Old Marine Hospital

Important New Update: April 2019. After having contacted the Salvation Army, I received a response stating that anyone looking for records for the Booth Hospital in St. Louis should contact Susan Mitchem at (703) 684-5529 at the Salvation Army national office. Please let me know if that number does not work.

Update: Revised in August 2018 with new images and higher quality images, new research and edited copy. See a nearby street with houses contemporary to the hospital from the fall of 2019. Please note: Those looking for records or loved ones from the Salvation Army Booth Memorial Hospital should know that institution was further down Marine Avenue, in a building that is now a school.

Located off of Marine Avenue, just south of Broadway, the Marine Hospital no doubt was built in that location to take advantage of the breezes off of the river, as it was thought to be healthy in the Nineteenth Century.  Built in 1855 for merchant marine sailors who did not have a place to call home, the buildings stood at least until the 1950s, when they were torn down for a massive warehouse for the U.S. Archives. The surrounding neighborhood of Marine Villa is named after this landmark.

Image from the Library of Congress

As can be seen in the Compton and Dry map from 1876, the building originally featured a cupola, similar to another Marine hospital in Louisville; I’m wondering if there was more or less a standard hospital design with slight regional variations.  The Sanborn map reveals that the above elevation is from the south; also of interest is that the original ‘cloister’ seen in the Compton and Dry has been replaced by three wings arranged in a fan-like, institutional plan by the turn of the century.

Marine Hospital Sanborn

The government moved records here from a temporary site at the Butler Brothers Warehouse.  The current building and property is no longer owned by the government, and it is a massive, very long building, of little architectural interest.


  1. The assorted Marine Hospitals built around the United states were for civilian mariners – not for members of the Marine Corps – after all, that is what the Base military hospitals and Veterans Hospitals are for. Obviously it was pressed into military service during the Civil War, as the hospital at Jefferson Barracks could not handle the large influx of wounded.
    When the Old Marine Hospital above was torn down, it was replaced by the one in Kirkwood, on Couch at the end of Woodbine.
    This in turn was closed in 1954, when the Federal Government sold it to the Sisters of St. Louis (for $1!) – it was then renamed St. Joseph’s.
    This lasted until 2009 when it was closed and morphed into St. Clare’s in Fenton. It was then demolished and turned into the big buck and frou-frou Aberdeen Heights.
    I miss the old St. Joe’s – it was only blocks from my home.

      • Yes – it dated to 1798 and was the forerunner of the Public Health Service. The Nixon Administration pretty well put paid to the PHS (early “privatizing…). See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marine_Hospital
        I presume the Kirkwood location was closed because of other sourcing of treatments?
        Presumably the Coast Guard personnel health care was shifted to one of the VA hospitals – or more likely to Scott AFB, which has always had a large facility to take care of all military personnel (in 1954, the Navy still had a base at Lambert – and of course the Army/Air Force/Marine Corps Reserve units had active duty staffing (not the Army or Air National Guard units, though, as they were under state control).

  2. The original photo looks a lot like Booth Memorial Hospital that was run by the Salvation Army at one time as an unwed mother home.

    • im searching for my sister that was born there linda gail hedrick in the date range of 1964/1967

  3. I was born at the Marine Hospital, according to my birth certificate, in July of 1945. Was that particular Marine Hospital the one in the city described above or had the hospital moved to Kirkwood by that time? A classmate at SLUH has done research on the hospital location which later became the Aberdeen in Kirkwood, but I am still not sure where the Marine Hospital I was born in was located. I assumed the city because that is where my Mom lived at the time. I always thought there was an association with the Marine Corps because my Dad was in the Marines in the 1930s and early 1940s, but apparently that is not the case. Can you help me?

    • You know, it’s a lot harder than I thought to figure out the date of the hospital’s closure. Does anyone know out there? Thanks!

    • John –
      Will a Baby Bill from ’63 accept help from a Cadet from ’58…?
      The new Marine Hospital here in Kirkwood opened in 1940, replacing the old one in the City, so Couch Ave. is where you were born.
      The OLD Marine Hospital was razed shortly after the new one opened.
      Probably the only reason you were born at the Marine Hospital was because during the War all hospitals were stressed – it was originally only for civilian mariners and not the general public and not service members (and not for obstetrics). Service members would have been cared for pre-war by primarily the Army hospital at Jefferson Barracks (this was before the VA hospital). The JB hospital itself was stressed also during the ’40s, as the post was quite a large reception center during the War.

