A Brief History
In 1897, a group of women in Ashland, Ky., met at the home of Rosetta Fisher
on Carter Avenue and organized a circle under the auspices of the International
Order of King's Daughters and Sons. The order was only 11 years old,
having been established in New York City in 1886. There were 10 charter
members: Ann Broughton, president; Sarah Bagley, Bertha Boggis, Rosetta
Fisher, Nannie Hopkins, Elizabeth Horstman, Carrie McElmurray, Mrs. E.M.
Marker, Alice Martin and Louise Suddith.
The organization owes its names to Psalms 45:13: "The king's daughter
is all glorious within: her clothing is of wrought gold." The name
of the local chapter became the "What-So-Ever Circle," From
John 14:13 - "And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I
do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son."
Shortly after its founding, the What-So-Ever Circle, at the urging of local
physicians, began to concentrate its charitable work toward establishing
a hospital to serve the area.
The local medical community unanimously agreed to support this initiative
during a meeting held in early 1898 at the office of Dr. John W. Martin.
The Hospital Opens
The first move was to open an emergency "hospital" in three rooms
on the second floor of the Poage, Elliott & Poage Drug Store on 16th
Street. Nurse Harriet DeBord of Greenup, Ky., was named the hospital's
first superintendent. The very first patient to be treated in the new
hospital suffered from typhoid fever. The first surgery was a leg amputation,
the result of a railway accident.
Within 18 years of its founding, the hospital moved four times, seeking
additional space to keep up with the growing need for medical care.
The 1899 & 1906 Moves
In June 1899, the hospital moved to a two-story, seven-room frame home
on the north side of Greenup Avenue. In July, the hospital officially
incorporated as King's Daughters' Hospital with a official opening
date of July 10, 1899. The hospital remained at the Greenup Avenue location
for nearly seven years, although little is known of its operations there.
In 1906 the What-So-Ever Circle purchased a two-story, nine-room frame
house at East Winchester Avenue. This became the new home of the hospital,
where it remained until 1917. The hospital delivered its first baby at
this location on Aug. 26, 1906.
By 1913, the Boyd County Medical Association was drawing up a proposal
for a Boyd County General Hospital. Seeking broad support, it formed and
advisory board with one member from every civic, religious, fraternal
and benevolent organization in Boyd County. A committee appointed by the
medical association met with members of the What-So-Ever Circle to solicit
their good will and cooperation in establishing the new hospital. A member
of the What-So-Ever Circle would serve on the new hospital board of trustees
but, in the association's view, the King's Daughters members were
simply not qualified to build and manage the type of facility that was
being proposed. The Circle rejected the proposal.
The Move to Lexington Avenue
On March 9, 1916, fund-raising began for construction of a new hospital.
The goal was to raise $50,000 in five days. The $40,000 that was raised
was enough to begin construction at the hospital's new - and permanent
- home in the 2200 block of Lexington Avenue.
On May 9, 1916, construction began on the new facility, which was to be
two stories and have 50 beds. In November 1917, the hospital staff began
the move into the new facility.
Although there have been numerous expansions, renovations and changes to
King's Daughters since 1917, the hospital remains in the same location
today: 2201 Lexington Ave.