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.

Ilion Hospital

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 nursery.

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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Established: 11/5/99
Last Updated: 11/5/99
Copyright © 1999 Paul McLaughlin/ Judy Breedlove/ Martha S. Magill