On December 5, 1919, the University bought a four-acre property which had been owned by Dr. George G. Groff, and which was adjacent to the eastern boundary of the College. The University paid $8,000.00. Dr. Groff was a physician and scientist who became Professor of Organic Sciences in 1879, and served as Acting President in 1889. He founded the Biology Department and was an advocate of co-education. Dr. Groff had offered to sell “the whole or a portion of” the property to the University in 1909, but the University would not accept the terms that he proposed. The following year his widow offered to sell the property for $8,500.00 but the university did not purchase it. From 1912 until 1918, the Sigma Chi fraternity had occupied the house on the property. Dr. Groff's heirs had sold the house to the fraternity, but the University through the efforts of Rush H. Kress secured it. From its purchase until it was remodeled as an infirmary, the house was leased to the Kappa Delta Rho fraternity.
Groff House Remodeled As The Ziegler Infirmary
In 1926, at the same time that they decided that the former Groff house would be remodeled as an infirmary, the Trustees voted that “a medical fee of $6.00 each semester be collected from all students” beginning with the 1927-28 Academic Year. Charles Bolton and Son of Philadelphia drew the plans for remodeling and University workmen did the construction. The following year, Mrs. S. Lewis Ziegler made a gift of $29,906.00 for the house and the equipment for an infirmary in memory of her husband, and the house was remodeled on the condition “that no portion of the …building…be occupied as living quarters for the resident physician, but that all its present space should be used for the purposes of the infirmary.” Mrs. Ziegler also provided $22,500.00 for an endowment for the infirmary. The infirmary was equipped with fifteen beds and an isolation unit. On June 5, 1928, the Ziegler Memorial Infirmary was dedicated to Dr. S. Lewis Ziegler, Class of 1880, famous in the optical world as the developer of instruments for the treatment of eye diseases. He was also a Trustee from 1916 to 1926.
Ziegler Infirmary in 1945
In 1945, there was a $15.00 infirmary fee which “...cover[ed] the services of the college physician, registered nurse, use of the infirmary, meals, and the cost of medicines dispensed from the college supply in all ordinary cases of sickness.” Students could stay in the infirmary for one week each semester, but for “...occupancy of the infirmary beyond one week each semester the charge [was] $2 a day.” X-ray examinations and special medicines were not covered by the fee.
In 1945, the office of Dr. Lester Fowle, the University Physician, was located in the infirmary. Dr. Fowle was assisted by a nurse who lived on campus. The Medical Officer for the V-12 Unit and two pharmacist's mates were there also.
"the whole or a portion of" BT '82-20, p. 252 (6/22/1909)
"a medical fee of..." BT '20-'50, '20-'50, 6/8/1926, p. 1
"that no portion of..." ib., 6/27/1927, p. 1
"...cover[ed] the services..." CAT '44-'45 p. 134
"occupancy of the infirmary...", ib.
The major sources for the information on this page are the Minutes of the Board of Trustees of Bucknell University, 1882-1920 (BT '82-'20) and the Minutes of the Board of Trustees of Bucknell University, 1920-1950 (BT '20-'50). Additional sources are Memorials of Bucknell University, 1919-1931(MBU '19-'31) ;"Directory of Faculty, Officers of Administration and Ship's Company of Bucknell University, November, 1945"; the Bucknell University Bulletin, Catalogue Issue, Ninety-Ninth Year, 1944-1945 (CAT '44-'45) and the Bucknell University Bulletin, Catalogue Issue, One Hundredth Year, January, 1946 (CAT '45-'46).
This building in other years: 1965
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