The History of Genesee County, MI
Chapter XXIX
Hurley Hospital
Part II

Online Edition by Holice, Deb & Clayton


It was through the philanthropy of James J. Hurley that Flint's municipal hospital was founded; but many other public-spirited citizens have followed his good example and have contributed various sums to increase its usefulness and capacity. The following is a complete list donations to Hurley Hospital up to July 1, 1916:

Total realized from the James J. Hurley estate, including interest and rents and including the land at a valuation of $5,000 as it appears on the hospital books:


Total realized up to July 1, 1916, from the Stockdale estate (including interest on certificates of deposit)


Women's auxiliary Board (including gifts of linen, etc.)


Crapo Estate (Woman's Ward memorial Addition)


Buick Charity Ball


Presbyterian Church


Westminster Guild


Mrs. George M. Dewey (for elevator)


Union Thanksgiving Collection


First Congregational Church


Flint Vehicle Workers Mutual Benefit Association


Fred A. Aldrich (for purchase of instruments)


Dr. W. J. Kay


Estate Adele Youngs


Dr. J. C. Williams (furniture Nurses' home)


N. J. Berston, Sr. (Eye, ear, nose & throat room)


J. D. Dort


G. D. Flanders (Piano)


Charles S. Mott





The names of many citizens and organizations making contributions to the hospital do not appear in this list, as their donations are included in the amount credited to the woman's auxiliary board. Among the larger donations given through this channel, however, are the following:

J. D. Dort


F. P. Smith


W. O. Smith


E. W. Atwood


Matthew Davison


Edward Manierre


Westminster Guild (Presbyterian Church)


First Baptist Church


Court Street Methodist Episcopal Church


African Methodist Episcopal Church


Loyal Guard


Ladies of the Maccabees


Vehicle Club


Benevolent And Protective Order of Elks



In addition to donations and bequests as listed above, there appears on the balance sheet of Hurley Hospital an item of $11,925.08 to the credit of the "J. D. Dort Guarantee Account," and thereby hangs a tale. The records of the hospital board show that when the board lacked fund to complete payment on building and equipment,. Mr. Dort guaranteed and later advanced money to pay bills amounting to $14,500.00, the same to be reimbursed to him out of future donations which the board might find available for such purposes. Up to this time only $2,574.92 has been repaid to Mr. Dort, he in the meantime having contributed to the hospital land valued at $1,500, on which the new isolation cottage has been built. At the time the last payment from the Stockdale Estate was received by the board, it was suggested to Mr. Dort that there might not be another opportunity in many years for the board to repay his loan. "Never mind," he said to the one mentioned the matter to him. "We need a maternity ward and we must increase our capacity in other directions--let the loan stand."

Leaving out of consideration the Stockdale bequest (of which a short explanation later), the largest private contribution to Hurley Hospital, next to that of its founder, has been made by Charles S. Mott, through whose generosity the fine new isolation cottage has mainly been built.

A history of Hurley Hospital would be incomplete without some reference to Mrs. Mary Stockdale, whose will filed for probate on April 26, 1905. This will was contested, but an agreement was made between the attorneys for the several beneficiaries under the will probated and the city of Flint and Walter S,. White and wife, beneficiaries under an alleged lost will. The agreement was reached after the case had dragged through the courts for several years.


The following sums finally reached the treasury of the hospital; board from the Stockdale estate:

January 16, 1911


December 15, 1913


March 8, 1915





The first amount paid over to the board was used in building the nurse's home and in raising the west wing. The other amounts are still in the treasury drawing interest.

On February 13, 1913, there was organized an association of women, banded together for the avowed purpose of building a "Maternity Hospital and Children's Home," the women composing this association being the same women who were formerly officers and members of the Woman's auxiliary Hospital Association, which had disbanded on October 18, 1912, the object for which they had originally organized having been fulfilled.


The new organization was officered as follows:


Mrs. F. P. Smith


Mrs. I. M. Eldridge


Mrs. B. F. Cotharin

First Vice-President

Mrs. F. D. Lane

Second Vice-President

Mrs. Truman Medbury

Third Vice-President

Mrs. W. E. Martin


A committee of these women had conferred with the hospital board at the hospital on the days before their organization meeting and discussed with them the feasibility of building a maternity hospital near enough to Hurley Hospital to be operated by the same management and heated from the same power plant. On march 7, 1913, representatives of the two boards met for an informal conference with Mayor Mott, as ex-officio member of the hospital board in attendance and Miss Schill, superintendent of the hospital, and a committee from the Genesee County medical Society also present. After very earnest discussion, it was decided that the new hospital should be built as a unit of Hurley Hospital and that it should be owned, operated and controlled by the board of hospital managers, who agreed to use the funds due from the Stockdale estate for the purpose of building this addition, the ladies agreeing to furnish equipment. The project is now being carried to completion.

As soon as it was decided to add the maternity unit to Hurley Hospital, the managers of that institution immediately began laying plans for the future. They realized that before any more buildings could be added to their plant as it then was, heating facilities must be increased and laundry machinery and boilers removed from the main buildings to make room for enlarged kitchens, dining rooms, etc.

The money necessary for all these changes, which included the building of the present splendid power plant, was raised by taxation in the regular routine manner as provided by the charter amendment of 1907. Chapter XXVIII of the amended charter deals with hospitals, confers certain powers upon the board of hospital managers and imposes certain duties upon them. It makes specific provision for the raising of adequate funds for hospital purposes through taxation revenue.

