The Coshocton County Beacon September 24, 2020 - Page 24

24 • The Beacon September 24 , 2020
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Dr . Keenan had a role in our history

It was a productive meeting in December 1908 between a doctor and an attorney .
The two men met during a stop-over at the old Coshocton train depot as they chatted to each other while walking up Chestnut Street . Dr . W . H . Keenan and his new pleasant friend Durand agreed the town of Coshocton was going places .
“ I don ’ t think you could go wrong by investing your business here ,” Durand said .
After talking with the owner of Lorenz ’ s restaurant , Dr . Keenan said he didn ’ t know much about Coshocton , but he liked what he saw and mentioned he was thinking of bringing his practice to Coshocton .
Lorenz said Coshocton had a good number of doctors , but one thing they didn ’ t have was a hospital . “ We need one . If one of the factory workers or miners need care , there ’ s nowhere to go .”
Carole Etchells Cross
Between the Bookends
Dr . Keenan said he always followed his hunches but had to wait three years before he could leave the community of Caldwell in Ohio . When his obligation ended , he packed up and headed for Coshocton and bought the Few home at 514 Chestnut St . in Coshocton .
Dr . Keenan ’ s sister had finished her nurse ’ s training at St . Joseph ’ s Hospital in Philadelphia and was the first nurse hired in her brother ’ s Keenan Hospital . The new hospital had 12 beds , an operating table , X-ray machine , a microscope and various other pieces of equipment . The hospital was instantly filled with 15 beds .
With the outbreak of World War I , Dr . Keenan enlisted as an overseas surgeon .
After the war his health was declining , and in 1912 he announced he was closing the hospital , which was filled to capacity at that time . Dr . Kennan died Feb . 28 , 1910 , at the age of 61 .
In 1910 H . D . Beach had presented the eastern section of Coshocton City to a deed of land along Walnut Street for the purpose of someday constructing a hospital .
The City of Coshocton had set aside $ 10,000 for a new hospital . P . M . Pedigrew drew up the plans and supervised the construction . The hospital was built on the south side of Walnut Street and completed in 1912 .
There was no fanfare of dedication , only a general invitation for the public to visit and inspect the hospital on Feb . 12 , 1912 .
Residents gave furniture , and Pope-Gosser , one of the city ’ s largest industries , gave complete sets of fine china for the doctors and nurses .
On Feb . 14 , 1912 , Mrs . Bruce Buker of 11 North St . had an operation for appendicitis . Assisting were Dr . Shaw , Dr . Pomerene and Dr . McCurdy .
Mrs . C . B . Chesborough , R . N . and graduate of the Philadelphia City , was the first matron for the hospital . She had a staff of two assistant nurses .
The original hospital was considered adequate until 1916 . The first new addition occurred in 1918 . George Wilson Cassingham was mayor and head of the control board . He called for bids for consideration . The contract was awarded at $ 17,000 for the first addition to the hospital and was given to John L . Shaw , the city ’ s largest contractor . Work began in 1917 . Materials were hard to get and hard to buy due to the war . In July 1918 work was finally completed .