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Early in 1873 Mayor Rule caused the erection of a house in a retired spot outside the limits of the city to be used as a smallpox hospital and ordered the removal of all persons afflicted with that disease to be removed thereto appointing Dr Swan M Burnett to take charge of the hospital He also appointed a board of health with Dr FK Bailey as health officer  (Rule,p 112)

East Tennessee Insane Asylum

The superintendent had for some years urged upon the legislature the necessity of providing more accommodations for the insane and in 1883, there was appropriated, through the efforts of Hon MD Bearden, $80,000 for the East Tennessee Insane asylum, which was to be erected in the vicinity of Knoxville upon the property known as Lyon's View. Under the provisions of the act making this appropriation, the governor appointed as a board of directors the following gentlemen: RH Armstrong JC Flanders, and Columbus Powell, all citizens of Knoxville and they upon effecting an organization elected WH Cusack, of Nashville, as architect, and Dr Michael Campbell, of Nashville, superintendent of construction.

After visiting the most important and famous asylums in the country, this board of directors adopted a plan embracing the very latest improvements both architectural and sanitary. The asylum consists of nine buildings, including an administration building, chapel, kitchen, laundry, boiler house, and engine house. The main building is 472 feet long, and the wards consist of 174 rooms capable of accommodating from 250 to 300 patients.

In 1885 the legislature granted an additional appropriation of $95,000 to be used for the completion of the buildings and the asylum was ready for occupancy on March 1, 1886, the patients naturally belonging to East Tennessee being transferred thither.

This asylum is about four miles from Knoxville, its situation being on high ground commanding a full view of the Tennessee river and the adjacent hills and mountains with their beautiful scenery. No more desirable location could anywhere be found for an institution of this kind, designed as it is for the comfort and care of persons suffering from the diseases which it is especially designed- to alleviate if not to cure. A building for insane colored people was erected here in 1896, suggested first by Dr Campbell, and a bill providing for an appropriation for this purpose was introduced by Hon SG Heiskell, carrying an appropriation of $20,000. The building is three stories high above the basement, is 63x135 feet in size, the basement being used for heating apparatus and the mechanical department for engineers. On the first floor are two dining rooms ,one for males the other for females, each room being 20x50 feet in size, and also on this floor is a fine sitting room, and a strong room for violent patients. The second and third stories have cast iron stairways with steel railing, and each story has an assembly room used for the exercising of patients, and is provided with corridors leading into the different cells. There are in this building 250,000 square feet of floor space, all the floors being made of mill flooring, and covered with cement in order that the building may be fireproof. The slate roof covers 100.000 square feet the building, contains 160 windows, and 100 doors. The architects of this building were Baumann Bros of Knoxville, and the contractors the Galyon & Selden company.

Still another building at this institution was provided for in April, 1898, which was designed to be one of the finest buildings connected with the asylum. The bids for its construction ranged all the way from $23,399 to $19,300, the latter bid being made by JD Hunt of Chattanooga. It is to be a fireproof structure two stories high and fitted up in the interior with the most modern arrangements necessary for the accommodation and comfort of its inmates. The appropriation made for its construction was $25,000. Reports on the condition of the asylum are made biennially because the sessions of the legislature are biennial. The last report for the period from December 19 1896 to December 19 1898 inclusive is as follows:

Hospotal data 

The trustees of this asylum are SG Heiskell SR Miller CD Clark and George W Winstead and the superintendent Michael Campbell MD The assistant physician is TF Fitzgerald MD and interne Henry M Childress MD The steward is Edward S Shepard receiver SM Drake and chaplain WH Bates (Rule, pp, 536-538)

Knoville General

Knoxville Hospital located at the corner of State and Cumberland streets and standing flush with each street was established several years ago. The building was erected for residence purposes and taken for a hospital because that was the best that could be done. The necessity for a new building for this worthy institution has been felt for years, but it was not until 1896 that any determined effort was made to raise money with which to erect such a building, and even since then funds have accumulated slowly. A movement looking to this end took definite form April, 1, of the year named, when a board of officers was elected as follows: Mrs WM Ashmore, president; Mrs WC McCoy, vice president; Mrs Tap R Jones, secretary; and Mrs WL Roberts, treasurer. All favored the erection of a hospital building at as early a day as practicable. Dr Tap R Jones thought a building such as the city needed could be erected for $30,000, and in order to start the ball rolling a committee of ten women was appointed to prepare plans for the future of the organization, that day effected as above related the committee consisting of the following persons Miss Pauline Woodruff, Mrs SB Luttrell, Mrs HG Bayless, Mrs WA Henderson, Mrs WG Williams, Mrs Lucy Finnegan, Mrs JM Black, Mrs TJ Peed, Mrs DL Ross, and Mrs JH Frazee.

