St. Mary's Hospital


In December of 1899 a few citizens of Winfield alive to its needs and prestige, formulated a plan to establish and maintain a public hospital. They organized the Winfield hospital association and the following persons were selected from the incorporators to serve the first year: J. P. Baden, president: P. H. Albright, vice-president; F. K. Robinson, secretary; W. H. Somermier, treasurer. They purchased the south west corner of Mound and 9th street from David Beach. The address was 1515 East Ninth street and had a small home upon it.

They enlarged the home to meet the needs of a small hospital. Public contributions were received and rooms were furnished by Mrs. Adelaide Baden, The Winfield Ice Plant, The Episcopal Ladies Society, Ladies Aid Group of the Lutheran Church, Dr. Emerson and Dr. Jacobus.

Miss Lizzie Wells, a graduate nurse from Illinois, was appointed as the first hospital superintendent and Mrs. Ed Cockran was the matron in charge. Hospital service rates ranged all the way from $7.00 to $25.00 per week.

On the medical staff were Dr. George Emerson, Dr. I. A. Jacobus, Dr. G. M. Holcomb, Dr. S. J. Guy, Dr. J. G. Evans, Dr. E. B. Emory, and Dr. T. H. Jamison.

Shortly after the hospital started, a sort of nursing school was set up and Miss Lizzie Wells served as director of this project. Part of the publicized services of this school was to supply nurses to private families for care of ill persons in the home.

Difficulties arose because income was less than expenses. The Winfield Hospital association agreed that they would turn the hospital over to an experienced religious group. So, in December of 1903, a transaction was completed between the Wichita Diocese of the Catholic church for the Sisters of St. Joseph to assume charge of the hospital. The property was deeded to the Sisters and they took over the mortgage of $4,000.

January 1, 1904 Sister M. Aloysia came to Winfield Hospital as the first religious superior. A hospital addition was begun and dedication ceremonies were held on February 24. The new addition gives the house twenty rooms for patients, two wards for general use, operating room, reception room, dining room, large kitchen, Sister's dormitory, a dining room for employees, a study, and a chapel. Fifteen sisters were in residence. The name remained the Winfield Hospital.

September 5, 1905, a second annex was completed and dedicated. This annex contained offices, a guest suite and additional utility space. The hospital was formally placed under the patronage of Our Lady of Victory and was renamed the St. Mary's Hospital.

An official school of nursing was established in 1913 with both academic and clinical studies. The first students received into the school were two Winfield girls, Mary Alice Collins and Margaret Werner who graduated in 1915.

The hospital continued with these facilities until 1916 when a new laundry and boiler room were constructed. They were combined into a separate building, because it had already been anticipated that there would be need for a larger hospital in the near future. A group of local business men expressed an interest in a new and enlarged hospital. The Chamber of Commerce purchased adjacent lots (lots now on Mound Street between Ninth and Tenth Streets) from Alva Graham and then presented them to the Sisters.

In 1918 the Chamber of Commerce was influential in raising about $33,000 toward a new building project. Building was started in the summer of that year and completed by January of 1919. The finished hospital, built of red brick and stone trim, was erected and equipped at a total cost of $138,700, with about $20,000 of that spent for equipment.

The hospital flourished through the second world war. As Newton Memorial hospital grew, St. Marys began to dwindle until the Hospital closed in 1960.

The building was acquired by the Good Samaritan nursing homes and used for several years. When they completed their new facilities on Wheat Road, they moved out and sold the buildings. The buildings were torn down and condominiums built on the land.