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St. Mary’s Hospital

Founded and Opened in 1906

 

Missionary Sisters, Servants of the Holy Ghost

 

Watertown Memorial Hospital

 

Watertown Regional Medical Center

 

1901

02 06       NEED FOR HOSPITAL DISCUSSED

The physicians of Watertown held a meeting Friday evening in the office of Dr. J. M. Sleicher for the purpose of discussing the project of establishing a hospital here.  There were present Drs. Spalding, Eter, Whyte, Moulding, Feld, Werner . . . . After the matter had been talked over at length, it was resolved that it would be inexpedient at the present time for the city to purchase the Faith home building, for the reason that the same could not be properly maintained as a hospital.  However, the impression seemed to prevail that there ought to be a hospital of some sort in the city . . . .

 

11 15       BENEFIT FOR AN EMERGENCY HOSPITAL

The Watertown Dramatics Club will present “Mr. Bob,” a two-act farce, at Turner Opera House this evening, and the Amateur Musical Club of 15 pieces will assist at the performance, which will be followed by a dance, for which the full orchestra will furnish the music.  The entertainment is for the benefit of fitting up the emergency hospital with medical and surgical appliances, and the citizens should give it a generous patronage.  Admission to lower hall 50 cents; gallery 25 cents.    WG

 

11 22       BENEFIT FOR AN EMERGENCY HOSPITAL, more on

Friday night of last week an association was formed here, the purpose of which is the maintaining of a public emergency hospital.  The officers elected are:  President, J. M. Sleicher; secretary, Dr. Thos. F. Shinnick; treasurer, Dr. F. C. Moulding.  The object of the association is a most worthy one, and all our people should do what they can to encourage its people.  At the entertainment given last week for that purpose about $135 were realized, and for this a number of necessary articles will be purchased with which to equip the hospital.     WG

 

1903

   The Beginning

 

There was a time not so many years ago when Watertown did not have an emergency hospital and the paper created such a sentiment for an emergency hospital that the city council by ordinance April 14, 1903, established a hospital in the building now used as a garage in (116 S) First Street, and also had a morgue built into the basement of the old 1885 City Hall building on North First St.

 

Previous to that time the editor had witnessed scenes which caused him to advocate these measures.  An injured man, were he a stranger, was taken to the lockup and his injuries treated by a local physician.  If he survived he was sent to the county poor farm and if he died, to the potter’s field.  Laid out on the floor of the old engine house, a man picked up dead was left to the rats and mice which ate the toes and ears, while well housed men and women were enjoying the comforts of a cozy home.

 

The Emergency Hospital

 

Such was the condition when the agitation for an emergency hospital was started, and thanks to good men then in the council a better condition prevailed.  This hospital housed many an unfortunate and proved of great benefit as a place at least where strangers and those without adequate means or in emergency cases were treated and put on the road to recovery.  At one time the writer knows that three injury cases, involving the loss of limbs, eyesight and the like were treated in the improvised hospital within one week.

 

It was the best the city would then afford and was actually established under protest.  But what was the result.  In a few years the demand for a larger and more up to date hospital was apparent.

 

04 19          EMERGENCY HOSPITAL TO BE ESTABLISHED

The Common Council of the city of Watertown, do ordain as follows:

 

Section 1.  That the city of Watertown establish and maintain an Emergency Hospital, and for that purpose make use of the second story of the brick building, on First street, which is owned by said city, and located on a part of lot number two (2), in block number twelve (12), in the First ward of Watertown, Wisconsin according to Cole Bailey & Co s plat of the village of Watertown, now City of Watertown, Jefferson County, Wisconsin.  Said building being also known as old No. 1 Engine House.

 

Section 3.  That the equipment and care of said hospital become the duty of the Commissioner of Public Health of said city, who shall be responsible to the city for the care of said hospital and shall take charge of all surgical instruments, appliances, medicines and supplies, and attend to the proper cleaning of said hospital, fixtures, surgical instruments and appliances, as often as required, in order to keep the same in good sanitary condition and cause the hospital rooms to be properly heated, whenever necessary.   WDT, 04 19 1903

 

1906

   THE FIRST HOSPITAL - SCHIFFLER RESIDENCE

 

In 1906 an attempt was made by the Rev. Phillip Schweitzer of St. Henry’s parish to interest all the physicians of this city in a movement which had for its purpose the establishment of a hospital in the city of Watertown.  Previous to this time the importance and necessity of such an institution where the sick and injured could be properly cared for had been frequently discussed by the physicians, but at this meeting the location, cost of construction, method of raising money, were considered and various plans proposed and discussed.

 

To provide for the enterprise the following courses were open:  To build a hospital by raising money from the individual donations of physicians and others interested and then to turn the building or money over to some charitable organization or society – to form a stock company, the stock to be taken by all of the physicians.  Both of these plans failed because no charitable organization could be found to take up the work and only a small minority of physicians present were willing to invest money in such a project, because the history of all hospitals has been that they are not profitable investments.  Subsequent to this, the great necessity of a suitable place for the care of injured persons was frequently shown.  An emergency hospital provided for that purpose by the city proved entirely inadequate.  It was finally taken up by several of the local physicians and a suitable place secured.

 

The building purchased was a modern eight room house located at 1301 Main Street [Schiffler home].  With the conversion of one of the largest rooms on the second floor into a modern operating room, and with a few other minor changes the hospital was ready to enter on its first year’s service.  At the end of the first year the building was found to be too small and was then remodeled and enlarged and St. Mary’s hospital began its existence.

 

   09 27 1906

 

Preparations are still going on for the opening in Watertown on the first of November of the general hospital, the enterprise promoted by Drs. C. J. Habhegger and T. F. Shinnick of this city, and Dr. F. Eichelberg of Reeseville.  The Schiffler residence which was recently purchased for this purpose, will be vacated the first of next week and then the remodeling will take place preparatory to the opening of the new hospital a month later.  The improvements will include sanitary plumbing and the laying of tiling in the operating room.

 

The names of the nurses have been announced.  They are four well known ladies of the city, experienced in their chosen profession. They are Miss Lydia K. Lehmann, matron, Misses Clara Lehmann (1), Emma Kroeplin and Martha Eichmann

 

1906

09 14     Eagles donation for a room; Brandenburg sanitary furnishings; will open Oct. 1.

10 01     St. Mary’s opens

12 04     Every evidence since the opening of the new St. Mary's Hospital has been to show its great popularity in the city and surrounding country, which will increase daily and the Leader makes the prediction that inside of a year the present building will be found so inadequate to meet the demand that an addition doubling its capacity will be found necessary. Even now, less than a month from the opening (on Nov. 12th) there is agitation among the promoters of the advisability of building an addition in the spring.

 

The fact of the popularity of the new hospital is best evidenced in the fact that it was filled to its capacity the second day after the opening and since that time a number have been turned away simply because of the lack of room . . .  the hospital is located in the building formerly known as the Schiffler residence on Main Street . . .  The downstairs is devoted to a pretty lobby and reception room, nurses' rooms, a three-bed ward and the kitchen.

 

Upstairs there are two wards with two beds and one with a single bed making twelve beds in all . . . On the second floor is also the operating rooms with tile flooring and enamel walls and ceiling and in the glare of the many electric lights is almost as light as day . . .  The operating table, is the newest design. The cost of equipping this room was over $700.00 . . . At present there are four nurses, a nurse girl and a cook employed.

 

1907

04 03       Bids for the construction of the new addition to St. Mary's will be closed on April 15th, 1907.  The doctors in charge are desirous that all contractors and builders be notified as an impartial bid is desired.

 

04 09       St. Mary’s hospital will close on Monday, April 15th, owing to building operations which will be in progress, the management having found it necessary to erect an eight room addition.  No new cases will be received from this time on..

 

1907

   First Officers

 

The hospital was instituted by Drs. C. J. Habhegger, T. F. Shinnick, Watertown, and F. E. Eichelberg, Reeseville, who composed the board of directors, and May Smith R. N., was the first superintendent. 

 

The staff was composed of the following:  Consulting physicians and surgeons – D. D. Lewis, M. D. Chicago; Charles Rowan, M. D. Chicago; Harry Sifton, M. D. Milwaukee; W. H. Washburn, M. D., Milwaukee; Henry V. Ogden, M. D. Milwaukee; W. F. Whyte, M. D. Watertown, president state board of health.

 

Attending physicians and surgeons – F. E. Eichelberg, T. F. Shinnick, J. S. Kings, Joseph O’Connell, Louis H. Nowack, C. R. Feld.

 

Attending surgeons – C. J. Habhegger, E. H. Cook, eye, ear, nose and throat.

 

Visiting staff – F. C. Werner, F. C. Moulding.

 

1907

07 17     The city council at its regular meeting last evening adopted a resolution authorizing the payment of $200 out of the general fund for the endowing of a bed in St. Mary's hospital, the same being in the nature of an encouragement by the general public and city.  According to the provisions . . . the owners of the hospital manifest a willingness to provide the city with a bed in the ward room of the institution together with the right to transfer its emergency hospital equipment from it presents location to said institutions for a period of one year from the first day of October, 1907, and to take care of all such cases which are charges upon the city, to be determined by the mayor, health commissioner and the committee on hospital and health, upon the understanding that no one patient shall remain in said institution for a longer period than six weeks and upon the further understanding that said care to be furnished is to include the services of a nurse and all hospital conveniences . . .

 

1907

11 06     Proposed city building for storage of city property; second story would be devoted to emergency hospital, janitor’s room, and hay and feed storage.

 

1908

04 01     Skin graft operation performed by Dr. Habhegger  

 

08 07     Seven pieces of birch furniture donated  

 

12 11     X-Ray machine installed   WG

 

1909

01 08     Copeland-Roach Motor Co purchased former fire engine house/emergency hospital   WG

 

1910

06 24     Lorenz operation; local physicians performed   WG

 

1911

08 05     Nurses ride in Homecoming parade

 

1912

07 11     FREE NURSES

The Metropolitan Life Insurance Company will furnish nurses from St. Mary's Hospital to all sick members holding policies in the Metropolitan Company.  Watertown is the only town of its size where the insurance company furnishes free nurses and it was only through the efforts of the local agent, C. F. Crueger, that this was brought about.   WG

 

11 14     DONATION DAY AT ST. MARY'S

Wednesday, December 4, has been decided upon as donation day for St. Mary's hospital.  St. Henry's hall has been kindly offered for this purpose and this place will be opened from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.   Someone will be in attendance to receive any donation that may be brought there, or those who prefer to do so, may bring their gift directly to the hospital.  The superintendent wishes to say that anything will be acceptable, especially in the line of fruits, provisions, linens such as towels, tray cloths, table linen, stand covers, bedding, etc.  Old linen for bandages, etc., will be very welcome.  Watertown has reason to be proud of such an institution, and the many patients who have been cared for there will bear testimony to the fact that excellent work is being done.  Ward patients are being cared for at a dollar per day, which is far from covering the expenses of their care and food, etc., and although excellent results have already been obtained, yet the superintendent, Miss May H. Smith, is sure that, with the cooperation of the good people of Watertown, much better work can yet be done.   WG

 

1913

01 23     NO DISCRIMINATION AT ST. MARY'S

To the Editor of The Gazette:  In justice to St. Mary's Hospital and myself, I feel in duty bound to correct a rumor which is abroad, namely, that the hospital is discriminating against certain doctors, and refusing admission to their patients.

