Quincy’s city hospital for its poor, indigent citizens

The City Hospital was built on this hill west of Fifth Street and North of Jackson Street where the Woodland Cemetery Mausoleum currently sits. 

Like every city of significant size, Quincy had a city hospital for its poor and indigent citizens. Those hospitals were sometimes referred to as the charity hospital, the poor house or the asylum. Little was written about them. A citizen could see the costs for maintaining it in the annual city council report. Even the various histories of Quincy give scant attention to it or for any health and welfare issue in the community.

Tillson’s "History of Quincy," included one sentence in the 1849 chapter, basically complaining about the costs. “The prevalence pestilence (cholera) had caused the poor house, pauper, and other accounts to swell to a large figure… .”

Arlis Dittmer is a retired health science librarian and current president of the Historical Society of Quincy and Adams County. During her years with Blessing Health System, she became interested in medical and nursing history — both topics frequently overlooked in history.

The Historical Society of Quincy and Adams County is preserving the Governor John Wood Mansion, the History Museum on the Square, the 1835 Log Cabin, the Livery, the Lincoln Gallery displays, and a collection of artifacts and documents that tell the story of who we are. This award-winning column is written by members of the Society. For more information visit hsqac.org or email info@hsqac.org."

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