The History of Genesee County, MI
Chapter XXIX
Oak Grove Hospital

Online Edition by Holice, Deb & Clayton



One of the leading sanitariums in America is located in Flint. It is recognized by the most eminent men of the medical profession as a hospital, conducted along special lines, which has no superior in the entire community. The buildings and grounds are unsurpassed.

Oak Grove Hospital, formerly Oak Grove Sanitarium, was organized under the laws of Michigan as Oak Grove Corporation in 1891, its object being the founding and administration of a thoroughly modern hospital for the treatment of nervous and mental diseases and of alcohol and drug addiction. Associated in the incipiency of the movement were James A. Remick and W. G. Vinton, of Detroit; Charles T. Mitchell, of Hillsdale, Michigan; and Dr. George C. Palmer, then superintendent of the Michigan asylum for the insane, at Kalamazoo.

The sixty-five-acre grove of native oaks located near the eastern outskirts of Flint was selected for a site. This grove is now probably the last remaining oak clearing in Michigan. It has been preserved by Governor Henry h. Crapo, his intention being to build therein a mansion.

The practical founder of the hospital was James A. Remick, of Detroit, who had served as a member of the board of trustees of the eastern Michigan asylum at Pontiac. The original buildings were erected by the Vinton Company, of Detroit, whose president, W. G. Vinton, was also president of the board of trustees of the eastern Michigan asylum. Mr. Vinton succeeded Justice H. B. Brown as president of Oak Grove Corporation, and was himself succeeded by George B. Remick, of Detroit. Mr. Remick died in 1913, and was succeeded by Dr. W. H. Sawyer, of Hillsdale, a regent of the University of Michigan. The original stockholders included James A. Remick, W. G. Vinton, G. J. Vinton, George B. Remick, and Thomas Pitts, of Detroit; C. T. Mitchell, of Hillsdale; William L. Smith and William Hamilton, of Flint.

Dr. George C. Palmer was elected the first medical director of Oak Grove and died on August 8, 1894. During Doctor Palmer's illness Dr. W. L. Worcester was elected acting medical director. He was succeeded, in November, 1894, by Dr. C. B. Burr, the present able incumbent, who previously had spent eleven years as assistant physician and assistant superintendent and five years as medical superintendent of the eastern Michigan asylum, at Pontiac.


The staff of the hospital is composed of two physicians aside from the medical director. Those who have served Oak Grove as assistant physician or assistant medical directors since its organization are:

Dr. Wadsworth Warren

Of Detroit

Dr. H. R. Niles

Now of the Michigan School for the Deaf, of Flint

Dr. C. B., Mccartney

Of Thorold, Ontario

Dr. F. B. Miner

Of Flint

Dr. C. P. Clarke

Of Flint

Dr. J. A. Elliott

Of Battle Creek, Michigan

Dr. E. R. Johnstone

Of Bancroft, Michigan

Dr. H. L. Trenkle

Of the Pontiac State Hospital

Dr. Samuel Butler

Of the Pontiac State Hospital

Dr. Homer E. Clarke

Formerly of the Pontiac State Hospital

Dr. P. M. Crawford

Of Chicago

Dr. G. K. Pratt

Of Flint


The site, original buildings and equipment cost in the neighborhood of one hundred and thirty-five thousand dollars, thirty-five thousand dollars of which was met by the issue of bonds. In 1895 Noyes Hall, containing billiard rooms, assembly hall, gymnasium, bowling alley, electric room, and hydrotherapeutic rooms, was completed from funds in part provided by the request of Dr. James F. Noyes, of Detroit, and in part from the revenue of the hospital.

Oak Grove Hospital is ideally located and its spacious grounds include tennis courts, gold links, bowling greens and beautiful walks and drives.


The present board of directors includes:


W. H. Sawyer M. D.

Hillsdale, Michigan


Jerome H. Remick



Walter O. Smith



C. B. Burr
C. M. Begole
Henry M. Hurd, M. D
H. R. Niles, M. D.
E. A. Christian, M. D
Stanford T. Crapo
C. B. Macartney Thorold

Baltimore, Maryland
Pontiac, Michigan

Medical Director

C. B. Burr


Assistant Medical Director

Homer E. Clarke


Assistant Physician

G. K. Pratt





11 Square miles


720 feet above sea level

Population, in 1900


Population in 1910 (United States Census)

38,550; 194.2 per cent increase in ten years, being seventh city in rank of fastest growth

Population in 1916


Churches, all denominations


Theaters and Vaudettes


City parks


" in area

115 acres

Public Library

Contains 20,000 volumes

Michigan School for the Deaf, a state institution

Has 340 pupils, 38 teachers and a library with 6, 448 volumes

Hurley Public Hospital

Managed by a city board

Oak Grove hospital

A private institution for the treatment of nervous and mental diseases.

Fire Department

Filly equipped with motor-driven apparatus and employing 41 men


Second Class of Insurance risks.

Building permits

Issued in 1915, $2,104,878.50, an increase over 1914 of $1,331,850.56. For 1916 buildings operations greatest in its history.

Public School Buildings






Property value

$865.439.00, seven new buildings in course of construction.

Y. M. C. A. & Y. W. C. A.

Fully equipped.

Flint Death Rate

Lowest death rate in Michigan in 1915, the rate being 10.5 compared with an average for the state 13.3 per 1,000 of population.

Post office sale of stamps


" Money Orders Issued


" Money Orders Paid


Four State Banks

Combined Capital and Surplus amounting to $1,882,881.97, with deposits of $14,697,179.69; loans, $12,473,129.00; total resources, $16,330,036.60; the clearances for 1915 amounted to $34,213,638.50. 1916 shows largest deposits ever reported.

Municipal Water Works Pumping Station and Filtration Plant

Capacity of 23,000,000 gallons, built at a cost of $400,000.00, supplying the inhabitants of the city with water that is 98 per cent pure.

Automobiles Manufacturing Plants

Flint has two of the largest in the world.

Combined Capital-Automobile Industry

About $12,000,000, with a yearly output of more then $100,000,000, employing on an average of about 14,000 men with an average weekly payroll of $350.000

Generating Plant of the consumers power Company

Supplied with electric current from the Au Sable River, furnishing hydro-electric power in unlimited quantity at economical rates.


Situated on the main line of the Grant Truck and Pere Marquette railroad. Trolley lines to Detroit on the south and Saginaw and Bay City on the north.,


In 1915, the city purchased the gravel rights on eight acres of land at Otisville on the Fostoria branch of the Pere Marquette Railroad, which is about fifteen miles from Flint, and it is estimated that the saving on gravel the first year will more than pay for the pit, and will last the city for number of years.


The city owns its own asphalt plant, which has a capacity of 1500 square yards of two-inch surface per ten-hour day.


The city handles it own pavements, sewers, and sidewalks at a great savings tot he tax payers.


History of Genesee County, Michigan, Her People, Industries and Institutions
by Edwin O. Wood, LL.D, President Michigan Historical Commission, 1916

Transcribed by Holice B. Young

HTML by Deb

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