1941 - 1952
In February 1941, Springfield was chosen as the site of the O’Reilly General Army Hospital, to be located on a 160-acre reservation bounded by Division Street, Fremont Avenue, and Pythian Street and Glenstone Avenue, an area later occupied in large part by Evangel University.
The staff of O’Reilly was recognized as being among the best of Army hospital staff. By the end of 1941, the United States was totally committed to the Second World War, and the hospital took on new importance, as long-term medical care became necessary for returning soldiers. O’Reilly staff served over 100,000 patients during the hospital’s five years of operation. Some 42,000 of those patients were wounded and injured soldiers. O’Reilly also cared for 60,000 military dependents and a few POWs. In doing this work, O’Reilly General Army Hospital became known as “The hospital with a soul.”
This orthopedic wheelchair was used at O’Reilly General Army Hospital. The wooden wheelchair can recline. The footrests can be adjusted to different positions meeting the needs of individual patients.
Date: 1941 - 1952
Subject: World War, 1939-1945
Contributing Institution: History Museum on the Square
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Photographer: Ben Divin