|By Joan Witt|
In January 1896 a group of determined ladies of East Liverpool from varying backgrounds met together to start a city hospital here in East Liverpool. This coterie of friends worked long and hard. They found ways to raise money so that they could purchase some property. In this Women's History Month let us take time to look at each of those enterprising ladies. They attended different churches, belonged to different civic organizations and came from varying economic backgrounds. A few worked but most stayed home and were homemakers by profession.
The first who comes to mind is Mary Colclough, wife of Isaiah Colclough. She served at least one term as President of the charter organization. Isaias and Mary Ann were both born in England and came to the U. S. as young children with their families. Both spent time working in the potteries. Isaiah worked for many years at the C. C. Thompson plant. Mary Ann was the mother of six children, of which only three reached adulthood. During the late 1890's she expressed an intense interest in organizing a city hospital. From then on, Mary Colclough worked tirelessly for the hospital serving as President and Secretary. She died in 1927 at the age of 90. The hospital was so important to Mary that in 1993 when her grandson's wife died. a bequest of over $120,000 was made to the City Hospital in her honor!
E. P. Hazelet was an important name in the Insurance Business in this town in the 1880's through the 19teens. Eleanor P. Hazelet sold not only insurance but was also the Steamship Agent in town. In the 1890's and probably for the rest of her life, the City Hospital was her number one priority. Eleanor was the first secretary and also served as President of the Board. Her name appears many times in the papers when money making projects were under way in town. She and Mrs. Colclough were active members of the Calvary Methodist Church on Jackson Street. Eleanor lived until the age of 93 . When she died in 1938 she was removed to Pittsburgh where she was buried with her family in the Allegheny Cemetery.
Mary Ann Patterson also was an active participant in the organization of the Hospital. She served as President of the Hospital Association in 1903. In addition she was active in the First Methodist Church, the Bible Literary and Monday Literary Clubs. Of course Mary Patterson is best remembered because of the Mary Patterson Building which her husband Monroe built for working women in her honor. Mrs. Patterson died suddenly at age 64 in 1921 at her home on West 5th Street.
A native of Canada also became involved in this organization and was also untiring in her effort to get it organized. She worked on many money making projects also to help get enough funds to begin the hospital. Mary Craig Tebbutt , came to the United States after her marriage to William Tebbutt and they in later years resided in Chester West Virginia where she was an active member of Sacred Hearts Church. After her death in 1939 her body was returned to her native Ontario Canada.
Mrs. Fannie M. Stein was active in many welfare organizations as well as the Sisterhood of B'nal Isreal Temple. At one time she was President and another time was secretary of the Hospital Association. Mrs. Stein's husband Jacob was a leading merchant with a clothing store on East 5th Street for many years. Mrs. Stein died in 1946 many years after her husband's death. Both are buried in Riverview Cemetery.
Mrs. Lettia B. Curry of the West End section of town attended the first meeting of the Hospital Association and continued to work hard for the development of the hospital. She served as a Vice President of the first organization and was involved in many money making projects. She is perhaps better remembered for her active work with the First Presbyterian Church and the organization of the West End Chapel. She was often seen walking through the lanes of the West end ringing a bell and gathering small children to teach them at the Sunday School there. Mrs. Curry passed away in 1905 at the age of 72 and is buried in Riverview.
Margaret Ellen Calhoun was a member of many social services of the community and served as President of the Hospital Association for a period of time. She resigned from the board due to ill health. At that time she was commended for her devoted service . in addition she was an active member of the Daughters of Rebekah, Daughters of Liberty and the Woman's Relief Corps. She died at the age of 70 in 1906 and is buried in Spring Grove Cemetery. Her husband was an engineer with K.T& K and she was a sister to Mrs. Isaac ( Rebecca) Knowles.
Mrs. Ida Agner Schreiber was another who served as President of the hospital Association. She had been a teacher in the local schools and in 1911 was elected to the Board of Education. (It is believed that she was the second woman to serve of the East Liverpool Board of Education) She was a member of the Agner Pottery family of town. Mrs. Schreiber died in 1946 and is buried in Riverview.
The presiding officer of the first m meeting in January 1896 of the hospital Association was Mrs. R. B. ( Deborah) Watson. Later she served as a Vice President of the organization. Mrs. Watson was quite active in the First Presbyterian Church continuing to serve as a Sunday School teacher until age 80. She was also active in the Women's Missionary Society . She died at age 84 in 1921 and is buried in Riverview Cemetery.
Mrs. Rachel Herbert served as a Vice President of the Women's Association. She was the widow of Col. Josiah T. Herbert who was n business with C. C. Thompson in the pottery. He died quite suddenly on a selling trip in the west and Mrs. Herbert was a widow for 60 years. Her father was Presbyterian Minister in Troy, Ohio and she continued to take an active part in the First Presbyterian Church here. She died in 1935 at the age of 94.
Two other individuals identified with the organization of the hospital were Mrs.. M. Riley McKinnon and Mrs. D. MacDonald. As yet nothing more is known about Mrs. MacDonald. Mrs. Riley McKinnon was formerly married to James Arbuckle who ran a trading boat. After Mr. Arbuckle's death, Martha came back to town and ran a Millinery Shop before marrying Riley McKinnon. She was also active in Woman's Relief Corps as well as the Hospital Association. Mrs. McKinnon died suddenly in Los Angles in 1915. She is also buried in Riverview Cemetery.
Thus you can see the tremendous energy and contributions of these ladies who undertook a project and stayed with it until it was able to progress on its own. The community should look back with pride at the resourcefulness and drive of these ladies. During Women's History Month we salute them!