Throwback Thursday: Getting voters to the polls - via ambulance, July 12, 1953

By Kristy Bleizeffer Jul 10, 2014

Casper Tribune Herald, July 12, 1953. Click to enlarge.

Casper Tribune Herald, July 12, 1953. (Click to enlarge.)

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This newspaper ad says voters will get a $5 million hospital for the cost of $1 million by voting 'yes' on the bond issue. (Click to enlarge)

When the McMurry West Tower opens in September, it will add 41 private patient rooms, a modern Mother and Baby Unit with a Level II nursery and a comprehensive surgery center to coordinate care from a patient's first visit to his return to work or daily life. It will cost $43.7 million.

Compare that to July 1953 when Natrona County Memorial Hospital asked voters to approve a $1 million bond issue to add 102 patient beds. The local papers covered the expansion and special election extensively, and the community (and political candidates) rallied behind the hospital.

"I want to be sure when we need a hospital bed, one will be available," mayoral candidate Howard E. Daugherty told the Casper Morning Star, noting each of his five-member family had been to the hospital at least once.

Ted Koerber, running for City Council Ward III, agreed: "I went into Memorial Hospital about a month ago, and I got the last bed!"

Patients in particular wanted to have their say. We transported several to the polls via ambulance so they could vote, including Mildred McBride, who'd been bedridden in Memorial Hospital for five years. In the end, the bond issue passed 3,002 to 890.

The new addition facing Second Street opened in December 1955.

The new addition facing Second Street opened in December 1955.

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This editorial from the Casper Morning STAR urged voters to support the hospital bond issue. (Click to enlarge).

#ThrowbackThursday is a weekly series celebrating Wyoming Medical Center’s long and rich history in Natrona County.  Special thanks to the Casper College Western History Center which archives the vast Wyoming Medical Center collection of newspaper articles, photographs and other memorabilia. If you recognize anyone from our #ThrowbackThursday posts or have more to add to the stories, please post a comment.

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