On the Porch

In 1938, Dr. A.W. Cowin opened the Cowin Hospital in the former William Gieseke house at the corner of Sixth and Lyon streets in Marshall. The William Gieseke home is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Dr. Cowin came to Marshall with 13 years of general medical practice. He received his pre-medical training at the University of Minnesota and his degrees of bachelor of science and doctor of medicine at Marquette University in Milwaukee. He served his internship at the Gunderson Clinic in LaCrosse. Before he received his medical training and license, he served in France during World War I in an artillery unit of the 86th Division of the American Expeditionary Forces.

When the hospital opened in 1938, the staff also consisted of four registered nurses. Mrs. Q.A. Bradish served as superintendent of the hospital. The reception room, Dr. Cowin’s office, examining room, treatment room, X-ray room, nursery, superintendent’s desk, and a private room for a patient were located on the main floor. Ascending to the second floor, there was an alcove where a nurse was on duty and where the patients’ charts were kept. The second floor was known as the patients’ floor and contained two private rooms and two ward rooms along with closets for linens, the sterilization room, the instrument room, and the operating room. The third floor included a dormitory for the nurses. The kitchen, dining room, store room, and X-ray developing room were located in the basement.

Dr. Cowin sold the hospital in 1940 to Dr. W.W. Yaeger following the tragic deaths of his son James, who died 13 hours after birth from pulmonary stenosis on July 24, and his wife Helen who died on Nov. 29. Helen was walking to the cemetery to visit her son’s grave when she became lost in a snowstorm and tragically froze to death.

Dr. Yaeger renamed the hospital, the Anna Maria Memorial Hospital, and it remained a hospital until 1950, when the Louis Weiner Memorial Hospital opened. The house was placed on the National Register in 1980. The photograph featured this week from the museum’s collection shows a nurse standing by the Cowin Hospital sign.

The Lyon County Historical Society is a non-profit, member-supported organization. For more information on membership, research, volunteering, or the museum’s collection, please contact us at 537-6580 or director@lyoncomuseum.org. Like our page and follow us on Facebook.