The Proposed Hospital: A Letter to the Editor in 1895

The Proposed Hospital.  A Well Citizen Expresses Himself on the Subject

Editor Journal:  The suggestion has come from some quarter (and certainly not too soon) that Knoxville stands in need of an “up-to-date” Hospital.  The present small and incomplete City hospital is far from meeting the demand.  A moments’ consideration will satisfy any one as to the urgent need of a more commodious and well appointed building.  It is needed for the poor sick, the middle class, and even for the rich.  Surgical operations are much more safe and successful when performed at a clean convenient hospital, where proper attention from trained nurses may be found, and there are many such in boarding houses, and even in homes, who would be far better treated in such a hospital.

A decent person would scarcely now wish to go to our City hospital.  The cramped surroundings there are not such as to make the place attractive or convenient, although it may be admitted that it is as clean as could be expected.  Even among the poorest the same sort of prejudice prevails against it as against our County Poor asylum.

Now with a larger build- [sic] the free patients, and a department for pay patients, there would be an institution where many would go for treatment without hesitation, and great good would result.  In larger cities many well-to-do people go to the hospitals and there receive attention and treatment.  And in a city as large as ours, I am sure not a few young men and women too, who have not families and homes, would at once, upon any serious sickness, wish admission into the hospital.

Every citizen should be interested in the work of making for Knoxville an institution of the kind under consideration which would be a credit to so progressive a city.  The doctors doubtless will be ready to cooperate and give of their service and what may be necessary.  Just how this work should be begun, whether the city should make provision by a tax levy for a suitable building, or whether subscriptions to a building fund should be sought from the liberal and benevolent of our people I cannot say.  No more truly Christian work could engage the minds and hearts of those who love their fellows.

Lewis Tillman

Source:  Knoxville Daily Journal and Tribune, November 27, 1895, page 3

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