St. Joseph's Hospital was founded by the Sisters of Charity in 1867. The building first occupied by them was on Church Street, between Market and Ellison streets. The sisters were heartily welcomed to Paterson, as the city stood in sad need of a place where the indigent sick could be properly taken care of. St. John's Catholic congregation contributed $400 in cash and contributions of cash flowed in from a number of sources, prominent among the contributors being the societies attached to St. John's Church. The women also took an interest in the project and organized a society each of the members of which agreed to contribute $1.00 per month towards the support of the hospital. The contributions amounted in all $2,566.15. The quarters occupied by the Sisters soon proved too small and were also open to the objection of being in the centre of the city, with no grounds surrounding. In 1869 the residence of Mr. A. A. Fonda on Main street, near the Newark railroad crossing, was purchased together with the nine acres of land surrounding. Two years later the Sisters saw themselves compelled to add a wing, for the purpose of supplying the demands of the institution and providing for laundry, bakery and boiler house, the latter being deemed necessary in order to heat the building with steam. The cost of the building and ground, together with the improvements made, amounted to $98,000, of which sum $52,000 remained a lien on the property. With this load of indebtedness the Sisters entered the era in the history of this country generally referred to as "the hard times." It was only by the exercise of the most rigid economy and the most strenuous endeavors that they succeeded not only in caring for the sick in their charge but also in looking after the alleviation of the distress consequent on the stringency of the times and the closing of most of the industrial establishments in the city. For the purpose of affording employment to a few, the Sisters started an industrial school.
A visitation of smallpox in 1883 called attention to the fact that the city of Paterson had no isolated building for the treatment of contagious diseases. On the grounds owned by the Sisters, far removed from any of the main hospital buildings, stood a frame structure, the gift of Rev. Dean McNulty, which had been used as a school. This was turned into a ward for the treatment of contagious diseases. In 1885 another wing was erected at a cost of $20,000, but the demands on the hospital soon exceeded the accommodations. In 1907 the Sisters began making arrangements for the erection of what became the main building of the hospital. The two buildings already occupied, with such additions as were made from time to time, were of wood. It was now determined to erect a building of stone and brick. Ground wasbroken in 1909 and the building was opened in 1912, the cost being $125,000. A great deal of the success attained by the hospital was due to the ability and unremitting energy of a woman, who for many years directed the efforts of the Sisters, Sister Mary Clare. She was born in Newark, December 18, 1844, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Edward Reilley. Her first application to be admitted to the educational institution of the Sisters of Charity at Madison, was rejected on account of her youth. She was admitted to the novitiate on June 29, 1865, and came to the Paterson hospital on August 11, 1869, and there, after a life devoted to the care of the sick, she died on April 26, 1919.
The record of patients treated in the hospital is as follows: 1868, 102; 1869, 140; 1870,227; 1871,325; 1872,417; 1873,380; 1874, no record kept; 1875,274; 1876,264; 1877,291; 1878,369; 1879,411; 1880, 603; 1881, 711; 1882, 727; 1883, 577; 1884, 541; 1885, 505; 1886, 594; 1887, 825; 1888, 608 1889, 756; 1890, 746; 1891, 845; 1892, 875; 1893, 883; 1894, 990; 1895, 1203; 1896, '395; 1897, 1587; 1898, 594; 1899, 1657; 1900, 1980; 1901, 1923; 1902, 1975; 1903, 2306; 1904, 2356; 1905, 1468; 1906, 1631; 1907, 1677; 1908, 1502; '909, 1577; 1910, 2003; 1911, 2137; 1912, 2313; 1913, 2508; 1914,2618; 1915, 3092; 1916,3535; 1917, 3619; 1918,3824.
For a number of years previous to 1871 there had been considerable talk about the starting of another hospital in this city. According to the first annual report it appears that "our enterprise, although first discussed by the Ministers' Association, was started by the women of this community." A series of meetings to this end was held, and finally, on January 21, 1871 (so say the original manuscript minutes), the "Ladies' Hospital Association" was organized, at the residence of Mrs. Socrates Tuttle, No.71 Ellison street, and officers were chosen. Some declined and others were subsequently chosen to fill the vacancies, the list finally standing as follows:
*President-Mrs. Socrates Tuttle.
