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1912

Postcard of the original Glover Home and Hospital

Fulfilling the will of Needham resident Frederick P. Glover, the Glover Home and Hospital opens on September 16, 1912. In its first year, the modest 11-bed facility admits 122 patients, and 15 babies are born under the supervision of Superintendent Miss Mary Coombs, a graduate of New England Baptist Hospital.

"It is my purpose and will to have established, for the benefit of the residents of Needham ... an institution, to be known as 'The Glover Home and Hospital,' the purpose of said institution being to aid and relieve such deserving persons ... preference to be given to women and children and residents of Needham."
- Will of Frederick P. Glover, September 8, 1900


Frederick P. Glover (1825-1901) was born in Stoughton, MA.

He began his work in the shoemaker's trade, traveled west in the California Gold Rush of 1849 and eventually returned to Massachusetts, marrying Emeline Morton of Needham.

Frederick P. Glover (1825-1901)





A Commonwealth of Massachusetts official document incorporating the Glover Home and Hospital; March 15, 1911

Commonwealth of Massachusetts official document incorporating the Glover Home and Hospital. March 15, 1911.




A newspaper article soliciting donations in advance of the hospital's September opening; August 24, 1912

Trustees Addie Carter, Helen Chapman and Superintendent Mary Coombs were instrumental in transforming the home into a hospital.

Newspaper article soliciting donations in advance of the hospital’s September opening.

A Tag Day Ticket for 25 cents. The hospital opened on September 16, 1912 with more than 500 people visiting and touring the new facility. On October 12, 1912, "Tag and Button Day" was celebrated on the Needham Town Common with a band concert, raising more than $500 for the hospital.



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"The great difficulty that the trustees have had to contend with is the general and wrong impression that Mr. Glover endowed the Hospital with funds sufficient to furnish 'free' treatment. Mr. Glover's bequest, while generous and practically his whole estate, was not sufficient to maintain a free institution."
- William Moseley, writing in the trustee's first annual report

Glover was a successful real estate investor and active in Needham town affairs. He owned the Birds Hill Spring Water Company (pictured), which was partially operated out of his barn. In his will, he suggested that the proceeds from the company could help sustain the hospital.

Glover’s Bird’s Hill Spring Water Company


A newspaper article announcing Frederick P. Glover's will; November 9, 1901. Unbeknownst to his relatives, he re-wrote his will to bequeath his estate for the establishment of a hospital, drastically reducing the inheritance of his 21 relatives. They contested his will in probate court for four years before William G. Moseley, a Needham knitting manufacturer, was appointed as the new executor of the estate. For the next five years, Moseley worked to persuade the town that a hospital was needed. Early advocates included Needham doctors William Mitchell and Walter Schirmer, knitting factory owner Joseph Thorpe and townswoman Frances Rowlands, who was a patient of Dr. Mitchell and eventually was named a Trustee.

Newspaper article announcing Frederick P. Glover's will


A newspaper clipping detailing the January 1910 special Town Meeting that voted to incorporate the hospital


Newspaper clipping detailing the January 1910 special Town Meeting that voted to incorporate the hospital.

The by-laws for the Hospital's Board of Trustees

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In his will, Glover instructed that the hospital should be managed by seven trustees serving without pay, and of those seven, three must be Needham Selectman and two must be women. The establishment of the hospital did not mean that the town of Needham assumed ownership, which would pose problems for its financial stability in the future.







"A Real Thanksgiving" newspaper article asking for donations of food for the hospital pantry; November 20, 1915

"A Real Thanksgiving" newspaper article

Contact Information

Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital-Needham
148 Chestnut Street
Needham, MA 02492
781-453-3000