Volume 33, Number 1, Fall 1993
The historic Gassville Rollins Hospital Building (also known as Gilbert Building) at Gassville, located just east of the post office, has been saved from the bulldozers and demolition that was scheduled due to the widening of US highway 62 through Gassville.
Through the efforts of Society Member Charles Blackburn, Representative Ed Gilbert and Highway Commissioner Bobby Hopper, the Highway Department altered the plans of the proposed widening of Highway 62 and its action spared the historic building.
The Gassville Hospital, or Rollins Hospital as it was known for many years, was the only hospital between Harrison and Batesville in Baxter County for many years. Many of our countys citizens began life or had some other necessary medical procedure in this building.
The building has served several masters in its history. The last owner was the Resolution Trust Corporation (RTC), who was the receiver of the properly when the Arkansas Federal Saving Bank became the property of the RTC. The Society acquired ownership of the property after tendering the successful bid for the purchase of the property.
The Hospital was operated for many years by Dr. W. J. Rollins who began his practice in the building about 1926. He sold the hospital in 1944 to Dr. J. F. Guenthner who operated it until he sold in 1950 to Dr.
J. A. Van Beber. Dr. Guenthner was a surgeon whole did his internship in Cook County Hospital, Chicago, Illinois, where he had the dubious honor of treating John Dillingers "Lady In Red." When he came to Gassville he was the only surgeon in a 40 mile radius of Mountain Home.
The acquisition presents an opportunity for the Society and the Citizens of Baxter County to explore its possible usage in the future. Many suggestions have been made, e.g., a History Museum for Baxter County, a meeting place for many citizen groups, medical museum, leasing of certain areas to others, etc. At the present time a decision has not been made as to what its final use will be. Input from all citizens of the area are solicited and will be considered before a decision is made as to the buildings future use.
The Society is optimistic that the Hospital Building can again serve the citizens of Baxter County and that one more item of our areas history can be retained.
The Society is planning a roster of persons born in the hospital. The roster will include name, date of the birth and the delivering doctors name. If anyone knows of a person born in the Gassville "Rollins" Hospital, please contact Margie or Gene Garr at 1505 Mistletoe, Mountain Home, AR 72653 (Phone 501-425-0405)
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