August 12, 2020 - Shelby County Historian Walter Bounds shares a glimpse back to 1991 when the medical equipment in the closed Shelby General Hospital was shipped to Ukraine, Russia. The project was done by the Texas Baptist Men's organization who purchased the equipment, disassembled it, and shipped it to the Ukraine as a humanitarian act.
The 15 minutes of video gives a glimpse inside the now gone old hospital since it was torn down this month after the property was sold to Kelby McCall of Lufkin under KMJR Properties, LLC. The county accepted the offer from McCall during their May 20, 2020 meeting for $150,001 with the condition of the clearing of the property.
The building served the county after the hospital closed as a location for the county's probation department. However, the property had deteriorated over the years and had become uninhabitable without major renovations and the county chose to move probation to new locations.
Shelby County opened Shelby General Hospital on Hurst Street on October 1, 1959 – a modern one-story brick building with 39 beds. All local doctors serviced this hospital but primarily Dr. L. S. Oates and his son, Dr. Steve Oates. Within ten years the hospital was expanded but the voters were expressing displeasure about the debt. The hospital closed in the 1980s.
This video shows local men from First Baptist Church, Center, Texas who volunteered sweat equity to the project. The clip opens with Wayne Christian who is now a Texas Railroad Commissioner saying, "We're going to Russia with Love from Center, Texas."