Pattie A. Clay - A Lasting Memorial

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Pattie A. Clay - A Lasting Memorial


Newcomers to our county may wonder about the name of the Richmond hospital. Here is the story.

Brutus J. Clay II was the son of Cassius M. Clay I of White Hall. Born in 1847, he took an engineering degree from the University of Michigan. In 1905, President Theodore Roosevelt appointed him Minister to Switzerland. His first wife was Pattie A. Field.

Mrs. Clay died and in 1893, her husband made available a property on Glyndon Avenue as the location of Richmond’s first hospital — to be known as the Pattie A. Clay Infirmary.

Prior to this, the only place for the sick to go to was home of a Mrs. Grayson on Water Street. For a dollar a day, she provided bed and board for the seriously ill. Mrs. Sam Bennett Jr., Miss Belle Bennett, Mrs. Green Clay, Mrs. Fannie Park Smith and Mrs. Susan Baldwin Jason had been pushing for a public hospital and Brutus J. Clay provided the means.

After some remodeling, the Pattie A. Clay Infirmary opened for business in the brick house on Glyndon Avenue. It remained at this location until its move to the present bypass location. There originally were six private rooms and a ward. The Board of Directors consisted of women, mainly representatives from the local churches.

In 1927, the hospital was expanded at a cost of $75,000. Forty beds were available after the expansion. The hospital boasted three doctors, a furnished and equipped laboratory and operating rooms. The doctors were M.M. Robinson, J.A. Arbuckle and B.F. Robinson.

In 1939, hospital capacity was raised to 45. More remodeling took place in 1945. Miss Elizabeth Scott was long-time hospital superintendent and Mrs. George D. Simmons served many years as treasurer. Other hospitals in Richmond were the Gibson and the Pope. Berea College had a hospital and Eastern staffed an infirmary.

And that is a short version of the origins of the Pattie A. Clay Hospital — a critical part of Madison’s heritage.


Dr. Fred Engle




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Dr. Fred Engle, “Pattie A. Clay - A Lasting Memorial,” Madison's Heritage Online, accessed March 3, 2024,