Representatives from the Parker County Hospital District, Medical City Weatherford and Parker County Historical Commission unveiled the historical marker for Campbell Memorial Hospital on Thursday at Medical City Weatherford.
Campbell Memorial Hospital is currently being leased by Medical City Weatherford.
In 1924, Dr. E.D. Fyke turned the G.M. Bowie Family Home on North Main Street into the Bowie Memorial Hospital, according to the marker. Fyke managed the hospital until 1945, which is when Parker County bought the building and named it Parker County Hospital. In 1958, the hospital was named for Dr. William Campbell, who practiced medicine in the county for 68 years.
Historian Harold Lawrence described Campbell as “quite a character” during the dedication. Lawrence said Campbell attended medical school at Vanderbilt University and rejected the barbaric procedures taught at the time. Campbell came to believe that germs caused most diseases, which Vanderbilt University rejected at the time. When the hospital changed to be the Parker County Hospital and the hospital district was established, Campbell regarded that move as socialistic, and he objected.
“However when they redid the wing on the hospital, [Campbell] paid for two rooms in the hospital,” Lawrence said. “It was the manner of providing care that he was concerned about.”
In 1972, the hospital moved to its current location on Santa Fe Drive. An ambulatory department formed in 1988, and seven years later the emergency department was expanded. In 2006, the hospital was leased to what is now Medical City Weatherford.
Under Medical City Healthcare, the hospital has expanded its resources available to the community, Medical City Weatherford CEO Sean Kamber during the dedication.
“As our community has grown, so have the medical needs of our community,” Kamber said. “Throughout the years, the hospital has expanded and experienced many moments of transition for caring for the community has been at the heart of what we do.”
Parker County Hospital District former CEO Randall Young worked on the application for the historical maker, which was submitted in September 2016 before he died. Young had worked at the hospital and felt a connection to it, PCHD Marketing Director Kathleen Durham said.
“The history of the hospital was super important to him,” Durham said. “He felt this was something that needed to take place, so he kind of made it personal for him. Finally seeing it finish for him is nice.”
Young’s late wife Jonna said she is proud of her husband’s work in Parker County and happy about the dedication.
“I am so proud of everything that Randall did for Parker County, and I’m proud of him that he loved Parker County,” Jonna Young said. “We moved away for 13 years, and our desire was just to be back in Parker County, and so it makes me really happy, it makes me proud. It makes me think that he was a person that cared very much about our roots, about our history.”
Historical markers recognize the historical significance of a person, organization, businesses, churches and other such entities, Parker County Historical Commission Chairperson Janice Smith said. The commission is in the process of planning several marker dedications for other entities in Parker County.
The importance of the marker is recognizing the evolution of the hospital, Durham said.
“It grew from a little building on North Main to then a bigger hospital, to a bigger hospital to now what it is today,” Durham said.