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Washington County, Illinois

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Bridget Hughes Hospital
Nashville, Washington County, Illinois.
Bridget Hughes Hospital 1911
Bridget Hughes Hospital
Nashville, Illinois
  Bridget Hughes Hospital 1913
Bridget Hughes Hospital
Nashville, Illinois
Bridget Hughes Hospital
Bridget Hughes Hospital
Nashville, Illinois
  Bridget Hughes Hospital Operating Room
Bridget Hughes Hospital
Operating Room
Top Floor ~~ Northeast Corner
Nashville, Illinois
Photographs from the Harrl Beatty Photograph Collection; Courtesy of Larry & Jo House

        For less than a dozen years was the life of this worthwhile endeavor to provide medical care for the residents of Washington County
        From the autumn of 1910 to the summer of 1922 this 25 bed hospital provided services to the county.
        It started in 1907 with a bequeath from the estate of Bridget Hughes, a hard working domestic servant. A $5000.00 corporation was able to begin within three years.

Nashville Journal
Nashville, Illinois
December 22, 1910, Front Page
- Hospital Will be Dedicated Next Wednesday--Speeches and Music--Open House--Tag Day
      The formal dedicatory exercises of the Bridget Hughes Hospital will take place on Wednesday, Dec. 28, and the building will be open for public inspection all day. The building is substantial, commodious, and practically constructed. It was arranged and furnished with an eye to comfort as well as to sanitation, and now extends pleasant and restful surroundings as well as facilities for treatment to the sick and injured.
      The building and grounds represent an outlay of $17,000 and to provide for more apparatus and adequate maintenance of the institution further funds are required. A bevy of pretty girls will, on next Wednesday, "tag day," solicit contributions. You will find that each tag has a string attached and that getting tagged means a shifting of the financial center, whereby coin or bills from a penny up pass into the hands of the fair receiver to be transferred to the hospital management.
      All visitors to the hospital will be welcomed and conducted on an inspection tour by the reception committee.
      The program for dedication day is as follows:
9:00 a.m. - - - Open to visitors
10:30 a.m.- - - Music by the Nashville Concert Band
Noon- - - Dinner served at Hospital for the benefit of the Hospital by the lady hospital workers.
1:00 p.m.- - - Music by the Nashville Concert Band
1:30 p.m.- - - Opening Prayer by Rev. Wm. Duncan. Dedicatory address by Dr. Paul Y. Topper of St. Louis
2:30 p.m.- - - Music. Address by Dr. J. C. Hamilton of Mt. Vernon
3:00 p.m.- - - Music. Address by others who will be present and will be called upon
5:00 p.m.- - - Supper
7:00 p.m.- - - Music by the band
7:30 to 10:00 p.m.- - - Light refreshments will be served and local talent will render a musical program
      "Open house" will be observed all day and evening, so come when you can as there will be a reception committee in charge who will make you feel welcome and see that you are shown through the Hospital. Let everybody come and assist by their presence a grand beginning for this work of maintaining a hospital in our county and encourage those upon whom the work and success of its career will fall.
      Mrs. Mary Morrow of Perth Amboy, N.J., and others of here have made acceptable donations to the hospital.

        During 1912, Dr. J. J. Troutt was the President of the Board of Directors.
        On November 11, 1913, Miss Dora Brydon became superintendent of nurses at the Bridget Hughes Hospital and remained there until the United States entered the first World War.
        The building remained a dominant feature of the business district in Nashville for many years. Near the western end of the first block of West Main Street located on the south side and with the grounds rising to a superior level above Main Street, the building was almost a landmark. As a very recognizable three story building in a primary location, it was used by the Washington County Farm Bureau until being razed.
Bridget Hughes
       The daughter of Patrick Hughes was born in February of 1850 in Ireland. At the tender age of twelve years old, she immigrated to the United States on the Ship Genl McClelland, sailing from Ireland to New York. The ship arrived in New York on December 12, 1863.
        On the 1870 US census, Bridget Hughes is listed as residing at Township 1, Range 3, Washington County, Illinois. On the 1900 US Census, Bridget Hughes is listed as residing in Okawville, Washington County, Illinois.
She died circa 1907 in Washington County, Illinois.
Masonic Cemetery records state she was born April 15, 1851.
Masonic Cemetery, Nashville, Illinois
tombstone of Bridget Hughes   HUGHES
Bridget Hughes
Died Sept. 7th, 1907.
Age   57 Yrs. and 6 Ds.
Dora Brydon
        She graduated from the Eileen Osborn Training School at St. Louis in 1911 and returned to Mt. Vernon, Illinois to serve as a private duty nurse. Then, on November 11, 1913, she became superintendent of nurses at the Bridget Hughes Hospital at Nashville, Ill., and remained there until the United States entered the first World War. At that time, she was the first Mt. Vernon nurse to volunteer for service in the war and, in November of 1918, she was sent to a hospital at Ft. Oglethorpe, Georgia.
        Source : Obituary of Miss Dora Brydon
Dr. J. J. Troutt : See :Doctors of Washington County

Nashville News
Nashville, Illinois
January 21, 1981
Building That Housed Nashville's First Hospital
      After the death on September 7, 1907 of Miss Bridget Hughes, 56, a local domestic servant, the community was surprised and thrilled to learn that under the terms of her will four churches in Nashville and one in Okawville would each receive $100, the Hoyleton Orphans Home would receive $500 and the balance of her estate, $7,200, was to be made available to some organization to aid in establishing a hospital in Nashville.
       A corporation was formed and it authorized a $10,000 issue of stock, of which $7,000 was sold. With this sum and the Hughes legacy plus donations from various sources the building was erected.
       The new Bridget Hughes Hospital, located at 133 W. St. Louis St., contained 16 patient beds. The two-story brick building, neat and attractive though plain, had a double deck veranda across the rear (south) side.
       The hospital was dedicated on December 28, 1910. At the dedication Mrs. Marie Hammond of Ashley presided as matron. Atty. J.A. Watts of Nashville was program chairman for the exercises held in the afternoon. There was music by the Nashville Concert Band and large crowds were present.
       The hospital was handicapped by the lack of a resident surgeon; operations were performed by surgeons imported from nearby cities. The situation changed after Dr. P. B. Rabenneck completed his education as physician and surgeon and he returned to Nashville. However, Dr. Rabenneck became a commissioned army officer and left during
World War l.
       Other obstacles arose and after a periodic decline the hospital closed in the summer of 1922.
       After becoming vacant, the building was sold. It was remodeled and was operated as the Washington Hotel by B. B. Holston and later by O.B. Hassler.
       In 1945 it was acquired by the Washington County Farm Bureau. After extensive alternation, the Farm Bureau and affiliates moved in the next spring and occupied it over 20 years. The old building was torn down in 1972 and the new Farm Bureau building was erected on the same lot.

Washington County Hospital
Nashville, Washington County, Illinois.
Washington County Hospital
Photograph from the Harrl Beatty Photograph Collection; Courtesy of Larry & Jo House
        The early 1960s saw the beginning of the present Washington County Hospital.
Situated on an initial five acres, at what could at that time been called the southwest corner of Nashville, Illinois, using land donated by Amos H. Watts and Wadsworth W. Watts.
        With the doors opening on 1963, this humble beginning created the hospital as it is today.



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