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Fort Worth Flashback: Cook began caring for Tarrant County in 1929

Posted Sept. 9, 2012

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The roots of the former Cook Children’s Hospital go back to Jan. 29, 1929, when W.I. Cook Memorial Hospital opened at 1212 W. Lancaster St. The original hospital, designed in Italian Renaissance architecture, had 55 beds.

Missouri Matilda Nail Cook dedicated the oil royalties from the Cook Ranch near Albany to build and sustain the hospital’s mission.

When the polio epidemic was spreading in the United States in 1952, the board of trustees voted to expand the facility to 72 beds with a grant from the Tom B. Owens Trust and changed its mission to care exclusively for the needs of children.

Trustees renamed the facility Cook Children’s Hospital, which continued to operate independently until the facility’s merger with Fort Worth Children’s Hospital.

The new 183-bed Cook Fort Worth Children’s Medical Center was begun in 1987 and completed in May 1989. The board of trustees approved shortening the name to Cook Children’s Medical Center in June 1995.

The photo above shows a capping ceremony for members of the Junior Auxiliary in 1963.

The Fort Worth Library has approximately 10,000 items pertaining to the history of Fort Worth and Tarrant County. These items include city and county government documents, newspapers, directories, cemetery association records, maps as well as popular and scholarly books written by local authors or about local subjects. To learn more, call 817-392-7740 or email the Genealogy, History and Archives Section.

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