Western Medical Center on Tustin Avenue has a long history of
service in the Santa Ana area community. This year, 2002, marks its
100th birthday. To help celebrate, we are reprinting a promotional
piece issued in 1905 - 3 years after it's opening. Happy Birthday!
The Main Hospital Building
and Training School for Nurses
Among the enterprises of Santa Ana, there is not one
in which the city should take more pride than the Santa Ana Hospital.
In 1901, a number of the physicians and surgeons of
this city, seeing the great need of an institution for the better care of
the sick and injured, organized an association for the purpose indicated,
and incorporated under the name and title of the Santa Ana Hospital
Association. The capital stock consisted of one hundred shares, of the par
value of one hundred dollars each.
Six lots situated between East Washington street on
the north, and Wellington Avenue on the south, having a frontage of one
hundred and fifty feet on each street, were purchased at a moderate price,
and a suitable building at once begun. This building of twelve rooms,
costing with lots and furniture an even six thousand dollars, was
completed and furnished for the reception of patients march 5, 1902, the
first patient being a surgical case, admitted on that date.
The original stockholders and incorporators were: C.
D. Ball, M.D., J. P. Boyd, M.D., R. A. Cushman, M.D., E. M. Freeman, M.D.,
J. R. Medlock, M.D., F. M. Bruner, M.D., J. G. Berneike, M.D., John L.
Dryer, M.D., J.M. Lacey, M.D., W.B. Wood, M.D., and John
These also constituted the first directorate which
was organized as follows: President, J. M. Lacey, M.D., Secretary, C. D.
Ball, M.D., Vice President, W. B. Wood, M.D., Treasurer, J. P. Boyd, M.D.,
Board of Managers - John L. Dryer, M.D., C. D. Ball, M.D., F. M. Bruner,
As was expected by the management, business at
first came slowly, but it came surely, the increase being steady from the
beginning. Surgical cases such as formerly were taken to Los Angeles
hospitals, were now operated and cared for at home, while local surgeons
under the improved facilities for caring for such patients, were enabled
to operate on many who under other circumstances would have been sent
Communities are nearly always, in a measure,
naturally resistant to new innovations, but though some thought a hospital
venture unwarranted, and others predicted failure, the courage and
persistency of the promoters were rewarded with marked success. Early in
1904, less than two years from the beginning, the original accommodations
were found inadequate to the growing business, and steps were at once
taken to correct the existing conditions. The capital stock of the
Association was increased from ten thousand to twenty-five thousand
dollars, and one hundred shares at once placed on the market, at par
value. The response of the citizens of Santa Ana to this call was
immediate, and the entire amount was readily placed among business people,
who had come to realize the advantage of, and the necessity for, an
institution of this nature. So prompt was this expression of confidence,
that not over four hours actual time was consumed by the canvassing
committee in disposing of this new stock; while of those seen, less than a
half dozen persons declined to aid the enterprise.
With the proceeds of these sales new buildings were
erected and furnished, new apparatus secured, and all necessary facilities
improved up to a full capacity for twenty-five patients. These include a
maternity department of four elegantly fitted rooms with all necessary
accessories, such as bath and dressing room for babies, closets,
sterilizers, etc., also two small wards of five beds each for such
patients as desire attendance at a moderate price; a well equipped modern
kitchen, dining room and dormitory for nurses; diet kitchen, dumb waiter
and elevator for transferring patients from one story to another.
Throughout the entire hospital the conditions for
ventilation, light and thorough cleanliness are perfect, from the basement
to the operating room, and thus far among the comparatively large number
of surgical and maternity cases, no instance of sepsis or blood poisoning
has ever developed within its walls.
The following facts taken from the record of the
superintendent of nurses, for a period covering the years from March 5,
1902 to November 1, 1905, will present a fair estimate of the work already
done, and also of the promises for the future:
Patients Cared For:
Surgical Cases 42
Medical Cases 23
Maternity Cases 3
Surgical Cases 59
Medical Cases 45
Maternity Cases 10
Surgical Cases 77
Medical Cases 63
Maternity Cases 11
1905 (ten months)
Surgical Cases 77
Medical Cases 87
Maternity Cases 17
The grand totals from the beginning show that during
a period of three years and seven months, five hundred and fourteen cases
have been cared for, of which two hundred and fifty three have been
surgical, two hundred and sixteen medicinal, and that forty one babies
have been born in the hospital. A very large percentage of the surgical
cases were operative, the remainder being classed as fractures,
The present organization, as effected at the annual
board meeting, Oct. 24, 1905, is as follows: Board of Directors - C. D.
Ball, M.D., F. M. Bruner, M.D., John L. Dryer, M.D., H.S. Gordon, M.D., J.
R. Medlock, M.D., John Wehrly, M.D., W.
H. Waffle, M.D., D. H. Thomas, A. J. Visel, W. F. Lutz, Horatio Forgy.
Officers - President, John L. Dreyer, M.D., Vice President, F. M. Bruner,
M.D., Secretary, C. D. Ball, M.D., Treasurer, H. S. Gordon, M.D. Board of
Managers - John L. Dryer, M.D., F. M. Bruner, M.D., C. D. Ball, M.D., H.
S. Gordon, M.D., D. H. Thomas. Superintendent of Nurses - Mrs. D.
The Santa Ana Hospital is a private enterprise open
to all respectable physicians who desire to avail themselves of its
facilities. The capital now invested is sixteen thousand dollars, or one
hundred and sixty shares of the capital stock, in use. This is interest
bearing, the earnings from the last year justifying a 5% dividend paid
Training School for Nurses
Shortly after the hospital was opened it was deemed
advisable by the management to associate with it a training school for
nurses according to a Santa Ana Hospital Training School for Nurses was
incorporated under the laws of the State of California in April 1904.
Since then four students have been graduated, Minnie
Northrop Wyatt, Nellie M. Morrison, L. Maud Norris, and Katie A.
Rutherford. With the exception of Mrs. Wyatt, who resides in Mexico, the
other ladies are engaged in active work of their profession in Santa Ana.
At present a three years course is required for
graduation. The instructors include the leading physicians and surgeons of
Santa Ana and Orange.
This school compares favorably with any like
institution in the State. By competitive examination Mrs. Wyatt (Miss
Northrop) won an appointment in the Childrens Floating Hospital,
Boston, and another in the Foundling Hospital, New York City, over many
competitors from all parts of the United States.