Section 7 of chapter XXVIII reads in part as follows:

In addition to all other taxes authorized to be raised by the city of Flint, and in addition to any sum or sums of money that the board of hospital managers may receive from fees, gifts, donations or otherwise, the common council shall have the power, and may cause to be raised annually by a tax upon the real and personal property within the city of Flint, such sum as may be deemed necessary, not exceeding one mill ona dollar, of the valuation of the real and personal property within said city, according to the valuation thereof, as shown by the last preceding assessment rolls, as reviewed and equalized, which sum, when raised, shall be used for the purpose of paying the cost and expense of maintaining hospitals, and for no other purpose. The amount to be used for hospital purposes shall be determined by a detailed estimate of the requirements thereof, to be furnished annually by the board of hospital managers to the common council, 0n the last Monday in February, and approved by the common council, and the sum so determined upon shall be approved and voted to be raised by the common council at the same time and in the same manner as is provided by the charter of the city of Flint for the raising of the annual tax levy of said city, and the same shall be levied, spread and collected at the same time and in the same manner as other taxes.

Special donations for special purposes, amounting in all to $4,625.60, were made by the city to the hospital prior to October, 1908, but since that date regular appropriation have been received from the city, the amounts varying in size according to the special needs of the institutions as outlines by the board in their annual budget presented to the common council each spring, according to charter requirements.


Besides the special donation referred to as coming from the city, cash payments, up to July 1, 1916, have been received as follows:

October 26, 1908


February 27, 1909


August 16, 1909


October 26, 1909


February 28, 1910


August 20, 1911


March 18, 1912


September 28, 1912


February 24, 1913


August 20, 1913


December 18, 1913


February 14, 1914


February 28, 1914


September 15, 1914


November 13, 1914


February 15, 1915


February 27, 1915


March 24, 1915


April 12, 1915


April 30, 1915


June 15, 1915


July 14, 1915


August 26,1915


October 26, 1915


February 29, 1916


March 31, 1916



The taxation revue appropriated by the council for 1916 is $42, 835.00. This large amount was made necessary by the great increase in the cost of building materials making it impossible to erect with funds remaining from the Stockdale bequest structures of adequate size to serve as a maternity ward and an addition to the nurses' home.

In common with all other public institutions in Flint, the hospital has constantly suffered from over-crowded conditions, never being able to keep pace with the growth of the city. However, the board has worked heroically to meet the situation constantly confronting them and has had at all times the hearty support and co-operation of the common council. In addition to the management of Hurley Hospital, the board of hospital managers also managed a small detention hospital, built by the city in 1910 for the care of contagious diseases. This property will be abandoned and sold in the fall 10 1916, when the new isolation cottage is opened.

In 1911 the board received a communication from the council asking them to purchase land on the south side of Sixth Avenue, between Patrick and Prospect streets, to be used as a site for a hospital for the segregation and treatment of tuberculosis cases. The land was purchased, but it is unlikely that it will ever be used for the purpose for which it was originally intended. Lying so close to the hospital, however, it will probably be retained by the board for future needs. The land has greatly increased in value since it was bought for $2,850.

Some changes have occurred in the personnel of the hospital board since its organization in 1905. But two original members, J. D. Dort and W. E. Martin, still serve. Rev. Dr. Lippincott acted from 1905 to 1910, when he received reappointment. His removal from the city, in December, 1912, made his resignation necessary, and E. W. Atwood was appointed to succeed him. Since March, 1913, Mr. Atwood has been secretary of the board. George D. Flanders, appointed in 1906, has continued on the board since that time, having served several terms as president. E. D. Black resigned in May, 1914, to accept a place on the city park commission. Edward S. Lee was then appointed and proved a valuable member, but, after serving fifteen months, resigned, and gave place to Dr. Orson Millard.


The five members constituting the board at this time are:


George D. Flanders


Edwin W. Atwood


William E. Martin, J. Dallas Dort and Orson Millard


Hurley Hospital was opened for the reception of patients on December 19, 1908, and since then up to July 1, 1916 there have been 7,163 persons treated there. A hospital commission, consisting of the health officer of the city, the commissioner of the poor and one other citizen appointed by the mayor, determine who are eligible for treatment in the hospital at city expense. Under the uniform accounting system of the city, bills are rendered to the city poor commissioner each month, and the hospital received cash payments from the poor fund for these charity patients.

Dr. James C. Willson, up to the time of his death, in 1912, acted on this hospital commission. He was succeeded by William Beacraft.

Hurley Hospital has had three able superintendents. Mary B. Hall, who acted in an advisory capacity before the hospital was completed, served for one year thereafter. Alice M. Grigg, who succeeded Miss Hall, served until 1910, when Anna M. Schill succeeded to the superintendency.

A training school, organized in 1909, is operated in connection with Hurley Hospital, its graduates now numbering twenty-eight. The training course was in the beginning made a two and one-half-year course, but by vote of the board in May, 1913, it was changed to a three year course from that time.

The accounting system of Hurley Hospital is part of the uniform system installed by the city of Flint in March, 1913. It is under the direct supervision of the city comptroller, to whom the board of hospital managers make each month a detailed report of receipts and expenditures for the preceding month, and at the end of each year the hospital books are examined by certified public accountants, engaged to audit the accounts of all city departments.


History of Genesee County, Michigan, Her People, Industries and Institutions
by Edwin O. Wood, LL.D, President Michigan Historical Commission, 1916

Transcribed by Holice B. Young

HTML by Deb

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