MARYVILLE, Mo. — Community members gathered Thursday to celebrate the quasquicentennial anniversary of Maryville’s hospital, which, although it’s changed names and locations, has retained its mission and presence for 125 years.

“I’m honored to be part of the team that is going to hopefully lead us into the next 125 years,” said Nate Blackford, president of Mosaic Medical Center - Maryville, at the community social Thursday.

Under its new name since April, the hospital originally began its life in a renovated convent on Sept. 8, 1894, as St. Joseph’s Hospital, founded by seven Sisters of St. Francis at the urging of the local priest.

At the ceremony Thursday, Blackford, local officials and current and former employees said that although the facility has moved and changed names multiple times since then, the spirit has remained the same.

“The mission that I was encouraged by, was revealing the healing presence of God,” said state Rep. Allen Andrews, who presented a resolution from the Missouri House to Blackford in honor of the occasion. “I was thinking, what is it about this place that has remained for 125 years? … I believe that it was the acknowledgment of God through all of these 125 years, calling upon Him for His guidance and direction, and that healing presence that only God can bring about. And I think the second thing is, this place is filled with people who believe in the first. People who really, truly care about others.”

Maryville Mayor Rachael Martin also presented Blackford with a resolution from the city of Maryville commemorating the anniversary, and a resolution from the Missouri State Senate was also on display.

At Thursday’s social, the hospital showed off the hospital’s history with artifacts, news clippings and pictures from across the institution’s 125-year history.

This week, the hospital has celebrated with a number of internal events and the public social on Thursday.

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