The Old Kimbrough Hospital at Linden, Alabama (c. 1937)

Endangered | Linden in Marengo County  

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The Kimbrough Hospital was a privately owned hospital built circa 1937 by Dr. Cecil E. Kimbrough as a service to the community to provide healthcare. It was a full-fledged, two-story hospital with several doctors, nurses, staff, OB/GYN, surgery, x-rays, nursery, lab and dispensary. Dr. Kimbrough maintained the hospital while still making house calls. He was the doctor for the jail and the work camp in Thomaston. Dr. Kimbrough charged only what people could pay. His services were often paid for in turnips and turkeys, not cash. After the Hill-Burton act went into effect, Dr. Kimbrough turned the facility into a five-bed clinic still performing all the medical services, as before. There were no places for short-term rentals, so the clinic housed families from the Satin Manufacturing Company in Linden as well as pipeline workers from Texas to the Carolinas. The clinic would provide maid services on the weekends for the tenants which included changing bed sheets and towels. The tenants paid a dollar a day. The facility had a lounge with a TV for entertainment at night. Dr. Kimbrough’s wife, Annie Small Kimbrough, was strict about the behavior of the tenants. Her bedroom was right by the stairs. The doors to the clinic were open 24/7. The doors were never locked. Dr. Kimbrough would go out anytime he was called on. Dr. Cecil and his wife seldom went out together because of the possibility of someone coming to the clinic that needed medical attention.

The hospital building was later sold to the city and it served as part of the Department of Human Resources. The building was eventually sold to a private entity, but it has not been used since, and has fallen into disrepair. An attempt was made to tear the building down in 2014 but concerned citizens successfully prevented the demolition. This old hospital building is one of only a few historic structures that remain in Linden. It represents a way of life that has been lost.

The Kimbrough Hospital building is located in Linden on Shiloh Street near the Marengo County Courthouse (GPS coordinates 32.307054, -87.796265)

Source: Jennie Kimbrough King (daughter of Dr. Cecil and Annie Small Kimbrough)

Photographs that are provided were taken during March 2016.

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