The Lucy Hastings Hospital was a small general hospital located at 1038 Union Street in Manchester, New Hampshire. The building still exists, now being used as a private home. The hospital was founded in on 25 February 1925 by George Sanford Foster, M.D., who named it after his great-grandmother, Lucy Hastings, and it closed in 1945.
Before I continue with the history of the hospital, I’d like to mention a bit more about it’s namesake: Lucy Hastings. She was the daughter of Benjamin and Experience (Ball) Hastings of Bolton, Massachusetts. She was born 26 February 1783 and died 10 September 1842. She was the 2nd wife of John Foster, son of Obadiah & Hannah (Ballard) Foster. She was the mother of six of John Foster’s eight children.
The History of Warner New Hampshire explains Lucy’s death: “lost her life from her clothes taking fire, about the year 1845.” A family genealogy goes on to add: “while sitting upon the hearth smoking a pipe, she fell asleep and the pipe fell and set her clothes afire and she was fatally burned.” [see more in the genealogy]. Her husband, John Foster, died tragically also, three years later drowning in a flume while working on a dam. The town history of Warner states: “Mr. John Foster, who came from Hudson to Warner in 1830, was drowned at the dam on Willow brook in 1850.” Lucy (Hastings) Foster is buried beside her husband in Pine Grove Cemetery, in Warner, New Hampshire. Her death (and life) must have left a great impression on Dr. Foster, to have him name the hospital after her.
A few months ago, a curious scrapbook came into my hands through Joseph LaFrance of Manchester, New Hampshire. He purchased it from a St. Vincent de Paul Store around 1985. He agreed to sell it to me, so that I could review some of its contents, share the story of the hospital with you, and then donate the album to the Manchester (NH) Historical Association. The hospital only existed for the short span of twenty years. According to Dr. Foster’s biography, the Lucy Hastings Hospital had twenty to twenty-five nurses and 800 patients annually before it closed in 1945. At the hospital “he [Dr. Foster] established a training school for nurses in 1925, a training school for technicians in 1927, and a career research laboratory in 1925, as well as a tumor museum.”
An early prospectus of the hospital states: “The Lucy Hastings is a general hospital open to the medical profession and to the general public. Here the members of the medical profession may send their cases and keep them under their own personal care and orders….The hospital maintains a complete staff of competent physicians, surgeons and obstetricians, who will be only too glad to render service to physicians sending cases when this is desired…Fully equipped and modern medical, surgical, and obstetrical departments are maintained. Spacious, sunny, and well-ventilated wards, semi-private, and private rooms are at the disposal of the medical profession. Included in these is a finely furnished solarium ward for patients especially demanding sunlight and open air treatment. An ambulance service is maintained day and night when such service is needed. The dietary department is supervised by an expert from Miss Farmer’s School of Cooking….A training school for nurses is a well-established part of the activities arranged in order to render the best service to all patients.
The prospectus continues, “The Nurses’ Home adjoining the hospital is modern in every respect and fully equipped with teaching material and with a fine library both for study and for recreative reading for the nurses. In addition the prospectus adds that “one entire floor of the hospital” was dedicated to the obstetrical services, and that x-ray, electro-therapy and radium service was available her under the direction of “a specialist in this line of work.” The hospital maintained a laboratory, and a pathology department. The building also contained a kitchen and laundry. An undated prospectus shows that patient rates were $16.50 to $60 a week depending on the location and nature of the room (multiple, semi-private or private bed). Private nurses were permitted on a 12-hour duty shift.
In 1926 Lucy Hastings Hospital participated in National Hospital Day. That annual event began in 1921 to coincide with the birthday (May 12) of Florence Nightingale, who established the first professional training school for nurses in England in 1860. The Lucy Hastings Hospital was opened up to the public, for an open house. The brochure states: “It is an occasion for public investigation of the facilities and the activities, the aims and ideals, and the problems and needs of the hospital….when people may learn at first hand what the hospital is doing and how it does it.”
