Arkansas November 05, 2017
13 Staggering Photos Of An Abandoned Hospital Hiding In Arkansas
Once a happy, family owned business, a small clinic in Arkansas has stayed standing but slowly decays as it weathers the relentless years. The Verser Clinic Hospital evokes pleasant memories and reminds people of the family’s dedication to helping others. Learn a little history and peek into what still stands of the clinic as we take a photo tour.
Keep in mind the Verser Clinic Hospital is locked and guarded by law enforcement. Trespassing isn’t cool.
About 20 miles south of Jonesboro resides the small town of Harrisburg. The Verser Clinic Hospital has solemnly stood since 1949. The clinic isn't necessarily hidden but you probably wouldn't drive by it unless you live in town.
The clinic opened in January of 1949 by Dr. Walter William and his son Dr. Joe Verser. Before the clinic, the building had been the First Baptist Church of Harrisburg Arkansas.
The history of Dr. William W. Verser is pretty interesting. He came to practice medicine in Harrisburg in 1914. If a patient needed surgery, he would ride with them by train to reach Paragould. He would drop the patient off with the Paragould surgeon and head back Harrisburg to continue working. Often Dr. Verser would be paid in eggs and potatoes.
The clinic has 25 rooms and three rooms in the back were used as an apartment by Dr. Joe Verser and his wife. They lived there until about 1962. It wasn't uncommon for patients to discuss their treatment with the doctor at his kitchen table.
Dr. Joe Verser joined his father on the Arkansas State Medical Board. He didn't retire as secretary of the board until 1991. Many current Arkansas practitioners have their license signed by him.
Dr. Joe Verser was one of the 18 founding members of Arkansas Blue Cross Blue Shield. Originally, benefits were only $1.85 and covered hospital stays and surgeries. Family benefits were $4.35 no matter the size of the family.
The clinic had all the latest technologies: basal metabolism machine, electrocardiograph, UV light equipment, diathermy, and x-ray facilities. The clinic also had a delivery room and nursery, laundry room, kitchen, and an elevator.
The nurses were able to speak to patients through a speaker system set up in each room. At first, lunches served by the nurses came from a local restaurant and leftovers would be reheated for dinner.
Even after the clinic closed, the Verser legacy wasn't over. Dr. Joe Verser treated patients at the hospital in Wynne or at Jonesboro's Methodist Hospital.
He served as chief of staff at the Jonesboro hospital from 1978-'79. Besides treating illnesses, he also delivered more than 5,000 babies.
When asked about his deliveries he said, "It wasn’t that I was that good, I was just cheap, affordable, and available." His first delivered baby earned him $2.
Dr. Joe Verser passed away in 1994 while working at his desk. He died at 81 and had practiced medicine for 57 years.
Nearly all of the clinic's original equipment can been viewed at the Marked Tree Delta Area Museum in the neighboring town. The clinic is on the National Register of Historical Places and efforts are being made to restore and reopen the building as a museum.
Arkansas has so many inspiring hard workers like the Verser’s. It’s a relief to know all the hard work put into the clinic won’t be forgotten.
For more hauntingly beautiful abandoned places, take a photo tour of