching on TV the burial ceremony of President Kennedy and remembering how deeply sad I felt for his little children and for Mrs. Kennedy. And then I never thought about it until much later in my very adult life.

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By: Linda Tart http://cheriebombell.com/contact-me/comment-page-1/#comment-5145 Sat, 15 Aug 2015 21:47:22 +0000 http://cheriebombell.com/?page_id=100#comment-5145 In reply to Barbara R.

Barbara, I was in Geneva from 1961-1962. I am sorry you had a difficult time in there. I didn’t. It was like heaven to me. My “home” was a dark, bottomless pit, full of ignorance, promiscuity, and poverty, neglect and ABUSE. I was 13, when I went. Prior to then, I was in the Audy Home, 3 times and Chicago Parental School once. All of the people in those places, were pretty nice to me and I was HUNGRY for love, thus, all was good. I kept running away because I did not like being cursed, beaten and dogged and who would, especially, if you are a child? During the times I was in my room, I read and did my homework, therefore, I made good use of my being locked in my room. During the time I was there, we were allowed to talk at the dining room tables, just couldn’t get to loud. Once again, I am so sorry that you had a bad experience in Geneva, but try (and I know it is EXTREMELY DIFFICULT, TO SAY THE LEAST) to forget about it, ONCE AGAIN, I understand, that it is hard BUT you can do it. I have had to deal with the same thing, in relationship to my birth mother. She NEVER like me, and not only did she TELL ME THAT, SHE SHOWED ME THAT. I grew to HATE HER ALSO. Prior to her death, she told my adopted aunt, that she was sorry but it was to late by then. MUCH TO LATE. I still try to forgive her but it is difficult. I give thanks, to my EXTENDED FAMILY, (which includes, some of the matrons in Geneva) everyday. I could not have made it without them.
I have had decent jobs and I have a Master’s Degree and a Realtors License.

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By: Linda Tart http://cheriebombell.com/contact-me/comment-page-1/#comment-5139 Sat, 15 Aug 2015 00:24:10 +0000 http://cheriebombell.com/?page_id=100#comment-5139 In reply to Sharon Randall.

Sharon, I am sorry for you bad experience in Geneva. Yes, I do remember the unit but I did not know where it was. I got into a fight there but I was put in my room for a couple of days, I never tried to escape but I had several friends that tried. They were caught and place in the unit. They said it was just a mattress on the floor, with a toilet and wash basin.
I can only speak for myself, but Geneva was much better then being at “home.” Three square meals, clean clothes, education, recreation, social workers, WORK, friends, it was great for me.

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By: Sarah Henkel http://cheriebombell.com/contact-me/comment-page-1/#comment-4854 Tue, 07 Apr 2015 23:31:45 +0000 http://cheriebombell.com/?page_id=100#comment-4854 I am doing a research project on the Wyatt family from Streator, IL. Viola Wyatt, age 18, died in 1924 and her death certificate listed Geneva, IL as location of death and identified her as “inmate.” I am wondering if she was at this girls’ home? If anyone has suggestions on who to contact for file, please post. I read the earlier post asking the same.

Thank you.

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By: Barbara R http://cheriebombell.com/contact-me/comment-page-1/#comment-4775 Wed, 25 Feb 2015 09:45:51 +0000 http://cheriebombell.com/?page_id=100#comment-4775 Hi Sharon ,I was also sentenced to Geneva @ age 12 for staying out late one nite,I was there off and on till age 18 . 1958-64. I can relate to your story ..spent a lot of time in the unit as I was a very angry child and had had a horrible childhood prior.
I think the isolation of it all… being locked in our rooms for long periods of time,no one to talk to ,out for meals but not being allowed to talk ,it left a big scar that I have not resolved to this day ..I am angry that the State of Il stole my teen yrs and treated me like a criminal ,locked me up ,because they could and I had no one to care or look out for me,life long scars to say the least…don’t even want to discuss the restraints,,lots of clueless mean spirited people worked there .I’m glad that they turned it around in the 70’s…..

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By: Sharon Randall http://cheriebombell.com/contact-me/comment-page-1/#comment-4412 Sun, 08 Feb 2015 09:59:25 +0000 http://cheriebombell.com/?page_id=100#comment-4412 In reply to Marilyn Brandt.

Marylyn ~ Geneva was different when i was there ~ and i definitely did not have the picnic that you seemed to have found there lol ~ Geneva changed administators at least twice in the 5 years i spent growing up there [both of whom ran the place completely differently] and even without reading all the stories i can tell you that some very bad things happened there during my time ~ i am sixty one and not about anyones drama deary ~ i had good and bad experiences in Geneva ~ and i WAS put into full restraints on several occasions for fighting and for trying to escape ~ just because you didnt see it happen does not mean it is not true ~ we fighters were put into restraints in a part of Geneva which we referred to as the UNiT [solitary confinment] ~ which were the cells beneath oak cottage ~ i remember it like it was yesterday ~ if oak cottage was there in the 50s then so was the unit and you would be familiar with it as well if you were a fighter ~ having said that ~ there were girl in Geneva who only had short stays and maybe there stay was not as bad as some ~ and managed to leave Geneva unscathed ~ good for you ~ happy you do not have the lifelong scars that place has given me ~ peace and love ~ Sharon

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By: Sharon Randall http://cheriebombell.com/contact-me/comment-page-1/#comment-4411 Sun, 08 Feb 2015 09:34:10 +0000 http://cheriebombell.com/?page_id=100#comment-4411 In reply to Mary Small.