Within this scrapbook also are a small rule book for nurses, and a few notices of nurse graduations including those for 1928, 1932, 1933, and 1936. (The graduation ceremony descriptions and list of graduating students are show below). Among the rules included are that their “hours of duty are 7 A.M. to 7 P.M. by day; 7 P.M. to 7 A.M. by night” (so 12-hour shifts). Most of the rules seem like common sense. Nurses were not allowed to wear their uniforms “in the street…for obvious sanitary reasons.” Perhaps the most curious rule I saw was, “Plucked eyebrows, the use of cosmetics and smoking are absolutely forbidden.”
Lucy Hastings Hospital Training School for Nurses
Graduation: Manchester, New Hampshire, May 1, 1928
Graduating Class: Helen Marion Wilson, Elizabeth C. McNeill, Regina C. LaRoe, Jane Alice Thibaudeau, Virginia Tryphena Graves, Helena Margaret Harrington, Stella Margaret Bentley, Lillian L. LeBlanc, Jessica Beryl Bentley, Florence Turcotte
2. Address of Welcome: Gertrude McLaughlin, R.N. Supt.
3. Vocal Solo: Klara Farm Muchling
4. Address to the Graduating Class: Falko W. Schilling, M.D., Chairman, Training School Committee
5. Response: Regina C. LaRoe
6. Vocal Solo: Klara Farm Muehling
7. Valedictory: Virginia T. Graves
8. Presentation of Diplomas
9. Violin Solo: Leon Martell
11. Social Hour
Lucy Hastings Hospital, Training School For Nurses
Graduation: Manchester New Hampshire, May 4, 1932
Graduating Class: Marion LeBlanc, Anna Lally, Eleanor L. Roy, Thelma Mousley, Marion Sharples, Doris C. Maxwell, Cecile LeClerc, Mary Louise Welch
Processional: “Stars and Stripes,” Orchestra
Opening Remarks: John Deitch, M.D., President of Staff
Address to Graduating Class: F.W. Schilling, M.D., Chairman, Training School Committee
Salutatory: “The Golden Rule,” Doris Maxwell
Class Prophecy: Marion LeBlanc
Valedictory: “Loyalty, Forewightedness in Service,” Cecile LeClerc
Presentation of Diplomas and Benediction: Rev. W.J. Setzer
Recessional “Connecticut March,” Orchestra
Lucy Hastings Hospital, Training School for Nurses
Graduation: February 17, 1933 — Manchester, New Hampshire
Graduates: Dorothy Atkins, Irene M. Briggs, Agnes A. Fleming, Mary Allen*, Ethel Foster
March: Alice Orr
Invocation: Rev. W. D. Armitage
Address of Welcome: Falko W. Schilling, M.D.
Address to Graduating Class: George S. Foster, M.D.
Valedictory: Irene M. Briggs
Class Prophecy: Mary Allen
Presentation of Diplomas: Falko W. Schilling, M.D.
Benediction: Rev. W.D. Armitage
Reception to Graduation
Lucy Hastings Hospital
Graduation: Wednesday, September 30, 1936, Manchester, N.H.
Graduates: Florence Gelinas, Mary DeCotis, Gilberte LaJeunesse, Altheda M. Leith, Delora Hussey, Lucille White, Jessie York, Ruth E. West
March: Mary E. Foster
Invocation: Rev. John D. Kettelle
Address of Welcome, Address to the Graduating Class: George S. Foster, M.D.
Valedictory: Altheda M. Leith
Vocal Solo: Daniel McCabe
Class Prophecy: Mary DeCotis
Florence Nightingale Pledge: The Graduating Class
Presentation of Diplomas / Benediction: Rev. John D. Kettelle
Reception to Graduates
When World War II drew many of the retired physicians and surgeons back into action, Dr. George Sanford Foster was among them. He served as lieutenant commander in the Medical Corps, U.S. Naval Reserve. At the time of his death he had been assigned to the Bureau of Medicine and Surgery in Washington, D.C., and was preparing a medical history of the Navy during the war. He died on 10 July 1945. His biography is extensive, too long for this story, and so a link to it is provided below, along with a genealogical book with his entire family tree.
