Springfield City Hospital

The Springfield City Hospital was located in Springfield, Ohio along High Street and was in operation from 1931 to 2011.

The evolution of Springfield’s City, and later Community Hospital began with the dedication of the 15-bed, $40,000 Mitchell-Thomas Hospital in 1887 and on June 27, 1903 when more than 2,000 bowed their heads in prayer at the laying of the Vermont granite cornerstone at Selma Road and East Street at the new City Hospital.2 Oliver S. Kelly quipped that “in behalf of sick and suffering humanity, I lay the cornerstone of this hospital.” The profane nature of the comments left spectators were left speechless and were visible moved. It was a similar scene when the Mitchell-Thomas Hospital was built – with the land at East Main Street and Big Four Railroad donated by Ross Mitchell, structural construction money donated by John Thomas and John Snyder who had left a $100,000 endowment fund to care fo the sick poor.

Voters in 1928 voiced their opinion with a 65% majority to issue $1.8 million in bonds for a new and larger hospital for a growing Springfield.2 The existing facility was overcrowded, with patients wheeled into hallways for treatment.

But on July 6, 1929, a committee of the Clark County Medical Association filed a lawsuit in the Clark County Common Pleas Court, stating that the Hospital Common that desired a hospital at Main Street and Burnett Road had no legal authority to do so.3 The decision, they noted, should be left up to the City Commission and mayor. The Association also argued that the location was “unaccessible, uneconomical, unsanitary and not fitted to meet hospitalization needs,” and that the railroad tracks and the traffic signals in the area would slow ambulances. During that year, 45% arrived on foot, 45% by streetcar and 5% in an automobile.3 The Association argued that the new site was located too far from public transportation.

Dayton Judge William White ruled in the Association’s favor on January 18, 1930, and the city decided it would not appeal the decision.3 The Retail Merchants’ Association asked the city to move with “all possible dispatch,” stressing jobs in an economy that was quickly souring. By mid-February 1930, the commission had invited people to make proposals for the location. Locations considered included the southeast corner of St. Paris Pike and Harding Road, Bechtie Avenue at the old Indian mound, Dayton Avenue and High Street, the southeast corner of Limestone and Cassilly streets and Greenmount Cemetery. On March 3, the commission choose the Winwood, Nicodemus and Gordin properties at the southeast corner of High Street and Burnett Road in a four to one decision. Commissioner Lewis L. Miller was “unalterably opposed” to location, stating that was too far from Fountain Square and that the city had picked “a dark horse” – but had declined to offer up a better solution.

The new City Hospital opened in 1932.6

In 1966, City Hospital was renamed The Community Hospital after changing from a city-controlled facility to a not-for-profit that was privately owned.4 It was in that year that the hospital – along with Mercy Hospital, requested a $6 million bond issue to construct additions. The measure passed, and the east wing of Community Hospital was completed in 1971.

A year after the renaming, Community and Mercy attempted to reduce healthcare costs and duplication of services, agreeing to consolidate all maternity services at Community and pediatric services at Mercy.4

Another expansion occurred in the late 1970s after a joint plan for long-range health needs of Springfield was developed between the two hospitals.4 The 1976 plan called for expansion of the existing facilities to introduce new services and procedures and to construct new patient rooms. The end result was a $48 million expansion project at both hospitals.

The partnership between the two hospitals was solidified even further when Community Hospital and Mercy Health Partners completed two years of planning and negotiations to merge into one organization: Community Mercy Health Partners, a deal that was finished on July 1, 2004.4

In May 2006, Community Mercy Health Partners signed a development agreement with the city to construct a new hospital in downtown adjacent to the cancer center.4 The new Springfield Regional Medical Center opened on November 13, 2011.7

An auction of the interior contents of the City Hospital was held from April 17 to April 20, 2012.Demolition began the week of October 28.7

Community Hospital School of Nursing

The Community Hospital School of Nursing, later known as Springfield Regional School of Nursing, was an affiliate of Community Mercy Health Partners, which offered a Diploma in Registered Nursing.5 Started in 1904, the school received the National League for Nursing Accreditation in 1953 and students began receiving college credits from a regionally accredited cooperating university in 1970. Thirty years later, Urbana University offered general education courses on the School of Nursing’s campus.

On June 30, 2012, the Springfield Regional School of Nursing closed and the RN program was merged to Clark State Community College in Springfield.5 The last class to graduate was on May 8.

Digest

  • Name: Springfield City Hospital
  • Location: High Street, Springfield, Ohio
  • Years of Significance: 1931, 1971
  • Status: Demolished

Further Reading

  1.  The new Springfield Regional Medical Center at UrbanUp

Sources

  1. Mason, Everdeen. “Former hospital’s contents to be auctioned off in April.” News-Sun [Springfield] 29 Mar.2012: n. pag. Web.
  2. Strafford, Tom. “City Hospital’s dedication impressive.” News-Sun [Springfield] 18 July 2011: n. pag. Web.
  3. Strafford, Tom. “Looking Back: Hospital location caused furor in 1929.” News-Sun [Springfield] 11 July 2011: n. pag. Web.
  4. “The History of Community Mercy Health Partners.” Community Mercy Health Partners. Catholic Health Partners, 30 Mar. 2012. Web. 15 Aug. 2012. Article.
  5. “Springfield Regional School of Nursing.” Community Mercy Health Partners. Catholic Health Partners, 5 July 2012. Web. 16 Aug. 2012. Article.
  6. “Looking Back In 50 Years.” Springfield Paper 20 July 2011: n. pag. Web. 16 Aug. 2012.
  7. Cooper, Michael. “Community Hospital demo starts.” News-Sun [Springfield] 30 Oct. 2012: n. pag. Web.