The Clinics

By 1946, four clinics operated downtown, including the Ball Clinic, the McCleary Clinic, the Mitchell Osteopathic Clinic and Excelsior Medical Clinic. The Ball Clinic, founded in 1901, was a fairly typical example of work done by the local clinics. Physiotherapy was used to aid relaxation and pain relief. The plan also used a special diet designed to correct acid imbalances in the body. Most of the clinics employed medical doctors, osteopaths and chiropractors on their staffs to treat patients. The clinics' good fortune was not to last.

Two blows were struck against the clinics in the late 50's and early 60's that put them on the canvas for good. Relying on advertising to spread much of the word on their treatments and services, the clinics were stunned by a legal ruling forbidding them to advertise. Adding insult to injury, the August 24, 1963 edition of The Saturday Evening Post carried a story by Ralph Lee Smith entitled "The Hucksters of Pain." In writing the article, Smith posed as a patient suffering from "lower back pain" and brought his complaint to the Ball Clinic. The article he wrote concerning his experiences helped close the doors of the clinic on December 31, 1963.

The Excelsior Springs Hospital

The first Excelsior Springs Hospital building had the cornerstone laid on November 13, 1904, according to a Daily Call news article. The new hospital, located on East Excelsior Street, was built by two nurses -- Harriett Simpson and Anne Thompson. The hospital, which came to be known as the Hospital-on-the-Hill, commanded an enviable position on water tower hill, offering one of the prettiest views of the valley and town of Excelsior Springs.

Click here for complete history and more photos.