City Hospital (Maple & Oak Lawn), Dallas, Texas

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(Updated January 19, 2004)



A City Hospital.

To the Dallas Times Herald.
     The erection of a city hospital, which is just now before the city council, is a matter of great interest to the people.
     The selection of a suitable site, the first work in the undertaking, is one of the utmost importance. In its selection, several points should be considered:
     First, location--It should be so located as to be as free as possible from malarial influence. It should be so located as to be easily accessible fro all parts of the city. It should be located in some neighborhood to which no possible moral objection can be raised.
     Second, size of ground--It is agreed by all physicians that he influences of sun and pure air are greatly beneficial to all patients who have reached the convalescent stage. Through their aid, recovery is rendered much more rapid and relapses reduced to a minimum. To build a hospital upon a small and circumscribed lot, thus denying patients the benign and invigorating influences of sun and air, would be the height of folly. The hospital should have grounds for promenades. It should have natural shade, where the convalescent could walk or sit, and draw fresh strength and vigor from nature's remedies.
     Third, cost--While due attention should be paid to economy in the purchase of ground and erection of the building, it would be a sore disappointment to the people of this city if the council should allow any "pennywise and pound-foolish" policy to guide them in the matter, which is of more real importance than anything at present engaging the attention of the city fathers.
     We need and want a hospital equal to the requirements of a large and rapidly growing city. We do not want a make-shift, but want to build a hospital as a permanent institution. We do not want to have to rebuild or move it within two, five nor ten years.
     We want a hospital that will be an honor, and not a reproach to the largest city in the state. A model and modern hospital to stand as a monument to the push and progressiveness of a humane and advancing people.
     The selection of site, the acceptance of plans, and the proper guarding of the fulfillment of contract, are all matters of great importance.
     Let the first step be properly taken, and let the following ones be as carefully guarded. T

- June 9, 1891, Dallas Daily Times Herald, p. 2, col. 2.
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Architects at Work Preparing Plans for
the Building.

     Under instructions from Drs. Briggs and Armstrong and Mr. Woodside, sub-committee on plans, a number of local architects are at work preparing plans and specifications for the new city hospital. The architects who have thus far entered the competition are Moad, Langdon, Flanders and Martin.
     The building is to be rectangular in form, on the cottage plan, with a court in the center.
     The hospital committee visited the property near the waterworks on Saturday and set apart ten acres out of the 40-acre tract owned by the city, for hospital purposes. There are to be separate wards for white and colored patients, all under one roof, and sub-wards for female patients. The ground selected begins at the northeast corner of the 40-acre tract referred to above.

- November 20, 1893, Dallas Daily Times Herald, p. 2, col. 1.
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To Furnish a Direct Route to the New

     Alderman Knight, Kendall and Lawhon met this morning at 11 o'clock and adjourned until 2 p. m., when they will go out to Maple avenue with a view to report to the council, the advisability of opening up that thoroughfare and Harwood street to Oak Lawn.
     These gentlemen were appointed a special committee at a meeting of the council held Saturday night. They are charged with the duty of interviewing property owners to procure right of way, either through Maple avenue, Harwood or Masten streets, so as to enable the city to build a direct thoroughfare to the new city hospital.

- December 18, 1893, Dallas Daily Times Herald, p. 8, col. 1.
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J. S. Thixton, the Lowest Bidder, Gets
the Contract.

     Mr. J. S. Thixton was the lowest bidder for the contract of building the new city hospital. The committee charged with he duty of considering the bids met yesterday afternoon, decided that Mr. Thixton's bid was the lowest, and recommended that he be given the contract. His bid reads as follows:
     I propose to furnish all material and do all work on the hospital for the sum of $13,900.
     Mr. Thixton is the contractor who built the Twelfth ward school, in some respects the handsomest school building in the city. The city council, last night, awarded him the contract to build the new city hospital.

- December 19, 1893, Dallas Daily Times Herald, p. 3, col. 2.
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Work on the Hospital.

     Ten wards of the new hospital are completed, with the exception of the tin on the roof.  Had it not been for the cold snap, this part would now also be finished.

