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Dr. Henry Hofmann Loos


Dr. Henry Hofmann Loos Historical Marker Dedication



1887 - 1963

By Shirley L. Brown


During the early years of the 20th century, large cities across the United States enjoyed the luxury of large modern hospitals, but rural counties such as Matagorda County were not as fortunate. When Stephen F. Austin began the settlement of southeast Texas in the early 1800s, doctors to care for the health needs of the settlers were among the new residents. Many of those physicians had learned their medical skills by apprenticing with practicing doctors and few had had the opportunity to attend a medical school. In spite of the skill of those early physicians, they were often hindered by a lack of experience and sufficient facilities to treat more serious cases. The first hospital to meet the medical needs of Matagorda County would not be established until after 1910 in Bay City which was founded in 1894 as the county seat of Matagorda County.


Henry Hofmann Loos was born December 15, 1887, in Baltimore, Maryland. His parents were Henry John Loos (1860-1924), a barber, and Mary Margaret Hofmann Loos (1868-1941). A brother, Christopher (1892-bef 1963), and a sister, Mary (1896-1995), completed the family.


Dr. Loos attended public schools in Baltimore, graduating from Baltimore City College (a high school) in 1905 and Johns Hopkins University in 1908 with an A. B. [same as B.A.]. The summer of 1911 Dr. Loos interned at the government hospital in Colon, Panama Canal Zone, for three and one-half months, saving enough money from his salary for his last year in medical school. Dr. Loos graduated with an M. D. in 1912 and interned in Saint Agnes Hospital in Baltimore for three and one-half years, the last year as resident in surgery under Dr. Joseph Colt Bloodgood (1867-1935).


In 1915, Dr. Claude P. Jones (1870-1945) of Bay City, Texas, after handling several severe surgical cases and emergencies, decided he was no surgeon – surgery gave him the jitters. Dr. Jones wrote to Dr. Bloodgood, the surgeon-in-chief at Saint Agnes Hospital in Baltimore, to secure an assistant who would take over surgery. Dr. Bloodgood recommended his protégé Dr. Loos for the position. Dr. Loos, feeling that the practice of medicine was overcrowded in Baltimore, due to two large medical schools, decided it was time to leave home. He requested double the salary that Dr. Jones originally offered, and when the request was granted, Dr. Loos felt he could not refuse. He arrived in Bay City December 5, 1915.


As surgery was only a small part of Dr. Jones’ practice, he helped Dr. Loos set up a practice in Palacios, Texas. Dr. Loos would be able to refer patients to Dr. Jones’ hospital in Bay City, and Loos could make the trip by auto from Palacios to Bay City whenever it was necessary to operate on a patient with Dr. Jones handling the postoperative care.


Dr. Loos married Margaret Alice Campbell on May 1, 1917, in the Presbyterian Church, Palacios, Texas. Alice was born May 5, 1894, in Atlanta, Ohio. Her parents were Philip F. Campbell (1865-1938) and Helen Ramsey Campbell (1867-1953). Alice graduated from Palacios High School, studied voice and elocution at Palacios Baptist Academy, and attended Texas Presbyterian College (later combined with Austin College).


During their two-month honeymoon to Baltimore and other eastern cities, Dr. Loos attended the world’s medical convention in New York City.


While in Baltimore, Dr. Loos registered for the draft, June 5, 1917. He received his draft orders and left for Camp Travis September 20, 1917. Due to his German surname, Dr. Loos was not sent overseas; instead he served his tour of duty in San Antonio, Texas, as a first lieutenant in the Medical Corps. He was discharged from service at Camp Travis December 7, 1918, and settled in Bay City with his family. On January 12, 1919, the Loos’ celebrated the birth of their first daughter, Helen Margaret. Two more daughters were born to Dr. and Mrs. Loos: Dorothy Jeanette on December 19, 1920, and Winona on October 16, 1922.


After Dr. Loos was drafted, Dr. Jones enlisted and sold his hospital to two trained nurses, Dorris Gordon and Louise Royer, who ran the hospital for several years. After his discharge, Dr. Jones decided not to return to Bay City, instead relocating near Pocatello, Idaho.


