St. Margaret’s Hospital, a 188-licensed bed facility, was founded in November of 1903 by seven sisters from the Sisters of Mary of the Presentation, a group of nuns expelled from France by an anti-religious government.
At the turn of the century, Spring Valley was a large coal mining camp with a population of 6,214 people. Laws governing the protection of miners were few, and accidents and deaths were frequent.
The area's great need for a hospital facility was recognized by the Rev. John Power, pastor of the Immaculate Conception Church. He appealed to the Sisters of Mary of the Presentation to staff the new hospital. Twenty-five acres of land and a two-story frame house were donated by Father Power, and so it began.
When the first seven sisters arrived in November, 1903, they were practically without funds, and only a few of them spoke English. The little hospital was nearly unfurnished and contained only a five-bed ward and one private room. The building was illuminated by kerosene lamps and heated with coal stoves. The success of the new venture seemed doubtful. However, from this humble beginning, St. Margaret’s has grown to become the community care center that we know today.