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  • Writer's pictureHannah Valliere

History of Tioga Medical Center

Updated: Jun 30, 2021

As early as 1952, the old Commercial Club, now the Chamber of Commerce, discussed the need for a hospital in Tioga. Ward Barden, City Auditor, was president of the club at that time. Barden, Francis Cannon (Fire Chief), and Roland McMaster (publisher of the Tioga Tribune) felt that with all the new oil industry, new businesses, new construction, etc., that there was an urgent need for medical facilities. In December of that year, the American Legion Post #139 became interested and appointed a committee to study the matter.

The first meeting for the Tioga Hospital project was held on January 19, 1953, at the home of C.H. Olson.

Those present were AnnaBelle Knutson, Evangeline Rye, Gladys Eide, Ruby Martinson, Freada Thorburn,

Royal and Eleanor Brown, C.H. and Doris Olson, Kermit Haakenson and Ernest Ramberg. Officers elected were C.H. Olson, chairman; Freada Thorburn, secretary; and Robert Knutson, Treasurer.

After meeting with hospital promoters in other towns and visiting with interested citizens, it was decided that it would be more practical to build a clinic first and then follow with a hospital, but before there could be either, there must be a doctor. The following article was taken from a brochure that was found in the scrapbook that had been compiled by Myrtle Moratzka:


“Last February, citizens of the Tioga community enthusiastically organized to provide medical facilities in town. Because of this spirit and recognizing the possibilities of the future, two young physicians have been attracted to begin practice here. Dr. R.P. Froeschle and Dr. R.W. Cranston have temporarily established offices in the Blikre Building . Within a month the demand placed upon these doctors made it apparent that to provide adequate medical service for the area we need a clinic building immediately.

The Tioga Community Clinic and Hospital Association has been organized to meet this great challenge. The construction of a building, 30 by 80, has begun. Estimated cost with some equipment stands at $40,000. Already, a number of new industries have pledged support for this venture. Each family in the community will have the opportunity to participate in building this new arm of service.

The clinic marks another step forward on the part of Tioga people. With medical service near, hundreds of miles of travel will be saved. Doctors at hand means a greater sense of security for our families. Furthermore, more people will look upon Tioga as their business and social center.

Drs. Froeschle and Cranston have committed themselves to purchase the clinic building when the times come to build a hospital. The proceeds thereof will automatically convert into the hospital fund. Thus, your contribution to the clinic today becomes an investment in the future Tioga Community Hospital ”

Construction of the clinic began August 24, 1953. The open house was held February 14, 1954.

The first meeting to plan for a hospital was held July 29, 1955. Bid letting for the 25-bed hospital was April 29, 1960 and groundbreaking ceremonies for the $590,000 hospital were held on June 5, 1960. The doors were opened for patients on October 25, 1961.Charlotte Law of White Earth was the first patient to be admitted on October 25, 1961. The first male patient to be admitted was Joseph Hilleren of Tioga and the first baby born was Stuart Jay McKirdy on November 7, 1961.

Ground work for the new 30 bed nursing home was started in 1976, with an estimated completion date of September 1977. The doors were opened in January of 1978. Over 500 people attended the open house on January 15 and the first nine residents were admitted on January 16.

Tioga Community Hospital was renamed to Tioga Medical Center and purchased the clinic from Dr. R.A. Patel in August of 1990.

Tioga Medical Center built an independent living facility in 1998. The Independent Living facility comprises of 22 apartments with a large commons area. The facility is adjacent to the Tioga Medical Center which allows residents added safety and security.

Currently, Tioga Medical Center consists of a 25-bed Critical Access Hospital , 30-bed Long Term Care Facility, one-clinic, and a 22-apartment independent living facility located in Tioga. Tioga Medical Center also operates two satellite clinics located in Ray, and Powers Lake .

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