Bartonville, IL

by Danielle Webster

The Village of Bartonville lies South of Peoria and was incorporated in 1903.  It is a community with a population of roughly 6,310 residents. Bartonville also boasts an airport, General Wayne Downing Peoria International Airport.  The 182nd Airlift Wing of the United States Air Force base also lies nearby.  A major American company whose roots originate here is Keystone Steel and Wire.  Mike Dunn and Jim Thome both graduated from the local high school, Limestone Community, went on to play in Major League Baseball.    

The Peoria State Hospital is one of the most recognized sites within the village, due to its amazing history as a psychiatric hospital operated by the State of Illinois.  It was open from 1902-1973.  Administrator, Dr. George A. Zeller, crusaded for a better public understanding of the mentally ill during his tenure. From 1943-1969 the hospital also participated in a departmental affiliation program for psychiatric nursing, which provided instruction in psychiatric nursing to students from regional general hospital nursing schools.  After its closure in 1973, lots of lands were auctioned off.  Today, notable portions of the original grounds are; Pollack Hospital, which acted as a Tuberculosis ward as well as The Bowen building, which was the main administration building.