- January 26, 1894, Dallas Daily Times Herald, p. 4, col. 2.
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An Institution That Will be an Honor to
the City.

     The new city hospital in North Dallas is about all under roof and ready for the plasterers. At the present rate of progress, the workmen will have the building completed and ready for occupancy within five weeks.
     The building will not only be equipped with all the latest sanitary suggestions, but will externally present a most agreeable appearance, which will be very greatly enhanced by the picturesqueness of the site and surroundings.

- March 12, 1894, Dallas Daily Times Herald, p. 6, col. 3.
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Dallas About to Occupy a New Home for
Her Helpless Sick--Model Wards
for Different Classes of Patients,
With Modern Conveniences.

     A year ago, a reporter pocked a way through mud and other obstacles to an old building on Lamar street and tried to realize that this rookery was considered the municipal hospital of a large city. The city physicians had said that it was utterly without necessary conveniences, proper sanitation, and could not claim the usual privilege of a surgical ward. The tired, though heroic matron, who combined the offices of housekeeper and lady manager with those of a day and night nurse, informed the newspaper representative that her assistants in the women's ward were ex-pauper patients who were scarcely on speaking terms with Aesculapius. The building itself, situated in a most undesirable part of the city for the purpose, where the proximity of a large freight depot brought the noise of trains and traffic, yet where the convenience of a pavement was an unknown luxury; the walls so filled with septic germs and the whole place so suggestive of disease, that the reporter felt, after leaving, that to undergo a personal fumigation, like Mr. Dolls, would not have been amiss.

* * *

     The TIMES HERALD afterward felt the great necessity to our city of a new hospital, in a different locality, and under different conditions, and began the good work of petitioning and insisting in behalf of the people of Dallas, and the result has been a success far beyond what might have been anticipated in the short space of time.
     The new hospital, just completed, is situated in the northern part of the city and surrounded by 65 acres of grounds, the building large enough to accommodate 220 patients. It is 234 feet long and two stories high, with male and female wards, maternity wards, wards for children and a surgical ward. There are accommodations also for colored patients, electric lights, a dead house, artesian water, from several good city wells on the grounds, for bathing, culinary and operative purposes, only needing a small engine to lift the water into the tanks; there is plenty of Trinity water for protection against fire and for lawn sprinkling. There are reception rooms, resident physicians' apartments, drug rooms, kitchens and wash rooms with private dining-room for officers and employes' apartments. The nursing department will be under the control of Miss Mary Baber, an experience trained nurse from St. Luke's hospital in New York, and it is intended to forma well organized nucleus from which a practical training school for nurses will be developed. An ambulance service will be organized upon the system used in the hospitals of large city, and in view of this, the council of last Saturday ordered one of the model ambulances for carrying sick and injured persons, and that will cost $475.

* * *

     A special and very important feature of the new hospital will be the private wards for pay patients, entirely removed from the other wards, and placed in the second story, over the administrative department. It is a well known fact that in large cities, persons with means find it most desirable to enter the large hospital for treatment, recognizing, also, the fact that the service and attention to the sick must be best there. These private apartments will be fitted with every comfort, and the patient has the privilege of the attention of any preferred physician. The hospital will furnish apartment, attendance, nurse, diet and medicine, every requirement, in fact, except the physician's services, for from $7 to $12 per week. These rates are obviously far less than could be obtained at a first class hotel, where board would be at least $2.50 per day, $2 a day for nurse, $1 for medicine, and $2.50 at the lowest, for a physician, making a sum total of $8 a day.

* * *

     With the possible exception of the Sealy Hospital in Galveston, these are the only private wards in any hospital in Texas. The blessing these private wards will be to strangers in the city, persons without permanent homes, or persons who require careful treatment, can scarcely be estimated. The entire building will be supplied by home firms, the furniture having already arrived, and it is anticipated that this new hospital will be opened on the 15th of this month. Dr. Armstrong will shortly petition the city council to appoint a staff of visiting physicians, whose services will be rendered gratis to the city. The grading and embellishing of ground, cutting out unnecessary trees, laying sidewalks and the placing of an iron fence are going forward with all possible speed, and it is hoped that the citizens of Dallas will go out and visit what, in time, will be one of the most attractive places about the city.

