March 12, 1850: Wheeling Hospital Chartered

Mar 12, 2019

Credit e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia

On March 12, 1850, Wheeling Hospital was chartered. Founded by Catholic Bishop Richard Whelan and Dr. Simon Hullihen, it was the only medical facility of its kind between Pittsburgh and Cincinnati.

In 1856, the hospital moved to the mansion of Michael Sweeney in North Wheeling. It would remain at this location for the next 119 years. In 1864, the U.S. Army took over the facility and used it to treat wounded Civil War soldiers. Both Union and Confederate troops were cared for side by side.

The hospital grew swiftly in size in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. And in 1900, a nursing school was established. The original hospital was torn down in 1933, and a new central portion was constructed on the same site. During World War II, the hospital established a Cadet Nurses Corps and furnished doctors and nurses for the war effort.

In 1975, the hospital moved to a new, more modern facility. The region’s first open-heart surgery was performed there in 1994. With a history dating back to 1850, Wheeling Hospital is the oldest institution of its kind in West Virginia.