VILLAGE OF ILION
HERKIMER COUNTY, NY
The following is taken from "Ilion 1852-1952." We thank the Mayor and other officials of Ilion for granting us permission to provide this information to our visitors.
The establishment of the Ilion Hospital was surrounded with a tinge of
mystery, for it was the generous idea of an unknown donor, who originally
presented $25,000 to the village for a hospital. It was strongly emphasized
that no mention was to be made of the donor and the hospital was
incorporated in 1906 under the name of Ilion Emergency Hospital. Sometime
later the donors bequest was increased to $45,000 and the cornerstone was
laid June 13, 1908 by W. K. Jenne, president of the Board of Directors.
When the structure was completed, another $5,000 was required from the
anonymous donor to provide the first year's maintenance. It was at this
time the donor's name became known to the public. When the hospital was
formally opened June 19, 1909, the hospital was called the Henry Harper
Benedict Hospital. Mr. Benedict was then living in New York and at his
request the name was changed to Ilion Hospital.
Miss Ruth Yale was the first superintendent who served ably and efficiently
until her retirement in 1943.
For some time the Directors of the Hospital realized it was not large
enough to serve Ilion and the surrounding neighborhood and steps were taken
to enlarge it. In 1943 a new wing was made possible with an appropriation
from the Federal government, individuals and local industries. 26 beds were
added and Dr. Brian J. Kelly, Frankfort, completely refurbished the
From 1910 the village contributed to the support of the hospital. Then in
1950 due to the high operating costs it was voted to place the hospital
under the management of the towns of Frankfort and German Flatts.
The Ilion Hospital is strictly modern with 56 beds and 12 bassinets
operated in accordance with the highest medical standards, complete with
x-ray and laboratory services.
Down through the years the hospital has received a number of bequests and
gifts. The largest bequest $42,000 was from the Barringer estate in 1928.
It seems fitting at this time to pay tribute to Dr. Jennie Richardson, who
took an active part in the establishment of the hospital and for 39 years
served as president of the Women's Associate Hospital Board. Dr. Richardson
was made honorary president of the group in 1948.
That time may not erase the memory of this munificent gift, a bronze tablet
of appreciation adorns the wall of the main room.
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