Griggs County Hospital

Cooperstown's first hospital of which there are records opened August 27, 1903.  Dr. Burnap and Dr. Brimi started a city hospital in the old A.N. Adams house.  Tax records show that the A.N. Adams house was located on Block 72, Lots 4 and 5.  The AX Adams house was built in 1885.  For many years it was the home of the Gilbert Auren family and stood where the Grace Lutheran parsonage now stands.  It is now located on the Roger Dahl farm which is three miles west, three miles south and one and one-half miles west of Cooperstown.  It is used as a dwelling house by the Roger Dahl family after a fire destroyed their farm home.

The hospital was opened for patients October 1, 1903.  The people of Cooperstown felt fortunate they would not need to leave town to be treated.  They felt they had a first-class hospital, good doctors and the best-trained nurse.  Miss A.E. Oliver was the nurse at the city hospital.

December 3, 1903 the Cooperstown hospital was reorganized and was then owned and controlled by Dr. Burnap only, with the agreement that the patients of other physicians would be received provided others consulted him.  This made it possible for one man to be responsible for all cases, which under the old plan was impossible.  No dates are available when this hospital closed.

During the flu epidemic of 1918, the old Andrews Hotel at Tenth and Lenham was converted to a hospital and staffed with people to care for the victims of the flu, with Dr. Carl Brimi in charge of the emergency arrangement.

November 14, 1945 a group of concerned persons met to discuss the need for a hospital in Cooperstown.  A board of directors was elected:

Rev. Ray Radliff, Dr. Fred Rose, Dr. M.D. Westley, C.P. Dahl to name a few.  The first formal meeting was held September 26, 1946 when a permanent board of directors were elected.  C.S. Arneson was named chairman, Carl 0.  Johnson, treasurer, and Mrs. S.L. (Ethel) Lemna, secretary.  Ground breaking for the hospital was in the spring of 1949.  The hospital was constructed by Moline, a Jamestown contractor.  It was completed in 1950 and equipment installed by February of 1951.

Dr. K.M. Wakefield of Gackle, North Dakota and Dr. Loren Fennell of Winnipeg, Canada met with the hospital board in August of 1950.  The ' y were encouraged to open practices here and were to lease the west wing of the hospital for their clinic.

Mrs. Grace Cabot, R.N. was hired as superintendent of nurses in November of 1950.  She was to receive a monthly wage of $275.00; however, she was relieved of her duties January 10, 1951, before the hospital opened.

Mrs. Jovone€™ Mack, R.N. was hired as superintendent of nurses January 16, 1951.  The hospital board gave her the authority to hire whatever help she felt was necessary.  Among those registered nurses who worked when the hospital first opened were Beulah Baird who worked nights

Beverly (Kloster) Soma who was the surgical nurse-, Merle Haerter

Shirley Erickson

Sally Thompson

Ida Hanson-, and Erma Juve.  Part-time RN's included Miriam Laatz

Agnes Bender

Maxine Lang

Mrs. Art Brown. 


Nurse€™s aides were:

Marvel Oakley

Mary Lou Wuflestad (Johnson)

Norma Olson

Josie Johnson (Olson)

February 15, 1951 the Griggs County Hospital opened its doors for patients.  Staff physicians were Dr. Wakefield, Dr. Fennell and Dr. L. Almklov.  Visiting doctors were Dr. Beck of Sharon and Dr. O.D. Dekker of Finley.

The first patient registered in the hospital was E.S. Bardahl.  Two days after the hospital was opened, the first baby was delivered.  Mr. and Mrs. Einar Overby became the parents of a baby girl, Sandra.  Dr. L. Almklov attended the delivery.  As of January '31, 1982, there have been 19,839 patients registered in the hospital.  There have been over 1800 births (including triplets born in August of 1951) since the opening of the hospital in 1951.

There were 31 employees on the full-time, part-time staff of the hospital in 1951.  Today there are 96 on the staff of hospital and nursing home.  6riginally a full-time worker worked 48 hours a week.  In March of 1958 the hospital policy was changed to a 40-hour week for full-time employees.

Source: Cooperstown, North Dakota 1882-1982 Centennial Page 169

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