The Weekly Newspaper serving the citizens of Morenci, Mich., Fayette, Ohio, and surrounding areas.

  • Front.cheers
    MACEE BEERS joins other Fayette Elementary School students for the annual Mini-Cheer performance during the half-time break at the basketball game.
  • Family.3.wide
    CHILDREN at Stair District Library’s Family Story Time toss scarves into the air during an activity. The evening program provided a mix of stories, songs, dancing, crafts and snacks Monday evening. The program is offered at 5:30 p.m. every Monday for five more weeks. The program is designed for three to five year olds and their family.
  • Front.newpaper.2
    THE INTERVIEW—Evelyn Joughin (right) records the interaction with an iPad while Jack Varga, next to her, asks questions of Morenci Elementary School principal Gail Frey. Morenci senior Sam Cool (standing) listens. Cool serves as the editor for the newspaper written by members of Mrs. Barrett’s second grade class.
  • Front.code.2
    WRITING CODE—Brock Christle (left), a Morenci fifth grade student, takes a look at the progress being made by fourth grader Anthony Lewis. Libby Rorick, a sixth grade student, is next in a line of girls trying out the coding tutorials. This year marked Morenci’s second year of participation in the Hour of Code project.
  • Front.gym.new
    REMIE RYAN (left) tries to dodge the foam wand held by Hayden Bays during physical education class at Morenci Elementary School. In the background, Lauryn Dominique and Brooklyn Williams stay clear of the tag. Second grade students were working on cardiovascular health on the first day back from vacation. For the record, Safety Tag is a very difficult sport to photograph.
  • Front.lift
    MORENCI student Dalton McCowan puts everything into a dead lift attempt Saturday morning during the Wyseguy Push/Pull event. Lifters helped raise more than $1,600 for the family of the late Devin Wyse, a former Morenci power-lifter who graduated last year. Commemorative T-shirts are still available by contacting teacher Dan Hoffman.
  • Front.library.books
    MACK DICKSON takes a book off the “blind date” cart at the Fayette library. Patrons can choose a book without knowing what’s inside other than a general category. The books are among those designated for removal so patrons can consider them gifts. In Morenci, new books and staff favorites were chosen from the stacks and must be returned. Patrons get a piece of chocolate, too, to take on their date, but no clue about their “date.” One reader said she really enjoyed her book for a few pages, but then lost interest—so typical for a blind date.

Morenci's two older hospitals 2009.09.16

Written by David Green.

Morenci’s “new hospital” on Sims Highway is likely to be demolished soon, but the community’s two older hospitals will remain standing.blanchardhospital.jpg

According to Morenci’s history book, “Our Journey in Time,” the Blanchard Hospital was established Jan. 15, 1935, after Dr. James A. Blanchard purchased the former home of Dr. H.L. Older on N. Summit Street, across from the United Methodist Church.

Dr. Blanchard began his practice in Morenci in 1930 and he set a goal of establishing a hospital in order to serve patients from the area without having to transfer them to Adrian or other locations.

He equipped the Older house for use as a private hospital with 16 beds, six bassinets, an operating room, a sterilizing room and a nursery. There was also a laundry facility and kitchen in the basement.

Dr. Blanchard opened the facility to any licensed physician or surgeon who cared to use it.

In 1960, an inspection by the state fire marshal led to an order for improvements to meet state standards. Due to the cost of the changes, the hospital was closed in 1961.

In its 26 years of operation, 1,734 births were recorded and 13,000 patients were admitted.

Morenci’s other older hospital—believed to be the first private hospital in Lenawee County—is located next to the Observer office on North Street.

Dr. Hal Blair had the building constructed in 1908 and it was used as a hospital through the late 1920s.

The waiting room and doctor’s office was on the first floor and the operating room was on the second floor, along with five beds.

For $15 a week (payable in advance), a patient was given room, board, dressings and the services of a nurse. The operating room charge was $5 and anesthetic cost $10.

Orla Bachman was the only nurse who worked at all three of Morenci’s hospitals. She told the story of the first X-ray machine at Dr. Blair’s office, which appears in “Our Journey in Time.”

“The patient was given an anesthetic and put on the examining table which was partly constructed of iron. After the machine was turned on the doctor became entangled with the cord and the patient was shocked into unconsciousness. Miss Bachman was holding the patient and she also received such a shock that the ends of her toes were burned.”

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