ebook  History of Watertown, Wisconsin


St. Mary’s Hospital

Founded and Opened in 1906


Missionary Sisters, Servants of the Holy Ghost


Watertown Memorial Hospital


Watertown Regional Medical Center



1906:  The First Hospital – the Schiffler Residence

1914:  Sisters took over hospital

1918:  First wing built

1937:  Second wing added, Schiffler home removed




The proposal of the health officer to occupy the old engine house on First Street as an emergency hospital, provided the privilege is granted by the council, meets with some opposition, especially from those living and doing business in the vicinity.


If it should be the intention, as is supposed, to care for patients with infectious diseases, the central location of the building would make jeopardizing, no doubt, to the general health of the city.  On the other hand, cases here of persons away from their homes needing urgent and immediate medical attention, or particularly from accidents, which are the cases the health officer wishes to provide for, are not numerous enough to make it worthwhile to go to the outlay and troubles suggested.  We believe not more than three or four such cases have occurred in the city for the past six or seven years, and in case of great emergency the marshal’s office would, we think, meet all the requirements wanted.     WR




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 . . . .



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



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





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.



That Watertown Sanitarium, while not yet fully equipped in all respects, is open for treatment of a limited number of cases of acute or chronic disease.


Neat steam heated rooms, electric light and the best of table board, with good nurses, German and English, can be had at from $7.00 to $14.00 a week.


Cases of Cancer, Lupus, Tuberculosis, and Scrofula are cured by our methods of treatment.


Special treatment for Rheumatism, acute or chronic Neurasthenia or Nervous exhaustion in all degrees given speedy relief.


Club feet and other deformities of children treated by latest and most successful methods.


Most satisfactory treatment for Piles, Fistula, and all Genito-urinary troubles.  Cases of stricture cured without pain, and often without detention from business.


Ladies desiring a quiet home during confinement will receive special care; and all diseases of women, treated by most approved and satisfactory means.


Patients who so desire can have rooms and care and be attended by their own physician.


Cross reference note:  The city council by ordinance April 14, 1903, established a hospital in a building at 116 S. First Street, the precursor to St. Mary’s on East Main.




Isn’t it time that our dinky emergency hospital was put in shape and kept in condition for sick or injured patients who are strangers in the city or have no home to which they can be taken.  The building should be remodeled by the removal of the large double doors in front, which was necessary when the building was used for fire engine house (*) and the lower floor divided into rooms, so that there might be a reception room, a kitchen and closet, and the second story, which should be reached by an elevator, divided into two or more wards, and provided with a water closet and lavatory.  The building, at present, is not an inviting place into which to take the sick or injured and the public sentiment of the city would endorse the action of the council in appropriating a few hundred dollars for making the needful changes.


And it might not be amiss to call attention to the fact, that there is neither a private or public hospital in the city and the necessity for early action in the direction indicated.    WR


(*) Cross reference note:   In 1866, a “commodious Engine House” was erected at 116 South First Street for the accommodation of the Pioneer Engine Company.  It was of brick, 28x32 feet in size.  The city council by an ordinance of April 14, 1903 established a hospital in the building now used as a garage in (116 S.) First Street



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





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       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



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.



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..



   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.



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 . . .



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.



04 01       Skin graft operation performed by Dr. Habhegger  


08 07       Seven pieces of birch furniture donated  


12 11       X-Ray machine installed   WG






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



06 24       Lorenz operation; local physicians performed   WG



08 05       Nurses ride in Homecoming parade



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



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




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



         Citizens Help Hospital

The management of St. Mary's Hospital and Training School for Nurses take this means of expressing their heartfelt appreciation and gratitude to the good people of Watertown whose generosity went to make the hospital's first annual donation day a success.


The interpretation of our citizens' attitude on this occasion can only incite the superintendent and management to emphasize their willingness to even better care for the poor and afflicted ones who come under their care during the year.  The committee who assisted by giving their time and efforts to this work can rest assured that their unsolicited services will be rewarded by the personal satisfaction they must know could only be consummated by this self sacrifice on their part.  The hospital authorities feel specially indebted to the press for their persistency in bringing this matter before the public.


Following is a list of the donors:  Schempf Bros. Co., sheets; W. F. Brandt & Sons Co., $25 worth of merchandise; Eugene Meyer, 2 barrels of apples; Schempf Drug Co., syphon, ice cream; Brennecke Drug Co., stomach pump; Carl Nowack, table, easel, porch chair; L. C. Brendel, box of oranges; Hertel & Hoffmann, 2 bath robes; A Friend, groceries and a barrel of apples; Fred Kusel, barrel of apples; Fred Bittner, groceries; John Habhegger Co., case of eggs; Miss L. Grossmann, chair, bread box, bed spread; Mrs. M. F. Blumenfeld, blankets; Mrs. E. Lehmann, two brass trays; Miss Ella Messer, two trays; Mrs. F. A. Solliday, feather pillows; Paul Volkmann, potatoes; Miss L. Marquardt, chickens, eggs and groceries; Mrs. E. J. Mathews, eggs and chickens; Mrs. Charles Schiebel, clock.


FRUIT AND CANNED GOODS.  Mrs. J H. Ott, Mrs. F. C. Hartwig, Miss L. Marquardt, Mr. and Mrs. J. F. Prentiss, Mrs. Theo. Prentiss, Mrs. G. W. Norton, Mrs. A. Frattinger, Mrs. Frank Exner, Mrs. T. F. Shinnick, Mrs. D. Schwieger, Mrs. G. Buchheit, Mrs. E. Schempf, Mrs. O. E. Meyer, Mrs. E, Shakshesky, Mrs. N. C. Daniell, Miss Mary Shinnick, Mrs. A. Goeldner, Mrs. I. L. Henry, Mrs. Louis Schmidt, Mrs. Emil Tanck, Mrs. John Thauer, Mrs. C. J. Salick, Mrs. O. C. Hahn, Mrs. F. A. Solliday, Mrs. F. J. Sabin, Mrs. Ferd Schmutzler, Mrs. O. L. Forkenbridge, Mrs. C. E. Frey, Mrs. Edwin J. Schoolcraft, Mrs. L. Schempf, Mrs. H. J. Donner, Mrs. W. S. Williams, Mrs. A. B. Liebermann, Mrs. G. W. Henry.


TOWELS AND LINENS.  Mrs. Max Kusel, Mrs. M. F. Blumenfeld, Mrs. F. E. Woodard, Mrs. J. Throne, Mrs. C. A. Skinner, Mrs. N. C. Daniell, Mrs. Frank Exner, Mrs. J. H. Otto. Mrs. A. A. Frattinger, Mrs. W. Woodard. Mrs. Max Rohr, Mrs. John Schempf, Mrs. W. A. Beurhaus, Miss L. Grossmann, Mrs. Charles Miller, Miss M. Maldaner, Mrs. E. Geise, Mrs. H. Griffin, Mrs. I. L. Henry, Mrs. F. C. Hartwig, Miss Ella Wilder, Mrs. F. J. Sabin, Miss Ella Winkenwerder, Miss Nellie Needham, Miss. J. Needham, Mrs. H. Melzer, Mrs. L. Schempf, Mrs. L. Parks, Mrs. A. B. Liebermann, Mrs. G. W. Norton.


