Genesis Unveils History Wall

Dec 7, 2017

Nurses in training at Mercy Hospital in 1895.
Credit WVIK News

150 years of history in 100 feet - that's the new display unveiled Thursday at Genesis Health System's east campus in Davenport. 

President and ceo Doug Cropper says it was on December 7th, 1869 that the Sisters of Mercy opened a hospital in the city and treated their first patient. Mercy Hospital joined with St. Luke's Hospital in 1994, creating Genesis.

"It's important to honor the past. It's important to recognize the achievements, the talents, and all the organizations that came together for form Genesis Health System."

Cropper says when construction of the new medical tower began, staff began collecting artifacts for the history wall, including pictures, plaques, and a surgeon's medical bag.

"One of my favorites is the Mercy Book. This is a patient registration log - this is actually medical records written by hand in beautiful script, that tell the history of those patients and their conditions."

Cropper says the Sisters of Mercy came to this area from Chicago, intending to open a school in Dewitt, but after finding Davenport had little or no medical care for the many sick and injured residents, they opened a hospital instead. Their first patient was a pregnant woman who'd been abandoned.

Since Mercy and St. Luke's formed Genesis, Illini, Dewitt, and Mercer County hospitals have joined the health system.