(Research compiled by Chad Jones and Jay Clark, special thanks to Charlotte , Editor of the Petit Jean Headlight Newspaper and the Conway County Tax Acccessor.)
In 1925, Father Goebel, pastor of Sacred Heart Church, and Dr. H.E. Mobley led an effort to establish St. Anthony's Hospital. In October of that year, the Burrow home on Green Street was purchaed by the Benedictine Sisters of St. Scholastica Convent in Fort Smith, who had agreed to undertake the project. The home was converted into a 14-bed hospital that opened on December 4, 1925. Saint Anthony's Hospital (the old building) is located at 202 E. Green St., Morrilton Arkansas, In Conway County. It is 1 building located on 3.5 acres. The hospital may have been redesigned, because the nation register of historic places states: "1937 Art Deco hospital designed by Little Rock architect A. N. McAninch" But it is listed elsewhere that the design was provided by J.H. Leveck and Son of Little Rock in the Art Deco style.
The old hospital offered services for ER , maternity, surgeries. In 1937, after being housed temporarily in a Harding College dormitory and the old Jones Hospital, St. Anthony's occupied a new building which accommodated 30 patients. In 1949, Hill-Burton monies were used to expand the hospital and update its equipment. In November 1965, Conway County voters approved a $650,000 bond issue. Gov. Winthrop Rockefeller donated $50,000 and more Hill-Burton funds were secured. Construction began on a new hospital in 1969 and was dedicated April 4, 1970.
The current St. Anthony's Hospital in Morrilton has a seperate Psychiactric Unit, which leads to believe that the old one must have as well, which would explain the insane asylum rumors. It has been accepted into the historical buildings, therefore it falls under some new rules as to how it can be fixed. Conway County built a new hospital is the reason the old one shut down. It was a three story building, the elevator wasn't the best in the world and it needed lots of work. So, a new one was built, probably cheaper than fixing up the old one. Also, it is located on a hill and the drive up it was steep and the parking lot was inconvenient for people to walk from because it was uphill, also. It was Listed in National Register of Historic Places on 3/28/86.
Information Gathered from the Morrilton County Tax Accessor:
The hospital is currently owned by Gerald Fisher, of Little Rock. He purchased it for an amount of $40,000 dollars on February 12th, 2002. (note: not alot for a 3 story hospital). it's value is currently at $38,000. The building was owned by Paul and Paula McChristian from December 3rd 1996- February 12th 2001 when Gerald purchased it. They (The McChristian's) had plans to remodel it and turn it into a nursing home, according to the caretaker in 1997. In 1997 it was described in the books as an "Old hospital 2 story brick. All windows are broken out and building is presently in an unusable condition." The building has no water, no sewer, no gas, no electricity, and no telephone - according to the utilities profile.
Description of the old hospital: (from eyewitness)
The lobby was on the first floor, it had marble floors, possibly black and white tile. The first floor had "wards" on it. The basement had a few room for patients. The kitchen might have been in the basement. The first floor also had the offices on it. The second floor had regular rooms on it. And the third floor was the maternity ward. In the little building behind the hospital was the laundry. Next door was the house where the nuns lived. There was also a little balcony on the third floor which was really neat. The stairs between the floors were sort of curved. There may have been green tile on the floors. The rooms did not have bathrooms like they do now and on the third floor, you walked down to a bathroom with several stalls. There may have been a statue in the lobby.
What we've heard:
* We were told that after it closed, it was made into apartments which were trashed by the tenants, so they shut that down too.
* The place has changed owners 4 or 5 times, but no one can really do anything with it because the Asbestos reform laws of '77 make it so costly, it'll probably sit there vacant forever.
* On the subject of the Balcony in back - apparently, the place was run by nuns, there was a priest who was "in charge" of them. He used to love sitting outside, and spent a majority of his time during the days...guess where? Top balcony, staring out over the neighborhood. Word is he died under the care of the nuns there. (Many of the pictures we have taken have had things come back in balcony shots)
St. Anthony's Today...(the new location)
St. Anthony's Hospital is an 84-bed, Medical / Surgical, General Acute-care hospital. Services include diagnostic radiology, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), computerized tomography (CT), ultrasound, breast screening / mammography, pathology laboratory, physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, respiratory therapy, surgery, obstetrics / birthing room, nursery, cardiac intensive care, medical / surgical intensive care, psychiatry, skilled nursing care, emergency room with 24-hour physician coverage, social services, chaplaincy services, health facility transportation, and volunteer services.