A nurse inside Northfield Hospital, about 1915Did you know May 30 – July 4 is the first-ever Northfield History Month? Learn more about the events here.

Every weekday this Northfield History Month, come on over to the Northfield History Collaborative to learn a little more about one of the newest additions to our online collection of materials that help tell Northfield’s history.

Now available in the Collaborative: The minutes of the short-lived Northfield Hospital Aid Association, 1915-1929.

A private group bought a house to serve as Northfield’s hospital in 1910. Though privately owned, it was intended to serve the general public, and generally ran at a deficit.

A group of women organized five years later to raise money and provide for a wide range of the hospital’s daily needs. When the Northfield Hospital Aid Association began meeting, a Hospital Board member came to speak with them:

The needs of the hospital were enumerated by Mr. Hill as follows: An addition to the building, a detention ward, a remodeled kitchen, a steam heating plant, sewer connections, a free bed, and a district nurse.

The group’s minutes showed that they helped finance the following, some repeatedly:

  • Night shirts
  • Curtains
  • Carpeting
  • Furniture
  • An electric call system
  • Hot water bottles
  • Dishes of all types
  • A pad for the operating table
  • Washcloths
  • A freezer
  • A plumbing bill for soft water
  • Canned fruits and veggies

In exchange for its services, the Hospital Board granted the Aid Association an allowance toward services for the needy patients of the Aid Association’s choice. The minutes show a few occasions when they took advantage of that offer, generally for children who needed minor operations.

But again, only a few occasions are listed. In 1920, the minutes for the group suddenly dry up – until 1929, when they meet to decide what to do with the funds remaining in their treasury. The minutes don’t say why the group disbanded, but I’d be curious to know!