Fairbanks was a frontier town when a Jesuit priest named Rev. Francis M. Monroe decided to build a church and hospital. The church stood in the heart of town, while the hospital, also named St. Joseph’s, was constructed on the north side of the Chena River, a little downstream from the church. Later the church would be moved across the river. Monroe’s hospital was ready to admit its first patients on November 18, 1906, filling 35 of the 40 beds. Archives, University of Alaska Fairbanks.
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