Speers Memorial Hospital

1897-1973

Information comes from the research done by Dr. Alvin C Poweleit and reprinted here with the permission of the Campbell County Historical Society
 

Speers Memorial Hospital in Dayton Kentucky was in use from October 10, 1897 until August 7, 1973.  The founding of Speers Memorial Hospital was provided for in 1893 by the will of Mrs. Elizabeth L Speers, an English woman and patient of Dr. C B Schoolfield.  The will provided that the Circuit Court Judge name three trustees to be appointed for life who would have charge of the building and management of the hospital.  And it was to be named after her husband, Charles Speers.

The family had lived in Texas and Cincinnati before settling in Dayton in 1883, the year Charles Speers died.  Judge Charles Helm named John Trapp, Dr. C B Schoolfield and Charles Nagel as the first trustees.  At their first meeting, July 6, 1895, the board organized with the following officers:
John Trapp-President
Dr. C B Schoolfield-Vice-President
Charles Nagel-Secretary

Speers Hospital was located on Main Street in Dayton between Fourth and Fifth Avenues which was the Donaldson property. Construction began in 1895 and the first patient, Mrs. Caroline Meyer, was admitted October 10, 1897. Anna Sutton was the first superintendent of the hospital. She supervised the purchase of equipment and furnishings of the four wards and 15 rooms of the new hospital. The following list of doctors were charter staff members:
J H Barker-Dayton
W D Richards-Dayton
C W Schoolfield-Dayton
Douglas Schoolfield-Dayton
Lee C Wadsworth-Dayton
William A Young-Dayton
Frank H Southgate-Ft. Thomas
W W Anderson-Newport
O A Frickman-Newport
William J Gerding-Newport
George J Hermann-Newport
J O Jenkins-Newport
J L Phythian-Newport
R W Thornton-Newport
William M Truesdell-Newport

Cora Amann became superintendent on October 3, 1900, Ella Louise Ellsworth was appointed Head Nurse, and she became superintendent in 1903.  Other presidents of the Board were:
John Trapp-1895
Dr. C B Schoolfield-?-1900
Dr. J T Phythian-1900-06
Dr. Senour-1906-27
Dr. J T Phythian-1927-42

In 1911 an annex was built to the hospital adding one ward and seven rooms.  Periodically, additions were made and in 1937, the hospital had 5 wards and 38 rooms reaching a capacity of 100 beds.  In addition, the hospital was also equipped with 15 bassinettes and a separate obstetrical department which was discontinued in 1966.

After the disastrous flood of 1937, Speers Memorial Hospital was completely renovated and rehabilitated.  A campaign for funds was launched and successfully completed through the Commerce and Hospitalization Committee.  A new private women's ward of 12 beds was made available.  The operating room was completely renovated and provided with new equipment.  Other wards and private rooms were rebuilt.  It is noted that this hospital received no government funds.

 Speers Memorial Hospital closed in 1973 and has been torn down. A senior citizens complex was built on the site.

 

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