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CHI 100 Years of Service

American State Bank & Trust Company would like to recognize the 100th Anniversary of the former Mercy Medical Center, now CHI St. Alexius Health Williston, in our community. A hospital is an integral part of any community and Mercy/CHI has a very important history in our area.

W.S. Davidson Sr., former ASB&T Chairman of the Board had the pleasure of naming Mercy Hospital according an Anniversary Publication of Mercy Hospital. There are many stories to be told about how the Davidson Family supported the ministry of the Sisters of Mercy, not only in spirit, but in very practical ways. Mr. Davidson always made sure the hospital would thrive, both physically and financially, in difficult times.

W.S. Davidson Sr.

“The  people  of  Williston were very friendly to us. W.S. Davidson, Sr.,  Chairman of the Board  of  American State Bank, gave us financial assistance and he had the pleasure of  naming  Mercy  Hospital.”  (From  notes of  Sr. M. Alyosius).
     There  is  very  little in the archives  regarding  the enormous  debt owed to the Davidson Family. From the first day, the Davidson family supported the ministry of the Sisters of  Mercy not only in spirit but in very practical ways.  There were the stories of Sister Eugene mentioning in passing, of course, to Mr. Davidson,  “Things are going  well at the hospital, but  we haven’t  had meat  for a  week or so”. 
It was certainly of  no  coincidence  that  the  following day  several slaughtered steers would show up at  the hospital’s door.  Or take, for example, the story  of  equally difficult  times during the  depression when the  hospital  had  difficulty  meeting its payroll  and  paying its  bills.  At  the checks  approaching  $80,000  which  were  honored  by the  bank but which  the bank  literally sat on  until  the  hospital  could  make good through its cash balances.    
Being an  unassuming  man  who was  absolutely  committed  to the Sister’s ministry, Mr. Davidson took  little or  no credit  for his support of the Mercy Hospital  and  the Sisters and, indeed, suffered  the wrath of unhappy bank examiners. However, we are told in his own way Mr. Davidson gave the bank examiner his own  form of an education when his banking practices in support of the Sisters were questioned.

ASB&T always had strong ties to the hospital. Dr. E.J. Hagan Sr, the father of the ASB&T Director Emeritus Dr. E.J. Hagan Jr., began practicing medicine in Williston in 1905. In an Anniversary Publication of Mercy Hospital, it states “Mercy Hospital stands today as a monument to his interest in the city and concern for those in need of medical attention.”

Dr. Edward Jordan Hagan, Sr.

Dr. Edward Jordan Hagan Sr. was  a   medical man of  distinction  who  was not averse in his  day to  travelling many  miles  into  the country to  make  a  sick  call.
In  a  lifetime  which  required  extreme  self-sacrifice  as   a doctor of medicine in a growing  prairie town of  Williston, North Dakota.
Dr. Hagan  tilted  the scales  of   human  health  in many a patient’s favor by  disregarding  the  danger  of  tedious and time-consuming modes of travel to reach an isolated bedside.
   Dr. Hagan  was  born  in 1871  in Zurich, Ontario, and  began  his medical career in Williston in 1905.  Dr. Hagan was an honor graduate of  Trinity Medical School  at  the  University of  Toronto  and attended  schools  of  medicine in New York,  Chicago and London.
In 1920, at  the  urging  of  Dr. Hagan, the Sisters  of  Mercy established the Mercy Hospital of  Williston.  Though the  untiring effort of Dr. Hagan  along  with Father  E.P. O’Neill, the Sisters of  Mercy extended their ministry from Devils Lake,  North Dakota, to  found the  Mercy  Hospital of  Williston.
   In 1913,  Dr.  Hagan  married  Ms. Joan  Garvey in Peterborough, Ontario.  Their  four   children  are  Dr.  Edward   Hagan Jr.,  also  a former   member   of  the  active  staff  of   the  Mercy  Hospital  of Williston and currently involved  in a  number  of  activities  within Mercy  Medical   Center*;   Mrs.  Peter  Nygaard    (Kathleen),  Mrs.  W.G.  Beddow  (Eveleen), and Genevieve Hagan.
Dr. Hagan  died in 1928  but  Mercy  Hospital stands  today as  a monument to his interest in the city  and concern for those in  need of medical attention.

*Dr Edward Hagan Jr passed away in 2008.