      OT – but since your Dad was in the Corps during the ’30s – did he ever serve in Asia pre-war? One of my great-uncles was in the Yangzte Squadron during the late ’20s and ’30s.

    • The Salvation Army Hospital and home for unwed mothers was always on Marine Avenue in the city limits. Never moved to Kirkwood. You are confusing it with the original St. joseph’s Hospital, which became St. Clare’s. St. Joseph”s(originally in Kirkwood) has been razed,

      Aberdeen Heights now sits on that site. St. Joseph’s Hospital was originally a veterans hospital many years ago.

      • St. Joe’s predecessor on Couch was the aforementioned Marine Hospital; as mentioned, it was for civilian mariners – not service personnel. The only time it cared for service personnel was during the war. And it did not care for veterans.

      • Which building was the Salvation Army Booth Memorial Hospital and the home for unwed mothers? Were they the same buildings?

  4. can anyone help with a sister search i dont know where to turn she was at booth i was told 1964/1967 a girl name of linda gail hedrick? mother donna l. hedrick born 1949

  5. Please email me searching for sister born in Saint Louis Missouri at booth memorial hospital 1965/1967

  6. Booth Memorial hospital was located at 3740 Marine Avenue in St. Louis Missouri.

    It is now the Chinese School. Since the hospital closed down it has changed hands several times. I was born at booth. wrote and got my records. email me at above address if you have not located your information as of yet.

    • P.Hansen I am currently trying to help my mom get her birth records….can you help?

        • I am trying to locate my birth mother. Her name: Lorena Lynne Hendricker, She would have been born in 1949. According to my birth certificate her permanent address is listed as: 3740 Marine Ave., St. Louis, MO. I was born at the Jewish Hospital, 216 S. Kingshighway, St. Louis, MO on 6/19/1965 at 6:11pm. She would have been 16 at the time of my birth. Any help is appreciated.

          • My sisters and a cousin were born at Booth Memorial Hospital and Home for Unwed Mothers, 3740 Marine Avenue St Louis Mo. A lot of the births at this hospital were to mothers who relinquished their babies for adoption… However, they also delivered babies whose mothers were married and had insurance. I have persoal knowledge and proof of both which occured from 1951 thru 1958 at this location, so it is not heresay. MO has an adoption registry and they do contact between adoptees and birth mothers or birth families if each party has registered.

          • That’s sounds like my.mother please contact me asap

          • I’m in the process of testing DNA with (ancestry) DNA please check if possible (ancestry. Com)

          • Someone help me locate or contact Lisa Carter please

          • What is your full name and location trying to contact you

    • I was born at Booth Memorial in 1953, where can I write to get birth record?

    • I was born in Booth Memorial in 1960. My biological mother gave me up for adoption. I just recently received my certificate of live birth. Just trying to get records. If you can help, that would be nice. Trust me, I am working on this myself and looking for any help I can get. I called Virginia as that is where Salvation Army told me that the records for Booth had been stored for years.

      • My mother had two live births in St. Louis mo which she gave up for adoption, they were both boys, I am not sure of the birth years but would have been between 1958-1961

    • P. Hansen—Are you still available to help someone get birth records from Booth?? I was born there in June 1952 and recently got my original MO birth certificate. Thanks😊

  7. Hello,
    Yes, I am trying to get my own birth record from Booth Memorial Hospital where I was born, but, my mother was married, I’ve been told that her, and nearly died, and that my father was asked to choose which one of us should live. However, we both made it!
    Can anyone help me find it??

  8. Could married woman deliverer at booth and keep their baby? The year would have been 1950.

    • Anyone delivering at Booth had the option of keeping their baby or relinquishing him or her. I gave birth there in 1975 and left with my son. There was no push by them for mother’s to relinquish their babies as there were at other unwed mother homes.

      • That is incorrect. My mother gave birth to a daughter and they would not allow her to keep her baby if she did not have a home to take her to and a parent or grandparent to come pick her and baby up, fill out paperwork and vouch that they had a stable home for her and baby, but her parents turned their back on her and refused to come to hospital and help her. Therefore the organization stated she had to place her baby up for adoption.