====GENEALOGY of GEORGE SANFORD FOSTER=====
George Sanford Foster, son of George S. & Etta Frances (Moulton) Foster, b 20 April 1882 in Barrington NH, d. 10 July 1945 in Washington, D.C. ; m. 27 Dec 1905 in Manchester NH to Elizabeth Russell Danforth, dau of Fred P. & Ellen Frances (Russell) Danforth. She was b. 24 December 1882 and died 28 January 1968. He was a distinguished physician and surgeon. He received his medical degree (Cum Laude) from Tufts Medical School in 1906 and started practicing in Manchester on February 1st, 1907. He was a surgeon and pathologist at Notre Dame Hospital until 1925 when he went to Lucy Hastings Hospital where he worked until 1942. He also participated heavily in civic groups like the YMCA and the Manchester Boys Club. He was also a veteran of World War I serving as a captain in the Army Medical Corps. He came out of retirement in World War II. He was Lt. Commander of the Bureau of Medicine & Surgery U.S.N.R. at the time of his death. He is buried in Pine Grove Cemetery, Manchester, NH. Dr. Foster was involved in too many organizations and associations to mention here.
Those, along with his education and professional accomplishments are listed in in the National Cyclopedia of American Biography: George Sanford Foster. His genealogy is found in The Foster Genealogy, by Frederick Clifton Pierce, 1899. One interesting tidbit about his life relates to Mount Washington. His biography notes: “A runner in early life, he established a record in 1900 for the Mount Washington run which stood until 1936.” Indeed, the Manchester Historic Association has a trophy, “The Foster Cup” with an inscription “To Commemorate the establishment of the Mt. Washington Carriage Road Run by him [George S. Foster] on August 12, 1900 and To Stimulate in the interest of the Development of American Amateur Sportsmanship.”
1920 US Census > NH > Hillsborough > Manchester
George S. Foster 37
Elizabeth Foster 37
Clayton Foster 11
Virginia Foster 8
George S. Foster 2-4/12
Russell Foster 8/12
1940 US Census > NH > Hillsborough > Manchester
George S. Foster Head M 57 NH
Elizabeth R. Foster Wife F 56 NH
Clayton R. Foster M son 32 NH
George S. Foster son M 22 NH
Russell D. Foster son M 20 NH
Wedding Announcement: Sunday, October 1, 1939 Boston Herald (Boston MA) Page 82
Miss Foster Weds Dr. Smith in N.H. In Grace Church at Manchester, N.H. yesterday afternoon at three o’clock Miss Virginia Frances Foster, daughter of Dr. and Mrs. George Sanford Foster of Manchester N.H. was married to Dr. Harry Cooper Smith of Manchester, CT son of Mrs. Harrison K. Wisiner of Lansdale PA. The ceremony was performed by the Rev. Chester George Minton, pastor of St. Peter’s Church, Salem. A reception was held afterwards at the Manchester Country Club. The bride was escorted to the altar by her father. She wore an ivory satin wedding dress and carried her father’s prayer book. The matron of honor and only attendant, Mrs. William C. Dekker of Jackson Heights, L.I. wore green crepe and carried a bouquet of yellow flowers. The bride’s mother wore blue velvet with a corsage of gardenias and the bridegroom’s mother also wore gardenias with her grape velvet gown. Dr. Amos E. Friend of Manchester, CT was the best man for Dr. Smith, and the ushers were Mr. Clayton Reginald Foster, Mr. George Sanford Foster Jr., Mr. Russell Danforth Foster, brothers of the bride, and Mr. Frederick D. O’Connor, cousin of the bride, all of Manchester, N.H. Dr. Smith and his bride will be at home after Nov 1 on Cambridge Street, Manchester CT. Mrs. Smith was graduated from the University of New Hampshire in 1933 and did graduate work at the Merrill-Palmer School in Detroit in 1934. She has taught at the Smith College Day School and more recently has taught remedial reading. Dr. Smith was administrator at the Elm Terrace Hospital in Lansdale, Pa, for four years and in 1937 was connected with the Lucy Hastings Hospital in Manchester, N.H. At present he is associated with the Manchester Memorial Hospital in Manchester CT.
