Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Alabama Photos of the Day: Moody Hospital in Dothan

Over the years many hospitals have come and gone in Alabama. Just in the past eight years thirteen hospitals have shuttered, all but one in rural small towns. This post examines one such defunct facility, Moody Hospital in Dothan.

Incorporation papers for a new hospital in that city were filed on July 13, 1914. The three names listed on the papers included two local physicians and the wife of one of them.

The doctors had practiced for some years in Dothan. I found some basic information about them in the 1907 Transactions of the Medical Association of the State of Alabama. Charles Wesley Hilliard [1871-1958] had graduated from the University of Alabama's School of Medicine in 1895. He passed his state certification exam in Pike County that year and lived in Dothan. Earle Farley Moody [1880-1952] graduated from Tulane University's School of Medicine in 1903, passed his exam in Houston County that year and also resided in Dothan. 

Two photographs of Moody Hospital are included in the Dothan Landmarks Foundation, Inc. book Houston County: The First 100 Years [Arcadia, 2003, p. 79]. Both show nursing staff and were taken outside the building. One is the photo used in the first postcard below. The caption there notes the hospital "operated until around 1966" and "administered the first dose of penicillin in the state in 1949." 

The entry at the Wiregrass Archives site for the first photo below declares, 
"The Dothan Eagle newspaper reported that doctors here administered the first dose of penicillin to an Alabama patient in 1946."

Howard Holley's History of Medicine in Alabama makes no mention of penicillin, so further research is needed to determine the actual year and other details. Clinical use of penicillin began in 1942, so either year could be correct. 

Facebook page exists maintained by someone whose father purchased the property in the late 1960's and operated a business there until 2000. Unfortunately no other details are given and the page has had no activity since April 2017. 

Hilliard is buried in Oakwood Cemetery in Troy and Moody in the Dothan City Cemetery. The men did not live to see the closing of the hospital they founded in 1914. 

June 1972 photo by Joseph Douglas Snellgrove

June 1972 photo by Joseph Douglas Snellgrove

1920 postcard of Moody Hospital

1930 postcard of Moody Hospital

Source: Alabama Mosaic

The former Moody Hospital building via Google Earth 

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