After much litigation, the Hastings Regional Center in Adams Co., Nebraska has released photocopies of the cemetery records to the Nebraska State Historical Society and the Adams County Nebraska Historical Society.
The cemetery records also include corresponding plot maps for individuals buried in the Center Cemetery. From 1909 to 1959 there were approximately 751 patients buried there. A second listing abstracted from the medical ledger books between 1889 and 1918 for 399 patients was also provided. Both of these lists are in a PDF (downloadable/searchable) file at the Nebraska State Historical Society web site.
In 1887 the Nebraska legislature appropriated $75,000 for a "state asylum for the incurably insane" at Hastings, provided the city donate 160 acres of land. The city purchased the land one mile west of the city limits and eventually it was turned into 630 acres. The original building was a three story brick building with a tall central tower. Additions were completed through the years. The first patients were received on 1 August 1889. Forty-four were transferred from the "State Lunatic Asylum" in Lincoln, Nebraska. Through the years thousands of patients were received.
The name of the center changed through the years. In 1895 it was renamed Asylum for the Chronic Insane. In 1905 it was named Nebraska State Hospital and in 1915 to Ingleside Hospital for the Insane and eventually to Hastings State Hospital. The current name change occurred in 1971.
Tragically not everybody who was admitted was incurably or chronically insane. They may have suffered from hereditary disorders, change of life, stress, financial problems or domestic issues. It is sad to think that hundreds were buried there and for decades their place of burial was unknown. I hope that family will recognize their name and find them at last.