Sumter Community Hospital built on Broad Street

Facility still in use as residential care home has rich history

By SAMMY WAY
Posted 7/1/18

Reflections remembers the contributions made by the Sumter Community Hospital, constructed on the outskirts of the Sumter community in 1949. The hospital's intended purpose was to alleviate overcrowding at Tuomey Hospital, allowing more black …

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Sumter Community Hospital built on Broad Street

Facility still in use as residential care home has rich history

Posted

Reflections remembers the contributions made by the Sumter Community Hospital, constructed on the outskirts of the Sumter community in 1949. The hospital's intended purpose was to alleviate overcrowding at Tuomey Hospital, allowing more black patients seeking medical care to be seen by medical professionals. With the expansion of Tuomey Healthcare, the hospital ceased operation and currently operates as the Community Residential Care facility. Information and photos were taken from Item archives.

The Rev. H. B. Brown invited the public to "come and see what was accomplished to help a worthy cause." The dedication services were conducted by Bishop J. W. E. Bowen, D. D., Ll. D., of the Atlantic Coast area, Atlanta.

The hospital was a $100,000 project, originally located near the city limits on Broad Street, across the street from St. James' Church. The 40-room building had 18 private rooms including several wards and was planned for the Negro people of Sumter and adjoining counties. It was designed to relieve overcrowding at Tuomey Hospital and provide medical care for those unable to gain admittance due to the lack of facilities.

A testimonial banquet, launching the second phase of the hospital's drive for funds, was held at Morris College. The principal address was made by Gov. J. Strom Thurmond. The Rev. A. R. Howard, prominent Sumter minister, responded to the governor's address, and William P. James, Sumter attorney, was master of ceremonies.

The director and physician of the hospital was Dr. William L. Johnson, who came from the Norfolk, Virginia, Community Hospital. Other employees at the facility were Margurite B. Mickens, Trula Mae Rufus, Maggie Beard, Catherine Johnson, Maggie Stokes, Hattie Richardson, Rhoda McDowell, Clara Clowney and Edna Jeter. Ethel Buckley was the nurse in charge of the operating room.