Sunday June 21, 1942 Boston Herald (Boston MA) Page 73
Miss Muriel Chase–Mr. Foster Married
At a candlelight ceremony in the three-century old Hamilton Smith-Lady Congreve Chapel in Durham NH, Friday Evening, Miss Muriel Eastman Chase, daughter of Mr and Mrs. George Earle Chase of Rochester NH and Mr. Russell Danforth Foster, son of Dr. and Mrs.
George Sanford Foster of Manchester NH were married……Mr. and Mrs. Foster both graduated from the University of New Hampshire in 1940 and Mrs. Foster prepared at Highland Park School in Dallas TX. After a wedding trip to Lake Winnepesaukee, they will make their home in Boston.
Children of George S. & Elizabeth R. (Danforth) Foster:
1. Clayton Reginald Foster, b. 5 February 1908 in Manchester NH; d. 17 August 1972. In 1940 living with parents in Manchester, NH, single.
2. Virginia Frances Foster b 1911 NH, and died in 1977. She married 30 September 1939 to Dr. Harry Cooper Smith. He was born in 1906 and died in 1981, and is buried in the Foster plot at Pine Grove Cemetery in Manchester NH beside his wife Virginia.
3. George Sanford Foster Jr. born 2 Sep 1917 Manchester NH, died 3 September 1969; m. 12 Feb 1941 in Manchester NH to Virginia Kimball Dunlap, daughter of Joseph H. & Rena (Kimball) Dunlap. In 1949 a salesman for Seaman’s Supply, living in Goffstown. Buried Rose Hill Memorial Park, Rocky Hill, CT.
4. Russell D. Foster b 20 April 1919 NH died 13 May 1999 Manchester NH; m. 19 June 1942 in Durham, Strafford Co. NH to Muriel Eastman Chase, dau of George Earle & Florence H. (Eastman) Chase. She was b. — and d. 19 March 2001 in Manchester NH aged 82 In 1949 living at 925 Chestnut Street Manchester NH
ADDENDUM: WHO OWNED THE LUCY HASTINGS HOSPITAL SCRAPBOOK?
And so lastly my goal is to determine who owned and put together the scrapbook that was the source of inspiration for this story about the Lucy Hastings Hospital. Many of the later pages were empty, however folded within the center were some photographs and a naturalization document for Arthur Bernard Allen. In researching this man, I discovered the scrapbook’s owner.
United States of America, Certificate of Naturalization / Petition, Volume 8, Number 899
Description of holder: Age 51 years; height 5 feet-9-1/2 inches; white complexion, fair skin; eyes blue; color of hair dark brown; visible distinguishing marks none.
Names, age and place of residence of wife: Mary Ann McMahon Allen, 47 years, Manchester N.H.
Names, ages and places of residence of minor children: Arthur Bernard, Jr., 18 yrs, Margaret Elizabeth 15 years, John Joseph 14 yrs, Mary Catherine 12 years, Edward 10 years, Louis 8 years, Frances 6 yrs, Manchester NH
–signed by Arthur Bernard Allen then residing at 182 Wilson Street, City of Manchester New Hampshire, who previous to his naturalization was a subject of England.
— signed Seal affixed on the 3rd day of May 1916 [and of our Independence, the one hundred and fortieth]. Thomas D. Luce, Clerk of the Superior Court.
