In 1907, Maysville resident Mary V. Wilson bought the property of the former Hayswood Seminary along W. Fourth St., a private school for girls, and gifted it to the city for use as a hospital. As long as Mrs. Wilson lived there it was called the Wilson Hospital, but in 1908 after she moved, it became the Hayswood Hospital. A new Samuel Hannaford designed building was constructed in 1925. Its market area included parts of southern Ohio, particularly after the Simon Kenton Bridge at Maysville opened in late 1931. Many babies have been born there over the years, and the hospital earned care awards presented by national accreditation groups. After Pear Harbor, the U.S. Navy used part of the hospital for the rehabilitation of mentally harmed survivors of that attack. The changing world of modern healthcare caught up with many small city hospitals, and Hayswood was no exception. For reasons of mere survival, it lost its non-profit status in 1981, as it was sold to Nashville-based Hospital Corporation of America (HCA). The time had come for a new facility, and that is what the proprietary well-capitalized new owner could provide. In the early 1980s, an earthquake centered near Maysville did structural damage to the physical plant. From 1981-1983 its name was changed to the Maysville Hospital, and in 1983, HCA moved the business to a new facility and location along the AA Highway (Ky. Rt. 9) just west of the intersection with U.S. 68, south of town. The Hayswood Hospital closed February 9, 1983. Reflecting the broader market area it seeks, the 101-bed successor to Hayswood is the Meadowview Regional Medical Center. Meanwhile down the hill in Maysville, the former Hayswood Hospital building was purchased by Covington developer Esther Johnson in 1994. She had plans to convert it to apartments. Previously senior housing organizations had considered it for a nursing home and/or retirement apartments. As of 2004, nothing has happened as the former hospital sits silently vacant, collecting dust, overgrown, and rotting on the outside, awaiting a new Mary Wilson to arrive.
by Mike Sweeney