CASH DONATIONS.  Mrs. H. Mulberger, Mrs. W. C. Stone, Mrs. John Throne, Mrs. M. Mulberger, Miss E. Mulberger, Mrs. A. W. Meyers, Davis Film Exchange, Mrs. Needham.




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.



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



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




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.




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.  



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








The new St. Mary’s hospital is now nearing completion and when finished will be one of the finest and best equipped hospitals in middle Wisconsin.  It certainly is a building that our city ought to feel proud of.  The rates are reasonable and the Sisters, nurses and physicians are doing all they can to make it comfortable and convenient for the patients.  Some people may say “It’s a Catholic institution and they show preference to the Catholic people,” but this is not true; the good Sisters and nurses treat all alike, which can be proven by the many non-Catholics who have visited the place.


There is but one spirit lacking in the erection of this wonderful institution and that is the spirit of the local people and of the surrounding country in helping it along.  Of course there are a great many who have already done their share, but there are quite a number of unfurnished rooms which could be furnished by some of our prominent and wealthy families, clubs or lodges.  Hospitals in other cities were furnished completely by the local people, and as we understand it, it took but a very few days in which to complete the task.  Why not prove to our neighboring cities that we can do the same.


There are a great many farmers who could do their share in donating vegetables, etc., which would greatly help in defraying expenses.


Supposing sickness should occur in their families which would compel them to be removed to a hospital.  Where would we take them had we no hospital here?  Our first advice would be Milwaukee.  Think of the extra expense going back and forth, the inconveniences and then the distance away from your loved ones.  With the completion of our new hospital you will be able to bring your sick here within thirty or forty minutes from any part of the surrounding country, and be with them at all times.  Is this not worth a fortune to both the local people, the people from the country and neighboring towns?


There are a great many transient people who are taken sick enroute, railroad and automobile accidents, who are brought here for treatment.  Take for instance, the accident at the Commercial hotel last Friday, and the case of one of the members of the Jackie band who was taken sick on the train while on his way to Watertown.  What would we have done without a hospital?  Watertown ought to feel proud to think it has an institution in which they are now nursing one of Uncle Sam’s proud Jackies back to health.  It is a wonderful thing and every loyal citizen, both in the city and country, ought to give the good cause a helping hand.  Let not religion interfere when there is a chance to save a human life.


Think of our wounded boys “over there.”  See what the hospitals, nurses and physicians are doing for them and we are sure everyone will gladly give a helping hand when called upon to do their bit.     The Watertown News, 20 Sep 1918




Although everyone enjoys the warm weather and the bright sunshine, about three weeks before Christmas we all began to wish for snow, so that Santa Claus could bring our presents in his reindeer sled.  Then one Sunday afternoon Mother Goose shook her feather-bed and our wish was granted.  We awoke the next morning to find the ground covered with a beautiful mantle of white.  Of course, to the collegiate [students at NorthWestern College] this was a pleasing sight, but for the students of the Preparatory Department it meant, “Get the snow shovels out!”  How much nicer everything appeared in its new coat of white.  The college park is especially picturesque in the evening.  The many lights in the dormitory cause the tall pine trees to throw dark shadows on the white background, bringing out a beautiful contrast.  Beyond the college hill the dark waters of the Rock River flow between banks of white, winding among the trees above the banks.  Already the students are awaiting the time when the ice will be solid enough for skating. 


The campus also makes a much better impression now, with the new hospital in the back ground.  This building is three stories high, built of red brick, and is a decided improvement over the old frame structure.  At night it looks especially nice with the many lights shining out on the snow covered earth. But for all its beauty I do not believe there is one of us who would like to be taken there.    (The Black and Red [Northwestern College], 01 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.      WDT






    1929 view                Training School for Nurses diploma, Agnes Caughlin





A picture containing text, outdoor, road, sign

Description automatically generated  





St Mary’s Hospital’s new $132,000 addition was dedicated at appropriate ceremonies at the hospital chapel, located in the new addition, Friday afternoon.


His Excellency, the Most Rev. Samuel A. Stritch, archbishop of the Milwaukee archdiocese, officiated at the dedication, assisted by a large number of clergymen.


The ceremony was conducted in the presence of a large number of persons who filled the chapel and the corridor nearby.


Archbishop Stritch, in a short talk in the chapel, commended the Sisters for the efficient manner in which they have conducted St. Mary’s hospital and lauded their courage in erecting so fine an addition.


“I have heard many favorable comments about this hospital,” the archbishop stated at one point of his address.  “The new facilities which the new addition will afford will make it possible for the Sisters to achieve even greater attainments,” the archbishop predicted.


A hospital too often is just taken for granted, just as water, electricity and many other every day necessities are taken, Archbishop Stritch said in another part of his address. “We do not realize how valuable it is until we become ill and need its services.”  Often times, too, the fine charitable work the Sisters, who are serving without compensation, are doing is not realized.  “The hospital represents one of the finest creations of Christian charity,” he declared.


Assisting Archbishop Stritch were the archbishop’s assistant, the Rev. Roman Atkielski; Rev. Francis Xavier Schwinn, of St. Henry’s parish here; Rev. Fr. Hess of Waterloo; Rev. Patrick Haggerty, C. S. C., of St. Bernard’s parish here; Rev. John Devers, C. S. C., of Sacred Heart College here; Rev. Alfred Wiemer of St. Henry’s parish here; Rev. Edward Malloy, C. S. S. R., rector of the Redemptorist Seminary of Oconomowoc; Rev. Ray Miller, C. S. S. R.; Rev. Fr. Zingen of Jefferson and Rev. Edward Hertel of Waterford.


The growth of St. Mary’s hospital is truly a story of achievement.  The beginning of St. Mary’s hospital dates back to 1906, when Dr. T. F. Shinnick, now of Beloit, and Dr. C. J. Eichelberg of Reeseville took over the Charles Schiffler residence and remodeled it into a hospital.  Until the new addition was built, the building continued to serve as the maternity section of the hospital.


The Sisters took over the hospital on January 6, 1914.  Plans were soon launched for more room and better facilities.  In September of 1918 more room was provided by a new building containing 38 rooms.


As the years passed even this became crowded and during the last few years the over-crowded condition became acute.  As high as 18 beds had to be placed in the hospital to accommodate the patients.  The new addition provides 37 additional beds.


The entire sum of $132,000 has been borrowed by the Sisters.  While the burden on the Sisters is great, the Sister Superior and the other Sisters felt that the situation had advanced to the point where there was nothing more to do but to erect an addition, thus providing Watertown and this entire community with a hospital second to none for a city this size







05 28            Watertown’s First Nurses Aide Class 



09 27       AUXILIARY OF HOSPITAL to Open Season

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






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




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




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



-- --           PERSONNEL POLICIES BOOKLET     Link to pdf file  



Officers of the Watertown Memorial Hospital Association elected.   WDT



05 17       “OUR BABY’S FIRST SEVEN YEARS” Record Book

A picture containing text, person, old, group

Description automatically generated         Text

Description automatically generated

Sponsored by Watertown area businessman

Copy presented by Mrs. Edward Sadowski, R.N., supervisor of Watertown Memorial Hospital obstetrical department.

