Augusta Evans Wilson achieved fame nationally as a writer in the late 1800s, but citizens of Mobile would remember her work in the community. Along with a group of other prominent Mobile leaders, she is credited for the founding of Mobile Infirmary.
At the turn of the century, Wilson led a series of fundraising events—from pencil sales to craft bazaars and sewing circles—along with a $50,000 bond issu, to finance construction of a hospital.
On Oct. 21, 1910, the original Mobile Infirmary opened at Ann Street on the north side of Springhill Avenue. The facility had 32 beds, an operating room and a laboratory. Financially supported in part by the volunteer work of a small group of dedicated women, the first hospital served Mobilians for 42 years.
The need for additional facilities became increasingly evident during World War II. Church and synagogue leaders, doctors and other community members united to raise $2 million for a new Mobile Infirmary. In 1952, a 285-bed hospital opened on the 80-acre site of the old Oak Hill Golf Course. Eight years later a school of nursing was built directly across from the hospital.
A century later, the 704-bed Mobile Infirmary stands as the cornerstone of Infirmary Health. The hospital remains the region’s healthcare leader with groundbreaking innovations in technology, medical services and 100 years of healing. With more that 2500 employees and some 700 physicians on staff, it is the largest, not-for-profit hospital in Alabama.