Throwback Thursday: March 1910, construction begins on Casper’s first hospital

By Kristy Bleizeffer Mar 8, 2018

Photo credit: Wyoming Medical Center Collection, Casper College Western History Center

On March 19, 1906, a severe storm washed out a culvert on rail tracks west of Casper, crashing the Chicago and Northwest train.

Ten people died at the scene and another 16 were injured, according to “Wyoming Medical Center: A Centennial History,” written by historian Rebecca A. Hunt, Ph.D.

At the time, there was no community hospital. Local ailments were treated at Grandma Harrison’s house, an apparent convalescent home, or private facilities run by various doctors or agencies. Physicians were forced to treat those injured in the train crash at a makeshift hospital in the annex of the Episcopal Church, Hunt wrote.

Wyoming legislators voted to build the Casper branch of the Wyoming State Hospital in 1909 and construction began in March 1910. Wyoming paid the $22,500 price tag while Natrona County supplied the land. The chosen plot, a 300- by 420-foot section on Second Street between Conwell and Washington streets, was owned by Henry White. It was located at the eastern edge of Casper, and the site where Wyoming Medical Center stands to this day.

Construction finished in August, 1910, but the new hospital didn’t begin operation until more than a year later. Stay tuned!

Throwback Thursday looks back on Wyoming Medical Center’s long, rich history in Natrona County. Special thanks to the Casper College Western History Center, which archives our vast collection of newspaper articles, photographs and other memorabilia; and to "Wyoming Medical Center: A Centennial History," by Rebecca A. Hunt, Ph.D.

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