The Dobson Digest is a new weekly column by Mark Rogers featuring regional historical tidbits supplied by the Dobson Memorial Center Museum and Home in Miami.

The Bradshaw Memorial Hospital, 130 A Southwest (now known as Willow Crest, a psychiatric treatment center for children and adolescents) announced in July 1967 an expansion program which would more than double its present capacity.

According to the Miami News-Record the facility would have a maximum 40-bed capacity. The architect was Jack Mann, who also designed some buildings on the NEO A&M campus, and the contractor chosen was Schooner Schmidt, both citizens of Miami.

The original hospital was built in 1961. A second addition was completed in 1964. The new expansion was to be completed by January 1968.

The exterior of the building was to be of modern design built of Miami Stone. A large water fountain would be featured in front. The facility would be centrally heated and air conditioned as well as fire proofed.

The expansion included a spacious waiting room, new business and accounting offices, a new administrator’s office, an ambulance entrance on the north end, nurses stations, a large chart room, an intensive care unit and a central supply and pharmacy.

The hospital would consist of private and semi-private rooms, furnished with the most modern fixtures such as piped-in oxygen and a two-way communication system.

The building was to be constructed to support a second floor which would make it possible to expand to 70 to 80 beds. The second floor was never added.

The hospital was owned by Dr. Jack Owen Bradshaw. The administratrix was Mrs. Esther Hudson. Dr. Bradshaw’s daughter, Jackie Lou Craig, was supervisor of nursing.

In 1967 the hospital employed 35.

The July 16 article stated “This hospital is being improved to aid in the health of its community, an ambition Dr. Bradshaw has when he began his practice in Miami in 1945. He felt there was a real need for a hospital of this type in the community.”

The hospital was to be dedicated in memory of Dr. Bradshaw’s parents, the late Dr. John O. Bradshaw and Lucille Bradshaw.

The article appeared on page 10!

The complex would in later years become a substance abuse “rehab” center. It was once called Raleigh Hills. Later it would become a pain treatment center, eventually becoming Willow Crest Hospital.

Thankfully, through the last decades the building has managed to retain its original mid-century architecture, even through multiple ownerships and uses. The current owners have done a marvelous job in preserving the building’s historic integrity.

It was sad to see the Miami Civic Center “modernized” a few years ago with the fake stucco façade on the front and the series of tall columns between the windows, which epitomized late 50s architecture, removed.

A weekly “advertorial” sponsored by Snyder’s Nelson Furniture Co., 117 North Main (now the Miami Little Theatre building), was called “Furniture Talk.” One column discussed master bedrooms.

It stated “When there are children in the house, the master bedroom is often a place where parents retreat while teenagers take over the rest of the house. It can be a fine place for morning or evening coffee, or for mother to ‘take a break’ during the day.”

In the July 12 edition of the Miami News-Record, there was a story about an event at the old Seneca Indian School. The article stated that summer school students and faculty were to present a historical pageant called “Heritage of the Cherokees” on the school campus.

Transportation was to be provided to and from the pageant for persons as far away as Jay and Salina. The group would present the pageant the following week at Sequoyah Indian School in Tahlequah, and later at the Jones Academy in Hartshorne, Okla.

The Ottawa County Historical Society appreciates our longtime volunteer Ella Lou Reynolds!

The Dobson Museum is open Sun., Wed., Fri., and Sat. from 1 to 4 p.m. Admission is free. You may also tour the beautiful Dobson residence next door, which was built in 1916. Admission is free.

Let’s make history together!