*** ONLINE AS OF AUGUST 5, 2011 ***

Providence Hospital - Beaver Falls PA

In 1909 the Reverend James M. Wertz of St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Beaver Falls authorized the purchase of Harry W. Reeves’ fourteen-room mansion, and two-acre property along the Beaver River, on 3rd Avenue (and 9th Street) to start a church-run community medical facility. A few months later a small group of woman from the Sisters of Charity of Seton Hill arrived from Greensburg, Pennsylvania, to help set up operations. The first patient was admitted for treatment at the new Providence Hospital on October 13, 1909.

The facility initially had only twenty-two beds, but was rapidly expanded with additional annexes in the coming years. In 1912 a large three-story building with seventy-five beds, basically the central part of the building you see today, was built next to the old Reeves mansion. A nursing school was also established that same year and graduated its first five nurses in May 1915. The adjoining Marcus and Roman properties were purchased in 1939-1940 to allow further expansion. The old Reeves mansion was demolished in the mid-1940’s to make room for another annex. Two new wings were also added in 1958 as part of a $1.3 million expansion and upgrade initiative and the modernized hospital eventually contained 180 beds.

In March 1967 the end of an era was reached as the Sisters of Charity, unable to keep pace with the advances in modern medicine, withdraw from the operations of the hospital. A ceremony was held at the Hotel Brodhead to honor the over six decades of exemplary service of the Sisters.

In about 1968-1969 the hospital merged with two other county medical facilities in New Brighton and Rochester to form the Beaver Valley Medical Center. A committee was also established to explore the plan to build a modern hospital in Beaver County. The facility remained in operation as a general hospital until the early 1990’s, when it was converted into a skilled nursing center and rehabilitation facility. It’s still in operation today.

To read article from 1911 about the decision to build a large hospital building click on: HOSPITAL DECISION ARTICLE.

The former Reeves mansion and its two-acre property on 3rd Avenue was purchased by Catholic Church officials in 1909 to start the Providence Hospital. The first patient was admitted in October 1909. (1911) Full Size

Another view of the old Reeves mansion. (c1910)

The new three-story hospital annex, containing about seventy-three beds, was approved in July 1911. This photo shows the annex under construction and nearly completion sometime in 1912.

The three-story main building of the Providence Hospital, which was built in 1912. I believe the former Reeves mansion was still standing in the back of this building at this time. (c1940)

A postcard showing a great early view of the hospital. The card is postmarked in June 1916. Full Size

Providence Hospital. (c1918) Full Size

Old postcard showing the Providence Hospital. (c1940)

A 1950’s postcard showing the hospital with an addition built unto the right side of the main building.

Providence Hospital. (c1950) Full Size

A drawing showing the additional wings added to the rear of the hospital in 1958.

A gathering of nurses and nursing school personnel of the Providence Hospital in 1959-60. Sister M. Irenaeus, who served as the hospital administrator from 1924 until 1959, is pictured in black – sixth from the right.

Sister Ireneaus, pictured here just prior to retiring in about 1959, was a pioneering force behind the growth of the hospital.

Sister Mary Kieran, pictured here in 1960, took over as administrator upon the retirement of Sister Ireneaus.

The Reverend George A. Benton (1917-1987), the chaplain at the hospital from 1956-61, was also listed as the head of “Moral Guidance” at the nursing school. (1959)

Sister Ireneaus hanging some sort of award or diploma. Standing directly behind her in foreground is Luke E. Sawyer, a member of the hospital’s Board of Directors. Unknown man in background. (1959)

A photo of the Sisters of Charity (another 3-4 are missing) that worked at the hospital in 1959-60. Sister Kieran, the hospital’s administrator, is in second row on left end.

A class photo of Brenda Lou ‘Bren’ Petrella of Beaver Falls from 1960. Her inscription reads, ‘Brenda is a local gal, to us is a wonderful pal.’”

Another 1960 graduate. Mary Louise Sallie, known as ‘Weezie,” hailed from Beaver Falls. Her inscription reads, “Weezie is gay and full of fun, But she can’t fool anyone.”

A 1960 graduate of the nursing school. Pictured is Rosalie “Roe” Manos of New Castle, and her yearbook inscription reads, “When something Roguish has been done, You can be sure Roe’s the guilty one.”

A nursing student in action c1960.

The inside of an operating room at the hospital c1959.

Another nursing student inside a patient’s room c1960.