Mrs. Jerry Biefeld, R.N., Mrs. Jim Klinger, Sadowski, Mrs. Martin Jaeger, Mrs. Jim Behling, R.N.



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




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.




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



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



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



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.



Paul C. Kehrer last night was elected president of the Watertown Memorial Hospital Association at a meeting of the board of directors which elected a slate of officers to serve until the annual meeting of the total membership is held.  That meeting is scheduled for late in April. Elected last night were:  Paul C. Kehrer, president; Robert E. Wills, vice-president; Catherine Jean Quirk, secretary, re-elected; Arthur W. Hilgendorf, treasurer.



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.



Mrs. Raymond P. Welbourne of Watertown has been named honorary chairman of Watertown Memorial Hospital’s current fund drive to raise $400,000, it was announced today by Paul C. Kehrer, president of the board of directors. “Mrs. Welbourne, the unanimous choice of the board, was asked to serve and has graciously accepted,” said Mr. Kehrer. “Her husband, the late Dr. R. P. Welbourne, was largely responsible for the medical excellence achieved in this community as a result of his 12 years of practice here.


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.



A picture containing text, outdoor, house

Description automatically generated        A picture containing text, outdoor, black, old

Description automatically generated



A giant step forward in the improvement of the Watertown Memorial Hospital was announced today, with the engagement of the firm of Durrant and Bergquist, architects.  The announcement was made by William Loeb, a member of the hospital board of directors, and chairman of the Building and Grounds Committee.  The architectural firm, based in Watertown and in Dubuque, Iowa, has had extensive experience in designing hospitals, schools, nursing homes, churches, court houses and other public buildings throughout Wisconsin, Iowa and Illinois.




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



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



A picture containing text, sky, outdoor, road

Description automatically generated          A picture containing text, outdoor, street

Description automatically generated



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



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




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



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




The board of directors of the Watertown Memorial Hospital Association announced today that it has retained the services of S. C. Smiley & Associates, a Minneapolis, Minn., based firm of architects, to begin immediately the preparation of schematic design studies for a new hospital for the Watertown community.  Following an exhaustive study and survey by the association’s building and grounds committee this firm was selected as one having the best record of successes in designing and supervising the construction of hospitals of the size being considered for Watertown.


04 14       Hospital News and Views column, WDT



A Hill-Burton Grant of $1,066,000 has been approved for the Watertown Memorial Hospital Association for construction of a new hospital to accommodate 84 general beds and 70 long term beds, according to word today from the office of Congressman Robert W. Kastenmeier in Washington, D. C.  The application for the grant was signed by Paul H. Kehrer, president of the hospital association here.  It had been pending for some time.  Total cost of the Watertown project is listed at $2,700,500.



Construction of a new 94 bed hospital in Watertown will commence before July 1 of next year, with the hospital scheduled to be completed and occupied in the summer of 1970, it was announced last night at the annual meeting of the Watertown Memorial Hospital Association, held at the Municipal Building.  The cost of the hospital is estimated at $3 million, with 40 per cent, or $1,200,000 to be provided by the federal government under the Hill-Burton Act.  Of the remaining estimated $1,800,000 needed, from $700,000 to $ 1,000,000 is scheduled to be raised in a fund drive and the balance will be borrowed.



Robert Wills last night was elected president of the Watertown Memorial Hospital Association at a meeting of the board of directors held following the annual meeting of the association at the Municipal Building.  Wills succeeds Paul Kehrer, who had been president since February of 1964, succeeding Erwin C. Bilse.  Kehrer declined reelection.  Wills, along with Andrew McFarland, own and operate Busse’s Pharmacy; and Kehrer is president of the Watertown Savings & Loan Association.  Wills had been vice president.  He was succeeded in this office by Raymond Kaercher, president of the Globe Milling Company.




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.



The Watertown Memorial Hospital Fund Drive to raise $800,000 needed in connection with the construction of a new hospital here is off to a flying start.  At last night’s “Kick-off” dinner, held at the high school gym, it was announced that $208,500 already has been pledged.  This includes $40,370 pledged by the employees at the hospital.  It was announced last night that the pledge goal of $40,000 for the 144 full time employees was “over the top.”



The total pledged in the Watertown Memorial Hospital campaign reached $422,350 Thursday night when 35 members of the advance gifts committee met at Elks Hall and posted an additional $122,350.  Industrial gifts accounted for $70,000 with Brandt Automatic Cashier Co. pledging $30,000, G. B. Lewis Company, $20,000 and Durant Mfg. Co., $20,000.  At an earlier report meeting Lindberg Hevi-Duty, which has a plant in North Carolina where a hospital campaign is also being conducted, pledged $25,000.



The goal of $800,000 in the Watertown Hospital Fund Drive has been exceeded by $48,675.37, it was announced last night at the victory celebration held at the high school gym.  The figure of $848,675.37 was dramatically revealed on large cards held by 11 Watertown Memorial Hospital nurses, all dressed in the white uniforms of their profession.  The figure was unfolded with the “7” first, the “3” next, the period next, etc.  The large crowd of workers on hand broke into loud and spontaneous applause as the nurses from the stage revealed the figure.



Robert Wills, president of Watertown Memorial Hospital Association Board of Directors, today announced the appointment of Robert Franz, local business man in a directorship on the board of directors. Mr. Franz is a native of Watertown and has been quite active in community affairs. He is past president of the Watertown Rotary Club, president of Fin ‘N’ Tail Foods Inc. and president of Chef Pierre’s Caterers. Mr. Franz replaces William Loeb, who recently resigned due to heavy business commitments.



Three Watertown men who played a big role in the Watertown Hospital Fund Drive were singled out for special recognition at last night's dinner meeting of the Watertown Area Chamber of Commerce, held at the Legion Green Bowl.  Named "Citizens of the Year" were Robert Wills, president of the Watertown Memorial Hospital Association; and Dr. J.R. Casanova and Dr. Clarence Golisch, executive director of Bethesda Lutheran Home, both of whom were co-chairmen of the drive.  Wills and Casanova were presented with plaques by Mayor A. E. Bentzin.  Golisch was unable to attend last night's meeting.



Construction bids for the new Watertown Memorial Hospital Center were opened yesterday afternoon in the council chambers of the municipal building, but it was announced today that more detailed study of the bids will have to be made before any decisions are possible.  Seven general contractors, nine electrical contractors, and twenty-one mechanical contractors submitted sealed bids.  Apparent low bidders were the Maas Brothers Construction Company of Watertown, general electrical contractor, with a base $2,054,000; the Staff Electrical Company of Milwaukee, electrical contractor, with a base bid of $322,931; the Wesley Plumbing Company of Milwaukee, plumbing contractor, with a base bid of $249,500; and the W. & H. Heating and Ventilating Company of Milwaukee, heating and ventilating contractor, with a base bid of $479,800.



