Photo Submitted by Bill Belt
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Crittenden Co., Hospital

History of the old Crittenden County Hospital

By:   Brenda Travis Underdown
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The first Crittenden County Hospital building has a history of it's own. This magnificent building started out as the home of the E. J. Hayward family.
The Hayward mansion was built in 1904 and was the grandest home in Marion. It was three stories high with a full basement. Mr. Hayward was a prominent businessman in Marion.
The Hayward family lived here until 1915 and he and his family moved back to his hometown farm in Hardin County, Illinois.

The next chapter in the life of this building began in 1921, when the Marion Board of Education purchased the building to renovate it into a High School.
The building then served its town as the much loved Marion High School, from 1921-1938.
Then a new High School was built and the building was once again empty.

The third and final chapter was the Crittenden County Hospital. A committee formed by Dr. T. Atchison Frazer, bought the building in 1942 from the school board, to be Crittenden County's first hospital.
The building was then renovated into a hospital. The new Crittenden County Hospital had it's first patient on June 1944.

The Crittenden County Hospital served the community and surrounding communities, well from 1944 until 1972. For many years it was the only hospital within a radius of 50 miles of Marion.
In the summer of 1972 the new and more modern hospital was completed, located on Highway 60 West, and opened it's doors for patients.

Now the stately building has sat empty for all this time. Although a committee, known as Crittenden County For Tomorrow, purchased the building several years ago in hopes of finding the funds
to have the home restored and used again by the community. But all hopes are about now faded as it still sits empty and keeps deteriorating as each day goes by.


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