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Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Laura Eldridge Hospital (Continued)

I went through Bettye & Leon Anhaiser's archive of photos (many thanks to them) and found additional photos of the 'new' Laura Eldridge Memorial Hospital which opened in 1957 on Eldridge Road.  I determined the date from Bob Armstrong's book on Sugar Land.  I also learned that I'd got Mrs. Eldridge's name wrong.  I thought it was 'Laurel" instead of "Laura." The photo below appears to show the hospital soon after it opened.

I think this next photo shows Mr. I. H. Kempner, Sr. speaking at the opening.  I can't identify any of the other men.

This final picture shows hospital administrator, Bill Chadwick, Esther Kirkpatrick, & Leon Anhaiser.  I don't know the details, but I think the Sugar Land Lions Club was donating new wheel chairs to the hospital.  Leon was President of the Lions Club at one time.  Mrs. Kirkpatrick was a member of the hospital board, I think.  The date must be around 1966 or '67.

I remember my first visit to the hospital.  It must have happened soon after it opened.  My family went to a Sugar Land High School football game in the fall of 1957.  I'm almost certain it was the first game of the season in East Bernard.  

I began running a fever during the game.  I also had chills, which caused my mother to make ominous suggestions -- nothing dramatic, but not the kind of thing I wanted to hear.  She told my dad they should stop by the hospital on the way home, so one of the doctors could take a look at me.  (Residents went to the hospital for after-hours treatment when the clinic was closed.)  

Although I was feeling pretty puny, I certainly didn't want to see a doctor, but my opinion didn't count since I was just 7-years old.  I'm not sure which doctor was on duty, but one of them said the dreaded words, "He's fine, but we'll give him a penicillen shot just to make sure."  For ever after I've never had a good feeling about hospitals.


  1. Do you know what the full years of operation were? When did it officially close?

  2. I do. The old hospital (on Lakeview) was in 'operation' from 1923 to 1957. This hospital began operation in 1957 and ceased in the late 1970s, I think.