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Watertown Hospital


Hospital Located in Former Pioneer Engine House


The Board of Street Commissioners took steps in mid-1887 to have the old Pioneer Fire House on South First Street converted into an emergency hospital.  This was the first hospital in Watertown and decreased the use of doctor’s offices for such use.  The former firehouse and home of the Ahrens steamer was used for such emergency hospital purposes until 1906, at which time the Schiffler home was converted over to a hospital and would evolved into St. Mary’s Hospital.



Hospital, Need for, 1895, Health Department.



Kiessling, Elmer C., Watertown Remembered, (Milwaukee) 1986, Pp. 209-210.


The first "hospital" in Watertown, set up by Dr. T. P. Shinnick around 1902, was a single room in a house on First Street, across from the hotel. The city granted $100 to equip it and paid the rent. In winter it remained unheated until a patient arrived. Five years later Doctors Shinnick, E. J. Eichelberg and C. J. Habhegger bought a large house at Main and Concord and converted it into the first real hospital. In 1914 the Missionary Sisters, Servants of the Holy Ghost, of Techny, Illinois, purchased the building and named it St. Mary's. They built a new hospital, enlarged it, and ran it for 50 years.


When the city acquired it from them in the 1960s, it was renamed the Watertown Memorial Hospital. Early in 1971 the impressive $4 million, 103-bed, acute care hospital was opened.



   Watertown Daily Times, 12 07 1905


Last Saturday Drs. Shinnick and Habhegger removed a cancer from each breast of a lady from Green Bay, the operation being performed at a relative's home in 4th street. The operation was a most successful one, and the lady is getting along nicely. Her husband and her sister from the town of Waterloo, were here at the time of the surgery, and remain here during her recuperation.



02 14          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 should endorse the addition 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.    WDT



09 20          A survey by the American Hospital Association shows that general hospital services in Watertown were used up to 73.5 percent of maximum last year. There was more frequent call made upon them than there was upon such facilities in most parts of the United States, where general hospital beds were in use 71.7 percent of the time.  In the State of Wisconsin, the average occupancy was 71.2 percent.  In Watertown, the American Hospital Association survey shows, St. Mary's Hospital, which has 83 beds, had an average daily occupancy of 61. It admitted 3,099 patients in the year.   WDT



06 16       Highland House in Waterloo opens   WDT



08 22          Watertown Memorial Hospital's new $26.5 million construction project completed.


Multimillion dollar project is accompanied by a clinic which is scheduled to open in the coming weeks in the new ISB Community Bank building in Ixonia and a new clinic facility in Juneau.  New surgical wing and there is a state of the art vascular suite.  New Picture Archival and Communications System provides digital images of all patient archives, including X-rays, reports and other vital information.  New MRI equipment and related computer equipment.  WDT



               No 1:  Robert Lindemann, 50 year employee