Freestone Medical Center opens 70 years after county hospital began in 1947

This article about opening of Freestone County Cooperative Hospital was published in the Fairfield Recorder on July 10, 1947. The original article was provided by Pat Robertson (aka Nurse Pat), and The Fairfield Record has authorized and approved re-publishing it. January 1, 2017 was the opening day of operation of the new Freestone Medical Center. This is a timely reminder that we have been fortunate to have local medical services for 70 years.

County Hospital Is Opened – Long Cherished Dream Realized When Badly Needed Institution In Operation

The Freestone County Cooperative Hospital opened for business July 9. It is an open staff hospital, which will permit patients to choose the hospital and use the doctor of their choice, and likewise, the doctor is free to use the hospital by bringing his patients there. This is the culmination of a long cherished hope of the forward looking people of Fairfield and Freestone County, who have felt the need for additional hospital facilities in the County. Plans for the new hospital began in the later part of 1946 when the Fairfield Rotary Club, through Garvin Holman with the Farm Security Administration, invited as guest speaker Dr. Boutwell, who was interested in encouraging the building of hospitals in our cities and communities. His talk interested those present at the Club, and later through correspondence with President C. E. Childs of the newly organized Club, a date was made for a return visit for the purpose of speaking to the public about the building of a hospital. The Board of Directors selected for the newly chartered organization were: C. E. Childs, chairman; H. B. Steward, C. C. Linnenberg, T. R. Bonner, J. D. Burleson, F. B. Peyton, and F. M. Sneed. After organization, plans were completed to sell memberships in the hospital. The membership entitles the owner to a low rate hospitalization plan, which enables the holder of the certificate to pay, at a reasonable premium, in advance, to cover hospitalization for one or for a family. The members of the board took the lead in selling the memberships, working in pairs and alternating their days. When sales began to slow down the board asked the cooperation of the Fairfield History Club in further placing the memberships, and they readily agreed to help in this campaign, doing credible work. Contract was made with J. O. Swinburn, local contractor, and work began on the building, after purchase of the entire block east of Mrs. W. W. Steward, Sr.’s home in the northeast part of the city. The building is modern in every respect, built of brick and concrete with aluminum window frames, with wood materials being held to a minimum in the construction. It has two operating rooms, an X-Ray room, a laboratory, a nursery, a large kitchen, nurses’ room and storage closets. Twenty-eight beds have been installed. There is room for additional beds should they be needed in the future. A number of our people furnished the rooms in the hospital and their names are listed below: T. R. Bonner, J. D. Burleson, Calvary Baptist Church, Mr. and Mrs. Jack Crawford, Fairfield Rotary Club, Fairfield Masonic Lodge, Fairfield State Bank (reception room), Fairfield History Club, First Baptist Church, Mrs. F. E. Hill, Jr., Methodist W. M. S., Mr. and Mrs. W. A. Parker, Mr. and Mrs. F. B. Peyton, Presbyterian Church, Mr. and Mrs. J. O. Swinburn, and Mr. and Mrs. C. N. Williford.



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