Ground was broken on Wednesday afternoon for Watertown’s new 120-bed hospital, to be erected on a knoll on the northeast part of the city, just beyond the highway 16 by-pass.  The ceremony was conducted on a dreary afternoon, with a drizzle before the program was completed.  Despite the poor weather, a large crowd was on hand for the ceremony.  The first shovel of ground was turned by Robert Wills, president of the Board of Directors of the Watertown Memorial Hospital Association.  Dr. J. R. Casanova, who was co-chairman of the successful finance drive, was master of ceremonies.  He introduced a large number of persons, some of whom gave brief addresses.



Strenuous efforts have been made this past year to induce more doctors to locate in Watertown, it was reported last night by Robert Wills, president of the Watertown Memorial Hospital Association, at the association’s annual meeting.  Wills said that the need for more doctors in Watertown is very real, and because it is very real, and because it is so acute, he urges everyone to help in any way possible.  Watertown residents, and residents of the hospital area, who have friends in medical schools, or in internships, were urged by him to try to induce them to locate in Watertown.  He said the association board has met with the local doctors, soliciting their help in bringing more medical men into the city.



01 25       BOND SALE

The B.C. Ziegler Company of West Bend, specialists in institutional financing, reported today that the sale of the $1,400,000 Watertown Memorial Hospital Association bond issue was highly successful.  One-hundred and fifty persons from Watertown and area purchased $450,000 in bonds.  The sale of this area was handled by Howard J. Griffin, resident manager of the Ziegler firm’s office in Fort Atkinson.  In charge of advance sales was Robert French, West Bend, assistant sales manager for the company.




Mrs. Lillie McCoy, C.R.N.A., will succeed Robert A. Workman, C.R.N.A., as chief anesthetist on the staff of the Watertown Memorial Hospital.  She is a 1950 graduate of Norwegian American Hospital School of Anesthesiology and has been on the staffs of Norwegian American Hospital, South Shore Hospital, and St. Francis Hospital, all of Chicago; and St. Luke's Hospital of Racine.  She has served on the board of The Illinois State Association of Nurse Anesthetists as Secretary and President.  She has also been on the Executive Committee for Infant Health and Welfare for the State of Illinois.  Mrs. McCoy's husband, Charles R., is Professor of Chemistry at Wisconsin State University, Whitewater.  They have a five year old son.


Robert Workman, C.R.N.A., has accepted the position of supervisor of the surgery department of the hospital succeeding Mrs. Louise (Bobbie) Hartman who has held that position since 1964.  Workman has been an anesthetist on the hospital staff since June, 1966.  His knowledge in this specialty is considered a benefit in his capacity as Surgical Supervisor.  Workman will be responsible for the complete operation of the hospital's surgical department.


It was with reluctance that the hospital accepted the retirement of Mrs. Hartman who has served the hospital with dedication and faithfulness for many years.


 She began work as an R.N. in 1932.  She has returned intermittently between raising a family and since May, 1961 without interruption.



         Former St. Mary’s to be become retirement home




A group of people in a room

Description automatically generated with low confidence         A picture containing text, person, indoor, standing

Description automatically generated

“The finest patient-care improvement made to date at our community hospital.”


The service was established so that patients whose conditions are potentially reversible during a critical phase of illness may receive highly specialized and concentrated care.  Exceptionally skilled nursing care services under medical supervision will be provided within the unit around the clock.  The most advanced electronic monitoring and treatment equipment will be immediately on hand. All known life-saving supplies and medications will be available within the room.



A picture containing text, outdoor, ground, factory

Description automatically generated          A building that has been destroyed

Description automatically generated with low confidence       125 Hospital Drive, Watertown

    Constructed by Maas Bros.

Scroll through image set within portfolio





Description automatically generated with medium confidence 

Watertown's new $6,000,000 area health care center is underway on a 44-acre site on Little Street.


The new $4,000,000 105-bed new general hospital designed by S. C. Smiley Co., Minneapolis, and under general contract to Maas Bros., Watertown.


The new hospital, already erected, is owned and will be operated by the Watertown Memorial Hospital Association, which sold the present hospital downtown, to the Como Corporation, Appleton.


When the old hospital is vacated it will be operated by them as a residential care unit.


In the middle is the new 12-unit medical-dental building, and to the right the new 130-bed skilled nursing home, both of which are being built by Como.


A helicopter pad is shown between the clinic and the hospital.


All three new buildings are compatible in design, and the same face brick will be used throughout.  All are easily expandable.


The design of the nursing home will be similar to the Heritage Home built by Como in Beaver Dam.  The clinic will connect with both the hospital and the nursing home by an enclosed surface walkway.  Ample parking is provided for each of the buildings.  The entire project is scheduled for completion in early 1971.



          for the new extended care nursing home and doctor’s clinic

A group of men holding shovels

Description automatically generated with medium confidence          A picture containing outdoor, tree, sky, person

Description automatically generated       A picture containing outdoor, wheel, land vehicle, vehicle

Description automatically generated

The buildings will be located adjacent to the new Watertown Memorial Hospital now under construction.


David Nielsen, hospital administrative assistant; William Kwapil Sr., chairman of the buildings and grounds committee of the Watertown Memorial Hospital Association; Paul Kehrer, treasurer of the hospital association; Kenneth Mueller, president of the Como Corp, Appleton, which is constructing the building; Leo Bargielski, hospital administrator.



A picture containing text, person, indoor

Description automatically generated 

Mrs. G. Dean Melcher, route 3, Watertown, who gave birth to a son

Mrs. Ronald Prang, R.N., afternoon nurse supervisor,

Mrs. Romilda Rohr, R.N., obstetrician staff nurse



A group of people standing together

Description automatically generated with medium confidence  

Dr. Ameer Dixit Welcomed by members of the Civic Medical Recruitment Committee.  Dr. Ameer Dixit, general surgeon from Madison, was welcomed to Watertown by committee members; Charles Hertel, member of the recruitment committee and the Watertown Area Chamber of Commerce; Dr. L. W. Nowack, Chief of Staff of Watertown Memorial Hospital; Dr. Dixit, and Miss Catherine Jean Quirk, vice-chairman of the recruitment committee.


07 09       THE PANTSUIT IS IN

         A person wearing a mask and holding a computer

Description automatically generated with low confidence

The new look in hospital dress, the pantsuit



Mock explosion at Lindberg Hevi-Duty resulted in simulated injuries to 30 young persons, treated at the scene and then transported to Watertown Memorial Hospital.



          Other Projects Planned in Future

Painting of the exterior of the hospital building on East Main Street is underway under the direction, and at the expense of the building's new owners, the Como Corporation of Neenah who purchased it in June of this year.  The company, which will convert the building into a retirement home, has stated that considerable interior renovation is planned, some of which has been started, but most of which will be completed after the hospital operation is transferred to the new hospital on Little Street.   Pending the opening of the new hospital early next year the Main Street building still in use as a hospital is being leased from the new owners.




