Katharine Reece Curry, daughter of Dr. A.S. Reece, founder of the Reece Hospital in Gardner, will host interviews in Gardner this weekend and the following week for a book she is writing about her father’s work.
Curry said she was inspired to write the book after reading her father’s own autobiography and being intrigued by the story of the hospital he founded.
“The hospital became a story about the people who worked there,” she said. “It had a life of it’s own. I decided to that portion of the autobiography and turn it into a book of its own.”
Curry said she hopes to have the book in print before Christmas.
Dr. Reece started Reece Hospital in 1934.
It was located on the south side of Shawnee Street between Elm and Sycamore streets.
Curry said the first building had two doctors offices, a waiting room, a treatment room and a bedroom.
Her father added eight beds to the hospital before World War II broke out.
Dr. Reece then left to join the military and help out with the war effort.
Another doctor and nurses filled in during his absence.
“Other nurses and members of the community kept the hospital operating in a patriotic mood,” Curry said.
After the war, Dr. Reece built more additions to the privately owned hospital.
In the 1960s, he saw the need for a community hospital, and began sharing his vision with business and community leaders.
Community members invested in the new hospital, purchasing shares of stock to fund a new building on the west side of town.
That hospital, Gardner Community Medical Center, was in operation until the early 1980s.
The building it occupied currently houses Meadowbrook Rehabilitation Hospital.
Curry would like to interview anyone who has a connection to Reece Hospital including those who were born there, were patients there, or worked there.
Curry will conduct the interviews from April 27 to May 6 at the Gardner Historical Museum.
To make an appointment to visit with Curry, call the museum at (913) 856-4447.