Our History

Greenwood County Hospital History

(This information was taken from an account of the history of the hospital as complied by Mrs. D.M. Wallace and Mrs. Everett Parts- Hospital Auxiliary Members)

The first hospital building to be erected in Eureka was in 1907, at 411 N. Main, on three lots purchased by Dr. E.J. Norman. The building was two-story and contained 16 modern rooms. The cost of the fine structure was about $7,000.00. The hospital was a private institution, but ran for the benefit of the public. In 1918 Dr. Norman was killed in an accident and Eureka was without hospital facilities.

In April 1927, Miss Lucy Spoheer Coil, R.N. opened "The Community Hospital" in the old Westside stone school building on Walnut Street between Third and Fourth Streets. This hospital was in operation for two years.

In March 1930, two registered nurses, Miss Cora B. Murray and Miss Hester Hart leased the original hospital building on Main Street. The new hospital was named "Charlotte Murray Hospital" after Miss Murray's mother on March 19, 1931; the name was changed to "The Eureka Hospital" and opened under new management. Dr. E.L.W. Brown updated the building with new equipment and hired competent staff. A surgeon, Dr. H.C. Hume, soon joined the staff.

The hospital again changed ownership sometime in the early 30's. Miss Marian E. McNeill, R.N. and Miss Helen Marie Schaffer, R.N. leased the hospital and the name again changed. The new name would be "The Greenwood Community Hospital". There was not a house doctor, as local physicians rotated service. They each were on call for a two-week period.

In March 1936, Dr. Francis Basham purchased the building. He temporarily moved the hospital to 813 N. Main, during an extensive remodeling program on the old building. The remodeling was completed and opened in April 1936.

Then, in May 1943, Dr. Basham purchased the Lyndon Hotel. This was to become the home of his new hospital. The staff doctors were Doctors Francis, John, James, Charles and George Basham. This hospital served the community for more than twelve years and was closed on June 17, 1956.

In May 1953, the Eureka Chamber and Commerce discussed new hospital facilities at a dinner meeting. Many citizens and physicians were interested and the ball started rolling. Plans were on the way. Bonds were voted in the amount of $525,000. Gifts and donations totaled more than $18,000 and were also collected to help fund the project. Three years and one month after that first meeting, the Greenwood County Hospital was opened to the public on June 1956.

The 46-bed stone structure was located on the site of the Southern Kansas Academy on North Main Street, on land donated by Mr. and Mrs. Ward McGinnis. It was completely air-conditioned and the equipment was of the latest and best design. Staff physicians included Francis Basham, M.D., John Basham, M.D., C.D. Baird, M.D., Robert Obourn, M.D., and Virgil Hollenbeck, M.D., all of Eureka; W.H. Berthelsen, M.D., of Howard; and Roland Brooks, M.D. of Madison.

As the years have passed, there was a need to expand on the original hospital. In 1964, the laboratory was remodeled to make room for a larger and better equipped lab. In 1967, an addition of a new business office on the west side of the hospital lobby added about 600 sq. feet of additional office space.

In 1971, the hospital board concluded that a new wing, remodeling of present hospital and a driveway around the new wing was necessary and had to be done in order to participate in the federal Medicare and Medicaid programs. By April 1975, the construction was under way. Upon completion there were 26 patient rooms, which included six private rooms, as well as an expanded laboratory and additional diagnostic units. A portion of the present hospital structure was remodeled for use as the hospital outpatient clinic. In addition, the remodeling phase included space for doctor's offices. The remodeling that was done in 1975 still remains the present structure of the hospital to this day.