This is a picture of the hospital back in the ole days
This is a picture of the hospital back in the ole days

Our History

In the early days of public healthcare in America, sick and hurting people were cared for close to home in small hospitals. Doctors, community leaders, churches, or charitable organizations often started these hospitals. Many small communities were able to support their own hospitals.

Franklin County communities mirrored the nation in caring for their sick and infirm residents. The opening of the county's first hospital in 1908 at Zeigler, Illinois, was a true milestone. The 22-bed facility served the southern region of the county for many years. However, it is no longer in service.

In 1914 the United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) Hospital was opened in West Frankfort. With 99 beds, it served the residents of the West Frankfort until the year 2000.

From 1919 to 1947, the residents of Christopher were served by the Dr. Willis Hospital. After a tragic fire, the Willis Hospital closed; it was replaced by Miner's Hospital, located on South Carbon Street.

The first official hospital in Benton was the Moore Hospital, which opened its doors in 1920. It was located on the sixth floor of the Wood Building on Benton's Public Square. In 1926, Dr. J. B. Moore constructed a new hospital facility on North Main Street. It remained operational until the late 1950s and served as a nursing home before demolition.

In the early 1950s, the residents of 11 out of 12 townships in Franklin County voted to create a hospital district. In 1955 the Franklin Hospital began operation with 115 beds. Over the years, as healthcare has changed, so too has Franklin Hospital. Now a 16-bed Critical Access Hospital, we have taken great strides to improve the quality of healthcare services offered to the small rural communities we serve.

Franklin Hospital partners with SSM Health Good Samaritan Hospital in nearby Mt. Vernon, Illinois, to offer county residents access to their network of physician specialists. Additionally, we have received several state and federal telemedicine grants, which have allowed us to upgrade our information technology systems. Now connected by high-speed internet and advanced medical technology, staff physicians can consult with other highly trained and expert physicians miles away, in real-time, for the healthcare benefit of our patients.

Through the dedication of the hospital's board of directors, administrative team, and the employees of Franklin Hospital, the residents of Franklin County have quality healthcare - right here at home.

Franklin Hospital - Picture taken shortly after opening in 1955