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Health Library

Celebrating 85 Years of Care

In 1926, J.C. Terrell Sr., M.D., established a hospital on the second floor of the Stephenville Langdon Hotel. Eighty-five years later, the
hospital continues to serve the community with care and compassion.

When Dr. Terrell and his wife, nurse Ellen Terrell, first began providing care for patients, they had some help. With Dr. Terrell’s sister-in-law serving as a receptionist and Carl Phillips working as an orderly, the team provided Erath County with its first hospital. Patients within the community no longer had to travel by train or 40 miles down a gravel road to the nearest hospital.

In 1927, the hospital moved to its current location and consisted of 11 patient beds, a small operating room, an office and an admitting office. Since then, the hospital once known as Stephenville Hospital has grown to become Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Stephenville. Throughout the years, the hospital’s technology advanced and the staff grew, but the goal of the hospital has remained the same — to provide quality care to the community.

Like all hospitals, Texas Health Stephenville provides medical care to patients, but the hospital also offers a unique sense of community and trust.

“The hospital has deep roots in this community,” says Mike Hannah, director of Pastoral Care at Texas Health Stephenville. “The Terrell family has had a presence at the hospital since the beginning, and Carl Phillips dedicated his life to this hospital. It’s a hometown hospital where the staff truly cares.”

When the Terrell family established the hospital, they had no intention of leaving, nor did orderly Carl Phillips. From 1926 to 1993, Phillips worked as an employee in many departments of the hospital and then retired. The day after he retired, Phillips returned and worked as a volunteer until his passing in 2006, leaving a lasting impact on the community.

“Carl Phillips is such an integral part of our hospital’s history,” says Julie Swink, senior marketing specialist at Texas Health Stephenville.
“He is an example of how committed the hospital is to the community and how members of the community care for the hospital.”

With so many extraordinary people gracing the halls of Texas Health Stephenville, it’s only appropriate that the hospital and the community celebrate the hospital’s 85th anniversary by remembering those who made the hospital what it is today and those who continue to maintain its legacy.

To learn more about Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Stephenville, visit

(Summer 2011)

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