Our History


In 1917 the first hospital of Morris County was established by Dr. Bert Elba Miller. It was called the Council Grove Hospital. It was an old house remolded with 10 patient rooms and staffed by Dr. B. E. Miller and two nurses, Bell Benson, RN and Gladys Stillman, RN. Over the years Doctors James Woodmansee and C.C. Kerr joined him in practice in the county Dr. William McCunniff, Dr. Roy Drake, Dr. Robert W. Blackburn & Dr. B.A. Yost.

On the hospitals first board of trustees appointed by the County Commissioners were Frank Warnica, George Blythe, W.E. Hembrow, and R.E. Griffith. An architect was hired July 1947 to draw plans for a hospital on North Washington Street, Council Grove.

A petition circulated requesting that the county take over the Dr. Miller Hospital. F. D. Ferguson was instrumental in this petition and presented it to the County Commissioners, on October 11, 1948. The Commissioners rejected the request but reversed the decision in December 1948.

The county took over the operations of the Council Grove Hospital (Dr. Miller’s Hospital) in January 1949.

After 8 years of planning the Hospital on the hill was started. The project was to cost $419,885. May 1953 the hospital received $167,954 in Federal Funding and $253,375 in county funding. The ground breaking was held on May 25, 1953. The building was dedicated August 22, 1954 and patients were moved from the (Miller Hospital) Council Grove Hospital to the Morris County Hospital.

Additions were added in 1958, 1978, 1994, 2001, 2006, and 2011.

With the addition of physicians the space was running out. There were great changes in technology in health care since the 1960’s. Back then, nearly all hospitals were 100 percent inpatient services. Times had changed; 80-85% of patients were treated as outpatients in 2000.

On March 15, 2001 Ground Breaking Ceremony of the Morris County Hospital Renovation/Expansion Project was held for the largest expansion project. The renovation project estimated at 6.3 mil. took three years.

2007- The Morris County Hospital became a Critical Access Hospital. In February 2007 the Foundation held a Capital Campaign. The Campaign funds to be used to purchase the Electronic Medical Records System, CT Scanner, Mammography Machine, PACS system (Picture Archival Computer System) MRI and an addition to the Family Health Center to accommodate the physicians, patients and staff.

Morris County Hospital continues to keep up with modern technology and provide services at our hospital so patients don’t have to travel great distance for care and therapy.

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