Soon after the log cabin was built, JP Morgan Jr. and his family were in Jackson Hole on vacation, when Mrs. Morgan broke her leg on a backcountry pack trip. Dr. Huff, the first doctor in the community, went in on horseback, put her leg in a splint, and brought her to St. John’s Hospital to care for her. Meanwhile, JP Morgan had his private railroad car sent to Victor, ID. He requested that Dr. Huff accompany his wife on the train back to New York.
When Dr. Huff arrived in New York, he was taken to a beautiful brownstone mansion where he found a suite prepared for him, including his own monogrammed pajamas. JP Morgan asked Dr. Huff to move to New York and become their family physician, and offered any additional schooling that Huff wanted.
Dr.Huff declined, saying his place was in the valley of Jackson Hole.
St. John’s Medical Center has long benefited from the world class expertise of physicians who remain committed to our patients and community, despite being qualified to practice medicine anywhere they choose. Their legacy is a high level of quality care in Jackson Hole that is rare for a remote, rural town such as ours.
At a public meeting on Thursday, January 28, the St. John’s Medical Center Board of Trustees issued a Centennial Proclamation recognizing St. John’s Episcopal Church, Jackson, WY, for its significant role in the history of the hospital.
The Proclamation was pronounced by board secretary Elizabeth Masek, on behalf of board chair Michael Tennican and St. John’s Medical Center. St. John’s Episcopal Church Interim Rector Ron Pogue was in attendance at the meeting to accept this honor on behalf of the Church. Also attending on behalf of the church were Jan Henderson, senior warden; and Frank Johnson, St. John’s Episcopal Church Rector from 1981 to 2000, whose comprehensive recording of the early history of St. John’s Hospital was included in his book, “A History of the Episcopal Church in Jackson Hole.”
St. John’s Episcopal Church, demonstrating great leadership and resolve, built Jackson Hole’s first hospital in 1916. The Church was responsible for operating St. John’s Hospital for more than four decades, until a community board was formed to oversee the growing health care needs of the region.
“Throughout our centennial year, we want to take every opportunity to thank the individuals and organizations that have helped St. John’s become a modern medical center of a caliber seldom found in a rural, remote town such as ours,” said SJMC communications officer Karen Connelly. “It seems fitting to start at the beginning, with the incredible story of the perseverance and generosity of early Church leaders and the community.”