The history of OSF St. Francis Hospital & Medical Group begins in1883. County officials had built the Delta County Hospital in Escanaba to provide for the community’s needs, but needed nurses.
The mayor and the county physician approached Father Eugene Butterman, then pastor of St. Joseph’s Church in Escanaba, to obtain nuns for the nursing staff.
In an agreement signed February 12, 1884, a group of Sisters from the Third Order of Saint Francis in Peoria, Ill., agreed to conduct the hospital and be paid as nurses by the city of Escanaba.
The average daily charge per patient was 75 cents; about $6 per month. Payment was often in the form of eggs, meat and coffee.
A New Name
At the suggestion of the mayor, the Sisters purchased the Delta County Hospital in 1915, renaming it St. Francis Hospital.
The hospital was damaged by fire in 1889 and partially destroyed by another in 1926. The people of Escanaba came to the Sisters’ aid immediately to help rebuild a new facility.
The new hospital included two wings, with an addition of needed patient rooms and a convent for the Sisters. A dedication Mass in 1927 drew 3,000 people.
- 1957-58 – Community fundraising campaign was conducted to construct a wing built in 1959. Cost of the construction was $1.4 million
- 1973 – New Special Care Unit unveiled
- 1975 – Mammography Unit added
- 1985 – Current facility was constructed at a cost of $17 million
- 1995 – A Medical Office Building was added to the South end of the building. Shortly after the hospital’s name was changed to OSF St. Francis Hospital & Medical Group
- 2000 – An 11-bed kidney dialysis center was built in 2000 with community donations
- 2005 – Following a $1 million gift from the John & Melissa Besse Foundation, a wing was added to the hospital to house a new permanent Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) unit
- 2006 – A new OSF Cardiac Diagnostic Center was added
- 2007 – A newly expanded and renovated Emergency Department was unveiled
- 2014 – The new John & Melissa Besse Physical Rehabilitation & Wellness Center was constructed on the east end of the hospital campus
A Vital Part of the Community
Today, OSF St. Francis Hospital & Medical Group employs over 700 individuals and has an economic impact on the community of more than $50 million.
With more than 100 physicians, physician assistants and nurse practitioners on staff, we offer a wide variety of primary care and specialty services.
We invite you to learn more about our history, services and commitment to the community here on our website.