 

I can safely and truthfully say that during my administration every physician, whether interested in the hospital or not, who has brought patients there for treatment, has been shown exactly the same courtesy and consideration.

 

In order to successfully conduct a training school for nurses, it is absolutely necessary to have rules, and these rules must be enforced.  No patient was ever refused admittance, nor will be, but we do ask the doctors and the people to conform to the rules of the institution.  In the early history of the hospital, leniency was apparent in the enforcement of its rules – we have learned by this experience that such was a detriment to the good and welfare or the hospital.  It is our desire to bring the hospital up to its highest standard; our aim is to care for the sick in the best possible manner.

 

It ought to, and I believe it does, mean a good deal to the people of Watertown, to have in their city such an institution – a place thoroughly equipped and up-to-date, maintained day and night at a nominal expense to the city – where the sick and wounded can be properly cared for — a place which is always in readiness to handle any emergency case which may present itself.  I wish to say right here that positively nothing is allowed to stand in the way of our giving the best attention the hospital affords to these cases, whenever the occasion demands.

 

The good will of the people, which has been manifested in numerous ways by so large a majority during the past year, is very gratifying, and we feel assured that the very few who may occasionally throw stones, do so because of some petty jealously or personal feeling on their part, and of course, should be ignored.

 

Signed:  May H. Smith, Superintendent.      WG

 

1914      THE NEW HOSPITAL - ST. MARY’S

01 05       On January 5, 1914, the present sisterhood took over the hospital which had previously been conducted by the physicians, and plans were soon made for its enlargement.  This necessitated a new building and it was finally decided to erect it adjacent to the old hospital, to which it is connected by a structure which is used as a sun parlor and which proves to be one of the most pleasant rooms in the structure.  To the west it is connected with a recently purchased residence property which has been converted into a chapel, and the second floor of which is used as a dormitory for the nurses.  When it was decided to build a new hospital the sisterhood in charge invoked the aid of the citizens of this section to help in securing a portion of the funds necessary to construct the necessary building, which it was estimated would cost complete in the neighborhood of $100,000.  Several committees of men and women took charge of this work and made a canvass of the city and adjoining towns.  A considerable sum was raised in this manner, but of course the bulk of the amount required was of necessity financed by the sisters.  Our entry into the war, which necessitated the raising of large sums of money put a stop to the local solicitations for hospital work and reduced the total which might have been raised under normal conditions.

 

Its Equipment   The equipment at St. Mary’s is said to be the best that money can purchase.  In the institution are appliances of the most improved type for the treatment of diseases.  The X-Ray room is fully equipped with the most modern articles that can be secured, second to none in the country.  It is known that the X-ray is being wonderfully developed until now it has reached such efficiency that with its aid the interior organs of the body can be seen in action.  In locating fractures of the bone, dislocations and the like, its value cannot be measured in dollars and cents. 

 

There has also been installed a complete electro-therapeutic and physical equipment and it will no longer be necessary for those suffering from acute and chronic diseases to leave home for complete relief and cure:  for the equipment is equal to that found in any sanitarium in the world, and the sisters are to be commended for their progressive foresight and excellent judgment in providing the hospital with this most modern and up to date means of curing suffering humanity.  But that is not the end.  Its bath facilities are of the best and most modern.  To its shower, needle electric and other forms of bath, has been added an electric light cabinet such as was used by the late King Edward of England, thus acquiring the name of the “Bath of Kings”. 

 

Fireproof Construction   The new St. Mary’s hospital is of fireproof construction throughout.  The furnishings of the various rooms are in native white oak, but this is used only sparingly.   The corridors, hallways, stairways, operating rooms, bath rooms and the like are of strictly fireproof material.  The building proper is 42x118 feet, three stories in height, and steam heated throughout.  The foundation walls are of concrete and the building is of red pressed brick with reinforced concrete floors finished in granite Mosaic style.  The stairways are of iron supports with the same style of construction used in the floors.  The corridors and hallways are constructed of like material.

 

The general contract for the construction of the hospital was let to Block Mallow & Kaddatz, local contractors, who completed the building in a manner satisfactory to the architect, Herman J. Gaul of Chicago, who spent considerable time in Watertown overlooking its construction.  The plumbing was installed under contract by the Otto Biefeld Company, and the painting contract included in the general contract was done by W. C. Raue & Sons Co.  The heating was put in by Chicago contractors as was also the electric wiring and marble and Toronto floors.

 

The Sun Parlor   One of the coziest corners in the institution is the sun parlor, which admits the sunlight from the south and allows a fine view of the sweep of Rock River to the north.  It is comfortably furnished and is in constant use by those patients who are not confined to their rooms and wish to spend an hour or two and imbibe the healthful influence which nature has provided, a stimulating influence in the case of all sufferers where the genial warmth of the sun’s rays exert a beneficial condition.  Here convalescents may lounge at leisure and occupy their time with books, needlework or like light occupations.

 

On the same floor is also situated the diet kitchen where the meals are assembled after being prepared in the kitchen on the ground floor.  As one enters the hospital from Main Street, the vestibule opens into the waiting parlor on the right and the general office on the left.  A main corridor traverses the whole length of the building on this floor and leads to the maternity hospital on the east and the chapel on the west.

 

The two floors above are devoted to the care of the sick, the rooms opening onto wide corridors excellently lighted as are also all the rooms occupied by the patients with window exposures.

 

On the first floor are also arranged the baths, electric treatment room and rest room, emergency operating room, X-Ray room and lecture room, all needed and necessary in an institution of this character and all amply provided with the necessary equipment.  The general operating room is located on the third floor, furnished in white enamel, and the pink of cleanliness.  Adjacent to this operating room are smaller rooms devoted to the care of surgical instruments, dressings and other appliances necessary in a well ordered hospital.

 

The Sisters   Such in brief is the history of St. Mary’s hospital, but it would be incomplete were mention not made of the glorious and self-sacrificing work of the noble women who have brought it to a success and made the name of St. Mary’s revered not only among our own people of Watertown, but in many outlying hamlets and villages, in the homes of the farmer, artisan, professional man, and indeed to those in all walks of life.  The Sister Superior who controls and directs the work of the institution is a woman with great executive ability, and with a quiet, unassuming personage.  To her must be given great credit for the high plane on which the hospital rests.  No better testimonial could be given than that expressed by the head of a big Chicago hospital, who was called here during the prevalence of the Spanish influenza when his son-in-law was being cared for. He said:  “Watertown should be proud of this splendid institution and should be proud of the great and noble work being done by the sisterhood.  It is as complete in every detail as one could wish for”.   

 

Such unstinted praise coming from a man who had the chance to observe, goes to show the magnificent work which has been accomplished in Watertown.  And a visit to this place will repay anyone.  Homelike surroundings greet you on every hand.  The dread of the ordeal is dissipated by the knowledge that you will receive the care and nursing which in many cases cannot be given you at home.

 

Citizens Furnish Rooms    But although the exigencies of the war discouraged the solicitation of funds for the building of the hospital, it did not deter citizens and civic societies from contributing to its furnishings.  The city for years has maintained a room for the indigent who might seek its services.  In addition the city council furnished one of the rooms complete.  The matter of furnishing was taken up in turn by the societies and clubs of the town, and every room in the hospital was furnished at considerable expense as a donation and token of good will.  Not content with that, many private citizens contributed of their means for many articles needed.  There was no stint on the part of the public and creed or nationality did not enter into the work.  It was a fine spirit admirably shown and redowns to the credit of the people of Watertown.

 

Watertown has advanced well in this great undertaking for the cause of suffering humanity and from the humble beginning in the little emergency hospital of a few years ago has crowned itself with a diadem more lasting than can be bestowed in another sphere.  And let us not forget that while we may be enjoying all the blessings which come to us through the medium of good health, there are many more who crushed with sickness or in need of a surgical aid are less fortunate, and to them is dedicated the noble work of the sisterhood in charge of St. Mary’s hospital without recompense or reward in this world.

 

01 29       SISTERS GIVE BANQUET

The Sisters of the Order of the Holy Ghost, the new proprietors of St. Mary’s Hospital, gave a splendid banquet at St. Henry's hall last Tuesday evening, their guests being the doctors and druggists of the city, and Rev. Father Schweitzer, who left the sanitarium in Milwaukee to pay honor to those who invited him.  The ministers of the city were also invited.  The banquet, a seven course affair, was served in the upper hall by the ladies of St. Henry's Church, and quite a number of ladies of other churches, and white-capped nurses of St. Mary’s hospital waited on the tables.  Those who sat at the banquet board were:   Dr. Wilkinson, Oconomowoc; Dr. J. S. Kings, Dr. F. C. Moulding, Dr. F. C. Werner, Brother Bernard, Sacred Heart College; C. A. Gamm, Dr. C. R. Feld, Dr. C. J. Habhegger, the Rev. Philip Schweitzer, Dr. L. H. Nowack, H. T. Eberle, R. H. Brennecke, Dr. Earl H. Cook, Dr. Joseph O'Connell, Dr. Ableman, John W. Schempf, Dr. Fred O. Haney.

 

At the conclusion of the banquet Rev. Father Schweitzer spoke as follows:

 

"Venerable Sisters and Esteemed Ladies and Gentlemen:

 

Words cannot express how pleased I am tonight to be with you in this hall and on this occasion.  It always was the dream and ambition of my life to do two things, first, to erect a hall where young and old could meet to enjoy the real, the pure and noblest pleasures of life, and second, to found a hospital in which our unfortunate fellow men could find bodily comfort and a place for a distressed mind.  By the help of God and the generosity of my people and fellow citizens, I was successful and achieved my aim.  I need not boast when I say that no city in all the land with the population of Watertown can excel St. Henry's hall, either in beauty or comforts.

 

The past three years plainly prove what St. Henry's hall has done and what it still can do in the future.  I must admit that close attention and strenuous efforts are required on the part of the pastor and his faithful flock in order to accomplish the real purpose and noble aim of a parish hall.  And at times the pastor must expect to meet with disappointments.

 

While I have no doubt whatever that St. Mary's will someday rank among the most charitable institutions of our archdiocese, its beginning was indeed a difficult and humble one.  Having obtained an option on several sites in our city about seven years ago, I at once began an ardent search for Sisters.  I applied to all hospital communities then known to me, but always received the same reply:  'We regret very much that we cannot accept your offer.   Can't you send us candidates, because we need help?’  Think what we may, I will say tonight that the existence and success of St. Mary's is solely due to the persistent efforts of Drs. Habhegger, Eichelberg and Shinnick, and during the last years the burden was entirely cast upon Dr. Habhegger's shoulders.  His name and merits shall ever be gratefully mentioned in the history of St. Mary's Hospital.

