History

Hershey Hospital in 1902

Hershey Hospital the year it was built, 1902. Picture provided by the Musser Public Library Oscar Grossheim collection.

Senior Resources is located in the historic Hershey nurses’ building at 1808 Mulberry Ave. The building was built to house nurses who worked at the former Hershey Hospital at 1810 Mulberry Ave. Currently, the Hershey Manor stands on the property where the hospital once did. The original Hershey Hospital was a gift to the city from Miss Mira Hershey, in memory of her father Benjamin, a pioneer in the lumber business. On June 26th, 1902 the Benjamin Hershey Memorial Hospital opened its doors to the first patients.

Hershey Hospital in 1902

Hershey Hospital the year it was built, 1902. Picture provided by the Musser Public Library Oscar Grossheim collection.

The hospital was on the outskirts of the city, but was easy to reach because it was on the trolley line route. In 1954, the hospital became a nursing home known as the Hershey Convalescent Home. The Hershey Convalescent Home was torn down in 1983 and the Hershey Manor, a HUD subsidized 50 unit independent living facility for seniors, was built on the property. Meanwhile on June 4th, 1984, Terry Alexander and Patti McCrea started Senior Circle, now known as Senior Resources’ Adult Day Center, in the basement of the Church of Christ Church, which was then located at the corner of 6th and Iowa Ave. Patti and Terry had both worked at Lutheran Homes and saw there was a need in Muscatine for a place for seniors to go to before they went into a nursing home. Senior Circle opened with two clients. In January of 1986, the Hershey Board took over Senior Circle and moved them into the Hershey nurses’ building. Senior Circle later merged with Senior Resources in July of 1996.

The Senior Resources board merged with the Hershey Manor board on July 1, 2000. Senior Resources has been serving Muscatine County residents since 1972. Both boards had the same mission, to serve seniors and to improve their quality of life. With a combined board, the services to seniors could be expanded.

In October of 2002, the Senior Resources/ Hershey Manor board started a $1 million expansion project on the Hershey nurses’ building. The expansion project included adding on an addition to the back of the building that architecturally conformed with the original historic building. The original second floor of the nurses’ building that once roomed nurses now would be used for office space for Senior Resources. Also added for the Adult Day Center were an elevator, a sunroom, a remodeled kitchen and dining room, offices and a bathing tub. The Muscatine Historic Preservation Committee presented an Excellence in Preservation award to Senior Resources for their efforts.

George Shepley volunteered to chair the fundraising for the expansion project and in March 2005 succeeded in raising $1 million. To recognize his dedication to Muscatine’s seniors the new addition was named The Shepley Building during a dedication ceremony on April 22nd, 2005.

Click here to view pictures from the old Hershey Hospital.