      A person looking at a roll of paper

Description automatically generated  

Brothers Earl Maas & Albert Maas Jr., Maas Bros. Construction, general contractor





A group of men in suits

Description automatically generated with low confidence

02 22 1971:  Earl Maas (center), Maas Bros. Construction

General contractor, Watertown Memorial Hospital

[L] Saul Smiley, architect, and [R] Jim Richards, project manager for the firm








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.




A picture containing text, person, indoor, posing

Description automatically generated    < Link to set of 8 images  

Julie Long as Mary; Tony Bilgrien, Baby Jesus; and Todd Triplett, Joseph.




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



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



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



A group of people posing for a photo

Description automatically generated        "We Care for Life"

New Logo and Slogan for Watertown Memorial Hospital.  Several employees of the hospital donned tee-shirts sporting the hospital's new logo and slogan.  The logo is an interwoven W and M, and the slogan, created by a hospital employee, is "We Care for Life".


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



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



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



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



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.”



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




Watertown Memorial Hospital will shut down its incinerator within the next year to comply with new air pollution rules.  Vice president Dennis Bennett said the hospital has chosen hauling infectious waste off site rather than upgrading its incinerator to meet new standards.  "We studied this over the past year and found it more cost effective to have our waste hauled," Bennett said.  Bennett said the hospital will consider other alternatives in the future, including the possibility of joining with other hospitals to share the incinerator.




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.



In preparation for the construction of a new medical office building, Watertown Memorial Hospital will have a new access road to its main and emergency entrances.  Once the road is completed, construction of the new 21,590-square-foot office building will begin.  With the permission of Beverly Terrace Nursing Home, a temporary parking lot for the existing medical office building will be located in front of the Beverly Terrace front parking area.  A new, permanent medical office building parking lot with 170 spaces will be constructed in front of the new office building after the construction project is completed in January of 1993.



Watertown Memorial Hospital must restructure health care in the community to meet changing social needs, an expert in hospital management said Monday.  David McKee, president of VHA-Wisconsin, spoke to more than 20 hospital administrators, personnel and members of the board of directors about the changing focus of health care.  McKee has been president of VHA-Wisconsin, a regional health care system of the Voluntary Hospitals of America, for five years.  He is involved with a national task force focused on meeting community needs.  “This is probably one of the most exciting times I can remember,” McKee said, noting that he became interested in health care many years ago as an orderly at age 15.  McKee is a consultant to health care officials in areas such as republics in the former Soviet Union, New Zealand and Eastern Europe..




Watertown Memorial Hospital will open its new $1.6 million medical office building Monday. Four practitioners will begin accepting patients Monday, with additional moves taking place as the office suites are completed, hospital officials said. Seven of the eight office suites are rented. The two completed portions of the building will open Monday. A third portion has been constructed but will remain closed until it is needed for further expansion, officials said. A fourth portion will be constructed at a later date. The building was originally expected to open in January.




Watertown Memorial Hospital is planning a 20-bed residential facility for elderly housing. Hospital officials presented their plans for the community based residential facility to the Watertown Planning Commission Wednesday afternoon.  The facility would have 19 living units for residents, including one double room that could be used for a married couple.  The facility would be built just north of the hospital on Hospital Drive.  John Graf, vice president of finance for the hospital, said the facility is intended for people who have medium to higher order physical and mental decline as a result of their advanced age.







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



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




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



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



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



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 __________________



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 __________________



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 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 __________________


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



Watertown Memorial Hospital's new $26.5 million construction project will be showcased with an open house Sunday afternoon.  Completion of this project is a major milestone in the hospital's history.  The year 2007 marks the 100th anniversary of hospital services in Watertown and it's also a year marked by significant developments.  The multimillion-dollar project is accompanied by a clinic which is scheduled to open in the coming weeks in the new ISB Community Bank building now in final construction stages just off of state Highway 16 and Marietta Avenue in Ixonia, and a new clinic facility in Juneau which is also scheduled to open later in the year.  The project is nearing completion and all of the facilities are expected to be placed into service in early September, making Sunday a rare opportunity for the public to see the surgical center before it is in full operation.



Watertown Memorial Hospital and UW Health in Madison today announced an affiliation that will link Watertown's independent community hospital and physician network to the extensive resources of UW Health.


Officials of the local Hospital and UW Health have been in discussions over the potential for a partnership agreement over the past 18 months, and those discussions are now moving quickly toward completion.


John Kosanovich, hospital chief executive officer, is conducting briefings with the hospital staff today and in the coming days will be meeting with the medical staff and others directly involved in local health care service.


Kosanovich said, “the mission of Watertown Area Health Services is to provide the best in health care to our patients. We firmly believe that an affiliation with UW will help us achieve that mission. We are excited about the possibilities created by a partnership between Watertown Memorial and UW and believe the patients in the communities we serve will benefit from the enhanced programs and services we will be able to provide through this collaboration.”


Dr. Jeffrey Grossman, senior associate dean for clinical affairs at UW School of Medicine and Public Health, said, “Watertown Area Health Services has shown a commitment to be a leader in both the quality of care and the delivery of excellent customer service. UW Health has built a national reputation in those areas, and so the idea of forming a partnership was appealing to us. ”


Kosanovich and Grossman said that, in addition to patient benefits, each organization would gain from working more closely with the other. UW Health's research and educational efforts would be strengthened through the link to the community, and it is expected that UW Health and Watertown will jointly work on advances such as electronic health records, continuous quality-improvement programs and the implementation of best practices in health care.


With the health care field changing rapidly, Kosanovich said he and the hospital board of directors believe this affiliation will ensure quality health care here and well into the future. He said these discussions “will allow us to chart our next steps so we can continue to compete in this highly competitive market and remain a viable and successful organization. The future of our organization is based on clinically excellent, patient centered care and that's exactly what this affiliation will give us.”


The hospital executive said the affiliation will not change control of local health care. It will remain independent and intensely local, he said. The hospital and its other services will continue to be led by a local board of directors.


Pat Caine, chairman of the hospital's board of directors, said, “One of the main tasks of the hospital board is to ensure this community asset is viable today and into the future. Our affiliation with UW allows us to offer additional services while maintaining local control of the hospital.”


Representatives from the medical staffs of UW Health and Watertown Memorial Hospital are also involved in the affiliation discussions and are focusing on clinical program development and collaboration. Leaders from both organizations are in the midst of finalizing details to expand and formalize areas of partnership. Kosanovich estimated that a definitive agreement would be signed early in 2008.


The hospital also plans to host a series of update meetings for the entire staff on Nov. 28. Those meetings will offer more information on the new strategic direction for the hospital and will offer more details on the progress of the affiliation talks.


The affiliation with UW hospital is an extension of the relationship that is already in place. The hospital has a partnership in place with UW Health for the Cancer Center in Johnson Creek, for heart and vascular services and in other areas.


The hospital has been moving aggressively forward in health care services. Earlier this year a new $26.5 construction project was completed. This project includes a new surgical wing, new heart and vascular suite, GI surgical rooms, minor procedure room, ambulatory care areas, a new MRI suite and a new intensive care unit.


In addition, the hospital has new partnerships with a hospitalist group, cardiologist group, perinatologist group and GI providers and others.


