In 1871, Rev. E. C. Porter and Dr. De Koven, with the assistance of a few others, rented a small house for a hospital. Its
management was so successful, that, from the start, it commended itself to the people, who have since given it a generous
support. The original building was supplied with two beds, properly furnished; was opened and received the first inmate on the
25th day of December, 1871, Christmas Day. Soon after, two other beds were added, which were used by twenty-one patients the
first year. The second year, two more beds were added, making six in all, this number being the full capacity of the building.
The beds, bedding and furniture of the rooms were
all given by the ladies of the city and of Racine College. That the Hospital should be a permanent charitable institution was
intended from the beginning. On the 15th day of April, 1872, the corporators signed and adopted articles of association,
obtaining rights and protection under the laws of the State. On the following Christmas Eve, a meeting was held in St. Luke's
Church, at which time Hon. Charles E. Dyer and Dr. De Koven made appropriate remarks upon the present and future hospital work
of Racine. In May next, through the efforts
of A. G. Hartshorn and others, there was received as the beginning of a permanent fund, $800, with one year's interest, from the
fund raised in Racine for the relief of the sufferers from the Chicago fire. A few months after, $150 was added to the fund, a
gift of the German School Society, Mr. Frank Schneider being instrumental in obtaining it. Mr. Simeon Whiteley made a personal
subscription of $25, and Mrs. Bernard $5 to the same fund. Upon several occasions, committees were appointed to examine building
sites, with a view of purchasing, and report as to the best location upon which to erect a new building. On the evening of
January 17, 1875, a second meeting was held in St. Luke's Church, at which time several gentlemen made addresses upon hospital
work. Among the number were the late Rev. E. C. Porter, Rev. Dr. DeKoven, J. G. Mynn, Dr. Meachem, A. C. Fish, Rev. Mr. Sawin
and Rev. Mr. Kilbourn, of this city, and Rev. Dr. Locke, of Chicago. At this meeting, a committee, consisting of the
following-named citizens-Rev. E. C. Porter, Simeon Whiteley, T. G. Fish, W. T. Lewis, William K. May, H. T. Fuller and F.
Schneider -- was appointed to solicit subscriptions for the building fund. Very soon after this, plans were drawn by
George H. Clarke, of Chicago, for a building with a capacity for forty beds, was presented to the Trustees for examination.
Estimates of the cost of a building after these, by Racine builders, placed the necessary expense at about $12,000.
The search for a building site was ended in the following April by a gift from the late Rev. Porter and his wife,
of two lots and ten feet in Block 37, School Section, fronting 170 feet on College avenue and 120 feet on
Thirteenth street. This land was donated on two conditions: first,
that within five years, a building to cost not less than $5,000 should be erected thereon; and, second that for five consecutive
years thereafter, the building should be used for hospital purposes. The acceptance of this gift caused them to have Mr.
Clarke's plans modified to reduce the probable expense, resulting, however, in a reduction of only about $1,000. Next comes the
Centennial year, and the interest gotten up by the projects of the Centennial Improvement Association. The hospital matter was
merged into this. The public meeting held in Belle City Hall added to the building fund $250 from J. I. Case, $250 and $100 from
H. S. Durand. The Free Masons also contributed $108.35. The proceeds of a dinner given on the Fourth of July, in the
Methodist Cburch, added $347, and through the efforts of S. Whiteley, George Beemer and others, an unexpended balance of $89,
raised for the purchase of fire-works, was also added. In the mean time, plans were matured and adopted. W. H. Amos, of the
College, having taken the matter in hand, produced a plan which, with some alterations, resulted in the one after which the new
building has been erected. An estimate on this placed the probable expense at $5,500. The Trustees had also appointed two of
their number to solicit subscriptions, Rev. E. B. Spaulding and J. G. Meachem, Jr., whose efforts secured $3,000. On August 15,
the building fund, including subscriptions, amounted to $4,869. Proposals to erect the building were received on the same day,
from L. Bradley, T. H. Davis, Joseph Bohn & Co., and Messrs. Lichter & May, the last named being the lowest bidders. After
making some changes in the specifications, the contract was drawn and signed on the 25th day of August, Lichter & May being the
contractors for the sum of $5,292. The building was begun immediately, and carried forward as fast as the weather would permit,
and at the end of five months was ready for occupation. The corner-stone was laid on the 21st of September, without ceremony.
During the course of construction, additions were made to the value of $208, making the cost of the entire building, as it now
stands, $5,500.49- curious enough equal to the estimate of probable cost. The new building was taken possession of in February,
1877. It is now divided into five wards, supplied with eleven beds. In case of necessity, a sixth ward is accessible, and the
number of beds may be increased to twenty-two. By a gift of $250 from Mrs. E. C. Porter, a ward was furnished with four beds
complete in every respect, which is known as the Porter Ward. Uniform with it, Dr. De Koven and his friends
have furnished another ward four beds, called the De Koven Ward. The ladies of the College furnished a room known
as the College Room. One of the wards is furnished by the McDonald Lodge, No. 137, 1. 0. 0. F. The beds are of iron, and like
those in the new Cook County Hospital in Chicago, having wirewoven spring mattresses. Many other societies, firms and
individuals not mentioned, contribuled liberally in furthering the work. The institution is supported by contribution from the
citizens. The Ladies Guild Society of Racine College contribute $250 and Mrs. E. C. Porter $250, per year. The institution is
very pleasantly located, surrounded by nicely sodded grounds, and admirably managed. Robert Bell is Steward, and his wife
Matron. The officers are: Rev. Arthur Piper, President; Dr. J. G. Meachem, Jr., Secretary; Trustees, the Warden of Racine
College, Rev. Dr. F. W. A. Falk, Dr. J. G. Meachem, Sr., H. B. Moore, Physicians, Dr. J. G. Meachem, Sr., and Dr. J. G.
Meachem, Jr. Treasurer, W. H. Amos.