In Bay City, Dr. Loos began his practice in an office over the Matagorda Pharmacy, sending his patients to the old Jones’ hospital when necessary. After a disagreement with Nurse Gordon, he began performing surgeries in his office and after surgery moved his patients to his home on Third Street and Avenue H (now 2500 Ave H) for their postoperative recovery.

2500 Avenue H
Courtesy of Bobbie Gaspard, Joan Gaspard and Patrick Porter


As his practice grew, more rooms were needed for patients. In 1922, Dr. Loos purchased a residence and two acres on the outskirts of the city (now 2202 Marguerite Street). Originally, the Loos family lived on the lower floor, and the patients were cared for upstairs. As the demand for rooms grew, the hospital was remodeled several times. “The front porch was enclosed to make three more rooms; the downstairs and upstairs back porches were enclosed with windows to make two more rooms. Building on a laundry, with a room above it, gave another room. A continuation of the back stairs out a window and straight out to the ground made a convenient way to move stretcher cases out to the annex. The annex was made from half a building which had been a cafe situated on the east side of Avenue F, south of the B. & M. tracks. It was moved out in toto and end built on. This building gave rooms for male and female negro patients.” Dr. Loos purchased a neighboring home and had it moved to his property to make a home for his family, thereby making more rooms in the hospital for patients.

Main building of hospital showing beautiful grounds surrounding this private institution.
Residence of the nurses who care for patients of the Loos Hospital.


As the years passed, the number of physicians in the area increased, and needing a place to perform their operations, they requested to use the facilities of the Loos hospital. Even though the other doctors cared for their own patients, Dr. Loos still felt responsible for them while they were in his hospital. Also, many accident victims felt since the accidents were not their fault, they should not have to pay their bills. All this, plus the fact the hospital began showing a financial loss, encouraged Dr. Loos to look for an alternative. Through numerous letters to the editor of the local paper, he stressed the need for a county hospital.


In a June 1933 letter, he responded to questions regarding his stance on a county hospital, “I feel that every county in Texas should be compelled to take care of its poor patients, instead of the individual citizens bearing the burden…To be sure I should be glad to see a county hospital built.”


In a letter written June 1937, Dr. Loos stated he would close his hospital for four weeks “to give the proper vacations to nurses and personnel, and so I can feel free of responsibility. Here’s hoping that the citizens of Matagorda County will wake up to the necessity of a county hospital… Furthermore, there are a number of young physicians looking for locations, who are passing Matagorda County by, when they find that there are no open hospital facilities here. I urge a county-wide drive for a county hospital.”


Although there were several attempts to establish a county hospital, no progress was made, which prompted Dr. Loos to place an ad in the January 31, 1938, Daily Tribune, advertising his hospital, accessory buildings, residence and three acres for sale. The announcement caused a considerable concern as many thought the city was about to lose this able man and a great asset to the community.


Dr. Loos responded with a letter to the editor stating: “I did not say anything about moving, but included my residence in the sale in order to make that sale more attractive…. I think the hospital is a financial burden which the community as a whole should carry.” He went on to say that if funds could be found to build concrete roads, why couldn’t they be found for a hospital. More roads mean more wrecks and a hospital is needed to take care of these wreck victims. “Where there is a will, there is a way….Unless the people of this county assume the burden that belongs to them, to care for the sick, poor and helpless, and to use all means at their disposal, even the vote if necessary to obtain that objective, I shall have to close the hospital, sale or no sale.”


Discussions regarding a county hospital continued. While there was some question of whether a bond issue would be legal, the idea of a privately-owned hospital funded by subscription was discussed. When Dr. Loos was questioned as to which would be better, he stated he believed a county hospital would be better than a privately-owned hospital by subscription; however, if county bond issues failed, a private hospital would be acceptable.


In January 1939, when no substantial progress for a county hospital had been made, Dr. Loos again stated that he would close his hospital unless plans were started immediately towards a county or subscription hospital, in which event he would remain open until the hospital was completed. Again the message was received, and the residents of the county began their push for a county hospital.


Dr. Loos encouraged his friend, State Representative Paris Smith (1887-1978), to introduce a bill enabling communities with certain populations to pass a bond issue for a hospital. Matagorda County’s hospital was one of the first hospitals in Texas to qualify under the new bill.


