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Our History

Memorial Medical Center History

Calhoun County Texas was formally organized in 1846. At that time its main industry was commercial fishing and farming. The first physician on record was Dr. William G. Peterson. Dr. Peterson traveled 536 square miles by horseback between the years of 1897 and 1901 to care for the health of some 1,110 Calhoun County citizens. By 1950 over 9,000 residents lived in Calhoun County.

A hospital for Port Lavaca was an idea conceived by Doctor Stanley W. Lester, but in 1939 World War II called for his military services and the idea of a hospital had to be postponed. In 1947 Dr. Lester and Dr. Truman Melcher opened a clinic very near the present existing hospital. That same year, on August 11, 1947, a bond election was held and passed to purchase land for a county hospital. Judge Howard Hartzog, Senior, Mary Stevens and Mable McConnico each offered different land sites for the new county hospital, but all were considered too far away from the city sewer system. A location was finally decided upon, and in December 1947 the county purchased a 2.573-acre tract of land, the B-B Tilly subdivision located on FM 234, for the amount of $2,572. On

September 11, 1947, Wyatt Hidrick was employed as architect for the new hospital.

In 1950 Dr. Lester's efforts and community support converted his dream to reality with the opening of our county hospital with four doctors on the medical staff: Dr. S.W. Lester, chief of medical staff until his death in 1963; Dr. Truman Melcher, Dr. William G. Smith, and Dr. Oscar H. Ryon, of Seadrift.

The first Board of Directors was appointed by the Commissioners' Court on March 17, 1949 and those named were: D.D. Boyd, T.A. McDonald, Sam C. Tisdale, John Sterling, Thomas G. Harris, Jr., and Earl Sessions. Mrs. Clara Burke of Victoria was the Administrator of the hospital beginning July 15, 1949.

A permit to build the hospital for the sum of $202,000.00 was filed in May 1949. The total construction of the hospital, however, was built at a cost of $254,193.80. The hospital opened its doors for service on Monday, April 10, 1950. There was an open house on April 9, 1950 and approximately three thousand people visited the Calhoun County Memorial Hospital on its formal opening.

The first baby born in the Hospital was Benjamin F. Newton, son of Mr. and Mrs. Oscar Newton, on April 10, 1950. The first twins born in the hospital were William Patrick Munsch and Emile Joseph Munsch on May 14, 1950.

The hospital's medical auxiliary ("Pink Ladies") came into being in May, 1950, which up until that time was composed of only women, but it was expanded to include men which is true to this present day and time. The first nursing school began on January 4, 1952.

In July 1960 the first expansion to the hospital added thirty-three beds. An expansion program involving the addition of the third story wing and a remodeling of the original building began in December 1961. The third floor was not completed until 1963.

In 1961 Calhoun County Memorial Hospital's name was changed to County Memorial Hospital, and in 1962 it was again renamed Champ Traylor Memorial Hospital, in honor of a long time leader in Calhoun County, Champion Travis Traylor. In March 1986, the hospital's name once again was changed to the present, Memorial Medical Center.

An addition to the hospital began in 1991 and was completed in June 1993. A second renovation to the hospital was started in February 1994 and completed in February 1995. Memorial Medical Center now has a total of twenty-five beds and is the only hospital in Calhoun County.

Memorial Medical Center is a non-profit institution, owned and operated by Calhoun County.


February 3, 1949

Hospital dedicated to the memory of deceased veterans

March 17, 1949

First Board of Directors appointed

May 1949

Building permit filed for $202,000 (total construction costs, including equipment was $254,193.80)

July 15, 1949

First Administrator Appointed Mrs. Clara Burke

December 28, 1949

Hospital opened up for public inspection

"The general remarks of those
who viewed the building was that is was something Calhoun County could be proud of and certainly needed."

- as reported in The Calhoun County News

April 9, 1950

Grand Opening Celebration

"About 3,000 people visited the Calhoun County Memorial Hospital on its formal opening, Sunday, April 9, 1950."

- as reported in The Calhoun County News

April 10, 1950

7:00 a.m. Calhoun County Memorial Hospital opened its doors for business 20 beds, 8 bassinets, 4 physicians and 14 employees

April 10, 1950

First Baby Born - Benjamin F. Newton
Born at 10:25 a.m.
To: Mr. & Mrs. Oscar Newton of Seadrift

May 14, 1950

First Twins Born - William Patrick Munsch
Born at 6:20 a.m. and weighed
4 pounds, 6 ounces

Emile Joseph Munsch
Born at 6:30 a.m. and weighed
6 pounds, 10 ounces

June 27, 1950

Pink Ladies (presently known as Auxiliary) formed officially

January 4, 1952

Nursing School began classes

July 1960

First expansion added thirty-three beds - December 1961
Expansion program to add the third story wing and remodel
the original building began


Name changed to County Memorial Hospital


Name changed to Champ Traylor Memorial Hospital


The third floor completed - March 1986
Name changed to Memorial Medical Center.


Addition to hospital began

June 1993

Addition completed - February 1994
Second renovation to the hospital started

February 1995

Second renovation completed

May 13, 2000

Hospital celebrates its 50th anniversary

May 13, 2010

Hospital celebrates its 60th anniversary


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