Harvey  County,  Kansas



Mrs. Comer, a woman who lives on East South Third street and has been supported by the county for a long time, became angry with Mrs. Geo. Curry and pounded her on the head with a hoe handle.  The neighbors of Mrs. Comer say that she and her children have been a nuisance to the neighborhood for some time, that she has threatened to burn their dwellings if they disturb her and that a short time ago she drew a gun on the son of Chris Truex.  Marshal Marks says that he has had considerable trouble with her, that she refuses either to work or to go to the poor farm and is simply an unprofitable burden.
(Newton Daily Republican ~ Saturday ~ August 30, 1890 ~ Page 4)


Dr. A. E. Hertzler Turns Over Institute to Sisters of St. Joseph---Great Surgeon Will Continue as Chief of Staff

By Rev. David Egan



Halstead, Kan., March 8 --- By the free and generous gift of Dr. Arthur E. Hertzler, one of the nation's leading surgeons whose professional writings have won him fame in many lands, the Halstead Hospital has been turned over to the Sisters of St. Joseph of the Wichita diocese.  This splendid institution, which was founded by the eminent surgeon, has for many years past been attracting a large number of patients from all state of the Southwest.  Under his able direction it has expanded from a small six-bed hospital to the magnificent institution it is today with a 200-bed capacity, and with the most modern equipment to care for its large and increasing clientele.

In making the transfer to the Sisters of St. Joseph Dr. Hertzler declared that the peculiar workings of the federal income tax law rendered it practically impossible for him to operate the institute under private ownership.

"In the past income taxes have been paid on the basis of cash received and disbursed," asserted Dr. Hertzler, "whereas now the government is attempting to collect taxes on fees which have been earned, but have never been collected by the hospital, thus placing the business of this instuttion for the past six years in dispute.  Because of this law, which endeavors to make the hospital pay income tax on uncollected fees, I deemed it best to turn the hospital over to a strictly charitable institution such as the Sisters of St. Joseph are."

"The hospital is absolutely free from any lien or debt, and has been erected and paid for from professional fees exclusively.  For this reason the hospital belongs to the people, and this step is being taken as the surest means of securing its permanency."


Dr. Hertzler intends to continue his work as chief of the staff, and there will be no change int he surgical personnel.  Furthermore the distinguished surgeon will retain control of the Agnes Hertzler Memorial Clinic, founded in memory of his beloved daughter, and of the pharmacy attached to the hospital; and these two departments will be operated under his management as in the past.  In due time the Sisters will take over complete management of the hospital section, but the change in management will take place gradually.  They will not enter into residence at the institution until about a year from this date, so as to give ample time for necessary adjustments.

Finally, Dr. Hertzler wants all his friends, and they are legion, to know that, while he has transferred the hospital property to the Sisters of St. Joseph, he will remain with the great institution indefinitely.  And, therefore, his friends can come to the Halstead hospital with perfect assurance of being able to secure his own personnel service as they have in the past.

By his munificent deed Dr. Hertzler has conferred a great trust unto the care of the Sisters of St. Joseph, whom Bishop Schwertner assigned to this work.  Dr. Hertzler was moved to this transfer of the hospital by reason of his high estimate of their unselfish and devoted service in the cause of suffering humanity.  The Sisters deeply appreciate this most generous confidence reposed in them by the great Halstead surgeon, and will make every effort to assure the permanency of the splendid institution so freely given to them.

The transfer of the property is in itself a noble tribute from a great-hearted non-Catholic professional man to the hospital Sisterhoods of the Catholic Church, in whose ability he has the utmost confidence.  Under their direction the Halstead hospital will continue to flourish as it did under the guidance of its great chief.