 

In the name of Watertown allow me to thank all the honorable physicians and the benefactors for their kind support and good will shown to St. Mary's Hospital during the past years.  I can assure the venerable Sisters that their coming is welcomed and hailed by every citizen of Watertown, and on the other hand, I can truly say that the Sisters' motives are not of filthy lucre but are prompted by the spirit of God and pure charity for the poor and helpless in our midst.

 

Therefore all eyes are directed at present to St. Mary's beautiful heights.  A new area [era] has begun in the history of our fair city — an era of charity and good will towards all men, irrespective of creed and nationality.

 

In the name of all present let me thank the good Sisters who honored us with this banquet, and the kind and generous ladies and the nurses who worked hard to make it a grand success.

 

I am not appointed toastmaster for this occasion, but I'll dare to assume the privilege of one and call upon the gentleman whose name is inseparable from the name of St. Mary's Hospital.''

_______________

 

Dr. Habhegger responded by telling in brief the difficulties encountered in establishing and maintaining the hospital here, one of the chief difficulties arising from the fact that the management of a public hospital by a member or members of the medical profession was the cause of many misunderstandings.  

 

Dr. Kings told of the needs of the hospital and the support of the citizens in a general way.  That the city owes the hospital a big debt, that the presence of an Institution ready at all times to care for the injured of dangerously ill was a great benefit to the community and that the citizens should give the institution their heartiest support both financially and otherwise.  Drs. Wilkinson, Oconomowoc, Feld, Werner, O'Connell, Cook and Nowack, and the Messrs. Gamm and Eberle spoke briefly and encouragingly of the hospital.     WG

 

12 17     TAG DAY SATURDAY

Next Saturday will be Tag Day and the money solicited will be for the benefit of St. Mary’s Hospital.  At a meeting held at the public library Tuesday Mrs. F. E. Woodard was chosen chairman of the committee of ladies who will attend to the details of the tagging.

 

The business men will be solicited on Friday, December 18, by Mrs. Clara Weiss and Miss Quentmeyer, and the professional men will be solicited by Mrs. Fischer and Mrs. Melzer.

 

Saturday, December 10, a number of young ladies will be stationed on the streets in different sections of the city under the leadership and direction of captains and will tag every person they meet who has not already been tagged.  The different sections of Main Street have been apportioned to the various captains, who with their assistants will be on duty in their district.  They are as follows: Mrs. Fay Solliday and Mrs. Oscar Wertheimer will have charge of West Main Street, from Washington Street to the bridge and Water and North Water streets, including Otto Biefeld Machine shop, Wolfram Shoe factory and Beals & Torrey Shoe factory and factories along that street.  Mrs. O. C. Hahn, from the bridge on Main, to First Street and North First Street on the west side of the street.  Mrs. E. J. Carroll on Main from First to Second Street and the east side of First and North First streets.  Miss Lydia Pease from Second to Third Street, on Main, and Second and North Second, including the post office.  Miss Edna Chadwick from Third to Fifth Street on Main and Third and North Third streets, also Fourth and North Fourth streets.  Mrs. Sidney Eberle on Main, from Fifth Street to the Sharp corner.  Miss Louise Ungers and friends will be stationed at the Commercial hotel; Mrs. C. R. Behl and Mrs. Edward Schultz at the I. L. Henry Box factory; Mrs. Salick and helpers at the Northwestern depot; Miss Marie Killian, Miss Ella Wilder and Miss Hertel at the St. Paul depot and Mrs. Holmes and Miss Enright will be stationed at the G. B. Lewis factory.

 

People who are desirous of donating material or groceries instead of money may select articles from the following prepared list:  feather pillows for beds, small pillows for chairs, towels, wash cloths, sheets, pillow slips, bed spreads for single beds, linen table covers, linen dresser scarfs, table napkins, linen glass cloths, bath towels, night gowns for men in emergency cases, bed ticking, single wool blankets, small floor rugs, fresh fruit such as apples and oranges, and groceries of all kinds, special request being canned beans and canned asparagus.

 

The taggers will work in relays, and at the conclusion of their work will be served with luncheon at the library.

 

It is hoped that the citizens will take an interest in so worthy a cause and help to make it a big success . . .   WG

 

12 24     TAG DAY A GREAT SUCCESS

Tag day in Watertown netted $1103.80 for St. Mary’s hospital, an amount that greatly exceeds the most enthusiastic expectations of those interesting themselves in the movement.  The people of Watertown and vicinity showed the proper spirit in contributing so liberally to this movement, and [this] speaks well for the generosity and good will of this section in its splendid support of this worthy institution.  Watertown citizens always respond to a worthy movement, and this is one of the things that will certainly gain for our city great praise throughout the state.  Most of our business men contributed liberally and one lady headed the list of donors with $50.  The farmers visiting the city on tag day also contributed liberally.  The ladies, young and old, who looked after the details of the tagging, and stood all day long on our streets soliciting aid, certainly deserve great praise for their zeal and interest in this good work.  Aside from the money collected, many valuable donations were also given on that day to the hospital by our business men.   WG

 

1915

03 25       BENEFICIARY OF MICHAEL CARROLL WILL

Fourthly. I give and bequeath to St. Mary’s hospital, Watertown, Wis., $10,000, for an endowment or fund to be used in permanent improvements.

 

1916

10 27     BUILDING THE NEW WATERTOWN HOSPITAL

This enterprise is now commanding the attention of everybody in this part of the state, because it is an undertaking in which all have a personal interest; no one knows the moment when the service of a hospital will determine the matter of life or death.

 

The instinct of the head of the family should prompt a plan to care for the sick members in emergency which may arise at any moment, and provisions should be made in time for a situation, which is sure to occur.

 

Use of hospitals is now known to be more economical than the attempt to care for the dangerously sick in private homes, besides the hospital afford a greater certainty for a happy recovery.

 

This last applies more particularly to maternity cases, which the State Boards of Charities have recently shown, and have a far lower death rate when they have been treated in hospitals as against the supposed advantages of home treatment in rural communities.

 

The understanding has the enthusiastic endorsement of all classes of citizens.  The workman knows there is a place for him in case of accident.  The business man figures it is much more economical to have his sick taken care of where every preparation is made for this service.

 

The professional man, with his knowledge of scientific matters, knows that he will have scientific treatment in a well ordered hospital.  The Ministers of the Churches feel that there is a heaven of refuge for the unfortunate sick and maimed in the local hospital.

 

Civic pride is aroused in Watertown and will show its interest in securing suitable buildings and equipment for St. Mary’s Hospital.  

 

11 10     HELP THE NEW HOSPITAL AT WATERTOWN

At some time the necessity arises for the use of a hospital in the life of almost every man; the better the hospital, the nearer and quicker it can be reached may determine the recovery or death of the patient.

 

Suppose something like this should happen to you, young man, or someone near and dear to you: 

 

On a very cold night in a blinding snowstorm, with the thermometer below zero, a stalwart young railroad man had the misfortune to stumble and fall on the track while running ahead of his train to unlock a switch.  The engineer blinded by the snow lost sight of the brakeman for a few moments and supposing he had stepped alongside of the track kept his engine moving; before he realized it his engine had run over the fallen man severing one of his legs below the knee.  The trainmen picked up their injured comrade and carried him to a vacant room where a plain board table, dusty and dirty, had to serve as an operating table.  The wound was treated as well as the circumstances would permit in this unheated and unclean room and the man was made as comfortable as possible.  His recovery was attended by results arising from the unsanitary conditions under which it was necessary to treat him, and he will pay for the lack of hospital accommodations by having a “bad leg” as long as he lives.

 

A broken leg may heal satisfactorily with home care but with the scientific attention to be received in a hospital there is seldom if ever a question as to the results. 

 

Another story of the life saving advantages of a hospital easily reached the farmer’s life was saved by being near a hospital.

 

A strong, healthy young man, a farmer, was descending from a load of barley, holding a pitchfork in his right hand, he fell upon the handle which turned under him in such a manner as to impale him and thence to the ground.  He pulled out the handle of the fork himself, and pressing his hands tightly to the wound managed to walk home.  Intestines protruded from the wound and after washing with hot water and applying a bandage firmly, he was removed to the hospital in an automobile a distance of twelve miles.  An examination showed the serious character of the injury and an operation followed which could only have been successfully performed under the favorable conditions afforded by a hospital, and where the patient had the advantage which are to be had only in a well-regulated institution.  In five weeks he had recovered and was discharged a cured man; had there been no hospital near, this man would have died in a few hours.

 

The above facts but illustrate the slogan, “When you are helping St. Mary’s Hospital you are helping yourself.”  

 

11 24&12 08

Building fund and campaign.  Offer of fifty cent for every dollar donated made by Sisters of the charge of the institution   WDT

 

12 08       JUNEAU AIDS IN CAMPAIGN:  Hospital Campaign in Watertown is now on

 

Habit keeps us blind as a bat:  We go over a certain path every day but do not see the many opportunities for pleasure, comfort, or even moneymaking; when these are pointed out to the plodding man he is astonished at the many things he has missed in his daily life.

 

For some weeks we have been trying to tell you where there is a source of pleasure you have never thought of before: It is the happiness of GIVING and that to a most worthy object, the new St. Mary’s hospital at Watertown.

 

In all probability almost every person will at some time in the future need the services of a hospital; particularly those who are growing old, and like life insurance it is well to make provision for an emergency before it arises.  When the time comes, the need will confront you so quickly and suddenly — accident and sickness do not give warning that you make preparation at the last minute.

 

For this reason bury all objections of every sort and kind, and only consider the service a hospital will render you when it is required.

 

This is no theory, this is a FACT which everybody will do well to recognize.  The necessity will arise suddenly and those who live out of the city will need the services of a hospital more, or equally, with those who live in the city: because in the country the houses are far removed from a doctor, a drug store or even a grocery store where the little luxuries can be quickly had.

 

Another feature: the home offers meager facilities for taking care of the patient, but when one is in the hospital, he will have everything he ought to have, including the luxuries.

 

The mails have carried a large number of invitations to many persons to contribute to this fund, some of which have been answered.

 

If you live in the city do not wait for the solicitor to call on you.  If you live in the country, send your donation by mail, or call in person at the Headquarters, 11 Main Street, Watertown, Wisconsin, where it will at once be announced to all the workers\, thus stimulating them to renewed efforts.

 

The intensive campaign is open, and will close December the 16th.  We bespeak a kindly reception for this movement and a liberal donation, because “When you are helping St Mary’s Hospital you are helping yourself”.   Juneau Telephone newspaper

 

1919

    Watertown Daily Times, 07 14 1919

 

On an eminence of rising ground sloping gently from the bosom of Rock River in the eastern part of the city of Watertown, stands a new structure devoted to the cause of relieving suffering humanity.  This structure, which bears the name of St. Mary’s Hospital, has just been completed at a cost of more than $100,000 under the inspiration and efforts of the Missionary Sisters Servants of the Holy Ghost, Institute of Techny, Ill., the head house of which is at Style, Holland, who took up the burden after the establishment of St. Mary’s hospital several years ago by some of the local physicians. 

