Williamson County
Historical Commission

 

  Wedemeyer Sanitarium Site
Historical Marker
Taylor, Texas

as of 2012
800 West 7th Street


Old photo

 
 
Marker Text

Wedemeyer hospital site occupied 1915 by early prominent physician, dr. G.A. Wedemeyer (aug.26,1875- jan.24,1936), a native of Burton, Washington county, who came to Taylor 1905. hospital was continuously operated until 1957; then became retirement home. exterior in original style: interior modernized. 
RESTORED 1968 BY MR. AND MRS. CHARLES P.BIRDEN (1969)
 
 



History Of Wedemeyer Sanitarium  Site
Historical Narrative by
Mrs. John W. Cornforth, Chairman
Taylor Chamber Of Commerce
Historical Survey Committee

The land on which the Wedemeyer Sanitarium was built was originally owned by Dr. A. V. Doak, father of Dr. Edmond Doak. For many years, it was used as pasture for cattle by Dr. A. V. Doak, until it was sold to Judge John F. Black, who built a home on the site and which was later destroyed by fire. The land remained idle for some years until Dr. Wedemeyer purchased the property and built the Wedemeyer Sanitarium in 1915. It was known and operated as the Wedemeyer Sanitarium until 1947, when the Sanitarium was sold by Miss Mamie Rusch, who was Chief Nurse for Dr. Wedemeyer for many years, to Dr. W. R. Swanson.

The property was known and operated as the Swanson Clinic and Hospital until 1957, at which time, Dr. J. J. Johns purchased the hospital and converted it into a rest home. It was the first physician-operated rest home in Williamson County.

In November of 1968, Mr. and Mrs. Charles P. Birden bought the property and it is now operated as the Sunnyside Retirement Center.

The architectural style of the two-story brick building is Colonial in design, with lofty, white columns. Mr. and Mrs. Birden have restored and redecorated the building, adding air conditioning and central heating.

Dr. G. A. Wedemeyer was born in Washington County, Texas, near Burton, on August 26, 1875, and died in Taylor, Texas, in 1936. He moved to Belton, Texas, at an early age to attend Wedemeyer Academy, which was operated by one of his brothers. Upon graduation, he attended and was graduated from the University of Texas with an A.B. degree. After two years at the Texas Medical School in Galveston, Texas, he transferred to the Tulane University Medical School in New Orleans, Louisiana, where he received his Medical Degree. Dr. Wedemeyer later did post-graduate work in Europe.

He began the practice of medicine in Burton, Texas, later moving to Gay Hill, Texas, and from there he moved to Taylor in 1905.

On October 23, 1902, he married Miss Ethel Barton, who continued to live in Taylor until her death in 1948. They had no children.

The Taylor Sanitarium was built in 1915 by Dr. G. A. Wedemeyer.

The land on which the Sanitarium is built was originally owned by Dr. A. V. Doak, who came to Taylor in 1878. He bought up a large tract of pasture land, which included the site of the Sanitarium. The date is not known when this building site was sold to Judge John F. Black. His residence was built on the property, which was later destroyed by fire.

The land remained idle for some time, then was purchased by Dr. G. A. Wedemeyer who built the Sanitarium. It was at that time known as the Taylor Sanitarium. It took about six months to complete the building. Henry Struve was the architect; Ernest Groba Sr. was the builder.

The two-story structure was built of dark tan brick with two long front porches, supported with six large, round, wood colonnades, painted white, and extending the full height of the walls. The six large white columns gives the building a beautiful look of Colonial style. The exterior of the building remains as it originally was.

Mr. Langdon Richter, prominent businessman of Taylor was the first child delivered by Dr. Wedemeyer when he first came to Taylor.

Dr. G. A. Wedemeyer was born in Washington County, near Burton, Texas on August 26, 1875. He moved to Belton, Texas at an early age to attend Wedemeyer Academy, operated by one of his brothers. Upon graduation, he attended and was graduated from the University of Texas with an A B Degree.

After two years at the Texas Medical School in Galveston, Texas, he transferred to the Tulane University Medical School in New Orleans, Louisiana, where he received his Medical Degree. He did post graduate work in Europe.

Dr. Wedemeyer began the practice of medicine in Burton, Texas, later moving to Gay; Hill, Texas. On October, 23, 1902, he married Miss Ethel Barton. There were no children.

In 1905 the couple moved to Taylor, Texas. In his Taylor practice, his office was in downtown Taylor and he was known to walk to his office from his residence.

Upon completion of the Taylor Sanitarium in 1915, his practice continued from the Sanitarium. On June 6, 1924, Dr. Jay J. Johns joined the staff as assistant doctor.

In 1933 Dr. Wedemeyer and Dr. John Thomas Sr. of Temple formed a partnership. At this time the name of the institution was changed from the Taylor Sanitarium to the Wedemeyer Hospital. Some years later, Dr. Thomas Sr. moved to Austin, Texas.

Dr. Wedemeyer died in Taylor, Texas on January 24, 1936. After his death, Miss Mamie Rusch, RN, who was head nurse, part owner and manager under Dr. Wedemeyer, became the sole owner and operated with a staff of doctors.

Dr. W. S. Swanson bought the hospital in 1946 and operated it as the Swanson Clinic and Hospital until 1957, when it was purchased by Dr. Jay J. Johns. It was leased by him to be a rest home.

Mrs. Wedemeyer died in Taylor, October 2, 1948.

In June, 1968, Mr. and Mrs. Charles P. Birden of Austin bought the property from Dr. Johns, prominent Taylor physician.

The interior of the building has been completely repaired, restored and redecorated. Walls are in white; all original wood floors were sanded and covered with white vinyl tile. The reception room, all front hallways are covered with red carpet. Air-conditioning and central heating added. However all ceiling fans have been retained for use at intervals.

Dr. Wedemeyer belonged to one of the prominent pioneer families of this state; a great family, who set splendid standards of high and right living. And his memory is one of the most revered of the early settlers of the Taylor and surrounding community.

 

 

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