J. P. S.


El Dorado Hospital was established early in the year of 1915, by Dr. Frenn Lesley Preston who came to El Dorado in October, 1911, and served here as physician and surgeon until his death, November 26, 1926. Dr. C. E. Boudreau was his associate.

The original hospital building had a 50-foot front and a 25-bed capacity. In 1919, Dr. Preston enlarged the hospital capacity to fifty beds by erecting the four-story brick building now known as the Hazlett Building, at the corner of West Central Avenue and North Star Street.

On August 31, 1921, Dr. Preston sold the hospital equipment to representatives of the Episcopal Church of Kansas and on that date the institution became known as the St. Luke's Hospital, with Bishop James Wise of the Episcopal Church as its first president. Bishop Wise acted in that capacity as long as the Episcopalians remained in charge.

After the Episcopalian denomination withdrew, the management of St. Luke's was assumed by public-spirited citizens, with a board including J. C. Powell, James H. Sandifer, J. W. Kirkpatrick, L. D. Hadley, Ray Brown, Giles Atherton, J. B. McKay, Robert H. Bradford, T. A. Kramer and Fred A. Pielsticker---a board in which Frank S. Allen placed unqualified confidence when he made his unconditional gift of the Susan B. Allen Memorial Hospital in June of 1930.

Considering their limited accommodations, El Dorado Hospital and St. Luke's were thorough and beneficial institutions, serving El Dorado proper and the farm and oil districts adjoining.

St. Luke's Hospital was, in fact, the first small hospital in Kansas to be accredited by the American College of Surgeons. That was in the year, 1925.



The history of hospitals in El Dorado dates back about a third of a century.

Perhaps Dr. Fred E. Dillenbeck, although he modestly denies the distinction is the "Father of El Dorado Hospitals" when in the late 1890's he brought a graduate nurse to the city. He did not pretend to be operating a hospital, but for thirty-five years he has maintained an office equipment second to no other physician in Kansas and the idea probably started there.

Ten or fifteen years later, the late Dr. F. L. Preston, and Dr. C. E. Boudrean operated a small but highly efficient hospital. Both were of exceptional ability according to public reputation, as surgeons and as diagnosticians and practioners. St. Luke's hospital, Star and West Central, and which discontinues its service with the completion of the great Susan B. Allen Memorial hospital, was founded Augusta 31, 1921---exactly ten years ago.

St. Lukes, as is the Allen Memorial was managed by a board of trustees, the same board that now directs the Allen Memorial. Its first president with Bishop James H. Wise of Topeka, who acted in that capacity as long as the Episcopalian church had charge of the institution. Since that time public spirited business men have directed its affairs. J. C. Powell was the first president under the reorganization and upon his resignation this spring, Frank S. Allen was elected to the presidency. In 1929, 1074 patients were treated.

It is believed the new Allen hospital will triple this total, as its modern conveniences, its every improved asset, its capable medical and surgical and nursing staff and the ideal setting of the building, surrounded by attractive lawns and huge 50-year old shade trees, will cause scores of local people who selected Newton, Kansas City, or Wichita to prefer the El Dorado institution. Also, those living in Augusta, Eureka, Winfield and other cities and vicinities will choose the unexcelled service offered here.
(El Doroado Newspaper ~ August 28, 1931 ~ Submitted by Lori DeWinkler)

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