April, 8 following, a constitution and by laws were adopted, by which the organization was named The Hospital Building and Promoting Board, and the object being to secure funds with which to erect a hospital building in Knoxville. The matter was presented to the city council at its next meeting July 28, 1896, a meeting of the advisory board was held, this advisory board consisting of the following individuals: SG Heiskell, WL Welcker, ML Ross, James Van Deventer, SB Luttrell, Rev EA Elmore, RS Hazen, Rev MD Jeffries, SC Roney, Rev Thomas Campbell, WH Collett, JW Borches, Walter S Roberts, Dr AA Francis, and Jonathan Tipton.

In order to further this project, there was held on September 4, 1896, what was called a Hospital Day, the cars of both the street car companies being on that day turned over to the ladies or to the hospital board at noon, each car being run by young ladies. Mrs Frank Post being the treasurer of the day, and the receipts for the afternoon and evening being donated to the hospital fund. In July, 1897, the Southern Railway Company contributed $500 toward the fund and by November, 11 of that year there had been raised $3,402.37.

A hospital Christmas festival was held in December, 1898 for the benefit of this work which netted $1,000 and in January, 1899, the project was so far along that Baumann Bros architects of Knoxville were selected to prepare the plans for the new hospital building. The architects having been selected the following sub committees were appointed to labor in connection with them who were instructed to keep within the amount mentioned above as suggested by Dr Jones:

Committee on General Hospital Arrangements:
Drs WL McCreary, Tap R Jones, JM Black, and SR Miller.

Committee on Heating Ventilating and Plumbing: Dr CE Wait and HO Nelsen.

Committee on Finance: JT McTeer, Mayor William Rule, and SC Roney.

The hospital building, as it is proposed to be erected, contemplates accommodations for seventy-five patients, a corps of doctors and nurses, twenty in number and all waitng rooms, operating rooms, laboratories, and offices that will be needed. The building will be erected on a lot purchased by the Hospital Building and Promoting Board located on Cleveland place near Dameron avenue opposite the ruins of the old Tennessee Medical College building, the cost of the lot having been $2,300. The hospital board has now on hand something more than $2,000.

The state legislature at its session held in 1899, passed an act authorizing the corporation of Knoxville to issue the bonds of the city to the amount of $30,000, bearing interest at the rate of 4 per cent, the proceeds to be used in the erection of a hospital building. The bonds were issued and sold for $32,000. Thereupon the board of mayor and aldermen elected a building committee of five to take charge of the funds and erect the building. The committee is composed of JT McTeer, EC McMillan, FK Huger, CC Howell, and Wm Rule. Mr Huger afterwards resigned and HO Nelsen was chosen to fill the vacancy. Plans prepared by the firm of Baumann Brothers architects were adopted and they were employed to supervise the work. Contracts were let and the work is now going on to completion.

It will be an elegant building with all modern conveniences and will stand a splendid monument to the enterprising public spirited women of Knoxville to whose efforts the credit of the hospital building is due. (Source: Standard History of Knoxville, Tennessee, William Rule, George Frederick Mellen, John Wooldridge, Lewis Publishing Company, 1900,pp 547-549)

Knoxville General was the only hospital that had more than 100 beds.


Knoxville College

Digital Initiatives, James E. Walker Library, Middle Tennessee State University, Contrubuted by Beck Cultural Exchange Center (accessed May 11, 2016).

Knoxvlle College Hospital

Knoxville College Hospital Knoxville, Tenn, Established 1906; public for colored patients, 17 beds, Miss Helen Ferguson RN, superintendent. (Source: Hospital Management, Volume 14, No. 5, Crain Publishing Company, 1922, p.88). This hospital is also called the Eliza B Wallace Hospital, after a woman who worked to raise money to build the hospital.

