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Our History

Caring for Our Community Since 1911.

Frances Mahon Deaconess Hospital (FMDH) in Glasgow, Montana, is a voluntary, non-profit corporation designed to serve the people of Northeastern Montana and surrounding areas. Operations are supervised by a Board of Trustees elected as representatives of Valley County. The trustees set the hospital policies and serve without pay.

The chief purpose of FMDH is to provide the best patient care possible at the lowest possible cost. The hospital today reflects a refinement of that goal as the staff strives to meet the needs and realities of the community.

Humble Beginnings

The high-tech hospital we all enjoy today has very humble beginnings.

The first known hospital in the Glasgow area was established in 1889, when 3 boxcars were placed in formation of the letter “H.” In the late 1800s, the new Great Northern Railroad was responsible for many accidents and illnesses. To cope with the situation, the railroad supplied the first hospital in Glasgow. The 3 boxcars included: An office and sleeping room, a drug storage area and operating room, and the third was a ward for patients. Ordinary camp cots served as hospital beds, and 10 traditional pot-bellied stoves heated the cars. Since there were no trained nurses, friends and family cared for the sick or injured. Often, women in the community would provide the needed help.

Early Growth & Name Change

From the very beginning, Glasgow residents felt the need for a hospital. Dr. Mark Hoyt came to Glasgow in 1891 to establish a general practice and serve the Great Northern Railway as a local surgeon.

In 1910, A.W. Mahon offered to donate an entire block of land for a hospital. Located in the southeast corner of Glasgow, the land borders the Milk River across the street from Hoyt Park. The community accepted the gift, and a stock company formed to raise $15,000 for the new hospital. People readily responded.

Frances Hoyt Mahon Memorial Hospital opened its doors on November 21st, 1911. It was the most modern hospital in the state. The name honored Frances Hoyt Mahon, wife of A.W. Mahon and sister to Dr. Hoyt. Mrs. Mahon was born in 1872 and died in 1907 at age 35, three years before her husband donated the land. She also left money in her will to build a hospital in Glasgow. Dr. Hoyt and others added memorial gifts to the fund. The hospital was partly built, but then was standing without funds, and hopelessly in debt.

The name of the hospital was changed to Frances Mahon Deaconess Hospital in 1914 when the Deaconess Hospital of Great Falls, Montana, finally offered to give the Glasgow hospital a 3-year lease. The lease offered assistance including equipment, financing, and caring for the new establishment. In the first 4 years, the hospital staff cared for over 1,400 cases. By contrast, in 2003, our team cared for over 25,000 people.

The 1930s Through 1980s

The community of Glasgow has always worked to be ahead of the times in medical and hospital facilities. One such example is during the period of 1934 through 35 when the 60-bed, modern 3-story brick structure was conceived and constructed. The need for the new hospital was recognized as a result of the Fort Peck dam project. At that time, the federal Public Works Administration provided a loan and grant for the new building. In 1936, Frances Mahon Deaconess Hospital cared for 2,036 patients. The building served the community well until August 26th, 1968, when a new, 35-bed wing went into operation.

The Physical Therapy department took off in 1968, offering those with broken bones a start on the road back to faster recovery. Heart attack and stroke patients had access to the most modern equipment available. The hospital now could also offer two levels of care, acute and convalescent, and a 3rd level, intensive care, was planned for the near future.

In 1978, the trustees dedicated a newly constructed hospital that included a surgery suite, emergency room, 24 more hospital beds, and an office area. A huge community effort called “Operation Update” was organized. The community fund drive raised over $2 million, far exceeding their expectations, to build the new hospital. A proud local community took pride in their modern, most up-to-date facility in the region. The 1935 3-story building was remodeled to accommodate doctor’s offices and clinics. FMDH is thought of as a mini-medical center providing services only found in larger cities.

In 1988, a wing was added to Frances Mahon Deaconess Hospital for the Chemical Dependency Center. The center was formerly located at the Glasgow Air Force Base. The Chemical Dependency Center was relocated to downtown Glasgow in 1992, and the hospital space was remodeled for offices and support services of Frances Mahon Deaconess Hospital.

1990s to Present Day

In May 1998, the Glasgow Clinic moved to the new clinic building. The building eliminated the former separation of the Glasgow Clinic between the 2nd and 3rd floors of the Medical Arts Building (1935 building). The building has a spacious reception area, central nursing station, facility for outpatient surgery, and space for 8 doctor’s offices. The new clinic building is part of the hospital’s mission to provide the best in family practice medicine to northeastern Montana to allow better convenience for doctors and their patients. The clinic building has additional space available for future clinics and department expansion. The 1935 building is still used for physician clinics, visiting specialist clinics, and support services.

In 2017, FMDH began a renovation project throughout many of the departments, allowing for updated facilities and reconfiguration of space to maximize use. With advancements in technology, there have been many changes seen at Frances Mahon Deaconess Hospital in Glasgow since the days of the boxcars in 1889. Northeast Montana can be very proud and confident in the medical services provided at FMDH. Our progressive facility offers quality, compassionate care to those we serve.

At Frances Mahon Deaconess Hospital, it’s about life. It’s about You since 1889.