UW Health includes University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health; UW Hospital and Clinics in Madison; the brand-new American Family Children's Hospital, which opened in August; a variety of clinics throughout the region; and UW Medical Foundation, the largest group practice in the state. It also includes the state's only federally designated comprehensive cancer center. The School of Medicine and Public Health expends millions of dollars in clinical research studies, which offer opportunities for patients to receive the most advanced treatments available.


Watertown Area Health Services is an independent, non-profit provider of health care and well-living services to area communities. With Watertown Memorial Hospital as its cornerstone, Watertown Area Health Services has grown over the last decade to include comprehensive centers of excellence in women's health, bone and joint health and a brand new Heart and Vascular Center; clinics in Watertown, Juneau, Lake Mills and Johnson Creek; senior housing ventures in Watertown and Waterloo; mental health counseling; wellness and prevention services; a unique cancer care partnership at the UW Cancer Center Johnson Creek; Watertown Area Health Services has consistently ranked in the top ten percent in the country for patient satisfaction and has earned repeated recognition for its use of technology to promote the highest quality medical care.   Watertown Daily Times, 11 15 2007


___ 2008 __________________

A new partnership for the greater good

UW Health teams with Watertown


Two systems are better than one.  Emphasizing their common vision, leaders of Watertown Area Health Services (WAHS) and UW Health in Madison announced an affiliation that will link Watertown’s independent community hospital and physician network to the extensive resources of UW Health.


Although WAHS will remain independent, the new affiliation includes plans to expand the range of specialized health care services provided in Watertown to patients of the region.  If patients requite more advanced Kenner, they will have easy access to the comprehensive medical and surgical services available at UW Health.



February 27, 2008


On Monday, February 25, Watertown Area Health Services and UW Health said that the leadership of both organizations have approved the agreement that will link Watertown's independent community hospital and physician network to the extensive resources of UW Health.


Both organizations said the new relationship would make highly specialized services more accessible to Watertown-area residents without duplicating services. By working together, both Watertown and UW Health will be able to enhance primary and specialty care in a cost-effective manner.


John Kosanovich, CEO, said, “Watertown Area Health Services is very committed to keeping local health care strong. We firmly believe that an affiliation with UW Health will help us achieve our mission of providing the best in healthcare for our patients. This partnership will allow local residents convenient access to UW’s world class medical specialists, clinical programs, and health research.”


Dr. Jeffrey Grossman, senior associate dean for clinical affairs at UW School of Medicine and Public Health, said, “The opportunities for mutual benefit are considerable. This partnership will enhance care, medical education and research. ”


Kosanovich and Grossman agreed that the two organizations will jointly work on advances such as electronic health records, continuous quality-improvement programs and the implementation of best practices in health care.


The hospital and its other services will continue to be led by a local board of directors. With the healthcare field changing rapidly, Patrick Caine, Board Chairman for Watertown Area Health Services, said the affiliation will ensure quality healthcare in the community well into the future.  “Joining with UW Health will allow us to continue successfully competing in our region, and to do so on the basis of outstanding quality and service,” said Caine.


“This partnership is a model for how UW Health serves the people of Wisconsin through collaboration and sharing of resources,” said Donna Katen-Bahensky, president and CEO of UW Hospital and Clinics.  “I am delighted that we could join in this important endeavor.”


Representatives from UW Health and Watertown will be working behind the scenes over the next several months to develop an affiliation implementation schedule.


UW Health includes University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health; UW Hospital and Clinics in Madison; the brand-new American Family Children's Hospital, which opened in August; a variety of clinics throughout the region; the UW Paul P. Carbone Cancer Center; and UW Medical Foundation, the largest group practice in the state. The School of Medicine and Public Health expends millions of dollars in clinical research studies, which offer opportunities for patients to receive the most advanced treatments available.


Watertown Area Health Services is an independent, non-profit provider of health care and well-living services to area communities. With Watertown Memorial Hospital as its cornerstone, Watertown Area Health Services has grown over the last decade to include comprehensive centers of excellence in women's health, bone and joint health and a brand new Heart and Vascular Center; clinics in Watertown, Juneau, Lake Mills, Johnson Creek, Ixonia, and Waterloo; senior housing ventures in Watertown and Waterloo; mental health counseling; wellness and prevention services; a unique cancer care partnership at the UW Cancer Center Johnson Creek Watertown Area Health Services has consistently ranked in the top ten percent in the country for patient satisfaction and has earned repeated recognition for its use of technology to promote the highest quality medical care.


___ 2008 __________________


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


05 08       NEW NAME, UW Health Partners Watertown Regional Medical Center

Watertown Area Health Services will be known by a new name later this summer, a reflection of its affiliation with UW Health, headquartered in Madison.  The new name, UW Health Partners Watertown Regional Medical Center, will be implemented in August, according to John Kosanovich, president of the local health care organization.  Kosanovich made the announcement as part of the local hospital's celebration of National Hospital Week which has the theme of "Where Healing Happens Every Day."



Watertown Area Health Services has opened its new Ambulatory Care Center which will provide day surgery and other outpatient care.  The renovated area boasts 16 private rooms equipped with a private bathroom, something not available in the previous unit.  The center is conveniently located on the main level of the hospital, allowing for more privacy as the patient travels within the area from surgery to recovery.  In addition to the private rooms, the unit features Internet access, flat screen TV’s and modern conveniences that make the recovery process easier.  Specially trained nurses staff the floor and promote relationship-based care with patients and their loved ones.  The unit is designed with warm, soothing colors and custom lighting to create a relaxing and healing environment.    WDT




Three Watertown men who played a big role in the Watertown Hospital Fund Drive were singled out for special recognition at last night's dinner meeting of the Watertown Area Chamber of Commerce, held at the Legion Green Bowl.  Named "Citizens of the Year" were Robert Wills, president of the Watertown Memorial Hospital Association; and Dr. J.R. Casanova and Dr. Clarence Golisch, executive director of Bethesda Lutheran Home, both of whom were co-chairmen of the drive.  Wills and Casanova were presented with plaques by Mayor A. E. Bentzin.  Golisch was unable to attend last night's meeting.    WDT



The community is invited to celebrate the new medical partnership with UW Health with a Concert on the Lawn on Wednesday, Aug. 6, at Watertown Regional Medical Center on Hospital Drive.  The Wisconsin Singers and the UW Band will entertain guests from 6:30 to 8 p.m.  A light picnic supper will be served starting at 6:30 p.m.  Guests are asked to bring a picnic blanket to sit on.  Effective Aug. 1, Watertown Area Health Services will be changing its name to UW Health Partners Watertown Regional Medical Center.  “UW Health is one of the most widely respected health providers in the country, and we are thrilled to offer this unparalleled service to the community,” said John Kosanovich, CEO.  “We are proud to change our name to reflect our growing geographic reach and scope of services.”    WDT



UW Health Partners Watertown Regional Medical Center opened its newly remodeled boutique and meditation room as part of its last phase of construction.  The boutique is staffed by volunteers and all proceeds go to the volunteer organization to be used for scholarships and equipment pledges.  The newly constructed meditation room was completely funded by the volunteers.  The group has also helped fund equipment for pacemaker patients, wheelchairs for hospital entrances and lobby artwork, along with three scholarships to local students pursuing careers in the medical field.    WDT


___ 2009 __________________

03 24       Opening of new Neurology Center    WDT



Watertown Regional Medical Center celebrated the first anniversary of its affiliation with University of Wisconsin Health.


