Creator: Bozeman Deaconess Hospital

Provenance Note: Original annual reports, financial statements, and other documents created by the Bozeman Deaconess Hospital were initially loaned to Special Collections for microfilming by Dr. Merrill G. Burlingame in 1967 and the reel was assigned collection number 551. Sometime in the 1970s Dewey Street, a member of the hospital board of directors, loaned for microfilming two scrapbooks and that reel was assigned collection number 1008. Most of the original material from both donors was subsequently given to the Museum of the Rockies who transferred it to Special Collections in 1983 where it was assigned collection number 2097. All of these materials have now been consolidated in this collection. One of the microfilm reels was reported to the National Union Catalog of Manuscript Collections and assigned number 79-633. That record also erroneously included a 1972 tape recording of Dewey Street which now forms part of the Montana Institute of the Arts, Bozeman History Group Records, Collection 298.

Historical Note: The Bozeman Deaconess Hospital was founded in 1911 when the city of Bozeman and the Methodist Church both contributed $10,000 to purchase a sanitarium owned by Dr. J. F. Blair on the corner of Lamme Street and Tracy Avenue. The hospital was initially operated by Methodist church deaconesses, women who dedicated their lives to service by performing patient care and janitorial duties, typically receiving a small stipend plus room and board. The hospital was also overseen by a managing board of community and church members. By 1920, additional hospital facilities were constructed after a fund raising campaign and the former sanatorium building was renovated to house the Deaconess nurses. In 1956, the governing board at Bozeman Deaconess purchased 500 acres of land east of town. The hospital initially built a retirement home on some of the property, the Hillcrest Retirement Community, and in 1986 moved into a new 86 bed facility constructed nearby. The hospital continues to expand at its new location to meet the needs of a growing population.

An important part of the hospital's function has been and continues to be the training of student nurses. The Deaconess system of nursing education involved several other Montana hospitals in Great Falls, Havre, and Billings, with each hospital annually graduating its own group of newly "capped" nurses. In 1937 the Bozeman Deaconess Hospital partnered with Montana State College to offer more structured academic training for nursing students. For many years after the merge, those nurses who graduated from either the earlier Deaconess program or the MSC affiliation continued to maintain contact through an alumni association.

Content Description Note: The Bozeman Deaconess Hospital records include minutes of the hospital staff meetings from 1919 to 1933 kept by Edith R. Ackerman; two volumes of hospital admission and discharge records; printed and manuscript reports from 1914 through 1939; documentation of various fund raising efforts for the hospital from 1916 to 1928; and other miscellaneous materials. The records also include legal documents pertaining to the operation and construction of the hospital's retirement home, Hillcrest Retirement Community, 1961-1968. The nursing education program administered first by the Bozeman Deaconess Hospital itself and, after 1937, in partnership with the Montana State College, is documented with commencement announcements, invitations, "capping" ceremony programs, and a scrapbook of memorabilia pertaining to nursing alumna. Many of the nursing education materials were originally mounted in the scrapbook but came loose through mishandling and age. This includes twenty three original photographs of alumni nurse families and group portraits of nurses. A small selection of commencement announcements and invitations from other Montana Deaconess Hospital operations and newspaper clippings complete the original materials in this collection. The two reels of microfilm were from the 1967 and 1970s material loans from Burlingame and Street, and have the original accession numbers in brackets after the folder title.

RESTRICTIONS: Original hospital registration books in folders 3 and 4 are unavailable for research use until the creation of a surrogate that redacts any personal identification information.


Box 1
1. Edith R. Ackerman's notebook of hospital staff meeting minutes, 1919-1933
2. Signed physician fee pledges, 1922
3. Hospital discharges, May 1932-Sept. 1933
4. Hospital admissions and discharges, Mar. 1939-Aug. 1939
5. Printed annual reports, 1914-1916
6. Financial reports, 1918-1927; 1931
7. Audit, 1937
8. Audit, 1939
9. Fund drive - Publicity and subscriptions 1918; Subscriptions 1916
10. Fund drive, 1926-1928 - brochure, letters, related material
11. Fund drive, 1926-1928 - contact lists of church membership; Bozeman businesses, Gallatin County tax rolls
12. Hospital receipts, 1931 - correspondence, lists of outstanding accounts.
13. Hillcrest Retirement Community, legal papers regarding construction lawsuits
14. Hillcrest Retirement Community, legal papers regarding mortgages and gifts
15. Hillcrest Retirement Community, legal papers regarding status as non profit
16. BDC Nursing student commencement materials, 1921-1953
17. Montana State Colleges LPN commencement materials, 1949-1953
18. BDC and MSC "Capping" ceremony materials, 1940-1951
19. BDC nursing student alumna materials, 1915-1959
20. Other Deaconess Hospital nursing student commencement materials and invitations
21. Newspaper clippings and miscellaneous materials
Box 2
1. Photographs #1-10; alumni nurse families
2. Photographs #11-23; nurse individual and group portraits
3. Scrapbook for nurses training, 1915-1945
Box 3 Microfilm; annual reports, financial statements, incorporation and bylaws, 1911-1940 [551]
Box 4 Microfilm; scrapbook and ephemera from Box 2 [1008]

Contents | Special Collections

Updated: 10/31/12