In Her Words

Letter from Cora Liggett Fowler to Grace Richards Jones, November 19, 1909

By the end of the first decade of the 20th century, the St. Louis Children’s Hospital had outgrown its 60-bed facility at the corner of Jefferson Avenue and Adams Street. The hospital’s Board of Managers, under the leadership of Mrs. Robert McKittrick Jones (Grace Richards Jones), was considering building a new hospital and affiliating with the Washington University School of Medicine. In November 1909, Mrs. John Fowler (Cora Liggett Fowler) offered the hospital a generous donation of $125,000 to finance a new building to be named in honor of her mother, Elizabeth J. Liggett. Mrs. Fowler laid the cornerstone of the new building on June 17, 1913. The new, 125-bed St. Louis Children’s Hospital, consisting of the Elizabeth J. Liggett Memorial, a contagion ward, and a lecture ward was dedicated on January 9, 1915.

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Letter from Cora Liggett Fowler to Grace Richards Jones, 11/19/1909, p. 1

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St. Louis, Mo.
November 19, 1909

Mrs. Robert McK. Jones
     President, St. Louis Children’s Hospital
          St. Louis, Mo.

Dear Madame,
     In view of the determination of the Board of Managers of the St. Louis Children’s Hospital that the present building on Jefferson Avenue and Adams Street is no longer suitable or adequate for the needs of the institution, and that the Board is desirous of obtaining a new location and a modern well equipped hospital for its purposes, I will place at the disposal of the officers of the institution a sufficient sum of money, not exceeding $125,000, to be used

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Letter from Cora Liggett Fowler to Grace Richards Jones, 11/19/1909, p. 2

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for the erection of a hospital building with modern equipments upon such ground as you may obtain suitable for the purpose.
     This gift will be made by me upon the condition that in some proper way upon the record and in the by-laws of the institution the name shall be designated as “The Elizabeth J. Liggett Memorial,” and be so mentioned in connection with the stationery and reports of the hospital; and that the name be also placed upon the building, in addition to the designation of the St. Louis Children’s Hospital. I am led to the suggestion by the wish that the present name of the institution itself should not be changed but that

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Letter from Cora Liggett Fowler to Grace Richards Jones, 11/19/1909, p. 3

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the words “The Elizabeth J. Liggett Memorial” should be used in connection with the present name.
     If, upon consideration, the Board of Managers express their acceptance of this gift, will you kindly communicate the same to me, and I will then be prepared to make all necessary arrangements in detail satisfactory to all.
     Very sincerely yours,
          Cora Liggett Fowler

St. Louis Children’s Hospital
The Elizabeth J. Liggett Memorial

St. Louis Children's Hospital Elizabeth J. Liggett Memorial, ca. 1925