Dr. John Twinem

Written By: nppladmin - May• 10•21
Originally published to Facebook.com/NorthPlattePL on 5/7/2021.

Today’s Facebook History series looks at some of the early hospitals in North Platte, all created by one man, Dr. John Twinem.

Dr. John Twinem was born in Northern Ireland on April 12, 1871. In 1893, Twinem came to America to further his education. He enrolled in Wheaton College in Chicago. Upon graduation, he enrolled in Hahnemann Medical College graduated in 1903. After graduation, Dr. John Twinem moved to North Platte to set up his medical practice. On April 7, 1904, John Twinem married Martha Jane Armstrong in Glidden, Iowa. They had four children together (3 sons and 1 daughter); Linn, Mary Jane, Bill, and John Robert “Bob”. Dr. Twinem’s first office location was 218 W 4th Street. That was originally the James Belton home. Today it is a thrift store.

In 1912 he moved his practice to the second floor of the McDonald State Bank on the corner of 6th and Dewey. By 1914, his medical practice had grown so much that he bought a lot at 1008 West 4th Street; and opened the Nurse Brown Memorial Hospital. He owned the building but also kept his doctor’s office at the bank building. <see photograph of the Nurse Brown Hospital and advertisement>

On January 23, 1917 the North Platte Semi-Weekly Tribune announced that Dr. Twinem had awarded a contract for the erection of a two-story brick building at 108-110 East 5thStreet in the downtown. The second floor would have his offices while the first floor would be leased to the Golden Rule Department Store. The “Twinem building” still stands and “Once More with Style” currently occupies the building. <See photograph and advertising>

That same year he bought the big pink house at 502 West 4th from the widow of Leicester Walker. He converted the house into a hospital. It was a hospital for only one year.

In 1918, the Nurse Brown Memorial Hospital changed the name to the Twinem Hospital.

On October 3, 1919 the North Platte Semi-Weekly announced that Dr. Twinem had bought a lot from Dr. Brock in the 700 block of West Fifth Street. He had signed a contract for the erection of a hospital on the lot. The hospital would have enough rooms for eighteen patients at one time. There would also be rooms for offices, matron’s quarters, a kitchen and a sun parlor or lounging room. This hospital opened on April 20, 1920 as The “New Twinem Hospital”. By July 2, 1920, Dr. E.W. Fetter took possession of the new hospital and its name changed to Platte Valley Hospital. At that time Dr. Twinem decided to semi-retire and took a rest from practicing.

The hospital was closed down in 1923 and remained vacant until 1926 when it re-opened as Platte Valley Hospital again. In 1938, Wesleyan University bought the hospital naming it General Hospital. The hospital closed down in 1940 for the last time. All the patients moved to St. Mary’s Hospital. At that time, the building sold and was converted into an apartment house and remains an apartment today. <See photograph and advertising>

From “A History of Lincoln County”:

Politically, the doctor is a republican, and, while his professional duties precludes his takin a very active part in politics, he exhibits a keen and intelligent interest in the public affairs of the locality, for he consistently gives his support to every movement having for its object the advancement of the community along material, civic, or moral lines. Fraternally, he is a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, while he and his family are earnest members of the Methodist Episcopal Church. He is a member of the Douglas County Medical Society and the American Institute of Homeopathy. Doctor Twinem has had a splendid record as a physician and as a citizen, he is numbered among the progressive and enterprising men of the community. Genial and approachable, he has easily made friends and is deservedly popular among those who know him.

Bare, I. L. & McDonald W. H. (1920) An illustrated history of Lincoln County, Nebraska, and her people, a narrative of the past with special emphasis upon the pioneer period of the county’s history, particular attention also given to the social, commercial, educational, religious and civic development of the county from the early days to the present time. American Historical Society.

Dr. Twinem remained in practice in his Twinem building on East Fifth Street until approximately 1943. Dr. John S. Twinem died June 28, 1948. Both John and Martha Twinem are buried in the North Platte Cemetery.

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