Celebrating a tradition of excellent personalized care & respect since 1937.

MGH History

Morton General Hospital is a 25-bed Critical Access Hospital. We boast of a very new, modern facility with emergency physicians on site 24 hours a day, a modern diagnostic imaging department, medical laboratory, general surgery, out-patient clinic area, physical therapy and a fully-equipped emergency department.

1937 Mgh Adjusted

Morton General Hospital, built in 1937

The hospital was originally started in 1937. The 11-bed facility was operated by Dr. C.B. Ritchie. Nurse Gladys Howlett and her family lived in one of two houses that were connected with a walkway. In addition to nursing care, Howlett was also responsible for preparing the patient's meals as well as washing the hospital's laundry.

In 1938, Dr. Ritchie was joined by Dr. Leonard Asmundson. Several years later, Doctor LeGrande Anderson purchased Dr. Ritchie’s interests and formed a partnership with Dr. Asmundson. In 1946, Dr. Anderson purchased the hospital and operated it alone until Dr. Brandt Bede became co-owner in September of that year. Four years later, Dr. J. Arnold Wark replaced Dr. Anderson as co-owner.

Doctors Bede and Wark owned and operated the hospital jointly for 28 years. The partnership constructed a new hospital in 1952 to replace the 1930s facility.

1950s Hospital Adjusted

Morton General Hospital, built in 1937

Lewis County Hospital District No. 1 (a municipal corporation) was formed in 1978 in order to purchase the privately-owned hospital. The hospital district extends east to White Pass, west to Mayfield Lake encompassing the towns of Mossyrock and Cinebar and north to include Mineral. In addition to Morton General Hospital, the district also owns and operates the Randle Medical Clinic located just 20 miles east on U.S. Highway 12, Riffe Medical Center located just 12 miles west and the specialty clinic located within the hospital.

In 1992, the hospital district constructed a 30-bed Long Term Care Center addition to the hospital. The wing was later converted to serve as the hospital's patient rooms.

The 1952-brick structure served the community until 2006 when our new, modern facility was completed. The community celebrated the grand opening of the new hospital in January 2007. The new construction provided much-needed space for advancements in the imaging department, laboratory, cafeteria… Essentially, we grew in every way but in patient-bed count.

Our Critical Access Hospital status is the determination by the federal and state governments that access to the hospital is critical to the residents of East Lewis County. The designation, which dramatically influences Medicare and Medicaid’s compensation rate, limits us to 25 Acute-Care beds. However, the number proves to be adequate and enables us to provide the professional, personalized care that we are so proud of.