 

This institution means much for the city of Watertown and the country adjacent thereto, and in time will be of incalculable benefit for humanity in its wide scope and most modern equipment to keep in touch with all that tends for the alleviation of suffering and bringing back to health those who place their confidence in the conduct of the institution and are relieved of the anxiety which anyone may have in entering a hospital.

 

St. Mary’s is certainly a homelike institution.  Mothered over by a sisterhood of women engaged in the greatest and most ennobling task that can fall to anyone, without chance of pecuniary or other reward this side of the gates of paradise, these women, devoting a life long struggle for the benefit of manhood have created and reared a monument in the city of Watertown far greater in dimensions and far greater in its scope of work that any monument hewn out of granite or iron.

 

Watertown has reason to be very proud of St. Mary’s.  It asks no questions, whether you are white or colored, whether your ancestry was from Alaska, The Orient, Africa or in any zone on God’s footstool.  That you are a human being appeals to these sisters only.  Russian or Jew, Catholic or Protestant, the same roof shelters them all and the same treatment is willingly given.

 

1929

  1929 view       Training School for Nurses diploma

 

1937

Schiffler home torn down and wing along Concord Ave added.

 

c.1940s

 

   

 

1943

05 28            Watertown’s First Nurses Aide Class 

 

1950      AUXILIARY OF HOSPITAL to Open Season

09 27          St. Marys Hospital auxiliary will open its season on Monday afternoon, Oct. 2 at 2:30 o'clock.  The sessions will be held in the lower dining hall of the hospital.  The committee in charge of programs has been working during the summer to bring before the group an interesting and informative course based on health and allied subjects.

 

At the first meeting, it has been arranged that Dr. E. A. Miller of this city, chief of staff of St. Mary's hospital, will give a brief talk on the work of an auxiliary.  Another speaker will be Mrs. William C. Koernschild of Milwaukee who will address the group on "The Volunteer Service—Its Variety and Scope."  Mrs. Knoernschild was one of the speakers at the 35th national convention of the Catholic Hospital association held in Milwaukee from June 12 to 15 of this year. T his convention was attended by several sisters and nurses of the local hospital and members of the auxiliary.  Mrs. Knoernschild has been president of St. Anthony's Hospital guild for many years and has been associated with the auxiliary of St. Charles boys' home as well as with- many other civic enterprises. She has been decorated by his holiness, Pope Pius XII with the medal pro Ecclesia et Pontifice for her generosity and untiring work.

 

The local organization has taken for its aim and motto, "The Hospital auxiliary can be developed as a dynamic force to assist and advance St. Mary's hospital."

 

Ways in which the members have volunteered to assist are by sewing garments, folding papers, serving at the visitors' desk, making children's scrapbooks, donating for the food sale, and also assisting at the employees' picnic this past summer.  The same projects will be continued during the present year and new projects may be added with the approval of the sister superior.  All the work is purely voluntary.

 

A food sale has been planned for Friday, Oct. 27 at the Wisconsin Gas and Electric Company.

 

All those who have been doing sewing or paper folding may bring them to the next meeting and check them with the sewing committee: Mrs. H. E. Kwapil, chairman, Mrs. Herman Harder or Miss Mary Stacy.

 

Those desiring to join the auxiliary may call any one of the membership committee: Mrs. Francis Bertel, R. N., Mrs. Harold Hargraves, R. N., Mrs. R. H. Bohlman, R. N., Mrs. Emil Tanck or Mrs. O. L. Deist

 

The present officers are: Honorary president — Sister Regine, S. Sp. S.; president — Mrs. William J. Gormley; vice president — Mrs. Clifford M. Fritz; treasurer — Mrs. Roy V. Harte; secretary — Mrs. Clifford Warren.   WDT

 

    1950

 

1956

 

St. Mary's Hospital is up for sale.  For a number of weeks it has been rumored that the local hospital will be sold by the Missionary Sisters Servants of the Holy Ghost, which has operated St. Mary's Hospital for the past 42 years.  The rumors now have been definitely confirmed by the head of the religious order in Rome.  In a letter from M. Margarethis, Mother General, the reports are definitely confirmed.  Confirmation also comes in a letter from Sister Michael S.Sp.S., Provincial of the order at Techny, Ill.  St. Mary's Hospital is under the direct supervision of the Provincial at Techny.  The reason for the decision to put up the “for sale” sign on St. Mary's Hospital, the Mother General at Rome states, is that there are not enough nuns available to take care of a new and modern hospital which is proposed for Watertown, and which, from reports of doctors and others, is badly needed.  For this primary reason, the Mother General states, the order is pulling out of Watertown, and putting the hospital building up for sale.  05 30 WDT

 

1957

09 21     HOSPITAL ASSOCIATION TO BE FORMED

At a citizen's meeting held last night in the lower hall of the Elks Club, a decision was made to form a hospital association, so that an organization will be in existence to cope with whatever problems may arise in connection with the decision of the Missionary Sisters Servants of Holy Ghost to sell St. Mary's Hospital.  On May28 of 1956, the Sisters, who have operated the hospital since 1914, announced that the hospital was for sale.  Lack of nuns was the reason given for the decision.  Since the May 28 announcement, officials of the order have confirmed the decision, despite great pressures that have been exerted to induce the order to reverse its decision.  On June 7 of this year it became known that the sale of the property has been placed in the hands of the B.C. Ziegler Company of West Bend, which specializes in institutional financing.   WDT

 

Watertown Hospital Association Formed

 

1957

10 16     At a citizens’ meeting, held last night at the Elks Club, Watertown Hospital Association, Inc., was formed “to assure the existence of a hospital in the Watertown, Wis., area.” Approximately 40 persons were in attendance. The association was formed so that an organization will be in existence to meet any situation that may develop in connection with the decision of Missionary Sisters Servants of Holy Ghost to discontinue operation of St. Mary’s Hospital here.   WDT

 

1958

05 13     Officers of the Watertown Memorial Hospital Association elected.   WDT

 

1960

04 26     New hospital possibility, federal Hill-Burton Act   WDT

 

1961

05 03     Erwin Bilse yesterday afternoon was elected to a one year term as president of the Watertown Memorial Hospital Association at a meeting of the board of directors.  Paul C. Kehrer was named vice president, Miss Catherine Jean Quirk, secretary, and Robert Wills, treasurer. Arthur W. Hilgendorf who was elected a director at the annual meeting of the association on April 27, was welcomed to the board at yesterday’s meeting.  His term is for three years.  Other directors are William Guyer, Roy Childers, Attorney Roland F. Dierker and L.J. Lange.   WDT

 

04 27     At last night’s annual meeting of the Watertown Memorial Hospital Association, held in the lower hall of the Elks Club, the board was urged, in a resolution adopted, to look for a site for a new hospital, and when found secure an option upon the land.  The resolution also urged that a membership drive be held in order to secure additional funds for the association.  The resolution was offered by Roy Childers, a board member.  He and others pointed out in the discussion which preceded the vote that Watertown, at least eventually, will need a new hospital building — maybe that may be years from now, as Childers pointed out — and that now is the time to acquire the necessary land.   WDT

 

06 27     St. Mary’s Hospital of Watertown has been offered for sale specifically to the Watertown Memorial Hospital Association.  In a meeting held yesterday at St. Mary s, attended by the association’s board of directors and Sister Michael the Mother Provincial of Missionary  Sisters, Servants of Holy Ghost, the basic groundwork for possible sale of St. Mary’s to the Watertown association was laid in a two hour conference.  Sister Eugenio, a member of the Missionary Sisters Council, also traveled from Techny, Ill., headquarters of the order in the United States, with the Mother Provincial to attend the conference.

 

06 30     The Watertown Memorial Hospital Association’s board of directors at a meeting held yesterday afternoon took action to arrange for a meeting with officials of the B.C. Ziegler Co. next week relative to the offer for the sale of St. Mary’s Hospital here.  Monday’s offer was made in a two hour conference, attended by Sister Michael, mother provincial of the Missionary Sisters, Servants of Holy Ghost, and Delbert Kenney, president of the B. C. Ziegler Company, West Bend, agents for the sale.

 

1962

04 28     The acquisition of land and the construction of a new hospital unit for Watertown are included in the subjects to be considered at Monday night’s meeting of the Watertown Memorial Hospital Association, Ervin Bilse, president, stated today.  The annual meeting of the members of the association will be held in the lower hall of the Elks Club, at 8 o’clock.  Another item on the agenda is the report on the state of negotiations between the association and the Missionary Sisters, Servants of the Holy Ghost, owners and operators of St. Mary’s Hospital in the city, for the purchase of the hospital on behalf of the community.  Important details of these negotiations and a report on the board’s contact with Bishop William P. O’Connor of the Madison Diocese are to be disclosed.   WDT

 

05 01     A new hospital for Watertown, the size to be determined by the amount of money raised, was unanimously agreed upon at the fourth annual meeting of the Watertown Memorial Hospital Association, held last night at the Elks Club.  The motion to erect a new hospital was offered by Dr. E. Allen Miller, and seconded by Miss Gladys Mollart.  Under the provisions of the motion, a determination of the amount of money which it is thought can be raised should be made by the board of the directors, and it was indicated that a professional fund raising organization will be contacted to help determine the amount of money that it is felt can be raised.   WDT

 

   uncertain date

 

1963

01 24     A $60,000 safety improvement program has been completed at Welbourne Hall, an 80-bed residential center on East Main Street, according to administrator Bill Mollway. Mollway also announced that the third floor of the building, designed for exclusive senior citizens use, will be open in the near future. The safety program included an automatic sprinkler system, smoke detector system and several smaller renovation projects designed to increase smoke and fire protection throughout the center.   WDT

 

06 19     St. Mary’s Hospital, which has been for sale for the past seven years, will be sold to the Watertown Memorial Hospital Association, an organization which was formed in Watertown Oct. 21, 1957 to assure continued hospital service in Watertown.  For over two years the local association has been negotiating with Missionary Sisters, Servants of Holy Ghost, for the purchase of the hospital after it appeared that all efforts to interest another Catholic order in taking over the hospital had been to no avail.   WDT

 

10 04     The Watertown Memorial Hospital Association never at any time exerted any pressure upon the sisters who operate St. Mary’s Hospital, Sister Anna Rose, superior at St. Mary’s, said today.  In a talk which Sister Anna Rose delivered before St. Mary’s Hospital Auxiliary she indicated that extensive pressures had been exerted by individuals upon the order to erect a new $3,000,000 hospital in Watertown, and that these pressures were the primary reason for the decision of the order to sell the hospital.   WDT

 

1964

01 31     St. Mary’s Hospital becomes Watertown Memorial Hospital

The end of one era and the beginning of another in the history of the city of Watertown occurred yesterday, as officials of the Watertown Memorial Hospital Association, Inc., made the final arrangements which is to enable them to assume control of St. Mary’s Hospital tomorrow, Feb. 1.  The actual taking over of the hospital was made possible by an interim financing arrangement completed with the help of five participating financial institutions.  St. Mary’s Hospital, which has been operated for nearly a half century in this city by a Catholic religious order, the Missionary Sisters, Servants of the Holy Spirit, will be known after Feb. 1 as the Watertown Memorial Hospital.

