Formal Opening of KGH Recounted

Formal Opening Occurs of New City Hospital

Mayor McTeer Presides at the Ceremonies, Which Consisted of Brief Addresses by Messrs. Chas. T. Cates, E. T. Sanford and Dr. S. R. Miller

Praise Given the Faithful Band of Women Whose Efforts First Started the Movement Which Has Given Knoxville Such an Excellent Institution – Inspection of the New Structure Made by Hundreds of Citizens Who were Guests of the Occasion

Journal and Tribune, April 15, 1902, Page 8
Knoxville’s new city hospital was formerly [sic] opened yesterday afternoon. Between the hours of four o’clock and eight o’clock hundreds of people visited the structure, and many were the expressions of commendation concerning what was seen. On account of the illness of Mrs. W. L. McCreary, one of the members of the woman’s hospital board, who has been so prominently associated with the great undertaking, the social features which were in contemplation were dispensed with. In the hall of the west ward the formal exercises were conducted at five p.m. J. T. McTeer, mayor and president of the building board, presided. Dr. Jno. H. Frazee, pastor of the Pilgrim Congregational church, opened the exercises with a prayer, in which he referred feelingly to the member of the woman’s board who was so seriously ill. Mayor McTeer then introduced Chas. T. Cates, Jr., who, he said, was to deliver the address of the occasion in behalf of the Woman’s building board.

Mr. Cates’ Address

Mr. Cates spoke in a happy vein and held the closest attention. He said that he was to speak in behalf of the ladies, but he knew that there was no one present who would object if he spoke more about the women than was intended by the women’s request. On such an occasion he said that it was no doubt appropriate, first, to tell what had produced the magnificent structure that was being opened. The building, like all good things, was begun or has been nurtured, by women. He said that a few women got together and encouraged by some of the physicians of the city, organized and began to raise money, until they had secured enough to purchase the square on which the building was located. He said that he was glad that the women had bought the lot for if men had bought it they would have purchased only enough ground for the building. He told of the movement which culminated in the city subscribing different sums of money, to the enterprise. The city, he said, had raised $45,000 and the women $10,000, and that the city owned the magnificent structure worth $55,000 for an outlay of $45,000. He knew of no one in Knoxville who begrudged the money which had been spent for the erection of the building, nor would begrudge the money which would be spent towards meeting its expenses in the future. In all the history of the city there had not been such marked results from such a small beginning.

Edward T. Sanford Speaks

Edward T. Sanford was next introduced as the speaker who would represent the governing board. He spoke for a few minutes expressing the sentiments of the board, which now has the future of the hospital in its care. He said that it was not inappropriate that in France the greatest hospital is known as the “House of God.” Next to the churches, he said, such a term could not more fittingly apply than to the hospitals. He desired to join in expressing gratitude to the women who started at the foundation of the hospital undertaking and have so faithfully labored to its consummation. To the city officials, who when the occasion demanded, came forward and gave the assistance of the city, and helped to make the dream of the women a reality, he expressed gratitude. He expressed gratefulness to the building board which has labored faithfully. And last, he said that he could not cease from expressions of gratefulness without making mention of S. C. Roney, the chairman of the governing board, who hd said had done much of the work and kept the enthusiasm going. The board felt in a deep sense the trust which has been reposed in the governing board by the people, and the obligations and responsibilities to the city. It was a new undertaking, that there were no precedents, mistakes would be made, but that the board would do the best it could. It asked indulgence and co-operation, for without co-operation of the people he did not anticipate the best results. He said that the board wanted help. As those present went through the building, he said for them to note the empty places and think of how they might be filled, and how that there might be brought joy and comfort, not to one person, but to many for years to come.

Dr. S. R. Miller Heard

Dr. S. B. Boyd, president of the medical board of the hospital, was to make the address in behalf of that organization. He was unable to be present, however, and Dr. S. R. Miller was called upon to take his place, which he did in a very able manner. He said that the part of the medical board was work, and in this way would it contribute to the hospital. The opening of the hospital, he said, marked a new era in medical matters in the city of Knoxville, and the medical board was equal to the occasion. Along philanthropical lines, he said, that America had progressed more rapidly than any other country. Of the large number of hospitals in the United States, Tennessee had eighteen. Two of these are located in Knox county. Concerning the hospital of the insane for the eastern district of Tennessee it had been said that it was the cleanest and best kept in the state. The same, he believed, would be said of the hospital of Knoxville that it is the best of any city in the state. He said that it had been his pleasure to visit all of the best hospitals in the south, and he knew of none better than that of Knoxville. He believed that it was an institution that would compare favorably with any in the United States. He said that he did not mean that it was the finest, but that for practical results the Knoxville hospital was capable of as high a degree of work as any in this country. Rev. M. D. Jeffries, pastor of the Second Baptist church, closed the services with a prayer.

Inspection of Hospital

The building was inspected by a large number of people both before and after the speaking. The entire building was thrown open. The rooms are commodious, well lighted, and those which are fitted up are as neat and cosy as they could be made. The beds are iron with white enamel. The operating room was a place of interest. Several hundred dollars’ worth of apparatus was there in place. In the operating room proper there are tiers of seats for the use of students or spectators who may witness the operations. The apparatus is of the latest and most improved design. The woman’s hospital board, which held a meeting yesterday morning transacted some matters of business in connection with the opening which was to follow. On account of the serious illness of Mrs. McCreary, it was decided at the meeting that the social features which had been planned for the opening would be left out. The board will continue in existence, and will doubtless be needed towards getting more supplies for the building. The donations which were asked for and to be delivered at the opening yesterday were not large. On the opening day of the new hospital the Daughters of the Confederacy concluded arrangements by which they took one of the hospital rooms for a period of years. This room will be open to all old confederate soldiers who may need medical attention. The daughters have felt for several months that they should secure a room but the task seemed almost a hopeless one. A number of ladies, however, headed by Mrs. J. W. S. Frierson, interested themselves in the movement recently and secured the necessary amount of money to make possible that which they had hoped to accomplish.

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