Jennie Stuart

Mrs. Jennie Stuart, “Miss Jennie,” came to Hopkinsville on October 24, 1912, to shop. While getting out of the buggy in front of James O. Cook’s Drug Store, northwest corner of Ninth and Main Streets, the toe of her shoe hung in the hem of her full length dress, she fell to the sidewalk and sustained a fractured hip. Dr. John W. Harned and Herbert Holeman were standing nearby and took her to the Hopkinsville Hospital, located in the old Peter Postell house on the northwest corner of Clay and Fifth Streets. Her nurse was Mamie Maguire (1878 – 1953), later Mrs. Vitas L. Gates, the second registered nurse to practice in Hopkinsville. “Miss Mamie” related that “Mrs. Stuart” was a very intelligent and energetic woman and was a very good patient.” Dr. Stuart made many trips from Fairview to see his wife and he realize the limited facilities of the hospital made proper medical treatment difficult. “Miss Jennie” died at the Hopkinsville Hospital on November 12, 1912. She was buried in Riverside Cemetery after services in the Methodist Church, of which she was a member.

On February 20, 1913, Dr. Stuart announced that he was giving $20,000 for the establishment of a hospital in Hopkinsville to be named “Jennie Stuart Memorial Hospital” in memory of his late wife, and he designated a self perpetuating board to operate the hospital. A 2 1/4 acre lot on West 17th Street was purchased on April 10, 1913, for $3,000, and the board approved plans drawn by Louisville architect James C. Murphy, on July 3, 1913. Dr. Stuart made several additional financial gifts for the hospital and upon his death, willed his entire estate to the facility. The total amount of gifts and the bequest was $52,125.00. Forbes Mfg. Co. was awarded the construction bid of $34,300, on August 5, 1913, and ground was broken the next day. The building was completed and occupied on June 30, 1914, and the 28 bed facility opened July 1, 1914.

Dr. Stuart lived his retirement years in his Fairview home and watched with great interest from his side porch the construction of the Jefferson Davis Monument. He eventually moved to an apartment provided for him at the hospital and died there on Oct 18, 1922. It was his “wish and desire after death, that my body be laid to rest by the side of my Mother’s grave in the family burying ground of my Grand Father, William Stuart, Sr. My body placed in the coffin on my left side, my face toward my Mother’s ashes when deposited in the pit.” Dr. Stuart along with his parents and paternal grandparents are buried in the Ralston Graveyard on the Antioch Road.


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