Dr. Herman Dismuke holding Brenda McCormick, whom he had delivered a year earlier, 27 April 1947
Ocilla’s first hospital, with 20 beds, was opened by Dr. Herman Dismuke* and Dr. Gabe Willis in 1914. It originally featured wrap-around porches. Jamie Wilcox Lovett and Cindy Griffin note that this was built by their great-grandfather, Robert Toombs Woolsey. It was made obsolete by a newer facility in the early 1930s and is now a private residence.
*Dr. Dismuke was the most beloved physician in Irwin County during his lifetime. He delivered thousands of babies, promoted modern health and sanitary practices through his work with the clinic at Irwinville Farms during the Great Depression and served as the county doctor.
Sandra Crouch Irons writes: My grandfather, Thomas A. Crouch, purchased this building to house his wife and family which included 7 children the first of which was born in 1898 and the last in 1911. I’m not exactly sure as to when he purchased the sanitarium, but I do have photographs of my father, Joseph P. Crouch, outside the back porch when he was about 12 which would have made the date around 1923. The sanitarium was never replaced around the 1930s because the Crouch family lived there. I am aware that my grandfather remodeled some of the interior, but the exterior remained basically the same until it was sold somewhere around the late 1980s/early 90s. I lived in and grew up in this house from 1954, when my father retired from the Marines and moved back to Ocilla, until I went to college in 1965. My husband, Stephen Irons, our daughter, Jennifer, and I continued to visit my parents and Aunt Joree who continued to live here until the house was sold.