Shannon at 75 Years pin (2007)

Shannon at 75 Years pin (2007)

I’ve been a volunteer or auxiliary volunteer at Shannon for years. I had to drop out active service since I took on full-time teaching again. This pin commemorates 75 years of service to the San Angelo community.

Shannon celebrates 75 years” by Jayna Boyle. San Angelo Standard Times (Wednesday, November 7, 2007)

The toast was simple, but it was heartfelt as it reverberated off the walls.

“To Margaret,” hundreds of people in the crowd said as they commemorated 75 years of Shannon Medical Center.

In 1932, San Angelo resident Margaret Shannon left about $2 million in her will to establish a hospital here.

“The gift she gave was phenomenal,” said Dr. Derrill A. Stuart, who attended the celebration. “She gave to a whole community. She was way ahead of her time.”

The Shannon board of trustees in recent months created a seven-person group to compile the hospital’s history on about 10 large panels for Tuesday night’s reception at the C.J. Davidson Conference Center at Angelo State University. Linda Knightstep, a member of the Shannon historical society, said the group researched the hospital about nine months.

“We pulled together information from each decade,” Knightstep said.

About 800 people were invited to Shannon’s 75th anniversary celebration. Attendees included current and former hospital leaders as well as friends of Shannon and community leaders.

In addition to getting information about administrators and hospital breakthroughs, the historical society included information about national and world happenings. Panels include everything from then-and-now pictures to the story of Margaret Shannon and her husband, and medical-technology advancements.

“History becomes important because it shows how we got where we are now, and why we have the values that we do,” Knightstep said.

The West Texas Collection, a local organization that works to preserve history-related materials in the area, worked with Shannon to put together the hospital’s history and will archive the information to save for the 100-year celebration and beyond, Knightstep said. The panels can be transferred around the community, to places such as the Sunset Mall, banks and libraries.

Eventually, Shannon’s history will be displayed as a timeline throughout the hospital’s hallways, Knightstep said.

Lester Smith said his most-memorable time at Shannon happened Dec. 19, 1981, while he was the equivalent to today’s chairman of the board. Shannon had completed its new hospital building and had to transfer its patients from across the street.

The old building is where the hospital’s parking lot is today.

Medical staff members had planned to move the patients in wheelchairs, but the temperature got down to 19 degrees, so they had to transfer everyone in ambulances.

The following year, the old hospital building was imploded—another event that sticks with Smith.

“It made clouds of dust,” Smith said. “We couldn’t see 10 feet in front of us.”

But a glitch in the electrical connection for the implosion left the hospital’s Magdalen Street doorway and four columns still standing temporarily, the lone survivors of an ending era in Shannon’s history.

Thanks to Margaret, attendees noted, the hospital lives on.

Location: 24-B2, B3