Old Marine Hospital

Important New Update: April 2019. 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. 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: See the Louisville Marine Hospital, which I visited in September of 2021. 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. Also, see the west side of Marine Avenue from 2021.

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the above elevation is from the south; also of interest is that the original ‘cloister’ seen in the Compton and Dry has been replaced by three wings arranged in a fan-like, institutional plan by the turn of the century.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.

71 Comments Add yours

  1. Tom Maher-Kirkwood says:

    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.

    1. Chris Naffziger says:

      Interesting, Tom. But they were owned by the government?

      1. Tom Maher-Kirkwood says:

        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).


      Received my original birth certificate. My birth mother gave 3740 Marine Ave as her permanent address. I was born to a shirley Kandt, April 1. 1963. I’m looking for any family members.

  2. charlene says:

    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.

    1. linda creech says:

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

  3. John Jackson says:

    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?

    1. Chris Naffziger says:

      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!

    2. Tom Maher - Kirkwood MO says:

      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.

    3. liza says:

      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.

      1. Tom Maher - Kirkwood says:

        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.

        1. Chris Naffziger says:

          Yeah, during the Civil War it also housed wounded soldiers.

      2. Greg says:

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

  4. linda creech says:

    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

    1. Linda hedrick says:

      tiffanybryant@live.com or 6183186539

    2. Georgia says:

      Have you tried looking on facebook? Even if she married, a lot of women keep their maiden name and add a hyphen then their last name. Just saying cause that’s how I found someone I was looking for

  5. linda says:

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

  6. P. Hansen says:

    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.

    1. Stephanie says:

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

      1. p hansen says:

        When and where was your mother born?

        1. Lisa Carter says:

          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.

          1. Bernice Tullock says:

            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.

          2. Linda hedrick says:

            Email me or text 6183186539

          3. Linda hedrick says:

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

          4. Linda Creech hedrick says:

            Please text or call me 6183186539 tiffanybryant@live.com or lindacreech62@gmail.com

          5. Linda Creech hedrick says:

            Call me or text 6183186539

          6. Linda Creech hedrick says:

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

          7. Linda Creech hedrick says:

            Someone help me locate or contact Lisa Carter please

          8. Linda Creech hedrick says:

            What is your full name and location trying to contact you

    2. pamela kelley says:

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

    3. Joie says:

      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.

      1. Edie says:

        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

    4. Janeann Ward says:

      P. HansenAre 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. Kathy E. King-Burch says:

    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. Marcia wilson says:

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

    1. 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.

      1. C Zama says:

        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. Denise Muffly Elsey says:

    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.

    1. Chris Naffziger says:

      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.

      1. Linda Creech hedrick says:

        Please help me contact Lisa Carter from above

  10. Charlene says:

    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

    1. Chris Naffziger says:

      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. Lisa Starks says:

    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. Jen S. says:

    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. Wendell Whitter says:

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

    1. Edie says:

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

  14. Bob says:

    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. Susan Turner says:

    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.

    1. Linda says:

      I think lindell Blvd. Is or was a food stamp family service type building

  16. Martin Porter says:

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


    1. Darlene says:

      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. Darlene says:

    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.

    1. Linda says:

      I’m looking for records of my mothers being there late 1960s donna hedrick/ mcgilvary

  20. Linda creech says:

    Please contact me if anyone remembers donna hedrick had a baby girl late 1960s named linda stevecreech63@gmail.com

  21. JOHN PAUL JONES says:

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

  22. Linda says:

    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

    1. Linda says:

      Bryant* given name was Linda gail

  23. Linda says:

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

  24. Stefanie Richardson says:

    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.

    1. Chris Naffziger says:

      If you need to request or look for a birth certificate, you can order one in the Vital Records office of the Recorder of Deeds Office at the City of St. Louis:

  25. Mike Murawski says:

    Just found out that my mom was born here in 1948.

    1. Chris Naffziger says:

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

      1. Ronetta Sparks says:

        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

  26. Darlene B Mueller says:

    Hello, I just found out my mother was born at Booth Hospital on Christmas Day 1964. She was adopted at birth, she passed away in 2009, but I have been informed that my mother may have been a twin. Does anyone know how I could find out this information? Thanks

  27. W. White says:

    The third iteration of the New Orleans Marine Hospital had the same fan-like rear wings as the St. Louis Marine Hospital. They were constructed in 1883, when that hospital was constructed, and were one-story frame structures.

    The City of New Orleans New Orleans Historic District Landmarks Commission Designation Report for 210 State Street – the fourth New Orleans Marine Hospital – contains a history of that 1883 Marine Hospital, including an aerial view and fire insurance map. It is at this link: https://www.nola.gov/getattachment//HDLC/Calendar/Agendas/New-Orleans-Agendas/Commission/2015-(1)/6-11-2015-1-00-39-AM/Designation-Report-210-State-Street.pdf

    The aerial view has also been place on Wikipedia: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/1/14/New_Orleans_Marine_Hospital_1928.png/1280px-New_Orleans_Marine_Hospital_1928.png

    Those sources should give everyone a good idea of what the St. Louis Marine Hospital looked like from the latter decades of the 1800s until its demolition.

    1. W. White says:

      The Memphis Marine Hospital, constructed in 1884, also had fan-like rear wings but only two of them extending from the rear of the Executive Building. The Executive Building and Kitchen were both moved in the 1930s when the current Memphis Marine Hospital complex was constructed. The 1884 buildings are still extant on the site, along with the 1930s complex, some of which is occupied by the National Ornamental Metal Museum and some of which is abandoned.

      1. Chris Naffziger says:

        So interesting…I will have to go to Memphis next. It’s been over thirty years since I visited.

  28. Sharon Lavery says:

    My mother gave birth to stillborn premature baby boy at St. Louis Maternity Hospital in June 1939, according to his death certificate. It lists her address as 3740 Marine Place which seems to be the Salvation Army Hospital…home for unwed mothers. I would like to know why the birth was at the Maternity Hospital or did all the women living in the Salvation Army facility deliver in St. Louis Maternity Hospital.

  29. Dana says:

    Was this location a daycare facility in the 1980s? If so, I have some traumatic memories from going there at the age of 4. Does anyone have information on the childcare facility? When and why was it closed?

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