Mary ~ there is a possibility that you can gain access to those records if they are still in existance ~i was in Geneva some years after your mothers time ~ however it was a well known fact that many of the babies were forcefully taken from their mothers ~ that in itself was a crime against humanity ~ i remember how the girls would cry a lot when it came closer to the birthing time ~ because the babies were taken right from birth and many mothers never even got to see their babes before that were stolen away ~ so any papers that may have been signed were under threat/ duress ~ even so you may still need to hire an attorney ~ in my time if you had a familiy member who the state deemed as fit who would be willing to take the baby then they got to keep- it in the family ~ otherwise they were taken away and placed up for adoption ~ also heard that there was profit being made by the institutions administrators at one time ~not sure if any of this information helps ~ however sealed document should only pertain to legal adoptions ~ some were legal and some were definitely not ~ Your Mother is probably gone by now and hope her spirit rests in peace

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By: Cherie Bombell http://cheriebombell.com/contact-me/comment-page-1/#comment-561 Sat, 20 Aug 2011 09:40:56 +0000 http://cheriebombell.com/?page_id=100#comment-561 In reply to Mary Small.

Mary, I don’t know how you can find out. People are wanting to access their records but I don’t know if that’s possible except through a Freedom of Information process. I wish I could be more helpful. I live in Australia and don’t even know the laws around this information. If you do any research and are able to find out how people can gain information, would you please share with us? I wish you well, Mary. I hope you are able to find the answers you seek.
Was anyone that visits this site, in Geneva at that time – 1942? If so, please let us know. That might be a help to Mary.

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By: Mary Small http://cheriebombell.com/contact-me/comment-page-1/#comment-554 Tue, 16 Aug 2011 21:35:51 +0000 http://cheriebombell.com/?page_id=100#comment-554 I have been told that my birth mother was an immate at Geneva School for girls and gave me up for adoption. Is there a way to find out. I have her name
She would have been there in 1942.

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By: Marilyn Brandt http://cheriebombell.com/contact-me/comment-page-1/#comment-535 Sat, 13 Aug 2011 04:13:04 +0000 http://cheriebombell.com/?page_id=100#comment-535 Hi Cherie,…..just now seen this comment from you,…..(TOLDDDDDD you, im no computer genious LOL) youve heard of computer dummies? well,……im,.a computer IDIOT!! But anyway, i dont know why it is,.. Cherie,.and im the first to admit it, but…..when i see the picture of Geneva Girls School..(the one YOU sent) i cant hardly stop stareing at it ,and remembering different things,about it etc etc.,,,,,,,,and actually feeling a little “homesick”,for the place!! Isnt that weird?? I did,have some good times there too,tho ,..ya no,…and lots of good friends. And,i just LOVED “ma campbell” the Matron on Campbell Hall cottage where i was…and yes i really do,wish it had never been torn down,…they had a lot of different jobs,and skills for the girls to learn while there. It just seems to me,that as with almost everything now days,.money is involved. SOMEONE,…SOMEWHERE,. had the pull,and dollor signs,in thier eyeballs,to get that place demolished and sell for a arm and a leg to homebuyers. Where do juvinile girls go to now?? To Dwight womens prison? I think this really upsets me mostly because,..just like all the Mental Instutions,..in Illinois,has been closed down now for years..like Kanakee State Hospital….and etc. so now, all the folks that really need mental help,…..dont get it, thier just put back out on the streets,to do whateverrrr…..Im sorry, but i just disagree with the tearing down of the girls school. Im not saying terrible things never happened, there,.. like maybe when it was first built,..or way back when,…(but it just wasnt,like that in the 50s, when i was there) just,wasnt. The laws have changed a lot sence the school was first built,..and im sure,with the new administration,that was put in place,those,really bad things came to abrupt,end. Im not saying,Geneva was any Marriott Hotel,… no way close even,…but, by golly i just cant lie about it and say what a horrible place it was either,…i mean,of course,..we ALL were very young and,wouldve much rather been OUTTA there,…but not because we were “beat” or tied up in chairs,..torchured etcetc,… so,to all the other girls,that may have been incarcerated there also,…..be honest,…dont try to make it out like something,it really wasnt, of course,..wed all like a big hug,and told how sorry they was that we was innocently confined to such a house of horriors,…LOL……(cant help it,..its funny)lol………i was a wild brat,that thought she knew everything,…and never listened to my MoM,.about anything…and deserved everything,i got.,.. Which was a yr.in Geneva…which obviously,wasnt time, because after just a few months of freedom…i got myself sent right back,for another year!! And then,…i grew up…(sorta lol)…sortaaaaaaa..NOT! lol

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