The local health care facility, formerly known as Watertown Memorial Hospital, officially changed its name to UW Health Partners Watertown Regional Medical Center on Aug. 1, 2008.


To help commemorate the first anniversary, Watertown Regional Medical Center will be hosting a Concert on the Lawn celebration on Thursday.


The complimentary event will start at 6 p.m. with a performance by the Wisconsin Singers.  Children's entertainment will begin at 6:30 p.m. and the UW Band will give its famous fifth quarter performance at 7 p.m.


Since its partnership with UW Health last year, Watertown Regional Medical Center has gone through a number of changes to increase access to specialty patient services and bring world class care to the area.  The hospital recently rolled out Wisconsin's first Telestroke program, which uses telemedicine to provide regional residents with 24/7 access to physician stroke specialists at UW Health.  This program's advanced telemedicine technology allows UW Health neurologists to interact with patients at the Watertown hospital and provide specialist consultation and care for stroke patients and their families.


Watertown Regional Medical Center has also expanded its heart and vascular center.  UW Hospital and Clinics is one of the nation's top heart and vascular providers.  The development of the heart and vascular center resulted in the region's first full-time community cardiologist as well as a state-of-the-art cardiovascular catheterization lab.


Other enhanced specialty services at Watertown Regional Medical Center include maternal and fetal medicine, spine care, a neurology center and advanced pain management interventional services.


Watertown Regional Medical Center was recently recognized as one of the nation's most wired small and rural hospitals by Hospitals & Health Networks Magazine, the official publication of the American Hospital Association.


Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society Analytics has also recognized the local health care organization for “stage 6 electronic medical record integration,” which has only been accomplished by 1 percent of hospitals nationwide.


UW Health Partners Watertown Regional Medical Center has other health campuses in Lake Mills, Waterloo, Juneau and Ixonia. The health care organization also operates the UW Cancer Care Center in Johnson Creek.


On the local level, UW Health Partners Watertown Regional Medical Center provides 716 jobs and directly brings nearly $76 million in revenue to the community.   WDTimes, 07 29 2009


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


___ 2011 __________________


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.



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 __________________


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 __________________



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 



Online pdf document, 8 pgs  



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.



    CEO from 1995-2015


___ 2017 __________________


JSonline article    


___ 2020 __________________


Watertown Regional Medical Center is proud to join the American Hospital Association and healthcare organizations around the country in celebrating National Hospital Week, which is observed May 10-15. Each May, National Hospital Week provides an opportunity to pause and honor the millions of healthcare professionals who dedicate their lives to taking care of people in their greatest times of need, and to recognize the positive difference hospitals and healthcare organizations make in the communities they serve.


“As our community continues the fight against COVID-19, the pivotal role our healthcare workers play in the well-being of society is clearer than ever,” said Richard Keddington, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of WRMC. “Their tireless efforts on the front lines of this disease and their commitment to quality care and patient safety year-round are critical to our mission of Making Communities Healthier. We proudly honor these heroes during National Hospital Week and commend their inspiring efforts to serve others.”


WRMC will be postponing celebrations marking the national observance until fall.


The hospital plays an important role in supporting the health and vitality of Watertown and the surrounding communities all year long. From welcoming 35 new providers and expanding services, to investing more than $1.5 million in new clinical technology and facility improvements, WRMC is committed to meeting the evolving health needs of the community and enhancing access to high quality care close to home.


As one of the region’s economic leaders, the organization employs more than 730 staff members and contributed more than $5.7 million in taxes to the local and state economies last year. Additionally, it is proud to sponsor a number of local community organizations and non-profits, including Lake Mills EMS, Rainbow Hospice, Waterloo EMS, Watertown Area YMCA and more. Ensuring that everyone has access to the high-quality and compassionate care they need is a top priority for the organization and fundamental to its mission. In 2019 alone, WRMC provided nearly $6.5 million of charity and other uncompensated care, regardless of patients’ ability to pay.


“Watertown and the surrounding communities are a wonderful place to call home, and we are privileged to have a significant impact on its health and economic well-being,” said Kim Erdmann, chair of WRMC’s board of trustees. “As we celebrate National Hospital Week amid unprecedented challenges this year and begin to look to the future, we are aware that healthcare – like other aspects of life – might look a little different. What will not change, though, is our mission and our commitment to this community. We will continue to put the health and well-being of our neighbors first, ensuring safe places of care and a healthier community for us all.”


___ 2021 __________________


Construction started on new rehabilitation and sports medicine clinic located inside the Medical Office Building next to the hospital.  A Maas Brothers Construction project.



A group of people posing for a photo

Description automatically generated 



Watertown Regional Medical Center (WRMC) is now offering robotic-assisted surgery using the da Vinci® X™ robotic surgical system.  This addition to the operating room provides surgeons and patients with another option for minimally invasive general and gynecological surgeries, including hernia repair, gallbladder surgery, hysterectomies, endometriosis, and more.



In another sign the delta variant surge of COVID-19 is challenging health care providers, Watertown Regional Medical Center said it is temporarily closing its urgent care so staff can assist in the emergency department.


“Due to a significant and sustained rise in Emergency Department patients (COVID and non-COVID related), we are temporarily reallocating resources from Urgent Care to the Emergency Department to help treat these patients in a more timely manner,” the hospital said on its Facebook page in a response to a question about the announcement.”


10 20       115 YEAR CELEBRATION

A picture containing sky, grass, outdoor, day

Description automatically generated


Watertown Regional Medical Center is celebrating 115 years of providing care for the people of Watertown and the surrounding communities this month.


Originally located on Main Street in the building formerly known as the Schiffler residence, the hospital, then called Watertown – St. Mary’s, first opened its doors on Oct. 1, 1906.


The hospital’s popularity was evident from the start, filling to capacity on only its second day of operation. This popularity would continue and on Jan. 5, 1914, a sisterhood took over control of the hospital from the physicians and decided to erect a new building adjacent from the original hospital.


Building a hospital during a World War wasn’t easy but the project was completed towards the end of 1918 and the new addition featured equipment that was said to be the best available at the time and second to none in the country.


In 1960, the Watertown Hospital Association and the City of Watertown, took control of the facilities and changed the name to Watertown Memorial Hospital. After more than a decade of planning, a new, 120- bed, hospital was created at its current location in the northeast part of the city, just beyond the highway 16 by-pass. After years of additions, including the most recent additions of Harvest Market and the state-of-the-art emergency and obstetrician departments, Watertown Memorial Hospital joined forces with LifePoint Health in 2015 and became Watertown Regional Medical Center.


In 2020, WRMC added 28 employed and affiliated providers, made more than $1.4 million in capital improvements, distributed a payroll of over $48 million to more than 700 employees and donated more than $5 million in services to those in need.



