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Sitting in front of the old Wishard Hospital (now the Nursing Museum) is this marker that recounts the milestones of Indianapolis's history of nursing. The dates range from 1859-1913. As the old Wishard Hospital grew older and hard to maintain, a new hospital was constructed just 1,300 feet away, so that further milestones in nursing and Indianapolis can continue to be made.


  • "Milestones in Nursing" Historical Marker
  • 1887 Nursing Class: The four nursing graduates of Flower Mission Training School for Nurses class of 1887 in the Indianapolis City Hospital. The initial class sizes were quite small, beginning with the first graduating class of five students in 1885.
  • A district nurse at the Indianapolis City Hospital dispensary, ca. 1907. Image courtesy of IUPUI University Library Special Collections and Archives.

Indiana's first hospital was established in 1855 to combat the outbreak of smallpox epidemic that had been ravaging the city. The Indianapolis City Hospital, as it was called, found a home in 1859, when the first hospital building was completed, only to turn into an Army hospital when the Civil War broke out in 1861. The army returned control of the hospital back to the city when the war ended in 1865. Throughout the 1880s and 1890s, professional nursing programs sprang throughout the city and state, with trained nurses both saying home and practicing abroad. As the 20th came and went, the hospital was given many others names that include: Marion County General Hospital and the Wishard Memorial Hospital. Here also was the founding of the Public Health Nursing Association in 1913. 

By the 21st century, a new hospital was needed. One that was sturdier, a bit bigger, and more modern. Rather than demolish the first hospital, it was preserved, while a new one was constructed nearby. This new hospital is called the Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Hospital, and it opened in 2013. The Eskenazi Hospital keeps Indianapolis's nursing history alive and its future bright. 

 "Our History". Eskenazi Hospital Official Wesbite

"Sidney & Lois Eskenazi Hospital". Emporis. Emporis.com

Brittany D. Kropf, “Indianapolis Flower Mission,” Discover Indiana, accessed March 3, 2017, http://indyhist.iupui.edu/items/show/18.