 

02 19     An overflow crowd of about 300 women was present last night at the American Legion Green Bowl to launch plans for the auxiliary of the Watertown Memorial Hospital.  Mrs. Oscar L. Deist was elected chairman of the meeting, and Mrs. Oscar L. Schmutzler, Jr., was appointed secretary pro tem.  Leo C. Bargielski, hospital administrator, extended a warm welcome, to the women and expressed his gratification at the turnout.

 

02 20     The Watertown Memorial Hospital Association has set a goal of $400,000 for the fund raising campaign to provide for the purchase of the hospital and to increase hospital services, it was announced today by Paul Kehrer, president of the board of directors.  Mr. Kehrer said the goal was set after a complete analysis of all data.  Factors studied include the original purchase price, anticipated renovation, and the purchase of new equipment.

 

03 07     The Watertown Memorial Hospital campaign for capital funds is getting off to a flying start, according to Robert Wills, vice president of the board of hospital directors.  He said today that Dr. J. R. Casanova, local dentist and well-known community leader, has agreed to be general chairman in the hospital drive to raise $400,000.

 

03 14     A spokesman at the Watertown Memorial Hospital campaign headquarters this morning announced the acceptance of A. E. (Mike) Bentzin, 1435 Oconomowoc Avenue, as chairman of arrangements committee in the hospital’s drive to raise $400,000.  Mr. Bentzin is one of Watertown’s outstanding citizens in civic affairs. As a member of the city’s business community he worked hard to bring new industry to this city.  He was formerly a member of the board of police and fire commission.  He is past exalted ruler of Watertown Lodge No. 666, B.P.O.E.

 

04 09     The Watertown Memorial Hospital Association’s drive to raise $400,000 in Watertown and the Watertown hospital area formally was launched last night at a “kick-off’ dinner gathering held at the gym of the Watertown High School.  The gym was packed, with approximately 650 persons present.  A sum of at least $400,000 is needed to cover the purchase of the hospital from Missionary Sisters, Servants of Holy Ghost, which operated the hospital here for over 50 years, for operating capital; and for remodeling and much needed improvements.

 

04 11     In a pretty setting of colorful flowers, birdcages, birds and trellises, about 250 women attired in equally gay colors, met yesterday afternoon for tea at the American Legion Green Bowl to launch the new auxiliary of the Watertown Memorial Hospital.  Each woman was given a brightly colored paper tulip to wear, on which was written her name.  These were made by Mrs. Paul Corbin, a member of the arrangements committee.  Tea and coffee, with light refreshments, were served from two beautifully appointed tea tables.  Pouring were the past presidents of St. Mary’s Hospital Auxiliary: Mrs. William J. Gormley, Mrs. James F. Rothschadl, Mrs. Oscar L. Deist, Mrs. Arthur R. Jaeger, Mrs. Walter Schuenke, Mrs. John Brennan, and Mrs. Frank Sazama; also one of the first officers, Mrs. Clifford Warren.

 

04 25     Nearly 1,500 visited the Watertown Memorial Hospital Saturday and Sunday during “open house,” a spokesman at the hospital reported today.  He said many expressed approval of the plans to replace the elevator, relocate the emergency room and to renovate and modernize the facilities as groups of ten were conducted on tours with Auxiliary members in charge.  Great interest was shown in the changes already made as group after group reviewed the admitting room, cashier’s office, business office, laboratory and new conference room.

 

05 10     The Watertown Memorial Hospital capital funds drive got another boost Saturday when the Watertown Gymnastic Association, better known as the Turners and the Auxiliary jointly pledged $1,500 to the campaign fund and paid $1,000 of that amount to Martin Uttech, a captain in the advance gifts section of the campaign organization.  It is understood that the subscription is being made equally by both the Turners and the auxiliary with the women paying their subscription in full.  According to the president of the Turners, William H. Ulm, it will be necessary for them to make special effort to raise necessary additional funds over the three years.  This spirit of community responsibility is being hailed by campaign leaders.

 

05 21     The capital fund raising drive for the Watertown Hospital has gone “over the top” and has gone “over the top” in spectacular fashion. At a well attended meeting of campaign workers, held in the gym of the high school last evening, announcement was made that thus far $476,872 had been raised through cash contributions and pledges. The goal was $400,000. This morning campaign headquarters announced that the figure has climbed to $478,477 with more contributions and pledges anticipated.

 

1965

06 22       REMODELING AND REFURBISHING PROGRAM

A major improvement program for the hospital authorized at a special meeting of the board of directors of the Watertown Memorial Hospital Association held Monday night at the hospital, has been announced by the board president, Paul Kehrer.  In making this announcement Mr. Kehrer pointed out that this remodeling and refurbishing program was promised the public during the $500,000 fundraising campaign held in the spring of 1964.  Funds already collected have been applied to repaying with interest the loan received for purchasing the hospital and providing operating capital.  WDT

 

11 25       CONSULTANT ENGAGED TO DETERMINE FUTURE PLANS

A consultant is to be engaged by the Watertown Memorial Hospital Association to help the association’s board of directors determine future plans for the hospital, it was announced last night at the annual meeting of the association membership, held in the basement area of the Watertown Municipal Building.  With the patient load gradually increasing, and with Medicare to place an additional load on the hospital, as well as all hospitals, the board feels it necessary to take a look into the future, the meeting was informed by Paul Kehrer, president.   WDT

 

Dec          ANNUAL CHRISTMAS VISIT

Visit of “little angels” and the Christ Child to Watertown Memorial Hospital. 

 

12 30       ANNUAL 20-YEAR CLUB PARTY

On behalf of the Brandt Automatic Cashier Company, E. James Quirk, president of the company, presented a check for $5,000 to the Watertown Memorial Hospital Association Inc., to be used for the purchase of additional equipment that is needed by the hospital.  In making this gift Mr. Quiik stressed that Brandt, a local industry, was vitally interested in supporting this worthwhile community project and wanted to take this opportunity of wishing the Watertown Memorial Hospital Association continued success.  WDT

 

1966

01 12       REMODELING AND REFURBISHING PROGRAM

On Friday the Watertown Memorial Hospital Auxiliary brought to a close the most ambitious fund-raising project undertaken since its organization two years ago.  A check in the amount of $5,402.27, representing the entire proceeds of the recent successful Harvest and Holiday Bazaar was presented to the Hospital Association for the specific purpose of purchasing and installing new draperies, rods and shades for patient rooms throughout the hospital.  Mrs. Edwin Hulbert, general chairman of the bazaar, and president-elect of the auxiliary, presented the check to Miss Catherine Jean Quirk, board member and chairman of the decorating committee for the hospital.   WDT

 

05 11       OPEN HOUSE

More than 1,000 people visited Watertown Memorial Hospital Sunday afternoon during the hospital’s open house.  Interest ran high over the many improvements seen.  These improvements include a new emergency room, a new physiotherapy department, a new elevator and a new patient area, and several remodeled areas, with redecorating throughout.  The administrator, Leo C. Bargielski, and the board of directors expressed their gratification at the turnout which enabled the public to see the many changes made possible by their continued honoring of their pledges made during the hospital’s campaign in 1964.  With one year of the pledge program still to be completed additional improvements are scheduled, they pointed out, most of them on the second and third floors.   WDT

 

11 25       NEW HOSPITAL PLANNED

A new hospital for Watertown is being planned.  Plans for a new hospital were discussed at the annual meeting of the Watertown Memorial Hospital Association, held last evening at the Municipal Building.  Steps have been taken to make this move following recommendations received from a hospital consultant, Dr. Anthony J.J. Rourke, of New Rochelle, New York.  The present hospital, the meeting was told, will be retained and utilized as an extended care nursing facility.   WDT

 

1967

04 14       Hospital News and Views column, WDT

 

1968

Feb          200 BED DISASTER HOSPITAL

The Packaged Disaster Hospital is a unit of sufficient medical supplies, cots, bedding and pharmaceuticals to establish a complete 200 - bed hospital.  In time of disaster, nuclear or natural, Watertown Memorial Hospital can use this unit, Carroll said, to expand its capacity or, if necessary, set it up as a subsidiary facility in another building.  The unit will be stored at Bethesda Lutheran Home until Memorial Hospital completes its present building plans.  Packaged Disaster Hospitals [PDH's] are affiliated with local hospitals meeting federal and state criteria for emergency planning and location.  This new programming assures that there will be a physician to direct the use of the emergency hospital and will help assure adequate professional staffing of the unit in time of need.

 

1971

WATERTOWN MEMORIAL HOSPITAL RELOCATED TO NEW FACILITY at 125 Hospital Drive.

 

1972

06 18       HERITAGE DAY PARADE FLOAT

  

 

1977

07 12       NOWACK FUND USED TO PURCHASE EQUIPMENT

Proceeds from the Nowack fund have been used to purchase equipment for the Emergency Department of Watertown Memorial Hospital.  The fund was started by friends and patients of Dr. Louis W. Nowack following his recent retirement.  The money, which was donated to the local institution at his request, will be used for the purchase of three new patient carts and a vacuum attachment for the cast cutter.  The fund will also be used to help underwrite the educational costs of local students entering a health field.  A total of 338 persons contributed a total of $7,867 to the fund.  A bronze plaque recognizing fund donors and honoring Dr. Nowack has been placed at the entrance to the emergency room.

 

1981

11 08       DIRECTIONS CLINIC PURCHASED BY HOSPITAL ASSOCIATION

Directions Clinic, Inc., 129 Hospital Drive, has been purchased by Watertown Memorial Hospital Association, Inc., according to an announcement by Leo Bargielski, president of the hospital association, and John Gordon, director of the clinic.  The purchase culminated six months of discussions on the purchase.  Directions Clinic, an alcohol and drug abuse outpatient center, will now be known as Directions Clinic, a service of Watertown Memorial Hospital. The papers approving the purchase were signed Monday, and the facility is now operating as part of the hospital facility. Purchase price was $320,000. The price is for all of the assets of the clinic, including the newly constructed facility.   WDT

 

1982

02 15       The recent Watertown Memorial Hospital’s 1981 “New Horizons Fund” raised $12,000.  The development fund established by the board of directors’ Financial Development Committee was conducted in October and December 1981 by a letter sent to past and prospective donors.  “Most of the funds received were a direct result of the letter request,” according to Gerald E. Flynn, committee chairman.  Funds raised are used to purchase important new equipment, such as an optic viewing arm for a microscope used in eye surgery, three-channel electrocardiograph equipment for heart testing, and a digital electronic pediatric scale.  Flynn said, ‘“New Horizons Fund’ enables your hospital to continue to provide quality health care to the community.”   WDT

 

09 29       Approval has been received from Wisconsin Hospital Rate Review authorities granting an increase in rates for room and board services and other patient care services effective Oct. 1.  A new room and board rate will be $160 per day.  The new average rate, the combination of room and board charges and other related care charges, will be $349.73 per day, representing a 12.79 percent increase over last year.   WDT

 

1983

07 22       Royce Rowedder resigned from the association's board of directors   WDT

09 27       Computerized tomography (CT) scanning to be offered   WDT

12 01       Sally Flegner, R.N., appointed department head of the Newbirth Center    WDT

12 03       Hospital Auxiliary tea, officers, Volunteer of the Year    WDT

12 30       The “Flight for Life” emergency helicopter unit to serve the Watertown area   WDT

 

1984

01 21       HMO’s approach Watertown businesses    WDT

04 06       Hospital joins suit against the state and order to cease offering mobile CT scans   WDT

 

1986

02 28       Watertown Memorial Hospital has announced the appointment of John Schloemer as its new pharmacy manager.  Schloemer, who graduated with a bachelor of science degree in pharmacy from the UW-Madison, was appointed the new position in January.  Since graduation, he has spent 11 years in pharmacy.   WDT

 

1987

02 23       A “rural” designation cost Watertown Memorial Hospital $877,000 in 1986.

