The first 50 years

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.

The building had 17 rooms, including an operating room, and was made available to physicians throughout the city, with Dr. S.R. Keith, physician in charge.

In February 1907, Harriett and Anna moved the hospital operation to 214 East Excelsior Street, then in 1910 leased the Arlington Hotel property on Spring street (today the Springdale Apartments) and opened the largest hospital in Excelsior Springs at that time. The building had 28 bedrooms, able to provide between 35 to 40 patient beds, doubling the hospital’s capacity.
In 1917, Harriett sold the building and furnishings on Spring Street to Mrs. H.J. Close of Kansas City, who operated it as the Lucerne Hotel. The Excelsior Springs Hospital moved to 424 East Broadway, also known historically as The Grant.

In 1918, the hospital moved to upstairs rooms on South street, which later was occupied by Hotel Southern. In 1922, the Old White Sanitarium in Superior Park was purchased. A new brick wing was added in 1923 and the facilities were moved there, featured in above photo. The hospital remained at this location for 53 years. Note: Superior Spring Well #2 is visable in the photo. Post card of Superior Spring Well #1 is pictured below.

The hospital at this time was operated by a group of local physicians, Drs. J.E. Musgrave, R.W. Prather, J.E. Baird and C.H. Suddarth, who invested $75,000 in the institution. In 1925, another section was added.

Harriett continued to be affiliated with the management of the hospital until her death on February 11, 1937.

Dr. D.E. Musgrave became the manager and it was placed under the direction of the Excelsior Springs Medical Society, including Drs. H.J. Clark, Y.D. Craven, D.E. Musgrave, Lerton V. Dawson, E.C. Robichaux, E.B. Robichaux, Roy Prather, S.R. McCracken, John F. Grace and J.E. Baird. Under the present policies, the hospital operated on a non-profit basis.

In December 1941, formal bylaws for governance of the hospital company and regulation and management of its affairs by a hospital board of directors and stockholders were adopted. Mrs. Margaret Sharp, a majority stockholder, served as manager of the hospital. In 1948, Dr. E.E. Gay of Richmond became a major stockholder with Margaret when he acquired the shares of W.C. Westfall.

Close up of Old White Sanitarium, above

For the next 50 years, click here for a .pdf of ESMC's 100th Anniversary publication.

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