Hospital Fire Topic of Historical Presentation


Published on March 11 2013 2:01 pm
Last Updated on July 14 2013 12:07 pm
Written by Greg Sapp

Early in April of 1949, the night sky in Effingham reflected a tragic glow from the fire that was destroying St. Anthony Hospital, resulting in the deaths of more than 70 people.  News services across the land told the stories of sadness and heroism about that tragic evening.  The impact of the horror at the health facility impacted many lives, as hospitals around the country began to make sure the event would not be repeated in other locations.

On Thursday, March 14, Linda Ruholl, a health care professional who is also a diligent student and teacher,  will tell the full story of the tragedy.  The public is invited to attend the historical presentation at the historic Effingham County Courthouse in the former first floor courtroom at 7:00 p.m.  The story, certainly one of the most emotional in  Effingham’s history, will conclude the current series of presentations that make people aware of the rich heritage county residents share.  There will be pictures on display, as well as other visuals and artifacts related to the Caledonia fire engine.  There will also be books for sale that describe the hospital fire.

The event is sponsored by the Effingham County Genealogical and Historical Society and by the Effingham County Cultural Center and Museum Association.  The presentation is open to the public.  The museum displays will be open at 6:00 p.m. that evening.