King's Daughters - 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.