Ferrell Hospital was founded in 1925 by Dr. J.V. Ferrell and was located on the second floor of a downtown Eldorado business building.
In 1928, a one-story structure was erected at the present location of the old hospital (1201 Pine Street), with a twelve bed capacity, and employing a staff of five. It remained a one physician hospital until 1937, when the late Dr. Robert V. Ferrell joined his father in practice.
The first addition to the original structure was made in 1941, at which time a second story was added, increasing the capacity to twenty-three beds.
Ferrell enjoyed further growth in the immediate post-World War II era. In 1948, a north wing was completed, increasing the bed capacity to forty. The final addition to the old facility was completed in 1958. This addition, with remodeling, provided a total of forty-nine beds and added new kitchen and dining facilities.
In 1967, the physician-owners sold the hospital to a group of area businessmen and professionals. Faced with mounting government regulations and the need for a more modern facility, planning began in the late 1960’s for the construction of a new facility. In 1974, a Land Trust Corporation, consisting of twenty area businessmen and physicians, was formed to finance the construction of a new facility.
Construction of the new facility – a fifty-one bed hospital and six-suite physician clinic - was completed in early 1976 and ready for occupancy on February 1, 1976.
Southern Illinois Healthcare Enterprises, Inc. (SIH) purchased the hospital in November 1996. The facility upgraded imaging and diagnostic equipment, including MRI. A new off-site physical therapy facility, Rehab Unlimited, opened in 2000. During this time, the cardio-pulmonary rehabilitation department, emergency department, and surgical suite were completely remodeled. Ferrell Hospital achieved status as a Critical Access facility in 2003.
Effective March 1, 2004, SIH entered into an agreement with Alliant Management Services to return the hospital to local ownership and governance. On April 1, 2005, Ferrell Hospital Community Foundation became a stand alone facility managed by Alliant Management Services.
Since that time, Ferrell Hospital has seen significant growth, adding a partnership with Gallatin County Wellness Center and two off-site clinics (Galatia Family Practice and The Locust Street Clinic) in 2008, and an additional four clinics (Eldorado Family Medicine Clinic, Ridgway Rural Family Medicine Clinic, Doctors Clinic, and Ferrell Hospital Family Practice) in 2009. This rapid growth is anticipated to last through the coming year with the opening of at least one more clinic.
From 1925 to 2010, and well into the future, Ferrell Hospital is Healthcare Built on Excellence.