—–GENEALOGY OF THE Arthur Bernard Allen Family of Manchester NH—–
At first glance you might think that the naturalization document has nothing to do with the Lucy Hastings Hospital. But once I compiled this family’s genealogy, it became apparent that daughter, Mary C. Allen was a nurse, and very probably the very same Mary Allen shown above who graduated from the Lucy Hastings Hospital School of Nursing in 1933. In 1964 she was Director of Nursing Service, Elliot Hospital
Arthur Bernard Allen, son of Richard & Catherine (O’Leary) Allen, b.30 Aug 1846 in England, died 9 November 1933 in Manchester NH, of a cerebral embolism caused from a fall on pavement on 7 November 1933; He m. 23 June 1897 in Manchester NH to Mary Ann McMahon, dau of Arthur & Mary (Barrett) McMahon. She was b. July 1867 in England, and died 18 Nov 1955 in Manchester NH, aged 85. [All of their parents were born in Ireland]. They were buried at (Old) St. Joseph Cemetery. They immigrated in 1889. Allen & Ramsey 13 Central Street (saloon).
1920 US Census > NH > Hillsborough > Manchester
Arthur B. Allen Head M 54 England
Mary A. Allen wife F 43 England
Margaret Allen daughter F 19 NH
John Allen son M 17 NH
Mary Allen dau F 15 NH
Louis Allen son M 11 NH
Francis Allen dau F 9 NH
Ellen Barrett Boarder F 46 England
1940 US Census > NH > Hillsborough > Manchester > 479 Hall Street
Allen Mary Head F 73 widow 7 yrs school England
Allen, John J son M 38 single H3 NH
Allen, Mary C daughter F 36 single H3 NH Registered Nurse
Allen, Louise A son M 32 ? H3 professional dancer
Barry soninlaw M 29 married h3 service man, filling station
Barry, Frances daughter married 30 H3
Barry, Richard A. grandson M 2 single
Barry, John D. grandson M 11/12 single
1954-1961 Manchester City Directory
[Graduate Nurses listing]
Allen Mary C 308 Orange Street
1964 Manchester City Directory
Allen, Mary C., Nursing Service Dir.
Elliot Hosp R308 Orange Street
Children of Arthur B. & Mary A. (McMahon) Allen:
1. Arthur Bernard Allen Jr. b 8 July 1897; d. 6 June 1954 in San Francisco, California
2. Richard Allen, b 24 Nov 1898 NH; died 3 Dec 1904 in Manchester NH, age 6 yrs 9 days of membranous croup; buried St. Joseph Cemetery
3. Margaret Elizabeth Allen, b 30 March 1900; m. 29 June 1925 in Manchester NH to Harry F. Prescott, son of Harry F. & Minnie J. (Kelley) Prescott; She m2) Jon B. Mack. Children (MACK): John Allen Mack, Ruth Mack who m. Enrique Cartaya, and Eileen Mack who m. Charles Conway. She owned and operated the Patty Allen School of Dance.
4. John Joseph Allen, b 23 January 1902 Manchester NH, d. 9 February 1991, age 89; m. 26 Dec 1941 in Manchester NH to Janet/Jeanette Emeline Guilbert, dau of Elphege & Flora (Tessier) Guilbert. She is buried next to her husband at St. Joseph Cemetery, Manchester NH. His WW2 enlistment
5. Mary Catherine Allen, b 16 November 1903, died 1 January 1997, aged 93; Registered Nurse [171 c][MCMG] *Probably 1933 Nursing Class of Lucy Hastings Hospital School of Nursing; never married. In 1964 was Director of Nursing Service, Elliot Hospital
6. Cuthbert Edward Allen, OSB b 28 April 1908 NH; d. 5 Dec 1977 in Belmont, Gaston, North Carolina; college professor; buried at Belmont Abbey, Belmont NC
7. Louis A. Allen b 1 Jan 1908 in Manchester NH, d. 22 June 1989 in Manchester NH, age 81
8. Frances Valerian Allen, b abt 1911; m. 10 Aug 1936 to Richard J. Barry, son of James P. & Mary E. (Murray) Barry; also a nurse like her sister Mary.
I made contact with Mary Sullivan, grand-daughter of Mary Catherine Allen’s older sister Margaret, who is helping to identify the people in the photographs. The naturalization papers, and the photographs are now on their way back to her, and into the hands of family who will cherish them.
If any readers out there have knowledge about the Lucy Hastings Hospital, or either the Foster or the Allen families, or can identify any of the photographs, I will be deeply grateful to learn from you.