Watertown Regional Medical Center today announced that it is among 18 LifePoint Health hospital campuses and associated sites of care selected to become part of a new national health system called ScionHealth.


Watertown Regional Medical Center is currently part of LifePoint Health, which announced earlier this year plans to acquire leading post-acute provider Kindred Healthcare.  As part of that acquisition, the companies announced today that they intend to create ScionHealth, a new company that will be comprised of 61 long-term acute care hospitals from Kindred and 18 of LifePoint’s hospital campuses and associated sites of care – including Watertown Regional Medical Center.


As part of ScionHealth, Watertown Regional Medical Center will continue to have access to capital to invest in its facility and community, as well as resources and support to accelerate its ongoing efforts to enhance healthcare delivery and expand the services available in Watertown and the surrounding communities.


Watertown Regional Medical Center will remain a joint venture, with ScionHealth taking over the 80% stake from LifePoint Health and the Greater Watertown Community Health Foundation keeping their 20% stake. The Greater Watertown Community Health Foundation will continue to provide a local voice and leadership by retaining 50% of the board seats in this joint venture.  Pending regulatory approval and satisfaction of customary closing conditions, LifePoint and Kindred expect the launch of ScionHealth to be completed by the end of the year.



Dr. Panna Codner, a general surgeon with experience in a broad-spectrum of surgical procedures, has joined the general surgery clinic.  Codner joins Dr. Adam Dachman and Dr. Garrett Fleming at the general surgery clinic which provides surgical services using the latest technology and minimally invasive techniques.      WDTimes article  



Watertown Regional Medical Center officially became part of ScionHealth, a new company that launched Thursday following the finalization of LifePoint Health’s transaction with Kindred Healthcare.


Headquartered in Louisville, Kentucky, ScionHealth operates 79 acute and postacute care hospital campuses in 25 states. As announced in October, the new health system’s founding facilities include 61 long-term acute care hospitals from legacy Kindred Healthcare and 18 of LifePoint Health’s community hospital campuses.


___ 2022 __________________


Watertown Regional Medical Center has announced two community leaders, Dr. Brent Yaeggi and Tim Roets, have joined the board of trustees.  In addition to the new board members, a new board chairwoman, Kathy Wagner, and a new vice chairman, Jason Polzin have been appointed.


Yaeggi, WRMC’s immediate past chief of staff, is a podiatrist at Rock River Foot & Ankle, which has an office located in the medical office building attached to the hospital.


Roets is a long-time Watertown resident and the former chief of police for the Watertown Police Department.



Watertown Regional Medical Center has announced the addition of Dr. Ryan Vogel, medical and surgical retina specialist, to the medical staff.  Vogel will provide comprehensive treatments for retinal diseases like age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, retinal tears, macular holes, vitreous floaters, and retinal detachment.


04 05       eICU TECHNOLOGY

Critically ill patients at Watertown Regional Medical Center now have access to critical care doctors, 24/7, through the use of technology acquired by the facility.


The hospital’s representatives said the use of eICU technology in hospitals is a growing trend, much like the use of telehealth or “e-visits” in primary and specialty care.  The technology used at Watertown Regional Medical Center allows critical care doctors, called intensivist, to video chat with patients, family, nurses and fellow doctors, giving them secure access to assist in the care of critically ill patients.


This technology, according to the hospital, along with assistance from the hospitalist and specialty trained ICU nurses, allows the intensivist to diagnose and treat, providing the same level of care as if they were physically present at the hospital.



Watertown Regional Medical Center was recently named to Newsweek’s list of Best Maternity Hospitals 2022. This distinction recognizes facilities that have excelled in providing quality care to mothers, newborns, and their families. Based on information from the data firm Statista, the goal of this list is to help people pick the best place to achieve the happy outcome of a healthy child and a healthy mother.



Watertown Regional Medical Center announced that it has achieved the prestigious international Baby-Friendly designation after a rigorous review process conducted by Baby-Friendly USA, the organization responsible for issuing this certification in the United States.     WDTimes article



Watertown Regional Medical Center announced that Ryan Lessner has joined its team as the new executive director of human resources.  Lessner, who was born and raised in Watertown.    WDTimes article 



Watertown Regional Medical Center has launched a new remote care management program for patients with chronic conditions like hypertension (high blood pressure) and heart failure.  Using technology, the Cadence remote monitor delivers personalized care and intervention-as-needed, from the comfort of home by collecting, analyzing and responding to patient’s vitals.  Daily readings are then monitored by clinicians for changes in a patient’s condition and provide virtual care support when needed.    WDTimes article 



Watertown Regional Medical Center has announced the addition of electrophysiology to the services at the Heart and Vascular clinic.  Dr. Marcie Berger is a board-certified electrophysiologist who is available for appointments in Watertown.



Watertown Regional Medical Center now offers the VELYS™ Robotic-Assisted Solution, the latest advancement that helps orthopedic surgeons perform knee replacement surgery that is tailored to each patient with the goal to get patients back to the life and activities they love doing, faster.


“We are excited to announce we’ve received our VELYS Robotic-Assisted Solution for total knee replacements and have successfully completed our first procedure using the technology,” said Richard Keddington, CEO, Watertown Regional Medical Center. “The addition of this technology gives residents of Watertown and the surrounding communities access to the latest technology and improved outcomes.”


In 2019, there were approximately 900,000 primary knee replacements performed in the United States. Patients requiring this procedure are often looking for the latest technology as they aim for improved outcomes, increased movement, and shortened recovery time.


Dr. Jason Habeck, a fellowship trained orthopedic surgeon at Watertown Regional Medical Center, has prior experience using robotic-assistance and is now using the VELYS Robotic-Assisted Solution at Watertown Regional Medical Center to aid him in performing these procedures with increased accuracy.


“Every knee is different, as is every patient requiring a knee replacement procedure,” said Dr. Habeck. “This technology helps me perform a knee replacement with the use of precise data that’s tailored to each patient’s anatomy. Helping to ensure predictable results to improve outcomes, increase mobility, and help patients recover faster.”


The VELYS Robotic-Assisted Solution works in tandem with the ATTUNE® Knee System, which is an innovative knee implant designed to work more closely with an individual patient’s anatomy. The ATTUNE Knee can help increase stability and reduce pain, providing better range of motion and preventing the unstable feeling some patients experience during everyday activities, such as bending and walking up and down stairs.


With these systems working together, there is now a local option for patients who are seeking the latest technology designed to provide digital precision in knee replacement.


___ 2023 __________________


Bringing stability to their Pain Management Clinic with full-time providers.  Dr. Philip Conrardy and nurse practitioner Jeanne Denk.



Shammo is an interventional cardiologist who has been with the organization part-time for over 29 years.   Recently, he took a full-time position at the Watertown hospital as an interventional cardiologist, allowing him to see more patients in-clinic and perform more procedures in the newly renovated Cath lab.














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 Sisters order and the insignia of the medical profession was placed on the banquet table.


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



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. 




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.




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



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.



   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:



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.




Postcard postmarked 1908



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.



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.




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. 



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. 




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.




                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