 

12 21       Watertown Memorial Hospital will receive a revenue influx of over $1 million annually as the result of President Ronald Reagan’s signing two budget bills.  Officials of the hospital were elated today as the months of intensive lobbying to get the hospital’s Medicare reimbursement designation change from rural to urban resulted in an early Christmas present.  That change, which was culminated with the signing ceremony, will insure a financially strong facility that can continue to meet the expanding health care needs of this community.  Although local officials had originally hoped that the new designation would be effective immediately, a meeting between the House and Senate budget conferees resulted in the new funding being effective on Oct. 1, 1988.  Because Watertown Memorial Hospital was designated as being in a rural county, its reimbursement for Medicare patients was substantially less than in an urban hospital.  That difference amounts to about $1 million annually.  Medicare reimbursement is an extremely important portion of the hospital budget.  It currently amounts to about $5 million and will rise to about $6 million under this new law.   WDT

 

1988

01 12       Watertown Emergency Medical Service

Officials at Watertown Memorial Hospital are studying a letter from Mayor David R. Lenz that suggests that the hospital begin a service that would transport patients from Watertown to other hospitals in an emergency.  The Watertown Emergency Medical Service provides transportation within the city to Watertown Memorial Hospital, but does not transport people to hospitals outside of the city, except in life-or-death situations.  In severe cases, Flight for Life from Milwaukee and Med Flight from Madison provide transportation.  Non-emergency transportation is available from Pederson Funeral Home and FISH, a volunteer service for the elderly.  WDT

 

11 29       $1.9 million addition and remodeling of the outpatient facilities

Was endorsed by the board of directors of the hospital association.  The board authorized The Durrant Group, a Madison-based architectural firm, to begin to develop specific plans and a cost estimate of the proposed project.  A continued increase in the outpatient service needs has prompted the need for the addition, according to Leo Bargielski, president of the association.  He said, “Like most hospitals across the country, we’ve seen a continuing increase in utilization of outpatient services and a decrease in inpatient census.”

 

1989

01 12       New Medical Library Planned  /  Catherine J. Quirk

The new medical library being planned at Watertown Memorial Hospital will be named the “Catherine J. Quirk Health, Science and Education Resource Center” in honor of her longtime association and support of the hospital.  The hospital’s medical staff had previously recommended that the new library be named in her honor and the hospital’s board of directors unanimously approved the decision this week.  The new library will be completed sometime next year as part of the hospital’s outpatient department expansion:.  Quirk served on the Watertown Memorial Hospital Association Board of Directors since the inception of the association in 1985.  She served as association secretary from the first board meeting on April 21, 1958 until Nov. 11, 1966.  Quirk continued to serve on the hospital board until Dec. 1, 1983, a span of 25 years as an active board member.  WDT

 

02 22       John Graf VP of Fiscal Services

John A. Graf has been selected as the new vice president of fiscal services at Watertown Memorial Hospital. Graf joined the hospital’s administrative team today, succeeding George Sexton, who has served the hospital in the position for 19 years. During the next four months, Graf will work with Sexton to make the transition smooth and orderly. Graf will officially assume full responsibility for fiscal services on June 1. Graf has been vice president of operations at St. Michael’s Hospital in Stevens Point. Prior to holding that position, he had been vice president of finance and support services at Hartford Memorial Hospital.  WDT

 

07 29       Catherine J. Quirk Health, Science and Education Resource Center

The new medical library being planned at Watertown Memorial Hospital will be named the “Catherine J. Quirk Health, Science and Education Resource Center” in honor of her longtime association and support of the hospital.  The hospital’s medical staff had previously recommended that the new library be named in her honor and the hospital’s board of directors unanimously approved the decision this week.  The new library will be completed sometime next year as part of the hospital’s outpatient department expansion.  Quirk served on the Watertown Memorial Hospital Association Board of Directors since the inception of the association in 1985. She served as association secretary from the first board meeting on April 21, 1958 until Nov. 11, 1966. Quirk continued to serve on the hospital board until Dec. 1, 1983, a span of 25 years as an active board member.  WDT

 

11 15       Ban All Smoking

After March 1, 1990, Watertown Memorial Hospital will be free of cigarette and cigar smoke, as the hospital’s board of directors has voted to ban all smoking in the hospital building after that date.  The board took this step in an effort to encourage the good health of patients, visitors and employees and to emphasize the dangers of smoking, according to hospital officials.  “According to health-care authorities, smoking is dangerous to one’s health, indeed, is the No. 1 cause of preventable death in our country today,” said Leo Bargielski, hospital president.  “The hospital is dedicated to the preservation of good health.  Therefore, smoking in the hospital is not compatible with our mission.”   WDT

 

11 29       Addition to Hospital

Bids totaling $4,230,000 for an addition to Watertown Memorial Hospital were accepted by the board of directors of the hospital association on Wednesday afternoon.  The addition and renovation of a large area of the hospital will commence on Monday, Leo C. Bargielski, president of the association, said today.  The addition and remodeling of the hospital will be focused primarily on the increasing need for outpatient services.  Most of the remodeling will be concentrated on the south end of the building where the current emergency and outpatient areas are located.  The addition will be located south of the existing building and will necessitate removal of the walkway between the medical center and the hospital, Bargielski said.   WDT

 

1992

04 03       NEW MEDICAL BLDG ADJACENT TO HOSPITAL

A $1.6 million medical building will be constructed adjacent to Watertown Memorial Hospital, according to an announcement today by Leo C. Bargielski, hospital president.  The new facility will be located immediately west of the present medical office building, and the two will be connected by an all-weather “skywalk.”  The location and the skywalks will make it convenient for physicians to move to and from their offices and the hospital.  Plans for the facility have been approved by the hospital board of directors and bids are now being sought.  The building is being designed by The Durrant Group of Madison and Maas Brothers Construction Company is the construction manager.  The current schedule calls for construction to begin this spring with completion in the fall, and occupancy before the end of the year.

 

1995

JOHN KOSANOVICH NAMED CEO

 

1996

06 20       NEW URGENT CARE CENTER

Watertown Memorial Hospital opened the doors to its new urgent care center.  The center is designed to offer medical service to people at a substantially lower cost to the patient.  The urgent care center is housed in the emergency department at the hospital.   WDT

 

10 06       WATERTOWN HEALTHCARE PHYSICIAN HOSPITAL ORGANIZATION (PHO)

Watertown Memorial Hospital and 38 physicians in the community have formed a new organization to encourage employers, insurance companies and health maintenance organizations to include Watertown hospital facilities and personnel in their health care plans. The new organization, called the Watertown Healthcare Physician Hospital Organization (PHO) is a business approach taken by local health care providers to deal with local needs in issues of insurance and health maintenance organizations.  The primary objectives of the Watertown PHO are to maintain high quality health care, have a local influence in employers health care decision-making, encourage fair contracting with managed care entities and respond to the diverse needs of employers and insurers in the community. The formation of this organization allows the physicians and hospital to speak with one voice. In working together as a larger organization, the PHO allows physicians and WMH to have more input as to how insurance companies relate to local employees.   WDT

 

1997

02 23       $1.1 MILLION RENOVATION PROJECT

Watertown Memorial Hospital’s $1.1 million renovation project is designed to reflect the growing trend toward shorter hospital stays. The project, which begins Wednesday, will be conducted in two phases, according to Eileen Sailer, vice president of patient services. All construction is scheduled to be completed for an open house in November. “It really is taking us into the next century,” Sailer said about the project.  “That’s our goal.” Two floors of the hospital will be completely renovated to reflect new philosophies in health care, Sailer said. Many of the changes reflect information obtained from the community through surveys and focus groups in the past year, she said.   WDT

 

06 20       Watertown Area Health Services, associated with hospital   WDT

 

1998

01 08       An excellent financial year in fiscal 1997 has allowed Watertown Memorial Hospital to undertake several major capital projects, according to President John Kosanovich.  He said the substantial growth in revenues from all areas of the services the hospital provides has allowed the replacement of the CT scanner and other equipment in the radiology department.  All totaled about $1 million in new equipment has been authorized for that department.  Another major capital project under way at the hospital is the installation of a new information system that will tie all aspects of health care into one comprehensive computer system.

 

12 13       Two new directors elected   WDT

 

1999

04 09       100 units of senior housing; Watertown Area Health Services (WAHS)   WDT

 

07 29       Health and Wellness Center to be located at the former high school, 415 S. Eighth St    WDT

 

2000

05 14       Watertown Women's Center at Health and Wellness Center    WDT

 

06 02       Inter-facility Transport Program.  A fire department service in which Watertown patients are transported to hospitals in cities such as Milwaukee and Madison has been revived after a several-month hiatus.  A measure to reinstate the inter-facility transport program was signed recently by Mayor Fred Smith, Interim Fire Chief Henry Butts and Watertown Memorial Hospital Emergency Department Medical Director Dr. Kathleen Hargarten.  An inter-facility transport occurs when the Watertown Memorial Hospital calls to ask the department to transport nonemergency patients to hospitals in Oconomowoc, Waukesha, Madison or Milwaukee for specialized care not available in Watertown.  On- or off-duty department personnel then take the patients in department ambulances to their destinations while ensuring the department is sufficiently staffed for city emergencies.  WDT

 

06 22       Apartment building for seniors, northeast of hospital    WDT

 

2001

04 28       A move to make Watertown Memorial Hospital more welcoming and warm is under way, from providing more private rooms to quieting the echoes in the hallways.  Relocation of several areas of the hospital will make way for the improvements.  Administrative offices will be moved to the Watertown Area Health Services’ Center for Women’s Health to allow for the expansion of emergency and urgent care services.  Remodeling on the second and third floors of the hospital will result in more private patient rooms than ever before.   WDT

 

05 04       Health Connection -- An effort to reach out to the community was launched in January when Watertown Area Health Services held its grand opening celebration for Health Connection.  Health Connection is a community wellness link, providing all kinds of resources that promote healthy lifestyles, said Diane Olson Hubacher, who has led the agency since December. Olson Hubacher, a registered dietitian with a master’s degree in nutrition, is also a certified diabetes educator.   WDT

 

09 26       HOSPITAL ACCREDITATION

Watertown Memorial Hospital scored in the nation’s top 16 percent in its accreditation from the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations.  “We voluntarily seek joint commission accreditation as a means of improving quality and safety for our patients,” according to Watertown Area Health Services Chief Executive Officer John Kosanovich.  “We are proud to participate as a means to raise quality to a higher level.  This year we can be particularly proud of our quality measures.  Watertown Memorial Hospital scored 96 on the survey and our home health department scored 95.  Only 16 percent of hospitals nationally achieve a score of 96 or above.”  The joint commission continually strives to improve the safety and quality of the nation’s health care through voluntary accreditation.  The joint commission’s on-site survey of Watertown Memorial Hospital occurred in August.   WDT

 

2003      ST. LUKE’S MEDICAL CENTER, affiliation with

09 30       Vastly improved cardiac services will be available to Watertown area residents under a new agreement between Watertown Memorial Hospital and St. Luke’s Medical Center in Milwaukee.  Officials of the hospital announced today that the new affiliation will begin in October and will bring the expertise of St. Luke’s nationally recognized program to patients in Watertown.  John Kosanovich, chief executive officer at the hospital, said, “We make every effort to listen to the members of our community when making important health care decisions.  That’s why, when local physicians and community members asked for more consistent access to quality heart care, we began the search for a partner which is proven in the field.”

