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I was there 1935-1939

I received a letter from a woman who read the article about the Elizabethtown Crippled Children’s Hospital- she is in an assisted living home and does not have access to a computer.   According to her letter, she was a tuberculosis of the spine patient at the hospital from Aug. 1935 until Dec. 1939. Her name is Phyllis M. Stauffer.   I don’t know if you would be able to help her be in contact with anyone from her time at the hospital, but she did ask that I forward her information to you. If you were somehow able to send her copies of the photos you have on the site, she would probably really enjoy that.      Anyway, her information follows:     Phyllis M. Stauffer


Let Admin know.

Stauffer, Phyllis 1935-1939 Anybody else from the timeperiod?

I received a letter from a woman who read the article about the Elizabethtown Crippled Children’s Hospital- she is in an assisted living home and does not have access to a computer.

According to her letter, she was a tuberculosis of the spine patient at the hospital from Aug. 1935 until Dec. 1939. Her name is Phyllis M. Stauffer.

I don’t know if you would be able to help her be in contact with anyone from her time at the hospital, but she did ask that I forward her information to you. If you were somehow able to send her copies of the photos you have on the site, she would probably really enjoy that.

Let Admin know.

Gilmore, Tommy 1960′s Anyone remember

Hello Mr. Henry.  My name is Susan MacNamara, and i received your article in the newspaper from my mother, who lives in E-town.  She knew I would be interested for a couple of reasons.  First, I volunteered my time there many years ago, when I was about 15 years of age.  The only thing I really remember about that is Mr. Trimble, who was very kind and easy-going.  But the second reason, is because of my friend here in Carlisle, PA.  Eleanor Gilmore had a son Tommy Gilmore, who had been in a car accident when he was about 13 years of age.  This might have been around 1968, I’m not sure of exact dates, but she tells me he was there for two Christmases.  Unfortunately, Tommy passed away there just before his 16th birthday, but I (and Eleanor) was wondering if you may have known him.
Its really a small world, as I was born and raised in E-town, but have now located to Carlisle, and met my friend, Eleanor through church.  I found your article to be of great interest, and think its a wonderful idea for you to try and reconnect with old friends.  I have been really wanting to do the same with my former elementary school friends.
So, if you would like to let me know if you knew Tommy, that would be great!  I probably volunteered there around the same time, like 1968-1969, not sure of the exact time, but of course, i wouldnt have met you or Tommy as we did not interact with the boys that were in there teens.
thanks for your most uplifting article and i look forward to hearing from you in the future.
Susan (kuchar) MacNamara
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Verna was part of the staff from 1974 through

I read the article in the merchandiser and I thought I would write to you. I worked at Elizabethtown Crippled Children which later Hershey Medical took it over and it was called Elizabethtown Rehab Center. I worked there from 1974 until it closed in 1991. Some employees left for retirement or other jobs,but I was one that went to Hershey Medical Center and retired from Hershey June 1995.
I worked in the Kitchen. I also got to see alot of patients it was like a family. I also had a daughter that was a patient there 2 different times. Everyone tried to treat the patients  like it was there own family.
Also when I first started there the Kitchen was in the basement then that was closed and the kitchen and dish room was moved up to the first floor. I was the person that made sure all the patients got the menus with there name diet etc on the menu that I would go to all the units for collecting and help the patients that needed help to fill there menus out.

Remember those who served



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“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me”
(Ps. 23:4).

As the body grows older it also grows weaker. yet, God has brought me through one more crisis in my life.  After arriving at the emergency room I had something happen for the first time. Each time I’ve been taken to the ER room I have been asked about a living will.  This time, after giving the answer they placed a bracelet on my wrist.  The first 30 seconds I had a really bad feeling, but in about 30 seconds I had a peace come over me.  I knew where I was going, knew my wife would be OK and I knew all my projects that I have in progress meant nothing.  It was a total peace.

well, I’m still here and all the irons in the fire are still there, including this web site.  I’m apologizing for the delay, after several months of health issues I’m getting back to the completion of this site.

Enough said, now I’ve got to get crackin.


E-mail excerpts

Following are E-mail excerpts from the past few years. 
I thought they may be interesting.

 From: H Hershey  

My experience at E-town did have quite an impact and was a major factor in my eventually going to school for physical therapy.  I also initially applied to BVR for college assistance at Millersville.  I too was initially rejected, and then later told funds were available, and got assistance from my sophomore year on. 

I remember Lois Bly well, (wasn’t she a bit of a teenage boy’s fantasy?).  I see from the internet that she continues to teach therapy for developmentally delayed children.  Many good things can likely be attributed to E-town CCH.


From: Jose Oribe/Oribe Guitars

was at the Children’s Hospital in my early years. I started around 1937 and stayed until 1941 for my first session. I was released for two years and was sent for to continue surgery and treatment for another three years from 1943 through 1946. I think that they had at that time discovered the sulfa drugs and penicillin during the war and now there was hope to cure my infections and bone disease.

 I am now 78 years old and still doing business as a luthier/classical guitar maker. I had many opportunities to visit the hospital and my school teachers, Miss Klienbauer and Miss Dohner. I had actually sponsored a concert for the children in 1970 with a great guitarist who was on a concert tour around the U.S.


From:  Jim Bryson

This was circa 1967…

I remember Yackomoski and with the German Iron Cross around his neck; A biker in a wheelchair.

The name Ben Hickey is familiar. I think Mrs. Weber was the head of nursing and Miss Loucks was assistant.

