History of Preston Memorial Hospital
In the early 1950's, it became clear that Preston County needed a hospital. A group of community leaders worked together to put a plan before the County Court (now the County Commission) to build a medical facility using a $1.5 million bond issue, which the court accepted in 1951. In June of 1952, a referendum on the bond issue resulted in resounding approval from the residents of Preston County by a margin of greater than 3:1. The Kingwood Volunteer Fire Department donated the land for the hospital, the bonds were sold and construction began in November of 1953. The hospital was placed under the supervision of a Board of Trustees appointed by the County Court.
In less than two years, on July 16, 1955, the doors to the new hospital were opened. The first patient, Bruce Bucklew, was admitted later that morning; the first surgery was performed by Dr. John Trenton on Floyd “Stretch” Ringer, the following morning. The first birth at the hospital didn’t occur for nearly three weeks, when Mr. and Mrs. Max Elliot Graham welcomed their daughter, Rona, born on July 28, 1955, delivered by Dr. Don Brown.
News reports of the day describe the hospital as, "One of the finest in its size in the country,” and noted, “More than 5,000 people" had inspected the hospital prior to its opening. There was no expansion of the facility for many years, but the ladies of the Hospital Auxiliary opened a snack bar in August of 1957, with money donated by the Kingwood Rotary Club. Preston Memorial Hospital was officially dedicated September 29, 1955, to the memory of the men and women of Preston County who served in the Armed Forces.
Since opening its doors in 1955, Preston Memorial Hospital has been an integral part of the county, providing quality healthcare twenty-four hours a day, as well as contributing millions to the local economy.
In 2015, Preston Memorial Hospital began a new chapter in its history. After being dedicated on April 30, 2015, the new PMH opened to the public on Sunday, May 17, 2015. Now part of the Mon Health System, PMH continues to serve the patients of Preston County and beyond with advanced and acute medical care.