Halstead Hospital was purchased about 1901.  At that time Dr. Hertzler used to come from Kansas City one day each week.  The hospital was then no larger than many modest homes nor housed more people than comprised an average family in those days.  As late as 1910 only two nurses were needed.  The number of patients cared for, more often numbered under five than over that figure.  Only two doctors, Dr. A. E. Hertzler and one other, cared for the patients, and in those days also answered all house calls.  They traveled in a manner we now consider antiquated, the horse and buggy route.  By 1912 the nurses were receiving standard training, a class of four having graduated.  Miss B. I. Baumgartner, the present superintendent, and Miss Williams, assistant superintendent, were both graduated from Halstead Hospital Training School.  Miss Baumgartner later went to Cook County Hospital, Chicago, for post graduate work, and after serving in her present capacity elsewhere, came to Halstead Hospital in 1923, relieving Mrs. Hertzler of the superintendency for other important duties.

At present this fine, large, modern hospital has a full capcity of 208 patient-beds; as part of them are being used by student nurses, and other personnel, there are available 180.  At present there are 95 student nurses in training; last year there were 110.

The personnel of the hospital at present consists of 95 student nurses, 18 doctors, 9 supervisors, 15 office employees, and all other necessary help for kitchen, laundry, boiler room, etc.

The hospital has three large operating rooms thoroughly equipped and staffed for all manner of surgery.  Among the hospital staff are several specialists in surgery and in medical practice.

The patients' rooms all have an outside aspect, and are cheerful and comfortable.  In addition there are sun-parlors on every floor.  The first floor clinic contains the doctors' consulting rooms, general offices, and a beautiful, spacious lobby for the convenience of patrons.

This fine institution, thoroughly up to date in its service, is almost entirely fireproof, most of it being of recent construction.  It is a substantial brick structure with stucco finish throughout and heavy red tile roof.


Under date of Thursday, March 3, the following statement appeared in the Halstead Independent:

To My Friends:

I have conveyed to the Sisters of Saint Joseph the Hospital and its equipment, free of all debt, for the sum of One Dollar.

The exactions of the government income taxes have become such that it is not possible to carry on the same spirit which has been the policy in the past.  We have always joyfully treated whoever applied without question of compensation.  But it is not possible to pay tax for the privilege.  The Sisters being a charitable institution in name as well as in fact will be able to carry on better than I.

The hospital will continue just as it has been with the same personnel from top to bottom.  Just when the transfer will be made is not yet determined.  Not until my nurses have finished under by hand.  My obligation to them comes first.

Even after the Sisters take over the hospital proper the clinic will continue juast as it is during the period of my lifetime and long beyond.  The Sisters will carry on my policy of giving all we have to whomsoever may come.

Yours truly,


The following letter from his Excellency, The Most Rev. Bishop Schwertner, to Dr. Hertzler, expresses the gratitude of the Bishop and the Sisters of St. Joseph in particular, and of the diocese in general, for the generous gift received from the famous Halstead physician and surgeon:


Chancery Office
Wichita, Kansas
March 3, 1932

Dr. Arthur E. Hertzler,
Halstead, Kansas.

My Dear Dr. Hertzler:

Permit me to thank you most sincerely for the generous anad unencumbered gift of your splendid hospital and equipment to the Sisters of St. Joseph of the Diocese of Wichita.  It is needless for me to say that your gift is highly appreciated and that it will be the constant endeavor of those who will be in charge to maintain the enviable standard which the hospital has enjoyed during the past years.

From your past experiences and observation you are, no doubt, well enough acquainted with the work of the devoted Sisters to know that the hospital has been placed in competent hands, so that its high degree of efficiency and favorable reputation will be maintained in the future.

The hospital represents a life time of labor and love in your noble profession.  It will stand as a lasting monument of your work.  We are especially gratified to know that you will continue to practice in the hospital and we confidently hope that you may still be spared many years of useful service.

Assuring you again of our gratitude and appreciation of your generous act, we beg to remain,

Respectfully yours,

Bishop of Wichita.
(Catholic Advance ~ Wichita, KS ~ Saturday ~ March 12, 1932 ~ Page 16)

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