Private Hospital 408 Church Ave, W Knoxville, Tenn Established 1906 general 25 beds. Miss Mary 0 Willis RN, superintendent. (Source: Hospital Management, Volume 14, No. 5, Crain Publishing Company, 1922, p.88)


unknown, "Riverside Hospital," in Special Collections Online, Item #3887, Link (accessed May 11, 2016).

Dr SR Miller Knoxville Tenn associated with Riverside Hospital a small private hospital writes, "Our space is limited and we therefore do not have many service rooms, consultation rooms, waiting rooms, and the like, but the staff can get meals in the hospital at mealtime when they wish them. A charge is usually made except when it is only a cup of coffee, or coffee and toast in emergency work in the late hours of night. (Source: Hospital Management, Volume 13, No. 3, Crain Publishing Company, 1922  p. 36) Link

Riverside Hospital is located at 230 Riverside Drive, Knoxville, Tenn. Established 1917. private surgical 50 beds, Miss Dora McClaim, superintendent. (Source:American Medical Directory, Volume 7, American Medical Association, 1921, p.1413) In 1927, Riverside merged with Fort Sanders.

Ft Sanders

Ft Sanders Hospita/b>ll Clinch Ave Knoxville, Tenn. Established 1918 private general 65 beds; Bruce  Yule resident physician; Mr JH Mauney, superintendent.

"Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center, located in downtown Knoxville, traces its beginnings to May 29, 1919, when a charter was received for a new hospital to be built on the site of the Civil War Battle of Fort Sanders.  As construction proceeded on Fort Sanders Hospital, cannon balls and Indian relics were found on the building site. That same year, an affiliated school of nursing accepted its first students." Link

Fort Sanders had between 50- 100 beds. (Source: Hospital Management, Volume 14, No. 5, Crain Publishing Company, 1922, p.88)

Hospitals May Merge Committees from the Fort Sanders and Riverside Hospitals at Nashville are discussing possible consolidation of the two institutions. According to the plans suggested, the Riverside Hospital would be turned into an apartment building and a $50,000 addition be built to the Fort Sanders institution. The equipment of the two institutions would be combined and a hospital of 120 rooms would result. (Source: Modern Hospital, Volume 18, McGraw-Hill., 1922, p.82) The two hospitals merged in 1927.

Children's Hostpital

Opening in 1937, the 28-bed facility at 1912 Laurel Avenue was known as the Knox County Crippled Children's Hospital, and its primary purpose was to care for children with ppolio. Link to history timeline: Link

unknown, "Beverly Hills Sanatorium," in Special Collections Online, Item #3886, Link (accessed May 11, 2016).

Beverly Hills Sanatorium

Tenn Knoxvllle Knox County will erect $100,000 tubercular at Beverly. AB Baumann, architect (Source: Manufacturers' Record, Volume 82, Issues 9-17 (October 26, 1922), p. 80f) Link It opened in 1924.

The Civitan Club helped raise money to build this hospital. It had 161 beds, and in 1929, averaged 133 patients. The average stay was six to eight months. Source: Public Health Progress in Knoxville, Tenn.

Joseph W. Mountin , cite>Public Health Reports (1896-1970) ,Vol. 46, No. 21 (May 22, 1931), pp. 1236-1255, accessed 10 May, 2016 ) Link

J. H. Presnell was the chairman of the Committee of the Beverly Hills Negro Sanatorium which costs $50,00, and is the only Negro Sanatorium in Tennessee. (Source: Who's who in Colored America, Volume 6, Who's Who in Colored America Corporation, 1942, p. 420)

St Mary's

St Mary's Hospital

Opened in 1930, you can read the story here: Link


Baptist Hospital

East Tennessee Baptist Hospital opened in 1948. In Novemebr of 2007, the merger of Baptist Hospital with St Mary's to become Mercy Hospitals was announced. Mercy Hospitals was acquired by Tennova (2011). Baptist Hospital was closed and the domolition of the hospital started in 2014. Photo Link Link2


unknown, "University of Tennessee Medical Center," in Special Collections Online, Item #3892, Link (accessed May 11, 2016)

1956 - UT Memorial Research Center and Hospital opens and includes 14 laboratories to be used for research and was accredited to train transitional year residents. Photo link