Hospital, 1327 North Jefferson Avenue, began on Thanksgiving Day,
1906, when Ellen A. Burge donated a new frame house and adjacent
land on North Jefferson for a medical facility. Shortly after the
hospital was founded the word "Deaconess" was dropped from the name
leaving it "Burge Hospital." Burge was a devout Methodist and the
hospital she helped found shared her denomination. Almost immediately
the hospital was forced to turn away patients due to lack of space.
Ellen Burge helped raise money, donated her own home, which was
located just south of the hospital, and in 1908 financed the building
of a three-story, 30-bed brick hospital building. This building
is shown in the black-and-white photograph, with her house to the
right in the postcard. Note the three women in the porch area of
the hospital building.
In 1931 physician John Howard Nixon provided a 40-bed brick wing,
which bore his name. In 1948 the hospital ran into severe financial
difficulties and was on the verge of closing down until Lester E.
Cox assumed leadership. He donated $150,000, which was matched by
the physicians of the hospital, and pulled the facility out of its
slump. In 1962 the hospital was renamed Burge-Protestant and after
Cox"s death in 1968 it was renamed the Lester E. Cox Medical Center. In 1981 when the new Cox Medical
Center South opened, the original Cox Medical Center became Cox
Medical Center North.
The Burge School of Nursing opened in 1907 and was founded by John
M. Conkling. The first nurse graduated in 1909. It closed for a
period of time but reopened in 1959 and continues to educate nurses
and health professionals in the Springfield area.