 

2004      UW CANCER CENTER JOHNSON CREEK

01 31       Watertown Memorial Hospital will join forces with two other medical entities to bring a state-of-the art cancer treatment center to the area.  The hospital will team with Fort HealthCare and UW Health to construct the clinic just south of Interstate 94 and state Highway 26. Groundbreaking for UW Cancer Center Johnson Creek is expected to take place in April with completion expected by January 2005.  The center will provide patients and families with cutting-edge research and treatment protocols. Affiliated with the University of Wisconsin Comprehensive Cancer Center, the 13,500-square-foot facility will be located south of the outlet mall and adjacent to the Johnson Creek Medical Center on Doctors Court.

 

2006      TWO-STORY ADDITION TO WATERTOWN MEMORIAL HOSPITAL

03 05       Watertown Area Health Services officials said Friday they are excited to be embarking on the next phase of an ongoing master plan with a two-story addition to Watertown Memorial Hospital over the next two years. The new building will house state-of-the- art surgical and interventional rooms and a new intensive care unit (ICU). A new set of dedicated patient elevators will provide added privacy during in-hospital stays, and the day surgery department will be moved to be close to the operating rooms, increasing privacy and convenience for patients. The construction project will also result in a more welcoming lobby and additional parking. “This is the next step in a carefully thought out master plan for the Watertown Memorial Hospital campus,” John Kosanovich, CEO of Watertown Area Health Services, said. “The objective of the project is to create a clinically excellent, state-of-the-art environment for our patients, physicians and associates. This will be accomplished through the building of contemporary space, the addition of new equipment and technology and the re-engineering of our clinical, operational and support systems.”

 

2006-07

FORMER WELBOURNE HALL CONVERTED TO SWIFTHAVEN ASSISTED LIVING

       

  

Former St. Mary’s Hospital transformed; Welbourne Hall reopened as Swifthaven Community Assisted Living Facility.  For some reason, when the building became Welbourne Hall the original red and cream brick was covered over with a hideous gray paint.  This paint was removed in 2006 and the building restored to its former splendor.

 

2007

03 21       GRAY PAINT EXTERIOR REMOVED

A little less than a year ago one of the first things a motorist traveling to Watertown from the east saw was a rundown gray colored building that was full of broken windows.  But now all of the bland paint has been stripped off, the windows have been replaced and the former Welbourne Hall on East Main Street has been transformed into the Swifthaven Community Assisted Living Facility.  One of the most noticeable changes to the 55,000-square-foot building is the old paint has been removed from the exterior, which makes the original red brick visible.  Watertown Mayor John David said he has already received numerous calls from residents who have made positive comments on the exterior of the building.   WDT

 

11 15       Watertown Memorial Hospital and UW Health affiliation announced   WDT

 

2008

02 27       Watertown Area Health Services will be known by a new name, a reflection of its affiliation with UW Health of Madison.  The new name, UW Health Partners Watertown Regional Medical Center, will be implemented in August.   WDT

 

2009

03 24       Opening of new Neurology Center    WDT

 

07 29       Watertown Regional Medical Center celebrated first anniversary of affiliation with UW Health    WDT

 

12 02       UW Health Partners Clinic expansion [Johnson Creek]   WDT

 

2011

02 25       CHILDREN'S WING UNVEILED

American Family Children's Hospital at Watertown Regional Medical Center will serve children who need diagnostic testing, outpatient treatments, ambulatory surgery and general inpatient care. The unit will provide specialized care that recognizes the vital role that family, emotional care and social care play in healing.

 

The children's' unit, which marks the next phase of the pediatric partnership, is the cornerstone of Watertown Regional Medical Center's pediatric programming.  The first phase of the pediatric partnership was launched in early 2010 with the addition of UW Health pediatric specialty physician consultation at the UW Health Partners Johnson Creek Clinic.  The first phase also included the addition of the Watertown Safety Center, which is located at the Center for Women's Health on Hospital Drive.

 

2012      “BUBBLE TECHNOLOGY” used in hospital construction project

Oct          Today's Dietitian article:  An 11,000-sq ft garden in backyard; plans to open a restaurant and demonstration kitchen.

 

12 22       HOSPITAL IS TRAINING CHEFS 

Made-to-order meal service part of renovations at facility.  The seven students, all Watertown Regional Medical Center employees, are in the midst of an intense, five-month course called the White Toque Chef School, being taught by the medical center’s executive chef Justin Johnson.  The course is an essential step for the hospital as it transitions from a factory-style kitchen to a made-to-order meal service as a part of the wider renovations being completed at the hospital.  When the kitchen re-opens in the spring of 2013 there will be three outlets for the new made from scratch food.  The first being patients’ meals, which will be delivered room service style, Johnson said.  The second will be at the hospital’s new restaurant, which will be split into two areas, the Market and the Cafe.  The third outlet will be a catering service which would range from a fruit basket and pastries for a morning meeting to full course dinner meals.  WDTimes article 

 

2013

11 23       HARVEST MARKET RESTAURANT OPENED

The restaurant, along with the hospital’s 11,000 square foot kitchen garden, are a part of the hospital’s initiative to provide a positive, healthy food environment for patients, employees and community members.   WDTimes article online

 

2014

12 19       HARVEST MARKET RESTAURANT:  Farm to Hospital Bed.

“It’s a restaurant that happens to be in a hospital, not a hospital restaurant.”  Modern Farmer mag article.

 

2015

06 30     NEW IDENTITY AND LOGO

http://watertowndailytimes.wi.newsmemory.com/newsmemvol2/wisconsin/watertowndailytimes/20150630/wdt-2015-06-30-a-001_w-opt.pdf.0/img/Image_7.jpg   

Watertown Regional Medical Center (WRMC) is celebrating another milestone for health care in the greater Watertown community today with the launch of a new brand identity.  WRMC is preparing to finalize a joint venture with Life-Point Health that is designed to further accelerate WRMC’s transformational journey.  The new logo includes brighter green and orange colors to reflect the many ways the hospital has innovated to enhance community health.  Once finalized, the joint venture with LifePoint Health will commit $100 million toward investments in WRMC and the Watertown community over the next decade, including significant advancements in technology, the expansion of clinical services and initiatives and facility improvements.  A sizable community health foundation will be created with the proceeds of the transaction to provide resources for advancing health across the region.   WRMC press release 

 

07 29       WRMC, LIFEPOINT JOINT VENTURE APPROVED

Online pdf document, 8 pgs  

 

08 14       KEDDINGTON WILL BE NEXT CEO

Richard Keddington has been selected to serve as the new chief executive officer of Watertown Regional Medical Center, according to an announcement by the regional medical center’s board of directors and LifePoint Health.

 

Keddington will join WRMC on Sept. 14, following the completion of the joint venture transaction which is expected to be finalized on Sept. 1. He will replace John Kosanovich, who will retire after serving as WRMC’s CEO for 20 years.  An experienced hospital administrator, Keddington served for the past five years as CEO of Select Specialty Hospital, a two-campus, 63-bed hospital in Milwaukee, where he managed the hospital’s daily operations and implemented an overarching strategic plan. In this role, Keddington enhanced physician relationships and improved patient satisfaction.

 

Keddington will join the hospital on the heels of a joint venture between WRMC and LifePoint. The joint venture will invest more than $100 million in WRMC. The WRMC Board will use the proceeds of the transaction to create a substantial foundation that will be devoted to community health.

 

09 25       JOHN KOSANOVICH RETIRES

    CEO from 1995-2015

 

2017

04 21       "STILL THE BEST FOOD SERVICE PROGRAM IN THE COUNTRY

Jsonline article    

 

 

 

Image Portfolio

Schiffler home

1912

 

 

1912

1922

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  Image Portfolio  

 

 

 

TWO REVIEW ARTICLES:

1938

 

25th Anniversary of Hospital Observed

Sisters took over Jan 5, 1914

Mark Occasion with Banquet and Program

Work of Sisters Praised By Speakers Here Last Night

Watertown Daily Times, 12 02 1938

 

The 25th anniversary of St. Mary’s Hospital was observed last night at a banquet and program held in the dining hall of the hospital.  Approximately 50 doctors attended, in addition to several priests and other guests.

 

Glowing tributes were paid the Sisters of the Missionary Sisters, Servants of the Holy Ghost which operates the hospital.  Their untiring efforts to give Watertown and this locality one of the finest hospitals to be found anywhere, the many sacrifices they have made to provide the facilities now available, and the fine manner in which the sick are being cared for were lauded by the speakers who took part in the program.  The many achievements that have been made in the quarter century that the Sisters have been operating the institution were mentioned by several of the speakers who outlined the growth of the hospital.

 

Some of the early history of the hospital was recalled by the Rev. Dean F. X. Schwinn, pastor of St. Henry’s congregation, who came to Watertown about the time the Sisters took over the institution.  The much fine work that the Sisters have done at the local hospital was emphasized by Father Schwinn who has seen the hospital grow from its first location in the Schiffler residence to the institution it is today.

 

Early Need Seen

 

The need for a hospital was seen by the early doctors who operated the first hospital and by the Sisters who followed in the operation of the hospital, Dr. T. F. Shinnick of Beloit, declared.  The expansion program which the Sisters undertook shortly after they took over the old hospital here was lauded by Dr. Shinnick who, referring to the Sisters said that the ”owners and operators had confidence in themselves and their God” and went ahead and built a hospital that was finer than Watertown and the locality ever had before.

