Sarah A. Cook.
Louisa F. Lunberg.
Jesse Palmer Hampton.
James L. Mitchell.
Elizabeth “Lizzie” Adair.
Mary Retta Rath.
George Washington Hopkins.
Buena Vista Culp.
Mabel Lilie Carter.
Meta Christine White.
These 11 names — almost forgotten in Vinton history — can now be remembered thanks to the work of a few dedicated volunteers who are committed to preserving the history of the Iowa Braille and Sight-Saving School.
First known as the College of the Blind, the school was home to the children and young adults mentioned above. All 11 of them died between 1864 and 1919 while attending school in Vinton, and were buried in Vinton. Some died of diseases that were way too common in those days; consumption or TB. One of them died along with another boy as he tried to sneak aboard a moving train. Another drowned in Mud Creek, near the Stony Arch.
Rev Phil Borleske presided over a committal service on Sunday, to honor these 11, and to help keep them alive in local history.
Local historian Rich Farmer read the names, and shared as much as local residents know about the 11, during the ceremony. The events of the day included a tour of the cemetery, as Farmer pointed out some of the Iowa Braille School history, as well as a visit to the school, where many items remain on display in a museum.
m. Farmer praised the members of the Laura Ingalls Society, who have done much work and research to help preserve the history of the school and its students.