St. Joseph’s Hospital (now Fountain Terrace Condominiums) by Nancy Watts

“Sister Philomene of the Order of the Daughters of Jesus, arrived in Lewistown in 1903, spending the next three years operating a school to raise money to build a hospital. [Peter] Tuss won the con­tract and began laying stone in October, 1906, finish­ing his part of the job two years later. John F. Plo­vanic eventually completed the hospital and its mag­nificent encircling wall, building four additional units from 1913 to 1936.” (“They carved their hopes in stone” by Anna Zellick. Montana, The Magazine of Western History, Winter 1978).

“The Daughters of Jesus …..plans for a hospital are about completed and the Sisters hope in a short time to be able to begin work on the building. The site for the new hospital is located north of Saint Leo’s Church and was donated for the purpose by Mr. and Mrs. Pratt….The building according to plans [done by Kirkwood Cross] will consist of two stories and a basement…The cost of the building is estimated to be about $17,000. The work of excavating will require some time on account of the great elevation of earth to be removed and the Sisters hope that since the earth is needed for repairing streets in the town the expense will be thereby considerably lessened…”  (Fergus County Argus, August 24, 1906).

“…communications had been received from the Daughters of Jesus informing the members [of the City Council] that they were about ready to begin excavating for the proposed hospital and offering the city the gravel for taking it out and hauling it away…”(Fergus County Argus, September 7, 1906).

“The council decided to expend $350 in purchasing gravel at the excavation from the Sister’s hospital, the price to be 40 cents per load delivered on the streets.” (Fergus County Argus, October 5, 1906). 

“Bids… for a hospital to be erected… The building will be done of stone…. and contractor to furnish all stone.” (Fergus County Democrat, Jan. 29, 1907).

“Bids for all stonework below water table on the Sister’s Hospital… will be received up to 12 midnight, June 8th. Putlog holes [small holes in the walls to put logs to support scaffolding] must be left for the basement floor joist.” (Fergus County Democrat, June 4, 1907).

“The Reverend Father van den Broeck left yesterday morning on a still hunt [to ambush or stalk a quarry] along the Montana and Northern Pacific railroads for some steel which has been lost, strayed, or stolen. The steel was ordered for the Sister’s hospital and its failure to arrive is holding back work on the building.” (Fergus County Democrat, November 5, 1907).

“Splendid progress is being made on the Sister’s hospital…the steel which was delaying operations, having arrived the first of last week.” (Fergus County Democrat, November 19, 1907).

“The stone used in this building came from the quarries of Peter Tuss, who has the contract for the stone work.” (Fergus County Argus, Dec 13, 1907).

“The first floor of the building will be devoted to the kitchen heating plant and dining rooms for the Sisters, guests, and children. On the second floor will be located the parlor, chapel, operating room, Sisters’ dormitory and the community room. On the top floor the wards and private rooms for patients will be arranged, and each floor will be provided with baths, toilets, and the latest electric bell system.” (Fergus County Argus, Dec 13, 1907).

Saint Joseph’s Hospital…”is now nearing completion. This building…will have cost about $30,000… It is built of stone and located on an eminence in the northeastern part of the city.” (Fergus County Democrat, December 17, 1907).

“Sister Mary Philomena presented a written request [to the City Council] for the opening of the streets along the new hospital…” (City Council minutes, Fergus County Democrat, August 4, 1908).

“Saint Joseph’s Hospital…. will be ready for the reception of patients October 15th…Every attention will be given to the patients as the nursing staff will be increased to 6, including an experienced male nurse.” (Fergus County Democrat, October 13, 1908).

“Hundreds of Lewistown people last Sunday [Oct. 25] accepted the invitation to attend the service of blessing the new Saint Joseph’s Hospital …. it is well heated and lighted, excellently furnished.” (Fergus County Democrat, October 27, 1908).

“…from the top floor running down to the basement are dust chutes, the sweepings being brushed into them and carried right down to be disposed of in the furnace. Likewise, there is a dumb waiter running from the hall in the basement to the upper floors… Provision has also been made for an elevator, which will be installed later on.” (Fergus County Argus, Dec 18, 1908).

First unit of the St. Joseph’s Hospital (now Fountain Terrace) on High Street.
It was built in 1906. Four other units were added from the years 1913 to 1936.
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