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A History of the Salvation Army Hospital in North Omaha

The Omaha Salvation Army Women’s Hospital was home to many babies in the city’s history. This is a history about the facility.

From 1896 to 1978, one organization in the city offered prenatal and birthing services for low-income, unwed and “unsuitable” pregnant women. This is a history of the Omaha Salvation Army Women’s Hospital.

Beginnings

Starting in 1896, the The Salvation Army ran the Rescue Home and Maternity Hospital in North Omaha. Originally located at 3704 N 24th Street from 1896 to 1920, the hospital supported young women and women without support from pregnancy through birth. The children born there were often placed for adoption.

Growing Bigger

In 1920, the Omaha Salvation Army opened the Rescue Home and Maternity Hospital in the old Governor Saunders Mansion at 2008 North 16th Street, and stayed there until 1938. Expanding the mansion repeatedly, there were eventually more than 60 rooms there. In 1921, the facility was described as “a home for girls who are incorrigible.” They got religious training and “are encouraged to start life over in a new manner.”

An Entire Hospital

It was renamed for Catherine Booth in 1938 and moved to 2404 Pratt Street at the location of the former Evangelical Covenant Hospital. The Booth Hospital was also called the Salvation Army Home for Unwed Mothers. The facility was rebuilt in the late 1940s.

“Write or telephone, asking for an interview. Policies and programs are flexible to meet individual needs. All factors are discussed confidentially with the applicant and arrangements made to give the girl and her baby the specific help that their situation requires. This service is available on the basis of need, regardless of creed, color, class or circumstances. The spiritual purpose is paramount. We are concerned with the whole person – not only the physical need but the mental, emotional, social and spiritual needs as well.”

–1964 newspaper ad for the Booth Hospital

Moving Away

In 1967, the hospital was moved to South 40th and Dewey Streets. That building was closed in 1978, and sold to the University of Nebraska Medical Center in 1990.

Today the Salvation Army North Corps Community Center operates a new facility at the corner of North 24th and Pratt Streets.


Locations

From 1896 to 1978, the Salvation Army Booth Memorial Hospital had four incarnations, three of them in North Omaha.

First Location: Salvation Army Home for Unwed Mothers, aka North Side Rescue Home

Omaha Salvation Army Rescue and Maternity Home at 3824 North 24th Street, North Omaha, Nebraska
This was the Omaha Salvation Army Rescue and Maternity Home at 3824 North 24th Street. It opened there in 1896 and moved out in 1920.
  • Location: 3824 N 24th Street
  • Opened: 1896
  • Closed: 1920

Second Location: Salvation Army Rescue Home and Maternity Hospital

Saunders Mansion, 1703 Grace Street, North Omaha, Nebraska
This is the Saunders Mansion at 2008 North 16th Street after it was the Salvation Army Hospital for Unwed Mothers and when it was the German Old Folks Home.
  • 2008 North 16th Street
  • Opened: 1920
  • Closed: 1938

Third Location: Women’s Home and Hospital, aka Catherine Booth Memorial Hospital

The Salvation Army Booth Memorial Hospital was located at 2404 Pratt Street, North Omaha, Nebraska
The Salvation Army Booth Memorial Hospital was located at 2404 Pratt Street from 1938 to 1967.
  • Location: 2404 Pratt Street
  • Opened: 1938
  • Closed: 1966

Fourth Location: Booth Memorial Hospital

  • Location: 426 South 40th Street
  • Opened: 1966
  • Closed: 1978

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BONUS PICS!

Booth Memorial Hospital, N. 24th St., North Omaha, Nebraska
This is a September 1974 article about the demolition of the Booth Memorial Hospital on N. 24th Street.

9 replies on “A History of the Salvation Army Hospital in North Omaha”

Liked the article. Our family lived, basically across the street from the 3824 N. 24th street location. We were in an apartment building at 3711 N. 24th. I remember the people not being too friendly to the ladies and couldn’t understand why.

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I am doing research and completing a booklet for a lady that was born at Booth Memorial Hospital May 11, 1938 and never knew who her biological family was and has never had a real family. I am trying to make her booklet as factual as possible. I see that the hospital was closed and the second hospital opened in 1938. Which hospital would she have been born at. I have found both sides of her biological family per Ancestry DNA.

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I am doing research on my grandfather who was adopted (maybe not formally) in a hospital in Omaha on or about July 4, 1902. We never knew the exact date, so made one up. His adopted mother rode in a buggy 170 miles from the Creighton area of Nebraska to get him when he was about 2 weeks old. It was thought that she may have been a relation, but DNA tests do not show a connection to her family. Does paperwork still exist for births, adoptions etc. for the original hospital? This seems our best choice as all of her family lived on North 24th Street. Adopted mother was Sarah (Sadie) Taylor Rake, married to Samuel Quincy Rake.

Thank you in advance for any information

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I have no idea Marcie, sorry. Finding historic hospital info is very difficult, especially for institutions that haven’t existed for decades. From the reports of dozens of other researchers, the Omaha Salvation Army is not forthcoming with records or access to records. Good luck in your search.

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I was born in the last Booth hospital in 1968. My birth mothers husband contacted Lutheren Family Services in Omaha. I got background info about my birth mother and the family four years ago and sat on it until recently. I have a half brother and half sister. I also have been in contact with my birth mothers husband and had a almost three hour phone call with my half sister. So LFS’s might be able to help. I don’t think they can give information out but the can indirectly contact birth families and go from there. Best wishes all!

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Thank you so much for sharing this information about the history of the hospital. I found it quite interesting. I was a birth mother at the last hospital, Boothe Memorial Home for Unwed Mothers. I gave birth in 1977, the year before it closed. Thankfully, mine was an ‘open’ adoption. Just in the sense that we chose the family, so I knew where my child was going. Since then, we have been reunited and our families have successfully been brought back together! I wish you all blessings in finding your birth family. ❤

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