 

Dr. Ivan G. Ellis, Madison, X-ray specialist who calls at the local hospital once each week, declared that St. Mary’s Hospital was one of the finest he has seen.  He highly praised the Sisters for the splendid work they are doing and the manner in which they are operating the hospital.

 

Other speakers, all of whom expressed a deep gratitude for the excellent work the Sisters are doing and the fine manner in which they are operating the hospital, included Dr. E. J. Eichelberg of Reeseville, who with Dr. Shinnick founded the hospital which was the immediate predecessor to St. Mary’s; Dr. M. Wilkenson of Oconomowoc, who named some of the doctors who practiced in Watertown years ago; Dr. Harlow Caswell of Fort Atkinson; Dr. L. H. Nowack of Watertown; Dr. G. J. Fiebeger and Dr. Philip Leight of Waterloo; Dr. O. Goetsch of Hustisford; Frank P. McAdams, Watertown, member of the hospital board; Rev. Joseph Burke, C.S.C., pastor of St. Bernard’s congregation; Rev. John Devers, C.S.C., chaplain at Sacred Heart College, and Rev. Stephen Klopfer, hospital chaplain.

 

Sisters Talk

 

Among the Sisters who addressed the gathering last night was the Venerable Sister Margaretha, Mother Provincial of the order.  She as well as Sister Majilla, the Sister Superior at the hospital; expressed deep appreciation for the co-operation received from the doctors who use the hospital. Other sisters who talked were Sister Dolorita, who is in charge of surgery, and Sister Gertrude, who is in charge of the X-ray room.

 

The Rev. Christian Glassauer, who became chaplain at the hospital 22 years ago and who is now retired, also received recognition during the program for his long period of service.

 

All those present paid a tribute to the memory of the late Dr. E. J. Hoermann, local dentist and member of the hospital board, Dr. Hoermann worked in behalf of the hospital for many years and during the hospital drive two years ago was treasurer of the St. Mary’s Hospital Fund Committee and one of the spark plugs in the successful effort to raise $12, 500 for room furnishings.

 

A huge cake, containing 25 candles, the insignia of the Sister s order and the insignia of the medical profession was placed on the banquet table.

 

Dr. T. C. H. Abelmann, Watertown, served as toastmaster.

 

1914

Taken Over in 1914 [by Missionary Sisters]

 

St. Mary’s hospital was taken over by the Missionary Sisters, Servant of the Holy Ghost, on January 6, 1914.

 

Previous to that the hospital had been privately owned and consisted of a wooden building which had been the Charles Schiffler residence located on the present site of the hospital.  Three years after the sisters came here to operate the institution they began work on plans for a new building, constructed of brick and forming the nucleus of the present modern St. Mary’s hospital. 

 

1918

 

The building was opened in September 1918.  The original wooden building continued to serve as a unit of the hospital, being used as a maternity section.  This was demolished when the new addition to the hospital was built on the site, thus forming the present large building.

 

1937

 

The new addition was dedicated by Archbishop Samuel A. Stritch on May 21, 1937.

 

The present hospital has 75 beds, modern operating and X-ray rooms and laboratories and other modern facilities.

 

Early History

1906

 

While the operation of the hospital by the religious order dates back to 1914, the actual history of the hospital is older, going back to 1906 when Dr. Thomas Shinnick, now of Beloit, and Dr. C. J. Eichelberg of Reeseville, sponsored a movement to obtain hospital facilities for Watertown.  The Rev. Philip Schweitzer, then pastor of St. Henry’s Catholic Church , also became interested in the movement and the Schiffler residence was purchased and remodeled to serve the needs of  a hospital.  It had an operating room, X-ray room and wards to accommodate 16 persons.  The property was purchased by the two doctors mentioned, with the assistance of Rev. Schweitzer.  The late Dr. C. J. Habhegger also became interested in the hospital movement and gave it his support, serving as secretary and treasurer with Dr. Shinnick the first president.  Dr. Eichelberg was the first vice president. The first superintendent of the hospital when it was opened was Miss Clara Lehmann (1). Later her sister, Miss Lydia Lehmann served as superintendent.

 

1913 and 1914

 

In 1913 Dr. Shinnick left Watertown for Beloit and sold his interest to Dr. Eichelberg and Dr. Habhegger who retained possession of the place until 1914 when they sold their interest to the sisters.

 

Capacity Doubled

 

Since that time the hospital has grown from its small beginning in the Schiffler property to the modern structure and institution it is today.  The new addition, which doubled the size of the institution, was built along the same lines and of the same material as the original brick structure which replaced the wooden building and so today the two units look like one.

 

1903

   First Hospital

      116 S First Street

 

The hospital housed in the Schiffler residence was not the first hospital Watertown had, however.  For long before that there was a one room affair in South First Street which served as a hospital for the city.  It was opposite the present Hotel Carlton and near what was then known as Specht’s harness shop.  This one room hospital was started by Dr. Shinnick and Dr. J. M. Sleicher, who latter went to Chehalis, Wash.  No actual record of when it was opened exists, but it was about 1902 or 1903.  The city provided $100 to equip it and also paid the rental.  Its first patient was Tom Gibson, who was better known as “Blind Tom” because he had his eyes blown out during blasting operations.

 

In the days when the one room afforded the city’s only hospital facilities, it was kept heated only when in use. Patients were few.  There was still a general public apathy toward hospitals.

 

 

Small Beginning Marked

St. Mary’s Hospital in City

Watertown Daily Times, 12 08 1927

 

The present St. Mary’s Hospital grew from a small beginning to its present efficiency and on this anniversary of the sister superioress twenty-five years of service the following historical sketch will be appropriate:

 

1907

In the year 1907, an attempt was made by the Rev. Phillip Schweitzer, pastor of St. Henry’s Catholic Church, to interest all the physicians of the purpose the establishment of a hospital in the city of Watertown.  The result was the purchase of a modern 8 room house located at 1301 Main Street. With the conversion of the largest rooms on the second floor into a modern operating room, and with a few minor changes the hospital was ready to enter on its first year of service. At the end of the first year the building was found to be too small and was then remodeled and enlarged and the present St. Mary’s Hospital began its existence.

 

1914

In 1914 the Missionary Sisters, Servants of the Holy Ghost, under the direction of Sister Mary Euphrasia, S.Sp.S., took charge of the hospital which they had recently purchased from Dr. D. J. Habhegger under whose patronage the hospital had been conducted.  Shortly after the transfer of the hospital property and the change of management a banquet was held at St. Henry’s hall on January 23,1914 for the purpose of calling together the physicians and business men of the city. Those present under mutual agreement promised their aid, loyalty, and will co-operation with the institution. This was a great encouragement to the sister, and was also the underlying foundation of the establishment on a permanent basis.

 

In the first six months the sisters were in charge 85 patients were admitted and cared for and fifty-four of these were surgical cases.  On “tag day” that year the people of Watertown and vicinity showed their liberal generosity together with their kind and willing cooperation toward the hospital.  The liberal donations received by the sisters were far beyond their expectations, and they were highly appreciative.

 

1915

On January 1, 1915, the first year, two hundred and twelve patients were admitted.  The year 1915 proved a very busy and active year.  The hospital seemed too small, and at one time five emergency cases were unable to receive care for want of room.

 

1916

1917

A bequest of $10,000 in 1916 from the estate of the late Mr. Michael Carroll encouraged the sisters to proceed with further building and plans were drawn bids let, contracts drawn and excavation began August 25, 1917 after the Watertown city council closed Summit Avenue and presented the narrow tract of land to the hospital management thus enabling the sister to connect two pieces of property previously purchased for the hospital expansion.  The corner stone was laid December 3 the same year. 

 

1918

Following this occasion cold weather set in and work was somewhat delayed.  The building progressed slowly and at times the workmen were handicapped, being unable to obtain the desired material.  The following summer work progressed rapidly and about September 1, 1918, the building neared it completion.

 

Furnished Rooms

 

About this time the people of Watertown and vicinity were contributing most generously to the furnishing of the rooms of the new hospital.  Great credit is due them for their liberal generosity and manifestation of their kindly feeling toward an institution of this kind. 

 

1918

 

About October 1, 1918, the first patients were admitted to the new hospital.  In the course of time the various departments were equipped with their individual and necessary furnishing:  In September 1919, an X-ray machine was installed at the cost of $5,000 in connection with which a very successful drive instituted financially covering the expense of the same, the latter through the efficient supervision of a committee especially appointed to supervise this drive.

 

The present hospital capacity is 50 beds, twenty private rooms, four rooms with bath connected, two wards three beds each, the remainder semi-private rooms, two beds in each room, serving an average of about 1,200 patients a year.

 

The operating and delivery rooms are completely equipped.  The electric treatment rooms are furnished with very modern equipment adapted for various treatment of disease such as the oxygen vapor generator, therapy lamp, kromayer quartz lamp, alpine sun lamp, universal mode electric bath cabinet and shower baths.  The laboratory is equipped with all the necessary apparatus.  The X-ray department is equipped with the latest and best appliances.  It is also equipped with both electrical and X-ray treatments having portable equipment.  The X-ray department with its interrupter less transformer, high tension current and a Collidge transformer is capable of doing excellent work both radiographic and fluoroscopic, and a great deal has been accomplished since its installment.

 

A General Hospital

 

Since establishment, St. Mary’s Hospital has been maintained as a general hospital accepting all kinds of patients except those suffering from contagious, mental or tubercular diseases.  The institution is non-sectarian.  No distinction is made as to creed or nationality, while the poor receive the same attention as those more fortunately situated.  The attending physicians and surgeons are men of high professional standing, some of them holding positions of public trust.  Acknowledgment is due them for their devotion to duty and their constant car, which has done so much to place St. Mary’s Hospital on a level among similar institutions.  The local attending physicians also comprise the teaching faculty of St. Mary’s Training school and are actively engaged in giving courses on instruction on the required subjects to the nurses in training.  In the conduction of the hospital and superioress, Venerable Sister Mary Suphrasia, the jubilarian, is ably assisted by the devoted services of fifteen Missionary Sisters, Servants of the Holy Ghost, as well as the services of nearly two dozen nurses and attendants.

 

 

 

Cross-References:

               No 1:  2007, Watertown Memorial Hospital website

               No 2:  1906, Incident with janitor

              

(1) June 26, 1907 - Watertown Daily Times - Miss Clara Lehmann of the town of Watertown, . . . was united in marriage at 5 o'clock last evening at the home of the bride's parents to Dr. R.L. Smith of Milwaukee Š The couple were unattended . . .  The ceremony took place under an arch of roses and lilies of the valley . . . The dining room decorative effect was pink and white. The lawn was brilliantly illuminated with Japanese lanterns.  The wedding, while a very pretty one, was attended by only the immediate relatives.  The bride has resided in the town of Watertown and this city all her life with the exception of about a year and a half spent at Albany, N.Y.  For the past few months Miss Lehmann and her sister Miss Lydia Lehmann, have been employed as trained nurses at St. Mary's hospital . . .

 

 

 

Table of Contents 

History of Watertown, Wisconsin

Index