The first known hospital in Grafton area was the Civil War era Federal Hospital located on the corners of present day Beech and Walnut streets. In 1903 Dr. R. H. Powell had acquired the West Grafton School and transformed it into a hospital as well as his personal residences. The City of Grafton purchased the hospital from Dr. Powell in 1915.
In 1921 the Daughters of the American Revolution led an effort to get a modern hospital in Grafton. At that time the hospital had seven private rooms, six two-bed patient rooms, and a kitchen in the basement. The responsibility of the patients fell onto seven nurses, two maids, and one cook.
The Hospital Association of Grafton and Taylor County was formed in December of 1924 and they were responsible in the supervisions of its internal affairs, aiding in maintaining the hospital, and contribute to the comforts of its patients.
There had been many ideas proposed and voted on between 1924 and 1935. Building a new hospital was met with much resistance. Many felt there were more pressing issues, many thought the City of Grafton couldn’t afford it, and many feared that a new hospital would result in a bigger loss of revenue. Taylor County held a special election in September of 1935 which approved the building of a new facility but that was later overturned by the State Supreme Court of Appeals due to incorrect wording. Finally in 1935 fourteen beds were added to the existing facility.
The proposal for a new hospital was dormant until a Works Progress Administration and the City of Grafton project was approved in 1938. At that time a $40,000 levy was approved by the city voters. The WPA started the construction on “Finnegan Rock” led by Wheeling contractor Don J. Byrum, Ind. Using the plans drafted by architect L. D. Schmidt of Fairmont.
The WPA folded in 1939 and there were insufficient funds to continue construction. At that time only the outer walls and temporary roof had been set in place. There were no floors, partitions, plumbing, or wiring. In 1942 the Reconstruction Finance Corporation approved an application from the City of Grafton for a loan of $160,000 based on revenue bonds, providing the citizens would approve a three year levy to provide the additional $40,000. The bond was approved by a vote of 1816 to 140. Construction resumed shortly after the approval, however, war time brought restrictions and shortages of material needed to complete the construction.
The first 10 patients were finally moved into the 65-bed facility in March of 1945. The hospital held its official opening on May 12, 1945. It had been 30 years from concept to completion. At that time the hospital embodied the most modern and advanced concepts.
In 1966 a remodeling and expansion project was announced. This consisted of a Chronic Disease building, a service building and tunnel, and two new sections on the north and south end of the hospital. These were completed in the mid 1970’s.
In 2015 the hospital celebrated its centennial. Many things have changed in the 100 years the hospital has existed. Currently the hospital offers extensive services in primary care medicine. The facility had been upgraded with state of the art equipment, data network system, Electronic Hospital Record system, and continues to this day to offer excellent patient care.
Information provided by a news paper article Submitted by Wayne F. McDevitt and an article written by Written by Mr. H. C. Compton, Member, City Hospital Board, May 12, 1948