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     Dr. Armstrong considers that the citizens of Dallas re more indebted to the TIMES HERALD, excepting the services rendered by the Board of Aldermen, for their new city hospital, than to any other factor of assistance.

- May 8, 1894, Dallas Daily Times Herald, p. 3, col. 3-4.
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Added January 19, 2004:

The New City Hospital a Model of Comfort
and Good Management.

     The new City Hospital, in arrangements and conditions, is fulfilling every hope anticipated for it. The electric lights have been put in, water connections made and the grounds are in a transformation state that will soon evolve beauty of environment.
     Mrs. Baber, the professional nurse, has entered fully on her duties and gotten everything as it should be in the sick wards, and the private apartment for pay patients that have recently been arranged, for the first time in a Dallas hospital, have now four patients.
     The health-giving breezes, the sanitation and able attention will make the new hospital a blessing, not only to the poor, but to those who wish to obtain the most careful attention in sickness.

- June 5, 1894, Dallas Daily Times Herald, p. 6, col. 5.
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Improvements That Have
Been Made at City


Over Eight Hundred Patients are
Cared for Annually. Descrip-
tion of Building and

     Thanksgiving afternoon, a reporter for The Times Herald, visited the city's place of refuge, the one open haven for the indigent sick and suffering humanity. As he passed along Main street, the theater was just emptying its well-dressed and happy throng into the streets, and he thought of how heedless and unmindful of the anguish, heart-aches and sufferings of others that the great majority of people are. Here was a holiday crowd of the smart set, their bodies warmly wrapped in silks, laces and costly furs, and, as they were whirled away in well-appointed equipages to their homes of comfort and plenty, the reporter wondered how many of them noticed, or thought of, the pinched and emaciated faces of their less fortunate fellow beings who were inmates of the city hospital.
     With these thoughts of "man's inhumanity to man" surging in his mind, the reporter set out, over the rocky hills of Maple avenue, for the city hospital; for the purpose of seeing what provision the municipality had made for its poor citizens and the indigent strangers within her gates.
     The hospital building is in a beautiful grove of oak trees comprising thirty-four acres of ground at the intersection of Oak Lawn and Maple avenues. It is far removed from the dust, noise and polluted atmosphere of the city in order that the quiet and pure air, so essential to the invalid, may be secured.
     The grounds were bought and the present structure was erected by the city under the administration of Mayor W. C. Connor and the following board of aldermen: Charles Kahn, T. F. McEnnis, T. L. Lawhon, A. M. Cochran, G. A. Knight, Pat O'Keefe, F. S. Kelley, C. A. Cour, J. R. Briggs, G. G. Bird, F. F. Kendall and J. C. Woodside.
Dr. V. P. Armstrong was the first health officer and served in that capacity for six years, having been succeeded by Dr. Florence, who held the office for four years. Dr. J. H. Smart is, at present, and has been for the past eighteen months, the occupant of that position. Dr. Lindsey Smith is the steward and Dr. A. C. Ross is acting interne.     There are four nurses, one male for night work, and three females who are on duty during the day. At present, there are accommodations for sixty-five patients. The requisites for admission are that patients must be citizens of Dallas; strangers, however, who are victims of accidents or suffering from acute illness, if in indigent circumstances, will be temporarily cared for.
     The buildings were constructed especially for hospital purposes, about fourteen years ago, and are admirably planned and adapted to the care of the sick.
     There are six wards in the main building in addition to an isolation ward, located in another part of the grounds, where contagious diseases are treated. Wide galleries surround the buildings and separate each of the wards. In the centre wing are the office and living rooms of the house surgeon, linen closets, dining rooms, baths and kitchen and store rooms in the rear. To the left of this wing, and separated from it by a broad passageway, are the four male wards, one of which, is for colored people. On the right of the entrance, and also apart from the centre wing, are the female wards, one for white and another for colored patients. Many maternity patients are treated here, although their presence is discouraged, as far as is possible.
     Each ward is supplied with an average of twelve white iron single beds, arranged in rows at either side of the room, which is heated by a large stove in the centre. The bedding is clean and the rooms have a warm and comfortable appearance.
     The operating room is thoroughly modern and up-to-date, well-lighted and supplied with every instrument and faculty for prompt and efficacious surgical work. Adjoining the operating room is the drug room and pharmaceutical laboratory, which is bountifully supplied with every drug and herb necessary and requisite in the treatment of disease. A private laundry is also one of the features.
     As the supply of linen in most public institutions is not of the most extensive, frequent ablution is necessary. The patients are kept immaculately clean, and those who are too weak and ill to use the bath tubs, are cleansed in portable tubs, which are wheeled to their bedside.
     The service is principally surgical, resulting from various accidents and gun-shot wounds. In the summer months, many cases of typhoid fever are treated, while pneumonia and bronchitis are the principal winter maladies treated. Some tuberculosis patients are admitted, but they are few.
     The house staff of physicians are very diligent and zealous in their work, and patients are shown every consideration and receive as good treatment as it is possible to secure. The new ambulance has been placed in commission and will greatly expedite and add to the completeness of the service. An average of eight hundred patients are received and treated annually at the hospital. There were fifty-three patients under treatment last Thursday.
     Many improvements are necessary, and, it is the hope of those interested, that the city will not longer neglect to make an appropriation commensurate with the importance of the work contemplated.