Wonderful! Thanks for sharing and great photos! I am working on the Ball Line Rhode Island/MA right now will check these connections
Great article…interesting and descriptive. Awesome photos. I particularly loved the descriptions of Virginia Foster’s wedding dress. I had never heard of the Hastings hospital or Dr. Foster and family.
Awesome job Janice, I am so happy you purchased the scrapbook; you have generated the history of Lucy Hastings Hospital splendidly. I love all your historical writings.
Janice, we don’t think the picture of the woman is Mary Allen. Perhaps it was a friend of hers, but we don’t know who that is or the baby. The military one is of John J. Allen.
Janice, I am related to the Allen family through the McMahon’s. Mary C. Allen’s mother was my great grandfather John McMahon’s sister. Please feel free to contact me if you wish.
This past spring (2016), I acquired a Civil War book, “Manchester Men. Soldiers & Sailors in the Civil War, 1861-’66” by George C Gilmore/Rumford Press, Concord NH 1898. It has Dr George Sanford Foster Sr’s bookplate pasted onto the inside of the front cover. So, I was very glad to find this excellent piece of research on Dr Sanford, his family & Lucy Hastings Hospital. Naturally, my next mission was to procure a LHH postcard, such as the one depicted here, which I recently accomplished. It makes a nice bookmark. I sincerely appreciate the great work you did here, Janice; thank you, very much!
Scott, thank you for your kind words. So nice you have a book that belonged to Dr. Foster.
I know this is an old post but if your ever looking to get rid of this book I would be interested. Dr Foster was my great grandfather and I’m putting a collection together. Thanks joe
This book was donated to the New Hampshire Historical Society last year.
That is awesome. Thank you. I hope to get there some day to see their collection.
I graduated from Elliot Hospital School of Nursing in 1971 and remember seeing “Miss Allen” entering or leaving the nursing office on the ground floor of our nursing school (the original Elliot Hospital, 3 floors). Seems like they put the “Dpt. of Nursing” in the nursing school wing. Really no interaction with her except I remember she always smiled sweetly when she passed the student nurses and I remember her being a petite woman.
I have an original signed copy of the book “The Art of Living” written by Dr. Foster, also with his bookplate. Anybody interested in it? Present owners of the hospital/home?
I am interested in it. My father was on the Board of trustees of Camp Foster with Dr. Foster, Mayor Arthur Moreau and others.
Seeking Birth Records from the Lucy Hasting Hospital from 1925. Does anyone know where I may obtain those records?
I am Ronald J. Foster, grandson of Dr. George Sanford Foster who founded Lucy Hastings Hospital. I was born in 1949 to George S. Foster, Jr. and Virginia Dunlap Foster at Elliot Hospital in Manchester, NH, four years after my grandfather passed away in Washington, D.C. I was the third of four children born to George Jr. and Virginia Foster. I found your article very interesting and informative. However, I thought my father was born Sept. 2, 1917 (vice 1918) and passed away September 23, 1969 in Hartford, CT. George Jr. was buried in Rose Hill Memorial Park in Rocky Hill, CT next to his second wife, Edith H. Foster.
Mr. Foster, your grandfather was born in 1917, the year I used was based on his estimated birth year based on his marriage. I have found the birth date also on his WW2 registration form and now have added a link to his grave. Thank you for reading and commenting. Your grandfather was a remarkable man.
Janice, thank you for your speedy response to my posting. I look forward to following your blog on this subject. Wish I had the chance to meet my grandfather, he seems like a wonderful man.
Any idea what happened to the medical records from this hospital? I believe my father was a patient there in 1940. That is also the year he was diagnosed with a disorder that has followed our entire and extended family. He was discharged from the military because of it. Thank you
Judith, you ask a good question. Many small hospitals in New Hampshire merged or dissolved. Of course laws change over time, and so I don’t know what they were in the 1940s. You might contact the NH Dept of Health & Human Services at https://www.dhhs.nh.gov/about/organization.htm and ask them. Of course if any of my readers know the answer or can offer suggestions, I hope they comment.