ST. CLOUD -- February 9th, 1928 – St. Cloud Hospital dedicated

Health care in St. Cloud can trace its roots to the Sisters of the Order of St. Benedict.  St. Cloud has had four hospitals, and all four of them were built and run by the Benedictine Sisters.

They opened the area’s first hospital in February of 1886 and named it St. Benedict’s Hospital.  This new building and these Sisters were put to the test when a devastating tornado hit the area a few weeks after it opened.  With 54 patients, the hospital was filled to the max, and the Sisters had to turn their home into a temporary hospital to care for the overflow of injured people.

Since this first venture, the Benedictine Sisters rose to the challenge of providing health care for the area residents.

When St. Benedict’s Hospital became too small, they built their next hospital, St. Raphael’s in 1890.  This hospital was built near the Reformatory, but it proved to be too far away from the city, so a new St. Raphael’s was built in 1900.

But, the city was growing rapidly and the need for a larger hospital was soon evident.  Thus, the new St. Cloud Hospital was built and dedicated on February 9th, 1928.  This magnificent modern hospital was built on 20 acres of land bordering the Mississippi River and had the impressive price tag of $2,000,000!  Clergymen and prominent doctors of Central Minnesota attended the dedication service that was led by Bishop Joseph F. Busch.  An open house was held a couple of days later, and an estimated 20,000 people came to inspect and tour the grand new building.

St. Cloud Hospital has seen many improvements and expansions over the years, including a $200 million expansion project that's underway right now.

St. Cloud Hospital has consistently been rated as one of the top hospital not only in Minnesota, but also the country.

WJON has partnered with the Stearns History Museum for our "This Date In Central Minnesota History" series.  Thank you to Sarah Warmka from the museum for helping with the research and photos.