LOUDONVILLE -- As early as the 1920s, inventor and philanthropist Charles Kettering had advocated for a hospital to be built in Loudonville.
At the time, the area was only serviced by general physicians that doubled as surgeons in emergencies, but otherwise patients required long, arduous journeys to surrounding cities for hospitalization.
In the 1950s, Kettering decided to make his dream become a reality and pledged the funds to construct the hospital. The news was received with great fanfare in town, and the Loudonville Area Hospital Association was formed to help raise operating expenses.
The group favored naming the hospital after Kettering, but he preferred to keep his name off the building. A deal was struck, if the association could raise the necessary funds to pay for the equipment inside the museum (while Kettering still financed the construction) then he would allow the town to honor him with the naming of the hospital.
Kettering Hospital was completed and opened in 1957, with a large crowd and marching band present for the dedication ceremony.
The facility was outfitted with an emergency room complete with 24 medical and surgical beds, a maternity ward with 10 beds, 12 bassinets and four cribs, a laboratory, x-rays, pharmacy, and complete dietary, nursing, and emergency services serving a 12-mile radius.
More information on the Cleo Redd Fisher Museum can be found at this link.