My therapist was Mrs. Thome. Also remember nurse Rutherford on 3rd shift. She reminded me of the night nurse in One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, very stern. I also remember Joel Hocker with whom I shared an isolation room because we both had a staph infection. We played 500 Rum and he won 3000 to my 1500.

At night we’d crank open the windows of the 12×9 room and smoke cigarettes. The nurse opened the door and yelled “Who’s smoking in here!” We both laughed, which pissed her off. That was funny, but she took the smokes.



Jeff Patterson

Glenn, attached is a picture from about 1970 of me and my friend Richard in the boys ward. Wish I knew what became of him. I know he was dropped off there as an infant and the parents gave false information and never came back.

I wish I knew what happened to him.


From: A student at the Correctional facility Training Academy

I will find out if I can get you permission to come back and visit but as a student here I can’t promise anything.  We are not allowed to even have family come down and visit, what sparked my interest in the history of this place besides the fact that it is such a beautiful building is that I was awaken Monday might by a younger child laughing.. There is no kids here I am a heavy sleeper but something woke me out of a heavy sleep!  I am staying on the second floor directly above the control desk, do u know if younger children stayed on the second floor?

 From:  Susan Ruhl

I came upon your website when I was doing some research about the Elizabethtown children’s hospital.  I was there the same time you were, but I was only a few years old.  I was there because I was born with spina bifida.  I spent time there off and on for surgeries from 1967-1972, and then went back yearly for clinic until I was in my teens.



Jeff Patterson

I was wondering if you had any other photographs of the hospital and more information about it?  I am having difficulty finding any good information about the hospital.  I went there last year to take pictures of it (it does have some fantastic architecture and the grounds are so lovely, but it seems as though it is now being used for military (?) purposes and I don’t think visitors are allowed on the grounds.)  Unfortunately, I was too young when I was there to remember any of the staff or patients’ names.



Wehr, Gary

Hi Glenn,

Hope that this email finds you well. I have attached some photos from the late 50’s from the hospital. I tried to include ones that show other patients. Perhaps someone will recognize them. The first one, I’m the one on the right. The next one is me.  The third one shows one of the doctors from 1957. The one outside at the playground is me with my mom. The last one is another patient (I don’t remember his name) with his parents in the background. I have other pictures, too.

Take care and God bless.



Henry, Glenn Etown 1966-69

“Take him home, buy him a television and wait for him to die” was told to my father December 1968.  On July 10, 1966 a swimming accident left me a C-5/6 quadriplegic.  Against the advice of the nursing staff At Elizabethtown Crippled Children’s Hospital, my parents made a decision to care for me at home.  In 1966 there was little hope for rehabilitation of quadriplegics and health-care statistics were stacked against me.

 Before my accident I was an avid fisherman, the Susquehanna River and I were best friends.  Our family was a hunting family, hunting for food and not just sport, we were not a well-to-do family.

After I was discharged from Elizabethtown Hospital, I started to assemble fishing lures and selling fishing equipment, including night crawlers that my mother would catch after it rained.  I saved every dime, putting it back into the business.  In addition to fishing equipment, I sold a limited amount of hunting merchandise, made Christmas wreathes from IBM punch cards, and did a limited amount of needlepoint.  Everything I made went back into having more items available to sell.  Also before my accident, during ninth grade of public-school, I became interested in electronics.  Although I was selling hunting and fishing equipment, I knew, electronics was my future.

After several attempts through the vocational rehabilitation department it was determined that I was not physically able to service electronic equipment.  Okay, if rehab would not supply money for a correspondence course, I will do it on my own.  Of course the computer had not been invented and courses could not be taken online.  Public and private schools were not equipped to handle handicapped students.  After starting my correspondence course, I received a new counselor from the rehabilitation department and upon his recommendation I contacted the local state representative.  One call from the representative to vocational rehabilitation, a decision was made to pay for the remaining one third of my correspondence course.  Sometimes government works!
Around 1972 I started my career into electronics, phasing out the hunting, fishing etc. CB radio was becoming popular and God put me at the right place at the right time.  I hired two students that were attending a local electronics school, started working on CB radios, and by 1974 outgrew my parent’s garage and I built a structure across the street to house the business.  Of course my golden rule was to “to treat customers the way I want to be treated” and impressed this on my employees.  My business was not a large business, two full-time technicians, two part-time, one full-time office person, including myself and my wife.  Throughout my life we have seen hundreds, no thousands of miracles that can only be explained by one thing; God does exist!

Around 1984 my wife was able to quit her job and work for the business full-time.  We expanded the business into public safety equipment, were able to expand through business mailers into more than 12 states.  Advertisement through a national fire magazine generated sales and service throughout the United States.  Life was good, we were growing.

Then it happened, my wife, my main caregiver, went to the wrong doctor and now is permanently disabled.  Snowed under with medical bills from both of us, we were forced to close the doors or sell the business at a bargain price.  We entered into an agreement and were able to generate enough to pay our medical bills.  We lost much of our savings, but God was gracious in many areas.

I have now involved myself in activities in our church, taken on much responsibility in a fledgling historical society in our town, and involve myself in some other volunteer activities.  I’d try and find ways to give back to my community.

I needed a wheelchair in 1968, but couldn’t afford one, but one was provided by the community.  They raised funds through meals held by volunteers by the local fire department and Lions Club.  I owe much to my God, community, church and friends


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