Ellen Stark Burge
Community Philanthropist —
ELLEN STARK WAS BORN Oct. 18, 1843. She settled in Springfield in 1860 and married George W. Burge in 1865. The Burges were strong supporters of Springfield. They helped start a Methodist church and Ellen was soon in charge of the Sunday school.
In 1906, Burge was approached by Dr. J.C. Matthews and Rev. J.W. Stewart about the need for a hospital in Springfield. Burge owned property on North Jefferson Street and gladly donated the house and lot to the Women’s Home Missionary Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church so a hospital could be built. She became president of the local board of managers. The house was a two-story, wood double house and was remodeled into a hospital, opening on Thanksgiving Day 1906 as Burge Deaconess Hospital. Burge soon purchased an adjoining lot, and in 1908, a larger, three-story hospital opened. The original hospital building was then used to train nurses. In 1942, an addition added 40 more beds to the second building.
Ellen Burge died at the hospital she built June 9, 1922 at the age of 78.