An Excerpt from “Historical Review of Hospital Facilities in Lakeview” by William J. Strieby, M.D.
The Growth of Lake County Oregon by Georgie Stephenson is a valuable source of information on the development of hospital facilities in Lakeview.
Dr. and Mrs. G. Irving Russell constructed the first hospital in 1913. It was located on F and South Sixth Streets and was labeled “Lakeview General Hospital”. It had a bed capacity for twelve patients and was attended by two trained nurses. No other hospital was maintained between Reno on the south, The Dalles on the north, Klamath Falls on the west and Idaho on the east. After a brief period of operation, Dr. Russell died. Dr.’s Ballard and Oftendal purchased the property from Mrs. Lucy Russell.
A movement was next started to develop a new larger hospital in 1919. Reference to this program can be found in the April 24, 1919 edition of the Lake County Examiner. It was believed that this new hospital with twelve private rooms, office, kitchen, operating room, two baths, living and dining rooms could be constructed for $10,00. In 1919 a 70' by 180' lot was purchased for $1,800 and floor plans were developed by Mr. Kerr of Alturas. Construction of a stone building 34' by 108' was awarded to A.G. McComb of Lakeview with a bid of $13,864. This building is now the site of the Lakeview Senior Center on the corner of Center and G Streets. Engraved on the cornerstone are the words "Lakeview Public Hospital 1920." The cost of the building was covered by multiple private donations and social events such as ice cream socials. It was decided that the Catholic Sisters of Charity would manage the new hospital. Title was made in the name of St. Patrick's Catholic Parish, Father Thomas J. Brady. In 1932 the deed was signed transferring ownership to the Knights of Columbus. The management of the property was turned over to a group of local doctors in 1935. They believed it was in their best interest to come together and work in a common hospital. Dr.'s Penn Wilbur, H.E. Kelty and William Chisholm formed Lakeview Hospital, Inc., and established a plan of stock purchase. Dr.'s Charles Leithead, Everett and Joycelin Roberts soon followed. Registered nurses Mary Moon and Mable McDonald managed the hospital. Dr. Leithead retired in 1946 and Dr. Paul Kliewer acquired his stock. In 1947 Dr. Jim Wilbur joined the group for a short time but left in 1948. Dr. Kelty retired in 1948 and Dr. William Strieby acquired his stock. In 1949 Dr. Louis Robertson returned to Lakeview, his hometown, to establish his medical practice with his office in the basement or lower floor of the hospital. The hospital was well managed by the two nurses. Mary Moon retired in 1950, and Mable McDonald continued to manage the hospital. In 1965 the physicians all agreed that our 17-bed hospital was not adequate enough for the community. A 17-member committee was appointed to evaluate the need for a new hospital. The committee worked for several months on the planning aspect of the construction of the new hospital. It was completed in 1970 using federal Hill Burton funds. This hospital, located at 700 South J Street, was to provide 24 beds for acute care and 24 beds in the nursing home; it was later changed to 21 and 47 beds, respectively. The old hospital remained empty until 1973 when the commissioners agreed to purchase the building with the intent of using federal funds to completely remodel it. The physician owners agreed to sell the building at a reduced price with the understanding that it would be used as a senior citizens' center. The building was completely remodeled from top to bottom and was also enlarged to accommodate the enlarged kitchen facility on the north and a sun-room on the south. The county was supporting the center to the extent of $25,000 a year. Construction of the new hospital, named Lake District Hospital, was completed in 1970. Initial staff physicians included Dr. Penn Wilbur, Dr. Paul Kliewer, Dr. L.C. Robertson, Dr. William J. Strieby and Dr. Connie Robertson. Acute trauma cases are evaluated and, if local care can be provided, the necessary care is carried out. If specialist attention is indicated, the patient is transported by air or ground ambulance. The Hospital Auxiliary has been very supportive in donating time to patient care and money for multiple hospital and nursing home needs. The hospital is tax supported by a taxing district that encompasses the southern half of Lake County. North Lake County, north of Picture Rock Pass, is not included in the tax district because they are closer to Bend and a health facility is maintained in Christmas Valley. The Lake Health District Board of Directors consists of five members who are elected on a rotation system. The board hires the administrator. .
An Excerpt from “The Growth of Lake County, Oregon” by Georgie Ellen Boydstun Stephenson
Public hospital service began in Lakeview in 1913. Dr. and Mrs. J. Irving Russell occupied the Henry Newell property on West Street near Bullard Street. They recognized the need for a hospital in the community and set about providing hospital service.
Work has commenced Monday of this week on a large addition to the Henry Newell property on West Street, occupied by Dr. and Mrs. J. Irving Russell, which will be used for hospital purposes. The work is in charge of I.A. Underwood and it will be ready for use by September 15.
The institution will be known as the Lakeview General Hospital and…
Public hospital service began in Lakeview in 1913. Dr. and Mrs. J. Irving Russell occupied the Henry Newell property on West Street near Bullard Street. They recognized the need for a hospital in the community and set about providing hospital service. Work has commenced Monday of this week on a large addition to the Henry Newell property on West Street, occupied by Dr. and Mrs. J. Irving Russell, which will be used for hospital purposes. The work is in charge of I.A. Underwood and it will be ready for use by September 15. The institution will be known as the Lakeview General Hospital and while it will be under the supervision of Dr. and Mrs. Russell, the latter of whom is a graduate nurse, it will be open to the other physicians of Lakeview should they desire its use for their patients. It will be constructed to amply care for twelve patients at one time, and trained nurses will be provided for their care. The apartments will be furnished throughout with hospital furniture and a modernity equipped surgery will be installed. The rooms will be plastered and all the interior finished in white. "This property is considered a good location for the purpose, as while it is near the center of the town, it is far enough out to insure quiet and rest for patrons(1)."The building was not completed on schedule, but the new hospital opened two months later. "The Lakeview Hospital, on the Henry