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HOME arrow ABOUT US arrow Spencer Hospital History
Spencer Hospital History


Spencer Hospital - 1935

Health care services were essential for the growing and bustling Spencer community in the early 1900s. The doctor toting his familiar black bag was a common sight in the city and the surrounding area. In those days, the doctor went to the patient. Local citizens didn't have a hospital to check into if surgery needed to be performed, a baby was ready to be delivered or if an emergency occurred.

In the fall of 1911, local citizen Jasper Wayne purchased the old Baptist Church on West Third Street and converted it into a large 12-room house, complete with hot water heating. On Jan. 10, 1912, headlines in the Spencer newspaper proclaimed, "Jasper Wayne to Make a Hospital Out of His Residence."

After two years of operating the hospital, Wayne was ready to part from the health care field and offered the hospital for sale. A group of 17 women representing various churches in Spencer formed the Spencer Hospital Association in April 1914. They were to be entrusted with the daily operations of the hospital. Although these women had the enthusiasm and interest in the taking over the hospital, they were lacking one essential — funding.

This problem was rapidly solved by the creation of another organization, the Spencer Hospital Holding Company, comprised of a group of Spencer businessmen, many of them spouses of hospital association members. The holding company sold 195 shares at $50 each to raise $9,750. This money was used to purchase the building and land, and fund an addition to the hospital. Possession of the property was finalized on Sept. 7, 1914.

Under the direction of the Spencer Hospital Association members, the facility continued to thrive and grow. After nearly 20 years of seeing life brought into the world, depart from the earth and people healed for another day, the hospital had outgrown its little 14-room house. Spencer citizens approved a bond issue which called for using a portion of Light Plant funds to assist in construction of a new, 'modern' facility, thus changing ownership from a community hospital managed by a volunteer association to a municipal facility. A new structure was built at the current site of Spencer Hospital and, in 1935, hospital operations were moved to the new hospital building. The hospital has continued to expand and grow over the years. The 1935 building eventually came down to make room for expansion as the facility has grown in size and services.

Volunteerism continues to be the driving force behind the hospital's growth and success. In addition to the hospital auxiliary, the Spencer Regional Healthcare Foundation spurs community involvement in local health care issues; thus the tradition of community-supported health care continues. 


Spencer Hospital - Care You Trust. From People You Know.

Thanks to Ruth Andersen for providing the history of Spencer Hospital.