The facade of the main building. (Nov 2010)

A modern-day photo of the main building of Providence Hospital. (Nov 2010)

A view of the former hospital, which is now home to a nursing and rehab center known as the Providence Care Center. (Nov 2010)

The cornerstone of the addition built onto the side of the main building. (Nov 2010)

A view of the front of the former hospital. (Nov 2010)

Another shot of the former hospital. (Nov 2010)


  1. What a pleasant surprise to find my Alma Mater! Class of 1962! Now retired! Many, many memories!


  3. I was a nursing student here from 1961 to 1964. Our class was the last class to graduate before the closing of the school of nursing.This program was a very thorough and all-encompassing education program. Upon graduation the nurses were fully qualified to work in any hospital environment. I worked one year after graduation at Providence Hospital and then went on to Georgetown University Hospital in Washington, DC. I cherish the years of my nursing education. I wish there were more 3 year diploma programs. Sinceerely, Pat Hays

  4. I know this is not much about the hospital from when it was first open, but I lived in Beaver Falls in the 90’s and I had to have testing done down at Providence, it was great having a hospital close and not having to go clear over to the Med center in Beaver.

  5. I was born in that hospital in 1955 fought pneumonia 3 times in 1958 nearly died as it’s been often told to me growing up . I just wish these people were still on this earth to thank them for saving me . Dr.Dunn and all the Sister’s who must have prayed over me many a times . Thanks Again To You People Who Must Be Now Up There In Heaven .

  6. In 1947 I was born at Providence. Two weeks later returned with thymis gland problems.. Trying to find records…

  7. Hi Jeff,

    I am a graduate of Providence Hospital School of Nursing(1957-1960) and was surprised to see my graduation picture here.
    The history of the hospital is in a yearbook of 1959. Four Sisters of Charity started the hospital in 1909. The School of Nursing was organizated in 1912 and graduated its first class in 1915. We were accredited from the Joint Commision in 1957, my first year as a student. I stayed in the original mansion in 1957 and remember all too well the many rooms used for students and classes.

    The education I received in nursing was so valuable. Sr. Patricia was the Director of Nursing. Can send you more info if needed.
  8. (EDITOR’S NOTE) Rosalie, Good to hear from you! It’s always a treat to get a note from someone in or somehow related to a photo I post on this website. Sure, send me any info that might be helpful. So, did you go on to be a lifelong nurse? Where did you work? Thanks again. Jeff

  9. I was born at Providence Hospital 1952. And lived my childhood in Beaver Falls, Bessemer and New Castle. This site has been so nice to see.

    Hats off to you

  10. In the picture of Sister Ireneaus and Luke Sawyer, the unidentified man is the background is my uncle, William E. Conrady, M.D., who was a radiologist at the hospital for many years. I can remember his telling me of his admiration for the devotion of the sisters to the patients at the hospital.

  11. I work at Providence there has been strange things that happen. Patients have sat with nuns, a little boy, and recently an employee heard a sinister laugh felt someone in room. If anyone has info let me know

  12. Hi Jeff,
    Sent you a message last year about Providence Hospital. After graduating in 1960, I went on to use my nursing skills and knowledge for 40+ years. The education I received from the School was so valuable.
    I am trying to find the name of an African American instructor that was there in 1957 from Alabama. If anyone still has their year book would appreciate her name.

    Many thanks for keeping the history of Providence alive.

    Rosalie Manos Georgeadis

  13. (EDITOR’S NOTE) Rosalie, Thank you so much for the posts. It was a thrill to know you found my website. I’ll see what I can find as far as the instructor from Alabama. Jeff

  14. I just wanted to put a post on your website since Providence was where I was born in 1962
    and adopted at birth, 5 days later. I also have a brother from same birth mother that was adopted into the same family as me. we are close.
    It is sad that adoptees cannot find traces of the biology unless a birth parent comes forward first. Seems like a nice hospital back then.

    Thank you for posting.

  15. Can anyone post a photo of the Gift Shop where Ann Hmiel was volunteer manager during the 1960’s? I would appreciate it as she was my dear friend and neighbor and just passed away Feb. 25. She often spoke of fond memories and times at Providence.

    Thank you and God bless,
    Carol Gillespie

  16. Is there any way to obtain medical records from there from 1925? Anyone have any information?

  17. I have been trying to track other graduates of the School of Nursing . I was a member of the last graduating class of 1964.

  18. Providence

  19. My name is matawna dawn Michelangelo I was born in Providence Hospital Beaver Falls Pennsylvania the date was May 15th 1957 my father was Arnold michealangelo i need my birth certificate. 8059752189

  20. Hello. I was delighted to find your site and this page. I was born at Providence in 1945, had an appendectomy there 14 months later, and a tonsilectomy at age seven. My dad directed the chorus at the nursing school, and I used to go with him to practices when I was in grade school. Three cousins (Mary Pat and Corrine Mulroy and Marilyn Houlette) graduated from there. My half brother, John Grau, MD, was on staff. It was nice to see a picture of Sister Irenaeus, a wonderful lady.


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