Saturday, January 24, 2015

She Died at Pittsburgh's Columbia Hospital

Genealogy: Pittsburgh's Columbia Hospital
My husband's 2nd great-grandmother, Nancy Gamble Kirkendall, died on this day in 1918. She lived in Saltsburg, Indiana County, Pennsylvania,  but was admitted to Columbia Hospital in the Wilkinsburg area of Pittsburgh for gallstone surgery. She died a few days after the operation.

Nancy was a 75-year-old widow who had lost her husband a few years earlier in 1915 due to a terrible accident. Thomas Roland Kirkendall was riding a horse home to Saltsburg from his farm in Avonmore, Westmoreland County, when he was struck by a speeding car and died of a skull fracture.

I don't know much about Columbia Hospital. In fact, I hadn't heard of it until I saw it on Nancy's death certificate. The Historic Pittsburgh website has a few publications that indicate it opened in 1906. It became part of Forbes Health System and then closed in the early 1980s after a new hospital was built across the street named Forbes Metro. (Since it existed for almost 80 years, I was clearly a self-absorbed teenager not to have heard of it!)

Thomas and Nancy had seven children, one of whom was my husband's great-grandmother, Anna Kirkendall Stewart.

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