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Mercy Hospital, Hamilton

Mercy Hospital, Hamilton. The campaign to establish a hospital in Hamilton peaked in the summer of 1892, almost a year after the city had celebrated its centennial. Public meetings led to the appointment of a 10-man executive committee that succeeded in opening a 15-bed Mercy Hospital in October 1892. At that time there wasn't a hospital in Butler County, which had a population of 48,597 people in 1890. There were 10 hospitals in Cincinnati, where Dr. Daniel Drake had established the region's first hospital in 1821. There also were four hospitals in Dayton, but none in the 60-plus miles between the two cities. The Hamilton committee agreed to pay $9,500 for a two-story house at 116 Dayton Street (the former Hurm residence), and provide about $3,000 for improvements and furnishings. The 15-bed hospital opened Oct. 5, 1892, staffed by six sisters under the direction of Mother Mary Xavier Cosgrove. It remained the only hospital in Butler County until 1917 when Middletown Hospital opened. In November 1904 the Sisters of Mercy opened a new, larger hospital in the city. About a thousand people toured the new 100-bed hospital during its public opening Nov. 22, 1904. A writer observed that "some months ago when it was announced that a large and modern hospital, to cost $50,000, would be built, there were those who looked at the project with misgiving, but the new Mercy Hospital, a magnificent edifice, stands today a monument to the liberality and charity of the people of Hamilton." The 1904 building project was the first of several physical additions, renovations and improvements in the hospital's nearly 109-year history.

In March 2001, Mercy Health Partners of Southwest Ohio announced plans to close the Hamilton hospital June 1, 2001. The emergency room closed April 12. Some services, including an adult day service and the coroner's office, remained in the building after the official closing. The cost of renovating the structure was estimated at $17 million. Oct. 13, 2003, Hamilton City Council voted unanimously to buy the 10-acre hospital property for $200,000. The immediate plan was to demolish the buildings and seek a developer for the site. The city named the redevelopment project Rivers Edge.

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