The Old Hospital
The following information came from an Oct. 23, 1958 article in the Delaware Republican Express.
Prior to the opening of the hospital on Franklin Street in 1914 doctors made house calls in and around the Village of Delhi, and occasionally, Dr. William Ormiston furnished a room in his own home for patients who needed immediate and constant nursing care.
In 1910, there was an effort to form a hospital association but no records of the procedure were kept. Dr. H.A. Gates, general practitioner, and Dr. Ormiston were instrumental in starting the Delhi Hospital Association.
Neal Hospital, in operation from 1914-1919, was built on a quarter acre lot on Franklin Street with 64 1/2 feet frontage and a depth of 140 feet. During this time, management, matrons and nurse personnel changed several times. The hospital was closed in 1919 due to lack of funds and was then purchased by Hon. Henry W. Cannon.
Cannon presented the property to Delhi free from debt, and with a sufficient sum to provide all needed equipment not already installed. During the next two decades the Cannon family paid for some repairs, and purchased an elevator and laundry room for the Franklin Street Hospital.
When the Franklin Street Hospital Association was formed on Feb. 15, 1922, the following residents were named as members on the board of directors:
Stephen F. Adee, Russell Archibald, Charles E. Kiff, William A. Humphries, Pierce B. Merrill, Edwin R. Graham and Howard Graham. The annual meeting was fixed as the first Tuesday in July.
The newly organized hospital association offered annual members at $2 and life memberships at $25. Until 1949, the only life membership in the records was that of Hamilton J. Hewitt.
In 1931, the board increased the hospital rates to $5 per day with all hospital fees included with the exception of physician¹s services.
Welfare patients were charged $4 per day. For private nursing the fee was $3 plus the nurse¹s fee. An extra 50 cents was charged for a baby¹s wash. The hospital employed two registered nurses, who earned $32 per week and a ward helper who earned $15 per week.
Ten years after the first board formed, it was reduced to three members, M.
Linn Bruce, F.P. Morgan and G.P Schlafer. Evidentially, there were concerns that a nine-member board was too large for efficient transaction of hospital affairs.
In 1935, the State Department of Social Welfare reported that the Delhi Hospital was rated in Class 2, and given approval for "excellent management."
During 1952, the interior of the hospital was entirely redecorated and the following year the Hospital Guild sponsored an open house and the doctors, nurses, laboratory technician and employees were the guides. Even with the improvements made to the hospital in 1952, inspectors visiting the hospital continued to point out conditions that failed to measure up to the required standards. Thus, in 1953, the possibility of building a new hospital entered the community¹s mind.
At the annual meeting held in 1955, Mayor Charles Aitken told those assembled that the board must make definite plans whether to use the current hospital and make improvements, or to seek funding to build a new hospital.
Stock was taken of hospital assets - $10,000 in government bonds, $4,100 was in a special account of which $2,500 was earmarked to x-ray equipment, and $5,695.46 in an interest account was available.
In 1956, a drive was started to collect $250,000 for construction of a new hospital. The slogan of the fund collecting campaign was "Help Yourself By Helping Others."
The old hospital was replaced by the new hospital in October of 1958.