  9. My mother gave birth to my 1/2 sister in August 25, 1945 A.T. Booth Memorial Hospital and stayed in a home for unwed Mothers in St Louis. I understand this building has been torn down. Are there any historic photos in the archives of this building inside and out that I could locate. I am planning on traveling to Missouri next weekend.

    • Denise, I’ve edited and corrected my original comment. The Booth Hospital is still standing and is a Chinese language immersion school at 3740 Marine Avenue.

  10. The MARINE HOSPITAL and the Salvation Army Hospital were two different buildings in two separate locations. The Marine Hospital is gone…the building where the Salvation Army or Booth Memorial Hospital still remains, having worked there in the 70’s

    • Thank you, Charlene! I realized I need to clean up this post–I have all sorts of incorrect information that needs to be corrected.

  11. O was born at booth memorial hospital in Feb 3rd 1965. My original birth certificate has my mother’s name as Eileen Edith Finch. I am trying to find any family members.

  12. My husband was born there in 1948 to parents who were married and he was not given up for adoption. We have marriage records, birth records and autosomal as well as “Y” dna tests as proof.

  13. I was born at Booth Memorial in 1959 and would love to obtain the records. Any assistance is appreciated.

    • My mother gave birth to two live male babies in St. Louis mo in the late 1950’s – 1961 that she adopted out to good catholic homes through the catholic unwed mother home

  14. As a clarification, the Order that purchased and ran the hospital on Couch Avenue for many years was the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, not the Sisters of St. Louis.

  15. I recently received a copy of my original birth certificate. It list my mother’s name as Patracia Ann Miller. She was 23 when i was born 1/30/60. It states I was born at Booth Memorial Hospital. It shows the Patracia’s permanent address 3740 Marine Ave. However, it also list 3733 Lindell which is an apartment building. My birth mother gave me the name of Millicent Ann Miller.
    It make sense that Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet may have purchased years ago since I was adopted through Catholic Charities. I would love to learn more about my mother.

  16. Looking for a cousin born at the Booth Hospital St. Louis in Dec 1949. Where can I obtain records? Thanks


    • It will be your original birth certificate . The laws changed this year and you can request your original one. Go on the Missouri Bureau of vital statistics . I got mine !!!

  18. I was born Dec . 22, 1966 at Booth Menorial and my mother’s name is Brenda A Madison . My birth name was Stacey L. Madison . Please help me if you know anything. She was 15 yr old at that time. I’m trying to find her . My email is brandonn_pj@yahoo.com

  19. I was born at Booth Hospital April 1st 1961, my Mother had agreed to adoption but changed her mind at the last minute, the sisters were not happy, and my Grandmother and Mother had to take me by a little force, my Mother and myself almost died there, she spent 30 days trying to recover, I left there with one side of my head smashed in and my face one big purple bruise all because the doctor wanted to go home and forced my Mother to have me right then. Back in 1979 I contacted them because I wanted my real birth records not the plain ones given to children who are adopted, they told me they could not release any info and in fact half of my record was destroyed in the flood they had when the water pipes broke. I would like all my birth records, I was not adopted.

  20. My father Otey Sherman Jones delivered babies there and played Santa Claus in the early 50s

  21. Looking for my sister born at booth around 1966 mother Donna hedrick-brysnt-mcgilvary-taylor/Tyler/York please contact me 618.. 318.. 0375 Linda creech

  22. Donna Louis hedrick 07/06/1949 mother may have been adopted through Catholic charities ran by salvation army

  23. I have a couple of requests, I’m not sure what hospital I was born at, I know it was in St. Louis and I know it was a hospital for unwed mothers. My mother did not give me up for adoptions she has since passed away. My birthdate is April 30, 1965. How do I go about getting my original birth certificate? Also my mother had a boy two year sbefore me that she did give up for adoption his birthdate is March 8, 1963. I would love to gather as much info as I can. I just don’t know how to go about it.

    • Wow, that’s so interesting, Mike! I knew your parents grew up in South City.

      • I’m looking for my sister. She was adopted and she was born in Booth hospital. I got told her name is Angie she would be 60 this year. I don’t know if the adopted parents changed her first name. I would love to meet her she has got a niece that I would love for her to meet Her birth mother wants to meet her. If you are on hear please contact me even if you don’t want to meet your birth mother at least meet me. You have great cousins to that would love to meet you to. You have an aunt. You have a lot of family that would like to see you. Ronetta your sister

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