50 Years Ago, Residents Moved to Sandstone
By Shari McCabe | October 19, 2022
Announcement of an open house for the new nursing home in Little River was set for October 18th, 1972. The opening followed over two years of planning, along with assurances from state authorities that Hoffman Memorial Hospital could continue on a temporary basis, thus allowing the elderly residents to remain in Little River. The pilot committee and the community churches hosted the open house on Sunday, and on Monday, the first twenty nine residents began to move.
Records from the City Offices showed eight residents were moved from Hoffman Memorial on October 19th, 1972. True to the mission of the bond election, the following residents continued living in Little River.
Amelia Ankerholz was joined by her husband, Charlie. They had lived south of the old school lunchroom. Amelia and Charlie celebrated their 60th anniversary at Sandstone Heights.
Mrs. Amelia Christiansen, was mother to Mrs. Thelma Sporn, who served as City Clerk of Little River.
Lulu Alton Mills was aunt to Lee Alton, Madge Rush and Ruth Perry.
Ray Buchanan, husband of Ulta, raised nine children, including Bruce and Guy of Little River. Ray had come to Rice County in a covered wagon and lived here for 86 years.
Bertha Smith, wife of Arthur Smith, and mother to Ruth Krebs.
John Donnelly moved from the hospital and was joined by his wife, Maggie. They had been country folks for many years before moving into town. They were married for fifty nine years. Dorothy Baniister was their daughter, and their granddaughter, Christa, was a special caregiver.
Vila Olander was a lifelong Little River resident, serving as a school teacher in her younger years. Both her brothers, Clarence and Bud, were faithful to Vila’s care.
Owen (Onie) O’Neill moved from the hospital, having lived in Windom, Kansas. Onie’s father had homesteaded three miles south of McPherson in 1872, hunting buffalo and working on the Santa Fe Railroad. Owen had four children, one being Virginia Cordell, a longtime Little River first grade school teacher. Onie was a grandfather to former board member, Shane Cordell, and great grandfather to Cassie Look, the wife of the current administrator of Sandstone Heights, Trey Look, who took the position fifty years later.
Ray Smith was moved on that Monday and had his wife, Clara as a caregiver. She also became an employee of Sandstone, serving as assistant in the kitchen. Ray and Clara lived on the farm just one mile south of Little River and had three children graduate from Little River High School.
In addition to the hospital transfers, Fred and Addie Crandall came from both their home and the Lyons hospital. They celebrated fifty two years of marriage before Addie died. Their very special caregiver was their daughter, Mary Frances Otto, who currently resides in the Sandstone Cottages.
Maggie Wernet came from the Hutchinson area. She was the aunt to three Little River fellows: Gerald, Wayne and LeRoy Fry.
Maude Smith was a part of downtown of Little River; she helped her husband George (Blake) run a bakery located north of the current Senior Center. Maude had been a widow for eleven years when she moved to Sandstone.
Bessie Stout was a longtime Little River resident, along with her daughter, Doris Brayton. Bessie’s father, Perry J. Barstow, had died in the Hoffman Memorial Hospital in 1938.
Fred and Vashti Hodgson moved to Sandstone from their townhome in Little River. Fred was a pioneer of Little River, having been born on the Hodgson farm just southeast of the town. He had graduated with an electrical engineer degree from the KSU school before it was KSU. He returned to Little River in 1908 to start the Hodgson Implement Store. His nephew, Ed Hodgson, currently lives on the Hodgson homestead.
George Durham, father of Thais Rutherford, came to Sandstone soon after the death of his wife, Alta.
Ella Knackstedt, grandmother to Karen McLean, came from the hospital in Hutchinson.
Mr. and Mrs. Hugh Holler, parents of Gary Holler, came from Windom.
Hazel Gustafson, who became family with the Sandstone staff.
Jessie Crandall, a native of Geneseo and resident of Little River since her marriage in 1926. She was the mother of Max and Norman Crandall of Little River. Norman and his wife, Nadine, are current residents of Sandstone.
Marie Malir and Martha Marburger came from Lyons.
Charles Ramsey and Joe Burnison came from Marquette.
Mrs. Mae (Etta Rempel) Schmidt, who was the mother of Dr. Alfred Schmidt. Dr. Schmidt provided services at Hoffman Memorial for many years.
Sandstone Heights has continued the tradition of caring for our families and friends for these past fifty years. Each resident of Hospital District No. 2 is thanked for the continuing support of our facility. A group picture of the listed residents was prepared by Don Young of the Young Historical Library and will be on display in the dining room. Find your friends and family when you come out for pie to celebrate the 50th anniversary on November 6th, 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.