Superintendent Samuel E. Shantz, steward George W. Dryer, druggist Daniel J. Shaw, and two other individuals, all of whom were associated with the St. Peter State Hospital in St. Peter, Minnesota, appear in this photograph.
Officers and trustees for the Minnesota Hospital for the Insane. William Schimmel is seated at left and Rev. Aaron H. Kerr is seated at right. Addison L. Sackett is the seventh man from the left in the back row. Schimmel and Sackett were prominent businessmen in St. Peter.
People are pictured walking through the landscaped gardens, flower beds and walkways of the Rochester State Hospital. The hospital, also known as the Second Hospital for the Insane, opened in 1879. Farm fields are visible in the background.
This early photograph of the St. Peter State Hospital was taken at a time when the hospital complex appeared to be housed in a single large building. A fire in November of 1880 destroyed the north wing of the complex, shown here to the right of the large stairway at the main entrance.
In the early 1880s, several attempts were made in St. Cloud to meet the growing need of provisions for medical care. Dr. A.C. Lamothe Ramsay, lately graduated from Rush Medical College in Chicago, began practice in St. Cloud in 1882. He and the sisters petitioned the city council for funds to help them erect a three-story hospital. When these funds for a hospital were not forthcoming, Dr. Ramsay, in 1885, opened one on his own in Joseph Pendel's newly constructed home. Because he soon found that he could not run his own hospital and at the same time take care of his regular practice, Dr. Ramsay persuaded the sisters to take over hospital work. The community, under the leadership of Mother Scholastica Kerst, was quick to take up the challenge. At first they decided to add a third floor and renovate St. Agnes Academy in St. Cloud (which had closed in 1880) to refit it for hospital use. However, in December, 1885, the sisters purchased a newly erected building on Ninth Avenue from John Kropp for $2,000 and by February announced the opening of the hospital under the name of St. Benedict's Hospital (Saint Benedict's Monastery Archives; McDonald, pages 251-254).
In 1887, two years after starting a hospital in Bismarck, North Dakota, St. John's Abbey gave the sisters the minor seminary which was part of the monks' St. Clement Priory building complex of church, rectory and school in Duluth. Encouraged by the success of their hospital in St. Cloud, the sisters converted the seminary to a hospital and named it St. Mary's Hospital (2nd building on the right ). The hospital was transferred to the jurisdiction of the Benedictine sisters in Duluth when they branched off from St. Benedict's Convent, St. Joseph, MN, to form an independent convent in Duluth in 1892 (Saint Benedict's Monastery Archives).
As early as 1878 while prospecting for a site to establish a college for men in the Dakota Territory, Abbot Alexius Edelbrock, OSB, became aware of the need for a hospital in the still undeveloped area of Mandan and Bismarck. In 1885 he bought the Lamborn Hotel in Bismarck and succeeded in interesting Mother Scholastica Kerst in converting it to a hospital. It was a challenge to change the settlers' prejudice against hospitals as institutions for the wayward and shiftless. However, after five years and with the expertise of Dr. E. pageQuaine in surgery and Sister Boniface Timmers, OSB, in administration, the hospital gained favor and grew from a primitive institution to one of the finest hospitals in the land. With the help of a donation from St. John's Abbey, the Benedictine sisters were able to repay the abbey for the debt incurred by the original purchase and they named the hospital St. Alexius. By 1913, they were able to build a new hospital and to organize a school of nursing there (Saint Benedict's Monastery Archives; McDonald, pages 126-137).
Several patients are recuperating in the 10-bed ward at Saint Marys Hospital. A large spittoon is located in the center of the room surrounded by beds and wooden dressers. A crucifix and religious paintings are hung on the wall. The two nurses are Sister Joseph Dempsey and Sister Constantine Poutal.
Street view of the B Building at The Swedish Hospital in Minneapolis. The photograph was taken from the present corner of Eighth Street and Tenth Avenue. Modern Elliot Park is still Elliot Farm. The barb wire fence at the edge of the farm's pasture is visible in the photograph.