St. John’s Hospital

Location Class:
Year Built: 1906 | Year Abandoned: 1974
Status: Abandoned
Photojournalist: Trevor Hoag

St. John’s Hospital 1906-1952

St. Johns Hospital right, E.K. Taylor home left

The idea for the hospital came from a meeting of the Allen County Medical Society on April 25, 1904. Doctor John S. Sutcliffe moved to Iola to become the leader in promoting the establishment of St. John’s Hospital. He vowed to donate the furnishings for the proposed hospital if and when it was built. Including bedding, washbasins, pitchers, slop jars, rubber sheets, bedroom tables, dining room tables, and all operating room equipment. Talks then began with the Sisters of St. Jospeh about the establishment of a hospital in the suburbs of Iola, Kansas which today is Gas, KS. The Sisters of St. Joseph had agreed to come to the area under the condition that a modern building of high standards be erected and the property be turned over to them without stipulations. The agreement was signed by all participating parties on Sept. 27, 1905.

Work commenced and was completed on the new St. John’s Hospital in 1906. Constructed of cement blocks, the modern facility costs a total of $29,000 upon completion. The exterior had spacious porches on the front and back of the building and large windows placed in every room. Equipped with twenty-nine rooms, a first-class operating room that would help treat and care for all of the citizens in the county. The E.K. Taylor home was moved from Gas to serve as a residence for the sisters of St. Joseph. The Sisters of St. Joseph ran the hospital until 1950 when the condition of the building led to an uncertain future. Many repairs needed were noted including new laundry machinery and other repairs that could not be made because the operations at the hospital would cease to continue when the new Allen County Hospital was built. The Sisters shut down on June 15, 1950, with regret, acknowledging that it would create problems for the community. In 1951, Dr. Frank X. Lenski purchased St. Johns and vowed to run it at least until the new Allen County Hospital was open.  and ran it until the Allen County Hospital was opened in 1952.

McAtee Rest Home 1952-1974

The new Allen County Hospital was completed in 1952, a newer and more modern facility than St. Johns Hospital that had opened almost half a century earlier. St. Johns Hospital was closed and the property put up for sale, it was purchased by Mr. Hazen and Mrs. Cahrlotte McAtee. The McAtee’s turned the former hospital into McAtee Rest Home housing nearly thirty guests but having a capacity of fifty-eight.

It was a state-approved facility for men and women but did require some improvements which started in 1954 to add more rooms and update existing facilities. It quickly after renovations reached full capacity, residents fell under four main categories: those that needed a comfortable place to live, those recovering or living with an illness, those needing rehabilitation, and those in an immobile state. The McAtee Rest Home was recognized in the Kansas Nursing Home Magazine and Mrs. Charlotte McAtee was recognized as well as Nursing Home Administrator of the year 1956.

The McAtee Rest Home era, who was owned under the Arkhaven Inc., came to a rest in the 1970s. Arkhaven was building a new facility in Iola and announced that the McAtee Rest Home, formerly St John’s Hospital would be abandoned after the new building was completed. The building now sits just a former shell of itself, gutted and left to nature.

Article by AKS Photojournalist Emily Cowan.

Gallery Below


“13 May 1907, Page 55 – The Iola Register at”,

“14 Mar 1974, Page 1 – The Iola Register at”,

“16 Jan 1951, Page 1 – The Iola Register at”,

“19 Apr 1972, Page 5 – The Iola Register at”,

“1918 KS & Kansans, John S. Sutcliffe.” KSGenWeb,

“20 Jan 1906, 7 – The Iola Daily Record at”,

“20 Jan 1906, 7 – The Iola Daily Record at”,

“22 Feb 1957, Page 1 – The Iola Register at”,

“24 May 1950, Page 1 – The Iola Register at”,

“28 Mar 1956, Page 1 – The Iola Register at”,

“30 Nov 1906, 2 – The Iola Register at”,

“31 Mar 1954, Page 1 – The Iola Register at”,

“8 Oct 1953, Page 1 – The Iola Register at”,

“9 Mar 1905, 5 – The Iola Daily Record at”,

“9 Mar 1905, Page 6 – The Iola Register at”,

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