City of Knoxville Purchases LMU Hospital in 1917

The City of Knoxville’s purchase of Lincoln Memorial Hospital, which was located across Cleveland Place from Knoxville General Hospital, occurred in late 1917 to early 1918.  Some resources say LMU was sold to the University of Tennessee, but that is incorrect based on available documents.

This article will be supplemented as research continues and information is compiled.

City of Knoxville, Commission Minute Book 5

(Copies provided by the City of Knoxville Legislative Records Department and transcribed by B. McNamara.)

Page 499

November 6, 1917

Mayor McMillan read proposition from the Lincoln Memorial Hospital that was received and ordered spread of record for other consideration.

Oct. 31st, 1917

At our meeting in May, 1917, The Board of Trustees of the Lincoln Memorial University authorized a special committee to make a sale of our hospital property and holdings, and provide for the University to withdraw from its activities in the City of Knoxville. The resolution provided for the sale of the property as a whole, for not less than Ninety Thousand dollars, ($90,000.) [sic]

Pursuant to several suggestions, we make you the following propositions:

First: The sale of the hospital property entire, including our real estate holdings and all equipment belonging to the Hospital, including the furniture, bed linen, sterilizing outfit, tables, chairs and laundry, for the sum of ninety thousand dollars ($90,000).

Second: If you desire the hospital, the medical college, and the laboratory building also the small house on the lot in the rear of the hospital, we will sell these for sixty five thousand dollars ($65,000).

Terms – Any reasonable terms which you may desire may be arranged with Mr. Shields in accordance with his newspaper article of Monday, October 22nd.

Pending your consideration, the hospital which was to have been closed tonight, will be continued in operation up to and including the evening of the 15th of November, in order that no hardships, due to this consideration, may be imposed upon the sick and needy of the City and vicinity.

by Geo. A. Hubbell, President

On motion Commissioner Hill, the Mayor was requested to call a meeting in the Commission room to hear all citizens in regard to the purchase of the Lincoln Memorial Hospital.

Page 566

Commissioner Hill read his letter on behalf of the City offering $60,000 for the hospital, and the refusal of it by letter from Dr. Hubble, and on motion the action of Commissioner Hill was ratified, and both letters were ordered placed of record, 3 voting “Aye”.


Dec. 11th, 1917

Hon. S. E. Hill, Acting Mayor, Knoxville, Tennessee.

My dear Commissioner Hill,

I thank you for your communication of this date in which you tender the offer of -$60,000.00 [sic] in cash for the Lincoln Memorial Hospital building, Medical College building, small brick house, and all apparatus and equipment belonging to the institution in our buildings.

I have conferred with some members of our committee since I learned of your proposition and beg to say that the price which you offer would involve the University in a more serious financial loss than it feels willing to sustain. Accordingly in behalf of the committee, I respectfully and courteously decline your offer of $60,000.00 cash for the property specified. As before indicated to you the selling price for this property is $65,000.00.

Cordially Yours, Geo A. Hubbell



Dr. Geo. A Hubbell, Pres. Lincoln Memorial University, City.

Dear Sir:

In the absence of the Mayor, I assume that it is I my duty to apprise you of the action that the City Commission in conference took on yesterday in reference to the matter of purchasing the Lincoln Memorial Hospital for the City of Knoxville, the same to become a part of the Knoxville General Hospital.

As I understand your proposition, submitted sometime ago you proposed to take $90,000.00 for all of the property which includes hospital, college building and other real estate. You also submitted a proposition to take $65,000.00 for the hospital building, old medical college, laboratory building, and a small brick house and the contents of the institution. You subsequently submitted a proposition to accept $85,000.00 for the entire property. The commission after weighing carefully your proposition and the situation as it exists in the City in reference to the hospital facilities has decided to offer you $60,000.00 in cash for the hospital building, medical college, laboratory, small brick house and all of the apparatus and equipment therein.

We are not seeking to due down or question the sincerity of your proposal, but rather are making the proposition in full candor, believing that we are doing what the best interests of the City requires.

I feel that I am authorized by the action of the Commission in conference to herewith transmit this offer which when accepted by you will become a binding contract between you and the City of Knoxville.

Sincerely yours, Sam E. Hill, Com’r A. & P.

Page 568

December 13th, 2:30 p.m.

– Bills –

Commissioner Crumbliss stated that he was at the Knoxville General Hospital and there were a number of patients in the office and hall waiting for admission. He was now in favor of purchasing the Lincoln Memorial Hospital at the price of $65,000 as per the offer made in writing on Oct. 31, 1917, found in Minute Book 5 Page 499. On Roll call Mayor McMillan, Commissioner Hill & Crumbliss voted “Aye”, Commissioner Little and Flenniken “Nay”.

Page 595

December 27, 1917

Commissioner Crumbliss offered the following motion in regard to the purchase and payment of the Lincoln Memorial Hospital. On roll call five voted “Aye”.

“I move that Jno. E. McMillan, Mayor, be authorized to accept for the City of Knoxville, and have the City Recorder record in the Registers office a deed from Lincoln Memorial University to the City of Knoxville, and that the said Mayor and Commissioner of Accounts and Finance, be authorized to execute a voucher, or vouchers for the purchase price amounting to $65,000.00, and deliver the same to W. S. Shields, Treasurer of the Endowment fund of Lincoln Memorial University, and make the same payable to Wm. S. Shields, Treasurer, and Treasurer of the Endowment fund of Lincoln Memorial University in payment for the Hospital property purchased by the City from the Lincoln Memorial University and in re-payment of the endowment fund secured by Deed of Trust on said property upon the same being released by the Treasurer of the University of Tennessee of the endowment fund of the University in the Registers Office at Knoxville, and the Mayor and Commissioner of Accounts and Finance are further authorized to execute and deliver voucher [sic] for the unearned insurance premiums on the property and have the policies of insurance transferred to the City of Knoxville on accepting the deed all of same to be paid out of the $100,000 bond issue therefor embraced in the $800,000 greater City issue.

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