Troy's One Hundred Years 1789-1889:

These are excerpts from Troy's One Hundred Years 1789-1889, compiled by Arthur James Weise, M. A., and published in 1891 by William H. Young of 7-9 First Street in Troy. They were transcribed and contributed by Bill McGrath of Clifton Park, Saratoga County, NY.

pages 210, 212 and 216
The prevalence of fever among the immigrants who had come to Troy during the famine in Ireland between the years 1845 and 1848 compelled the city authorities to erect temporary buildings for their care and treatment. Sometimes as many as two hundred sick persons were thus sheltered. The afflicted people were mostly Roman Catholics, and the Rev. Peter HAVERMANS daily visited and ministered unto them the means of physical relief and spiritual comfort.

Their distressing circumstances suggested to him the need of a city hospital, and he undertook the collection of funds with which to erect one. His efforts were successful, and a site was obtained on the south-west corner of Fifth and Washington streets. On Wednesday afternoon, August 15th, 1848, the corner-stone of the Troy Hospital was laid by General John E. WOOL of the United States Army. The four-story brick building, when completed in 1850, was used for the purposes contemplated, a number of Sisters of Charity taking charge of the institution.

After the construction of the Union Railroad, the site became unsuitable for a hospital. In April, 1866, the property of Ebenezer PRESCOTT, on the east side of Eighth Street, at the head of Fulton Street, was purchased by the managers of the Troy Hospital, for the site of a new building. The corner-stone of the four-story brick structure was laid on Sunday afternoon, June 28th, 1868, by the Right Rev. J. J. CONROY, Bishop of Albany. In the fall of 1869, the old hospital was vacated, and the new one was occupied. The institution is still [in 1891] in charge of the SISTERS OF CHARITY, who latterly have had the care of as many as eight hundred patients within a year. The attendance, appointments, and charges are in every way satisfactory and advantageous.

Notes from Bill McGrath:

Note 1: Some rooms in the Troy Hospital were used starting in 1848 for the orphans cared for by Saint Mary's Female Orphan Asylum. In 1865, the asylum changed its name to Saint Vincent Female Orphan Asylum, and in May 1872, it purchased the old Troy Hospital building on Washington and Fifth streets.

Note 2: The Troy Hospital is mentioned in a number of the death notices for my family members.

Note 3: The Troy Hospital building on Eighth Street later became the home of Catholic Central High School until about 1953. I started my freshman year there in 1952. Later that year or early in 1953, the school relocated to the Cluett and Peabody laboratory building in Lansingburgh, where it remains today.

Note 4: The former Troy Hospital and former Catholic Central High School building is now part of the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute campus. On the 45th reunion of the Class of 1956 in 2001, we had a cocktail party there and a tour of our old school building.

Note 5: Rev. Peter Havermans was the first pastor of St. Mary's Church in Troy, from its opening in 1843. When this book was published in 1891, he was still the pastor.

pages 236-237
Benjamin MARSHALL, for many years a manufacturer of gingham and other cotton goods, at his mills on the south side of Congress Street, near Mount Ida Falls, desiring to provide feeble-minded and diseased people with such care and comforts as might be needed by them, founded in 1830 the infirmary, on Linden Avenue, near Pawling Avenue. The grounds, and the three-story brick building erected there that year, were then valued at $35,000.

On June 20th, 1851, the institution was incorporated by the name of the Marshall Infirmary in the city of Troy. The administration of its affairs was intrusted to twenty-seven persons annually elected governors of the institution.

  • Every person contributing ten dollars to it and annually paying three dollars to its support is a member of the corporation; and

  • every person contributing one hundred dollars and annually paying thereafter five dollars to the corporation, besides being a member of it, may recommend one sick person to be cared for at the infirmary, without charge, for six weeks in each year of his contribution; and

  • every person contributing one thousand dollars not only becomes a life member but also is privileged to recommend one sick person to be cared for without charge for fifty-two weeks in each year; and

  • every person annually paying ten dollars may recommend one sick person to the care of the institution without charge for four weeks in each year.

Benjamin Marshall died on December 2d, 1858, having contributed in land and money about $70,000 to the institution.

In 1859, the three-story brick building on the south side of the infirmary was erected by the supervisors of Rensselaer County for an insane asylum, and in 1861, they built a similar structure for lunatics, beyond the hill, on the grounds, east of the infirmary building. In 1880, a two-story building was erected south of the insane asylum for the care of refractory patients.

The grounds of the institution have an area of sixteen acres. The number of patients received into the different wards of the sick department, to January 1st, 1889, was 7,542; and into those of the insane asylum, 1,803. Since October, 1863, Joseph D. LOMAX, M. D., has been the resident medical superintendent of the institution, which is now known as the Marshall Infirmary and Rensselaer County Lunatic Asylum.

In 1889, the officers of the institution were Thomas COLEMAN, president, Francis A. FALES, first vice-president, George A. WELLS, second vice-president, George A. STONE, treasurer, and R. H. WARD, M. D., secretary.

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