Wharton County Hospitals History
The first hospital in Wharton County was established in El Campo by Dr. A.L. Lincecum in 1912 in his home.
A few years later he moved to the Mack Webb building, and sometime later closed the hospital and gave the equipment to the Caney Valley Hospital in Wharton.
Dr. Green L. Davidson founded the Caney Valley Hospital in Wharton in 1913. He had to borrow the money, used a two-story frame building known as the H.E. Moore residence and had it remodeled for eight or ten beds. Miss Mamie Walker was superintendent and one of the two nurses; the other was Miss Mary Bailey, later to become Mrs. Joe Santos.
Dr. Davidson made the hospital available to all physicians in the County. One doctor called up "Dr. Green" and asked if his patient could have a Cesarean section at Caney Valley, and he would assist him. Dr. Davidson agreed, but after examining the woman, told the attending physician that she could deliver naturally. When the doctor insisted on performing a Cesarean section, Dr. Davidson refused to allow it to be done at Caney Valley.
Wharton County's next hospital was established in Newgulf in 1929. This hospital was named Newgulf Hospital and was related to the Texas Gulf Sulpher Co. It operated until August of 1972.
Plans for a county hospital were proposed in 1937 in El Campo, and the Nightingale Hospital was formally opened on December 10, 1939. It closed on March 31, 1979. In it's place, a completely new 60 bed facility was opened on March 31, 1979, the El Campo Memorial Hospital, a hospital authority institution.
On January 18. 1940, Dr. J. Daniel Schuhmann opened the Schuhmann Hospital in East Bernard. This 17-bed facility served well the people of East Bernard and the surrounding area until it was closed on March 23, 1968. Fifty-three hundred babies were born there.
The Rugeley and Blasingame Hospital and Clinic opened in Wharton in January, 1942. The hospital had 16 beds and grew to 44 beds in early 1950's.
A non-profit foundation was formed in 1952 which led to the Gulf Coast Medical Center Hospital of Wharton. This sixty-five bed facility was opened on North Fulton Street, in January, 1961. The Rugeley and Blasingame Hospital closed at this time. In 1965 the Rugeley and Blasingame located adjacent to the Gulf Coast Medical Center Hospital.
In 1937, the Caney Valley Hospital of Wharton, became a corporation and enlarged. In 1958 there was more remodeling and enlargement. In 1960, it became Caney Valley Memorial Hospital, a non-profit organization. In 1967, a new seventy-five bed Caney Valley Memorial Hospital was opened on North Richmond Road. The Outlar & Blair Clinic located a new facility nearby.
The Gulf Coast Medical Center Hospital increased to ninety-five beds and in April, 1980, completed a merger with Caney Valley Memorial Hospital. Now the Board of Directors of the Gulf Coast Medical Foundation governs the two units as a modern, general hospital of 160 beds.
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