Wheeling Hospital: North Wheeling Hospital, 1875
- from the Wheeling Intelligencer, Jan. 4, 1875:
North Wheeling Hospital — This charitable institution was brought into existence and successfully established by the Rt. Rev. Bishop Whelan about the year 1854. The Bishop purchased what had been the private residence of Michael Sweeney, at the north end of the city. No more favorable location could have been selected inside the city limits. Since its inauguration two extensive wings have been built and the entire building has also been raised one story. The establishment is amply provided with good fire-places, which, however, are seldom used, as the building is heated throughout with registers. It is also equipped with hot and cold water conveniences, including shower baths on the first and second floors, and gas throughout all the rooms. In the basement there is a large bakery, where 125 loaves can be baked at once. The cellar accommodations cannot be excelled.
After the great and sanguinary battle of Gettysburg and its immediate campaigns, the government, finding itself taxed to the utmost to provide for the sick and wounded, rented one wing of the building and filled it with wounded and sick soldiers. In the spring of 1864 the battle in the Wilderness and Sigel's disastrous campaign in the Valley, together with the conflict in the southwest, filled to overflowing every hospital in the land, and the entire Wheeling Hospital was rented by the Government and Dr. John Kirker placed in charge. The orphans were moved over the river to a dwelling owned by the Bishop at the upper end of the Island, and their care delegated to several of the Sisters of Charity detailed for that purpose.
At the time we speak of the self sacrificing labors of the "Sisters of Charity" were called into active requisition, the hospital being crowded to its utmost capacity with the maimed and sick. As fast as one became fit for duty his place was filled by another unfortunate. At all hours of the night and day these Sisters of Charity were to be found ministering to the stricken soldiers. The writer of this knows by experience the value of the services performed at this trying time by the Sisters of Charity, as he was in the Hospital for three months with a gunshot wound in 1864.
With the return of peace and the disbanding of the army, the Hospital once more fell into the routine for which it was designed. The "Sisters of Charity" brought the little ones back from the "Island" and unfortunate and indigent persons were received as before. The building which had suffered considerably during the war was renovated, and thoroughly repaired, and the grounds were much improved and beautified. Very many unfortunate persons have since that received care and medical treatment and been sent on their way rejoicing.
At the present time there are forty-five orphan girls in charge of the sisters, and eighteen patients, including one colored. None of the cases are dangerous excepting that of one young man who is ill with typhoid pneumonia.
There are eighteen rooms in the building, excluding the basement, hallway, pantries, &c., and these are all in use. A dispensary is attached to the hospital under the supervision of Dr. Frissel. There is a private chapel on the second floor where the inmates can worship and where the children are brought for religious teachings. There are eleven sisters at the hospital, including the Mother Superior, Sister Stanislaus, and the neatness and cleanliness of every department, the comfortable and bright looks of the children, and the nameless "bejouterie" in all the rooms give ample evidence of the refined and christian hands of women.
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