U.S. ARMY ASHBURN GENERAL HOSPITAL, McKINNEY, TX Main Gate, 1943.
There was a great need for area hospitals after World War II due to the extensive number of injured soldiers returning from over seas. The Veterans Administration Hospital in McKinney, originally called Ashburn General Hospital in honor of Col. Percy Moreau Ashburn, an army doctor, was activated by the United States Army on May 1, 1943. The last patients were discharged and the hospital declared surplus on December 12, 1945, in preparation for the takeover by the Veterans Administration on January 15.
The 500-bed hospital opened as the Veterans Administration Hospital, McKinney, in May 1946 and was a typical World War II hospital. It comprised 100 buildings on a 266-acre tract. By 1949 the hospital had 620 beds used for the treatment of general medical, surgical, and tuberculosis patients. During World War II a presidential order was signed which called for McKinney Hospital to close when a new addition to the Veterans Administration Hospital, Dallas, was completed. In 1950 the McKinney hospital was one of eight Veterans Administration hospitals in Texas. In 1955 it announced its closing, but received funds to remain open for another decade. The final announcement of its closing occurred in 1965. Congress had passed a bill to increase the number of beds, but funds for the project were never appropriated and the money ran out in June 1965. At the time it was the only World War II-type hospital still operating in the United States and was outdated. Funds in the Veterans Administration were being cut and five other hospitals were closed throughout the nation; six others facing closure were given a reprieve. The hospital officially closed on August 2, 1965. The next June the Texas Educational Foundation, Incorporated, through a contract with the Office of Economic Opportunity, took over the building for the McKinney Center for Women, a Job Corps training center designed specifically for women.
In addition to Ashburn General Hospital at McKinney, there were other Army hospitals located in the north Texas area.
Courtesy Handbook of Texas Online. Photo courtesy U.S. National Libraries of Medline.