1890s - 1920s
In 1896, Melanchthon Cameron Porter, M.D. moved to Clay Center where he practiced for twelve years and became one of the leading physicians in the town. In 1901, Benjamin Franklin Morgan, M.D. moved to Clay Center. Dr. B.F. Morgan, Dr. Porter, and Will Docking organized the first hospital known as the Porter-Morgan Hospital. Ida Palmquist was Clay Center’s first professional nurse and served in the Porter-Morgan Hospital and the Clay Center Hospital. Surgery during this time had no X-Rays, no antibiotics, blood or IV’s for the patients and was only giving morphine after the surgery.
In 1902, the Clay Center Hospital formally opened July 7th. John B. Snell repaired and remodeled this new hospital formerly known as the Coleman house, located at 1508 6th ST. This hospital accommodated 20 patient beds and was also called "The House of Seven Gables".
On August 1, 1917 - President Taft embarked on a speaking tour of the West , but got only as far as Clay Center, Kansas. On August 7, he cabled his wife: “In bed with acute indigestion. Hope to be out tomorrow but it may be prolonged”. A week later he was finally able to travel. He later wrote: “There is no fool like an old fool. I went out to speak 30 times in 30 days and broke down. Fortunately, my digestive apparatus seems to be recovering its normal status.” Doctor Benjamin Franklin Morgan had the honor of being the attending physician and Selma Nasman Linquist his nurse. “Never did I think that I would be his nurse.” - Nurse Selma Nasman Linquist.
In 1925, the first publicly owned hospital in Clay Center at 2121 Seventh Street by the City of Clay Center called Clay Center Municipal Hospital. The building presently houses the Clay County Museum. X-ray was installed and a home for the nurses was built just west of the Municipal Hospital. The Clarence Eastman Memorial Nurses' Home was given through the Clay Center Congregational Church Organization located on Liberty Street.