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Tom Leatherwood
 
Historical Markers of Shelby County

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Shelby County Hospital

Completed in June of 1935, the Shelby County Hospital at Shelby Farms was built here as a replacement for both the much older Shelby County Hospital, located on the workhouse grounds at Jackson Avenue, and the "County Emergency Hospital" (or Isolation Hospital) on Hindman-Ferry Road at the County Cemetery in Frayser. Originally set on a 65-acre landscaped tract, the Shelby County Hospital was designed for a capacity of 800 beds with nearly 3 1/2 acres of floor space and a 600-person chapel. A 20-year county loan for $397,000 and a federal Public Works Administration grant provided the necessary $522,000 required to construct the hospital. Architect W.J. Hanker designed the building, with project leadership provided by Shelby County Commission Chairman E.W. Hale and State PWA Engineer, Major Thomas H. Allen. (continued on other side) This building served as the Shelby County Hospital and Health Care Center for two-thirds of a century (1935-2001) before its transitional reuse as an office building for various county government services and agencies. Beginning in 1870, Shelby County had built a "Poor House" on the Raleigh Road (Jackson Avenue) for indigent and ill citizens. Replaced in 1890 by a hospital and insane asylum, these facilities were superseded by this hospital building at this location. After the demand for beds peaked in 1990 when private nursing homes began to accept indigent patients with government insurance, Shelby County Services Director Peggy W. Edmiston noted the change in needs and recommended the building for other uses. Shelby County Mayor Jim Rout called for the conversion of this well-constructed building, located in the geographical center of the county, into an Administrative Center. The last patient transferred in August 2001.