St. Francis Hospital

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St. Francis Hospital
Established 1886
Opened 1889
Closed 1981
Current Status Preserved
Building Style Single Building
Location Cincinnati, OH
Alternate Names
  • South Fairmount Senior Center


Located at 1860 Queen City Avenue this hospital was started in 1886 by the Sisters of the Poor of St. Francis. It was for the incurably ill and the elderly. The building sits on 10 hillside acres that had been a cemetery. The cemetery had been placed under interdict in 1849 because of violations of canon law by its directors. The trustees of the German Catholic Cemetery Association was selling plots to persons "not in communion with the Church." They did this probably because of financial problems. Thus when Archbishop Purcell laid the cemetery under interdict it meant the land was no longer consecrated.. The graves were moved to the St. Joseph Cemetery in Price Hill and the land was donated to the Franciscan Sisters. A $25,000 bequest from Reuben Springer (1800-1884) enabled the Sisters to begin construction.

The first patient was admitted on January 2, 1889. By 1938 the hospital had cared for 41,000 patients, 85% of whom had been unable to pay. It was the only hospital west of the Alleghenies in those days with facilities for treating cancer. By the 1970s it was obvious the hospital was becoming obsolete and it was closed in 1981. This hospital merged with St. George Hospital in Westwood. The new St. Francis-St. George Hospital open in Westwood in 1982. This building is now listed in the National Register of Historic Places and is now known as the South Fairmount Senior Center.