In 1894, six inspired women created a home-like healthcare facility for the elderly in Circleville, Ohio. Their idea was to offer nursing as much as nurturing, and companionship as much as compassion. Through their hard work and dedication, they transformed their vision into a nonprofit healthcare facility, then known as the Circleville Home and Hospital. It continued under that name for more than 79 years. Seeing the good work accomplished at the facility, local residents Paul and Alice Brown chose to contribute to the ongoing efforts of such a worthy cause. To that end, in 1973 Alice bequeathed a portion of her estate to what then became known as Brown Memorial Home. It has since grown to include skilled, assisted living and residential services.
“Mrs Heffner has been unceasing and untiring in her efforts from the beginning and has taken charge and oversight of the whole business from the commencement to the completion.
“I have endeavored to keep my promise made at the beginning to help her all I could. And when the day has grown dark, and the obstacles almost unsurmountable has arisen to impede our progress and thwart our efforts, I have prayerfully tried to hold up her hands that she might succeed in the work she had undertaken.
“All the member have done what they could and been interested and energetic in working to raise funds and provide the means wherewith to complete our Home and Hospital. Whether we have planned, labored and acted wisely or well remains for you to decide.
“To the good people of the city and county who have so generously donated to assist us to carry on this work we are grateful indeed. That the Circleville Home and hospital may long stand as a haven of rest to the aged and infirm, and cast a benign influence over all who come within its portable, is the sincere prayer of your humble servant.”
Annie Sears, Spring 1895, Circleville
On March 1, 1894, the Circleville Benevolent Society met at the home of Sarah Heffner. There was no way for Sarah or the Society to know that the actions they took over the course of two months in 1894 would ensure Brown Memorial Home existed at that exact location
—158 East Mound Street—a century later!
She proposed that the Circleville Benevolent Society ask the Board of Education to donate the Ohio Street School—abandoned eight years’ prior—so the Society could form “a home and hospital for aged and infirm persons”. That proposal failed with only five Society members — Sarah Heffner, Emily Haswell, Rose Morris, Julia Lewis, Annie Sears — voting FOR the proposal, those five were not to be deterred. The ladies persisted, obtaining 220 signatures of “principal taxpayers and business men of the city” to affirm their request. Forty-eight days after that initial “nay” vote, the Board agreed to sell the Ohio Street School for $1 and on May 14 the deed was drawn up and signed over.
For over a century, Brown Memorial Home has provided a homelike atmosphere with quality medical, social, and spiritual care to enhance the daily lives and well-being of Elder residents. We are a nonprofit facility, with a foundation fund to supplement Medicare, Insurance, and Private Payer fees. We invite you to join us in making a donation to the fund to support the work we do. Every dollar we receive is used to ensure Elder-centered care remains the focus of our work.