*Vice-President-Mrs. John J. Brown.
*Secretary-Mrs. George Wurts.
*Treasurer-Mrs. Edward T. Bell.
*Board of Managers-Mrs. S. Tuttle, Mrs. John J. Brown, Mrs. George Wurts, Mrs. Edward T. Bell, Mrs. Robert Dalling, Mrs. Henry W. Cole, Mrs. (Rev.) John Steele, Mrs. Samuel Smith, Mrs. Andrew Vreeland, Mrs. (Rev.) John M. Heffernan, Mrs. S. C. Hewes, Mrs. Philip N. Smith, Mrs. Joseph N. Taylor, Mrs. James Crooks, Mrs. Mary Bradley, Mrs. William J. Wilcox, Mrs. John Cooke, Mrs. James M. Baldwin, Mrs. Jonathan Johnson, Mrs. Henry Marshall, Miss Anne Inglis, Mrs. Thomas N. Dale, Mrs. William Ryle Mrs. William Goodspeed.
*Advisory Board-Hon. Henry A. Williams, John Swinburne, Charles P. Gurnee, Alfred H. Decker, David B. Beam, Rev. John H. Robinson, John Chase. Medical Staff-Drs. Alexander W. Rogers, Orson Barnes, Robert J. Whitely, Elias J. Marsh, Oswald Warner, Henry C. Van Gieson, John R. Leal, Sherburne R. Merrill.
*The Chaplaincy-The Revs. William H. Homblower, D. D., First Presbyterian), Joseph Banvard, D. D. (First Baptist), C. M. A. Hewes, (Church of the Holy Communion), John Steele, D. D., (First Reformed),John M. Heffernan, (St. Paul's Episcopal), John H. Robinson, (Division Street Methodist), Jesse Lyman Huribut, (Market Street M. E.), Isaiah B. Hopwood, (Second Presbyterian).
Application was made to the Legislature for an act of incorporation, and on April 5,1871, the act was approved, incorporating "The Ladies' Hospital Association of Paterson," the ladies named above being the incorporators, with the officers and Board of Managers as already given.
The hospital was formally opened, with religious services, on Monday, April 10, 1871, with two patients, in a two-story frame building on Dickerson street, known as the Fifield house, the rent of which, with thirteen lots, for the first year was donated by the landlord, Mr. James Crooks. Forty patients were treated the first year.
At a meeting of the Board of Managers on June 29, 1871, an offer was received from Mr. Crooks, to sell the building then occupied and fifteen lots, for $13,000. This brought up the subject of securing a permanent home for the hospital, and a committee was appointed-Mrs. James M. Baldwin, Mrs. George Wurts and Mrs. W. J. Wilcox-to lay this offer before the advisory board. On July 13, the committee reported recommending the purchase of a tract of seventeen and a half lots on Derrom, Fourteenth and Lexington avenues, at $300 per lot. This was unanimously agreed to, and Mrs. Thomas N Dale. Mrs. Jacob Speer, Miss Anne Inglis and Mrs. James Crooks were added to the committee. It was resolved to make a special effort immediately to raise $15,000 toward the purchase of the land and the erection of a suitable building. Two weeks later the deed for the "Denton tract" was laid before the board, Messrs. James M. Baldwin and W. J. Wilcox having advanced $2,000 to make the first payment. The special effort resulted in securing subscriptions amounting to $2,195 for the building fund. Steps were taken toward the erection of a building, to be of either stone or brick, to accommodate 100 patients, but within a fortnight after the purchase of the site it transpired that there was some difficulty about the street lines through the plot, which made its availability for building questionable (a difficulty which was not adjusted until the Board of Aldermen, with the consent of interested property-owners, passed an ordinance fixing the street lines in March, 1891), and in November, 1871, other sites were advertised for. None being agreed upon, the old building was leased for another year.