Saturday, April 15, 1939, the voters of Matagorda County approved a bond issue for the building and maintenance of a county hospital.


In October 1939, the Matagorda County Commissioners Court appointed a County Hospital Board with Dr. Loos as a board member. The board was to assist and advise the court and architects on matters pertaining to the hospital and to set forth the laws and regulations governing the operation of the hospital. In March 1940, the terms were established for the board members, some to serve one year and others two years. Dr. Loos was appointed to his first two-year term.


Matagorda General Hospital had its official opening March 16, 1940. Through the generosity of clubs and private citizens, a number of private rooms were furnished and donated. Dr. and Mrs. Loos furnished two rooms. Dr. Loos was named as a member of the active staff of the hospital.


With the opening of the new hospital, Dr. Loos closed his hospital after eighteen years of service to the community; however, he continued practicing medicine until his retirement, saying, “I retired at the age of 64 for fear of doing somebody some injury because of mild deafness. The stethoscope and deafness don’t go together very well.” Before his retirement he performed more that 5,000 operations and delivered 2,016 babies in Matagorda County. At a testimonial dinner, a solid gold watch was presented to Dr. Loos by the medical men in Bay City. The inscription read “To Dr. H. H. Loos in appreciation of more than 35 years of community service − Fellow Physicians. Bay City, Texas, 1952”


Dr. Loos was a charter member of the Bay City Rotary Club, a deacon of the First Presbyterian Church, and also served as church treasurer for twelve years.


Dr. Loos died September 12, 1963, in Matagorda General Hospital, the hospital in which he has been regarded as the guiding light in establishing. He was buried in Palacios Cemetery, Palacios, Texas. Alice died June 19, 1968, in Houston, Texas, and was buried in Palacios Cemetery beside her husband.


Daughter, Helen Margaret married first James F. Lee, March 7, 1942, in Dallas, Texas; second Jay Talmadge Shurley in 1945; and third Roger P. Cunningham January 15, 1977, in Galveston County. Helen died October 3, 2003, and is buried in Palacios Cemetery. Dorothy Jeanette married George Belote, Jr., on May 10, 1946, in Memphis, Tennessee. Dorothy died November 1981 in Mississippi. Winona married first H. L. Fulton on January 30, 1944 in Long Beach, California; second a Mr. Foreman; and third a Mr. Murphy.


Dr. Henry Hofmann Loos received his education in John Hopkins University, and he was an early surgeon in Bay City. He maintained a private hospital for 18 years and served Bay City and Matagorda County as a physician and surgeon for over 35 years.


Dr. Loos saw the need for a county hospital early and encouraged the introduction of a bill enabling counties with certain populations to pass a bond issue to fund county hospitals. His push for a county hospital eventually led to the establishment of Matagorda General Hospital on whose board and staff he served for many years.

Photo of Dr. Loos courtesy of Ron Spath

Dr. Loos And Family To Take Trip Through East

Dr. H. H. Loos and Mrs. Loos and children left today  noon for Baltimore, points east and north and then to Chicago before their return to Bay City sometime the latter part of September of the first of October. Charles Shoultz will accompany them on the trip. The Loos Hospital will be closed during Dr. Loos' absence and the employees there will take their vacation at this time.--Bay City Tribune.

Palacios Beacon, August 31, 1933

Dr. H. H. Loos, Veteran County Doctor, Buried Here Sat., Sept. 14

Funeral services were held at Taylor Brothers Funeral Home in Bay City Saturday morning, September 14, at 9 o'clock for Dr. Henry Hofmann Loos with the Rev. Wayne Sebesta officiating. Interment was in the Palacios Cemetery.

A resident of Bay City since 1918, he was born December 15, 1887, in Baltimore, Maryland, son of James and Mary Margaret Hofmann Loos. While doctoring in Palacios, he married Miss Alice Campbell in May, 1917. He served as a doctor in World War I and after his discharge settled in Bay City. He doctored and cared for the sick of Matagorda County for many years and until a county hospital was built, maintained the Loos Hospital.

