St. Clara's Proud History
St. Clara’s Rehab & Senior Care has had a long and important history. The people of Lincoln had a dream to provide quality health care. As you will learn, it took many dedicated individuals working together to make this dream become a reality. On April 12, 1972, the first residents moved into St. Clara's. Many changes have occurred, but one thing has stayed the same - St. Clara’s Rehab & Senior Care is a place “where the people are the difference”.
HOW ST. CLARA'S STARTED
St Clara's Hospital, one of the most important and beneficent institutions in Logan County, was established in 1884. Father Conrad Rotter, the priest in charge of St. Mary's Catholic Parish at the time, recognized the great necessity for a hospital in the city of Lincoln and took steps to bring about its' establishment. After consulting with local physicians, Father Rotter called a mass meeting of citizens to congregate at the courthouse in Lincoln to consider the matter. It was the consensus that a hospital was needed, and a committee was formed to devise ways and means to raise funds. On July 9, 1884, St. Clara's Hospital was opened.
Over the years, the sisters worked to improve the facility until February of 1962 when it was determined that it would not be feasible to replace the building. Facing these facts, the decision was made to close the doors of the seventy-eight year old institution. In the beginning, records were not kept accurately, but they show that approximately 69,407 adults and pediatric patients and 6,177 newborns were cared for in this hospital. SO after seventy-eight years and seven months of serving the people of Lincoln, St. Clara's Hospital was closed on June 7, 1963.
One year later, the St. Clara's Auxiliary formed a new non-profit corporation known as St. Clara’s Rehab & Senior Care, Inc. whose sole purpose was the “building of facilities for the care of the aged.” In 1967, the St. Clara’s Rehab & Senior Care board of directors was re-organized as a cooperative community-wide effort, “to establish, maintain, support and operate a home for worthy aged persons.” A development program in 1967-68 sought to raise $150,000 from interested citizens, businesses and industries of Lincoln and surrounding areas.
St. Clara's fund raising drive began in October of 1967 with a community information dinner. The highlight of the evening was a $25,000 pledge from Mrs. Ted McGrath. In presenting the pledge to Mrs. Carl Hembreiker, president of St. Clara’s Rehab & Senior Care, and Walter Faster, advisory chairman of the fund drive, Mrs. McGrath noted, this gift is extended to this campaign so that we, as a total community, may have a new and modern facility to meet the needs of our senior citizens. I am proud to be able to make this investment in a residence for our senior citizens, for we will all be beneficiaries of this new facility.
After reaching the $150,000 goal, the board was able to apply for a $1.5 million H.U.D. guaranteed loan through the Federal National Mortgage Association. Groundbreaking was held on April 8, 1970, at the present location of 200 Fifth Street. The Manor was licensed for seventy shelter care residents on the first floor and seventy skilled residents on the second floor. On April 12, 1972, Mrs. Grace Maxwell of Lincoln was the first resident to sign the register. Samuel Hagans also moved in on the first day. Today St. Clara's is licensed for 140 dually certified nursing beds and participates in the Medicare and Medicaid Program. In 2002, St. Clara's engaged with Heritage Operations Group, LLC of Bloomington to provide management support to the facility. The facility continues to be an independently owned, not-for-profit 501(c) 3 organization that is governed by a community board of directors, and managed by Heritage Operations Group.