At a meeting of the board, July 5, 1872, it was reported that Block 26, on the Lynch Farm, (on the south side of Market street, a short distance east of Madison avenue), comprising nineteen lots, had been bought for the association, for $4,800. Plans were also submitted for a building, which had been approved at a special meeting of the managers, the advisory board and the medical staff, on June 26, that joint meeting having also recommended that the site be paid for and $25,000 raised before the building should be begun, and ten additional lots secured. After some months' consideration, the plans were rejected, and the other recommendations concurred in.
In January, 1873, the old officers were reelected, and some consultation was held with the Board of Chosen Freeholders, with aview of securing theuse of the county lunatic asylum which the board contemplated erecting on the city almshouse farm, but the project being abandoned this consultation was fruitless. In July another plan was submitted, for a frame building, filled in with brick, to cost $35,000, to accommodate 27 patients. An offer was received at this time from Messrs. (Thomas D.) Hoxsey & (David B.) I Beam, to donate about 22 lots on the south side of Union avenue, at Marion street; this proving too rocky, they offered a similar plot on the opposite side of Union avenue, on both sides of Marion street, and the Board of Aldermen passed an ordinance vacating Marion street, to make the site more eligible. The board of managers on September 4, 1873, voted twelve to accept and ten to decline the offer. In view of the opposition Messrs. Hoxsey & Beam withdrew their offer, and most of the officers and several members of the board of managers resigned.
In January, 1874, James Crooks offered to sell the property then occupied-230 feet on Dickerson street, 170 feet on Pennington street, and 210 feet on Centre street, 17 city lots in all-for $11,000 net. It was concluded that the plot was ineligible, because too small and lacking a frontage on Market street. In March, it was decided, on the recommendation of the advisory board, to sell the Denton plot, and to build on the Lynch farm. John Cooke, Rev. John H. Robinson, Rev. Dr. Charles D. Shaw (declined, and Robert J. Whitely appointed), Mrs. Sarah F. Mackintosh, M. D., Mrs. John J. Brown (declined, and Mrs. Henry W. Cole appointed) and Miss Anne Inglis were appointed as a building committee. April 2, 1874, the committee reported plans, and were authorized to receive, accept or reject proposals for building a hospital, to accommodate 40 patients, and to cost not more than $25,000. In September the committee showed complete plans and specifications, hut some question had arisen concerning the title to the plot on the Lynch farm. In October, it was voted to ask the trustees of the First Presbyterian Church for a building site, in the cemetery on Market street, near (the present) Graham avenue-Mr. William Ryle, a trustee of the church, having secured the favorable consideration of the board of trustees for such an application, but legal difficulties interposed here also. In January, 1875, George A. Sumner, owner of the two-story frame building on the southeast corner of Market and Southard streets, Nos. 442, 444, 446, 448, 450 and 452 Market street, previously occupied as a museum by a Mr. Wallace, a skillful taxidermist, offered the premises to the board of managers for a hospital; it was decided to leasc the premises at a rental of $850 per year. The board of managers met in the new building for the first time on April I, 1875. At this time there were five male and three female patients in the hospital. Thomas Bar-hour, William Ryle, John Shaw, John Cooke, Josiah P. Huntoon, John Edwards, James C. Preston, John Dunlop, Thomas Beveridge, Sr., C. Lambert and Samuel A. Van Saun each gave $100; John J. Brown, Henry B. Crosby and James Angus, $50 each; John Swinburne and George Oates, $25 each, toward fitting up the new quarters.
On September 11, 1876, it was decided to buy the property from Mr. Sumner, he agreeing to take the Lynch farm lots in part payment. So at last the institution had a home of its own. In March, 1878, there were fifteen patients, and it was decided to add a new ward, which was completed in May.