He retired at the age of 64 and since then has spent much of his time at his bayshore home, northeast of Palacios.

He died at 8:12 p. m. Thursday, September 12, at Matagorda General Hospital, the hospital he has been regarded as the guiding light in establishing.

Dr. Loos was a charter member of the Bay City Rotary Club, a deacon of the First Presbyterian Church, which he served as treasurer for 12 years. After 35 years of service, he was honored by the county medical association with a testimonial dinner.

He is survived by his wife, Mrs. Margaret Alice Loos of Bay City; three daughters, Mrs. Helen Margaret Shirley, Oklahoma City; Mrs. Dorothy Jeanette Belote, Memphis, Tenn.; and Mrs. Winonia Loos Foreman, Bay City and one sister, Mrs. Donald D. Lewis of Baltimore.

Palacios Beacon, September, 1963                  Photo courtesy of Ron Spath

Palacios Cemetery - Photo courtesy of Ron Spath

Mrs. Margaret Loos

Funeral services for Mrs. Margaret Alice Loos, 74, were held Thursday, June 20 at 2 p. m. at Taylor Brothers Funeral Chapel in Bay City with the Rev. Joe Cooper of the First Presbyterian Church officiating. The body was brought to Palacios where she was laid to rest by her husband, Dr. Henry H. Loos, who preceded her in death in September, 1963.

Daughter of the late P. F. and Helen A. Campbell, she died Tuesday night in Houston.

She is survived by three daughters, Mrs. Helen Margaret Shurley of Oklahoma City, Mrs. Dorothy Jeanette Belote of Memphis, Tenn., and Mrs. Winona Murphy of Houston; one brother, Howard Campbell of Palacios, and 10 grandchildren.

Palacios Beacon, June, 1968

A May Day Church Wedding

At high noon on Tuesday the 1st inst., at the Presbyterian church, Dr. H. Hofmann Loos and Miss Alice Campbell, both of this city, were united in wedlock by Rev. W. L. Shepherd, pastor of the church, with the beautiful and impressive ring ceremony, in the presence of an audience of the friends of the high contracting parties that well nigh filled the spacious auditorium.

As a prelude to the ceremony, Mrs. O. C. Arnold sang most feelingly the beautiful song, “Because.”

Promptly on the hour the bridal party entered the church, the bride leaning on the arm of her father and preceded by the bridesmaid, Miss Madge Clement, to the beautiful strains of the Lohengrin Bridal Procession from the piano, most artistically performed by Miss Norine Gardner, marched down the south aisle, while the bridegroom, supported by his groomsman, Mr. Jno. E. Wolf, came down the north aisle, meeting in front of the chancel where the ceremony was performed. After the benediction and blessing by the pastor, the bridal party left the church through the north aisle to the strains of the Mendelssohn Wedding March, and proceeded at once by auto to the Hotel Palacios where an elaborate wedding breakfast was served. At the breakfast thirty-seven covers were laid, and the party, beside the bride and groom, were the bride’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. P. F. Campbell and her brothers Ramsay and Howard; Rev. and Mrs. Shepherd and daughter, Helen; the bridesmaid, Miss Madge Clement; and the groomsman, Mr. Jno. E. Wolf; Mr. and Mrs. O. C. Arnold; Dr. and Mrs. A. B. Cairnes and Mrs. Henry, Mrs. Cairnes’ mother; Misses Norine Gardner, Louise Hillyer, Alpha Bussell, Nannie Truitt, Ima Wolf, and Mrs. Holt; Messrs. Arnold Burton, Eldon Travis and Wm. Elder. The out of town attendants at the wedding, and who were guests at the breakfast table were Dr. and Mrs. Foot, Dr. and Mrs. Simons, Dr. and Mrs. Scott, Dr. Jones, and Miss Sharples, all of Bay City; Miss Margaret Taylor, of Iago, and Miss Nell Wiggins from Chillicothe, Mo. When the feasting had ended the newly-weds went to the bride’s home where she changed her bridal robe for a handsome going away gown of blue taffeta with hat and gloves to match, and left by auto immediately for Blessing where they boarded the Brownsville train on a two months honeymoon and wedding trip through the eastern states. As they were leaving the Campbell home Mr. and Mrs. Loos were showered with a deluge of rice by a great bevy of their admiring friends and well wishers. They go directly to Baltimore, Dr. Loos’s former home, for a visit with his parents and home folks, and will also visit New York and other eastern points, and on the return trip will visit relatives and friends in Ohio, returning to Palacios by July 1st after which date they will be “at home.” While on their eastern trip Dr. Loos will attend a course of lectures and attend the world’s Medical Convention in New York City.

