With Nurses/Student Nurses on the Balconies
From a Postcard shared by Burt
and Charlene (Livingston) Rose
The first hospital in Hamilton was opened in 1921 in the
East Main Street former home of Dr. C. C. McMordie by Dr. C. E. Chandler
and Dr. D. B. Beach after they moved their medical practice from Shive.
Drs. Beach and Chandler were soon joined by Dr. C. C.
Cleveland, who had
been practicing at Pottsville.
The three young doctors decided to build a 4-story hospital across the
street of Dr. McMordie's home. The new 50-bed hospital opened in
1924. (I was born in this hospital.-Elreeta
W.] The three lower floors
were constructed with brick, and the fourth floor (dormitory for nurses)
was of frame construction. Internal ramps, as well as stairs,
connected the floors. An accredited school of nursing provided
training for many young ladies.
Following the death of Dr. Beach in 1936 and Dr. Chandler in 1940, the
hospital was closed for a few years. The building was used as a
barracks during World War II for student pilots who were training at the
Hamilton Airfield. Following World War II the building was again
used as a hospital for a few years.
A group of Hamilton citizens met 23 January, 1957, to
formulate plans to construct a new hospital. A stock company was
formed with a capitol stock of $150,000. Officials of the stock
company were: George B. Golightly, Chairman; W. P. Lawson, Vice President;
and W. G. Barkley, Secretary-Treasurer. Dr. C. C.
Cleveland, C. M. Hatch, Haskell Harelik, Floyd Campbell, and W. O. Manning
were also on the Board of Directors. Haskell Harelik had
purchased the East Ward School Campus following the closure of that school
and the opening of Ann Whitney Elementary School in 1949. This
property was chosen to be the location of the new hospital. Mr.
Harelik accepted stock in the Hospital Stock Company equivalent to his
cost in purchasing the property from Hamilton ISD. Hamilton General
Hospital opened 31 August, 1958.
In July, 1966, Medicare was available to the
residents of Hamilton County. Congressman Omar
Burleson estimated that 1,700 Hamilton County residents who were 65 or
older were eligible for Medicare. Medicare was part of Lyndon
Baines Johnsonsís "The Great Society" The first person to
be admitted to the Hamilton County General Hospital as a Medicare patient
was eighty-one-year-old Mrs. Charlie Etta
daughter of Lorenzo D. Riley and Nancy Perkins Riley.
In 1987 Hamilton General Hospital was closed by Harris
Methodist Affiliated Hospital System. Residents of Hamilton and
Hamilton County raised in excess of $320,000 to re-open the hospital in