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House or hospital?

March 16, 2013
By C. Paul Martin, M.D. , Marshall Independent

Note: This review is the second of three columns about Marshall's medical history. The column of March 2 described the history of the ACMC Clinic; the following column concerns the Anna Marie Memorial Hospital; the next column will feature the original Marshall Hospital.

The recent death of David J. Weiner, the grandson of Louis J. Weiner, a third generation member of Marshall's Weiner family, brought to mind the significant role of the Weiner family and other Jewish families in the development of Marshall's medical history. A part of that story is the house on West Lyon Street, often a topic of discussion among new residents and visitors to our city. A short history of that building may provide some insight into a portion of Marshall's historical development. (See the accompanying photograph.)

One of the most frequently asked questions about the history of Marshall, especially regarding its business and medical history, concerns "the house on Lyon Street." That residence (pictured), located at the corner of west Lyon and 5th streets, is presently the home of Mark Goodenow, a professor at Southwest Minnesota State University and a Lyon county commissioner.

Article Photos

Mark has owned the house for several years and has restored it to its Victorian elegance, thus completing the cycle of its return to the building as it was built and served as the home of William F. Geiseke, the first president of the Marshall Milling Company in 1892. Author John Radzilowski ("Prairie Town, A History of Marshall, Minnesota 1872-1997." Lyon County Historical Society, 1997), opines that the mill was a primary impetus and stimulus for the development of the food-processing industries which enabled Marshall to grow during the 20th century.

The Geiseke house remained in his family until approximately 1936 when the Jewish community of Marshall decided it would like a hospital. A Doctor Cowin came to Marshall, and he and the community hired Tony Macht of Lucan to remodel the house into a modern hospital; it was a fully operational hospital (as such for the times) until 1940. At that time the hospital was sold to Dr. W.W. Yaeger of Ivanhoe, and the hospital was renamed "The Anna Marie Memorial Hospital" in honor of his mother. The hospital had about 10-20 beds; most patients were obstetrical and pediatric in nature. Physicians on the staff included Drs. Yaeger, Paterson, Murphy and Hedenstrom. The head nurse for virtually the entire existence of the hospital was Marie Princen. The hospital, in addition to the F. D. Gray Marshall Hospital on South Fourth Street, closed in 1950 when the new Louis Weiner Memorial Hospital opened in May of that year.

Since the closing of the Memorial hospital, the building has had many uses, including returning to a private home, a period of multiple apartments, etc. When Mark first inhabited the house, he was gracious in allowing some of us historians to see the house before its transition to its present state.

The house in its restored state has been shown on house tours sponsored by the Lyon County Historical Society.

The medical history of Marshall is a fascinating one, well described in the above mentioned book which contains a specific medical history in Appendix E.



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