The Founding of Highland Park Hospital
Researched and written by Elliott Miller
By 1907, the need for a local hospital was understood by many citizens of Highland Park, Deerfield, and other North Shore towns. Between Evanston and Waukegan, the closest hospital to Highland Park was the Alice Home Hospital, located on the campus of the then Lake Forest University in Lake Forest. It had 20 beds and only served patients of Lake Forest doctors. Difficult financial times was cited as the reason Highland Park did not build a hospital.
Then, one day in the fall of 1915, all of that changed. Edward Valentine Price was waiting for the train to take him to his men’s clothing factory in Chicago, when he saw a shocking scene. Price saw a critically injured man being loaded into a baggage car bound for a hospital in Chicago, which was the only way the unfortunate man could receive the medical attention he needed.
What Price saw that morning made such an impression on him that he was compelled to act. That evening he called on Mayor Hastings and other community leaders with his story. The sincerity of Mr. Price, along with the assurance of financial backing, finally worked. On December 16, 1915, Mayor Hastings called for the establishment of a Hospital Commission.
The citizens of Highland Park wanted a hospital that served all people, regardless of the community you lived in, and a tremendous fundraising effort ensued. Many generous donations were made by residents of Highland Park and Glencoe. With great fanfare, Highland Park Hospital was opened to the public on July 14, 1918.