In September, 1881, an additional ward was ordered to be built, but owing to lack of funds the matter was postponed until the ensuing spring, when special contributions for the purpose were solicited. A new building was erected on Market street, adjoining the old one, and the latter was repaired during October, November and December, 1881, no patients being treated meanwhile. The changes doubled the capacity of the institution, and it was estimated that its expenses would be $5,000 yearly. In March there were eight patients; in April, nineteen; in June, twenty-three. At the meeting of the board of managers on February 1, 1883, steps were taken on the recommendation of the medical staff, for the establishment of a Training School for Nurses, which was soon in successful operation, and has ever since proved an invaluable adjunct of the hospital. In October a bed was set apart for the use of the Eye and Ear Infirmary, then recently started. In 1887, the Legislature having granted the request of the association by means of the required legislation, the name was changed to the Paterson General Hospital Association. The erection of a new building, a subject which had been in past years frequently discussed, was again brought up and this time assumed more definite shape, the managers purchasing the plot of ground on Market street adjoining the Paterson Orphan Asylum property. In August. 1887, a dispensary for the treatment of the sick poor, who for various reasons could not be admitted to the hospital, was established. In 1889 the long-looked-for project of erecting a suitable hospital took definite shape and before the close of the year $31,600 had been subscribed and plans were prepared for the new building. Contracts were awarded with all convenient speed and the work pushed forward. In November, 1891, the building was far enough advanced for the giving of a week of entertainments, $6,181.95 being realized. On June 18, 1892, the new hospital was opened for patients and the old structure on Market and Southard streets abandoned.
The principal officers of the association have been as follows:
Presidents-Mrs. Socrates Tuttle, 1871-73; Mrs. Thomas N. Dale, 1874 - 77; Miss Anne Inglis, 1878-99; Miss Julia Ryle, 1900-01; Dr. Walter B. Johnson, 1902-08; Hobart Tuttle, 1909-10; Frank Van Cleve, 1911-13; S.S. Evans, 1914.
Secretaries-Mrs. George Wurts, 1871-73; Mrs. Dr. Sarah F. MacIntosh, 1874-75; Mrs. J. C. Paulison, 1876-82; Miss Annie E. Johnston, 1883-92; Carl Schlaepfer, 1903-10; Wilton Moore Lockwood, 1911; W. L. Kinkead, 1911; R. H. Cunningham, 1912.
Treasurers-Mrs. Edward T. Bell, 1871; Mrs. W. J. Wilcox, 1872-73; Mrs. Phoebe Fardon, 1874-75; Miss Anne Inglis, 1876-77; Peter Ower, 1878-83; Garret H. Demarest, 1884-87; 5.5. Sherwood, 1888-1900; William Berdan, 1901; William D. Blauvelt, 1903-07; F. T. Vandervoort, 1907-17; George A. Schultze, 1917.
The record of patients cared for in the hospital is as follows:
1871, 40; 1872, 58; 1873, 52; 1874, 44; 1875, 52; 1876,59; 1877, 54; 1878, 59; 1879, 90; 1880, 128; 1881, '33; 1882, 200; 1883, 209; 1884, 213; 1885, 252; 1886,299; 1887,380; i888, 384; 1889,407; 1890,507; 1891,485; 1892, 715; 1893, 962; 1894,961; 1895, 1081; 1896,1510; 1897,1638; 1898,1628; 1899, 1583; 1900, 1610; 1901, 1618; 1902, 1603; 1903, 1725; 1904, 1642; 1905, 1696; 1906, 1862; 1907, 2067; 1908, 1939; '909, 2009; 1910, 2043; 1911, 2007; 1912, 2305; 1913, 2292; 1914, 2486; 1915, 2545; 1916, 2622; 1917, 2516; 1918, 2537.
Upon the decease of Mrs. Miriam Barnert, her hushand, Nathan Barnert, determined to erect a hospital in her honor. He owned a block of property on upper Broadway and selected this as site for the new hospital. In 1912 he acquired the property on the southeast corner of Broadway and Paterson streets, for many years the residence of Henry B. Crosby. This was altered, as far as the architecture of the building would permit, for the accommodation of patients and was opened for that purpose in 1912. All the available floor space was soon occupied, the institution at one time providing for about five hundred patients. In the meantime work had progressed on the new hospital on upper Broadway and this was opened in October, 1916; during that year 150 patients were treated. In 1917 the number of patients treated was 1637 and the following year, 1821.