- November 29, 1903, Dallas Daily Times Herald, p. 9, col. 3.
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First Aid For Injured Hospital to Be
Placed in New City Hall -- May
Soon Sell Bonds to Erect
City Hospital.

     The new city hospital will be on the present city hospital site at the northwest corner of Maple and Oak Lawn avenues. It will be built on the cottage plan, which will enable an indefinite number of additions to be erected from time to time. This statement is made on the authority of Street Commissioner J. E. Lee, who said today that every commissioner is in favor of having the new hospital remain at the present site. Mr. Lee stated, that as soon as the titles for the new city hall property are found to be without fault, plans for the new city hall and the new hospital would be drawn, in all probability. This may mean that the $100,000 bonds voted by the people for this purpose will be sold before the $550,000 bonds for sewage disposal are disposed of.

Thinks Location Good.
     Speaking of the proposal to locate the hospital nearer the city, which has been suggested by some, Mr. Lee said this morning that he considered the present site almost ideal. "All the commissioners believe the city hospital ought to stay where it is," he said. "We have the finest grounds of any city in Texas. Open air is as much a factor in restoring health as medicine and medical attention. We have a large tract of land where the city hospital is now, which permits patients the advantage of open air to a more marked degree than would a hospital nearer the city."
     Commissioner Lee also stated that he believed it would be a hard matter to locate the city hospital nearer the city, because of opposition that would develop from those placed in juxtaposition to it. He pointed out the fact that $100,000 would not be sufficient to buy a plot of ground and also erect a building, even if a site nearer the city could be secured.

Cottage Plan to Be Adopted.
     The commissioner declared, that in building the hospital, the cottage plan would be followed out. That is, instead of one big building, a number of smaller ones will be built. This will have the advantage of segregating persons suffering from contagious diseases more effectually from those not so afflicted. The commissioner also pointed out that this method of structure would have the further advantage of providing for additional buildings at a minimum of cost.

Emergency Hospital in City Hall.
     Mr. Lee stated this morning that the emergency hospital would be placed in the new city hall when it is erected.
     Commissioner W. T. Henderson has also stated he did not believe it would be advisable for the new city hospital to be moved from the present site. He brought out the fact that a location nearer the city would subject the sick to noise, which would be detrimental to recovery of health. Mr. Henderson, however, believes that the $550,000 bond issue for sewage disposal should next be sold. He expressed himself in favor of the cottage plan of a hospital and pointed out the advantages of a twenty-acre tract as giving fresh air to the patients now, and as affording ample room for a larger hospital as the city grows.

- October 3, 1911, Dallas Daily Times Herald, p. 11, col. 1.
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