The bride always most charming, was superlatively lovely in a beautiful wedding gown of white georgette crepe and taffeta and tulle veil caught with orange blossoms. Her going away gown was blue taffeta. She carried a boquet of bride’s roses.

The bridesmaid, Miss Clement, wore a handsome gown of hand embroidered pink batiste with picture hat of white and pink chiffon, and carried a bouquet of pink carnations.

The bridegroom appeared in conventional black, and the groomsman in a suit of dark blue.

The bride’s mother wore a most becoming gown of grey embroidered crepe de chine with hat to match.

The ushers were Messrs. Raymond Tatum Eldon Travis, Guy Perry and Ramsay Campbell, each wearing a boutenir of pink carnations.

For the happy occasion the chancel and rostrum of the church were most handsomely decorated, white and pink roses furnishing the color scheme. The decorating was done by Miss Gardner’s Sunday school class under the direction of Misses Nannie Truitt and Alpha Bussell.

The bride is the only daughter of Mr. and Mrs. P. F. Campbell, and have resided here for the past ten years, growing from young girlhood to charming young womanhood in Palacios, where she is known, esteemed, admired and beloved by all the people of the city. She is richly endowed by nature with rare talents which by culture have been developed into high accomplishments. She is especially admired because of her cheerful, sunny disposition, and her whole hearted readiness and willingness to aid in every good work, and her influence at all times has been for the uplife and betterment of those about her. Most sincerely do the people of the city without distinction unite in wishing her a superabundance of joy and happiness in the new relation which she has assumed.

The bridegroom is a skilled physician, who came to Palacios something over a year ago, and is building up a splendid practice in his profession, coming here from Bay City, where he was for a short time associated with Dr. Jones, and is still his associate in the hospital of that city. He is a graduate of the medical department of the famous John Hopkins University. He has in the time he has been here surrounded himself with many good friends, who join in congratulating him upon the charming prize he has won as his life companion.

Palacios Beacon, May 3, 1917

Dr. Loos operated on patients of Dr. Claude Perry Jones in this building
in his early career in Matagorda County.

2400 Ave F


Daughters of Dr. and Mrs. Loos




Palacios Cemetery - Photo courtesy of Ron Spath

Dorothy Jeanette Loos Belote
Dec 19, 1920 - Nov 1981


Winona Loos Murphy
Oct. 16, 1922 – Feb. 5, 2012

Winona Loos Murphy, 89, of Bay City, died Sunday February 5, 2012, at a Bay City nursing center following a lengthy illness.

She was born on October 16, 1922 in Bay City, Texas, a daughter of the late Dr. Henry Loos and Alice Campbell Loos.

Winona was a long time resident of the Wharton County area, having graduated from Bay City High School in 1939 and attended classes at WCJC and the University of Texas.

She worked as a job placement counselor for many years, retiring in 1984. She then returned to the Bay City area and was active in her church, First Presbyterian in Bay City, until moving into Matagorda Nursing and Rehabilitation in 2006.

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by: her sisters, Dorothy Loos Belote and Helen Margaret Loos Cunningham; and granddaughter, Katheryn Alise Foreman.

According to her wishes, Ms. Murphy was cremated and her remains scattered by her family.

Survivors include: son Jimmie Lee Foreman and wife, Marianne; granddaughter, Victoria Lynn Freeman; great-grandson, Bryce Avery Freeman; numerous nephews and nieces and life long friend, Joyce Oglesby.

Funeral services were under the direction of Wharton Funeral Home.

Bay City Tribune, Wednesday, February 8, 2012


Copyright 2013 - Present by the Loos Family
All rights reserved

Sep. 13, 2013
Sep. 13, 2013