Mon, Feb. 17

Verde Heritage 1939: COTTONWOOD; Marcus J. Lawrence Memorial Clinic

"To perpetuate the memory of her son in the part of the world he best loved, Mrs. Carrie J. Lawrence, of Washington, D. C., will build and liberally endow a free clinic for indigents and medical research in the town of Cottonwood, it was learned here [in Prescott] today with the filing of articles of incorporation of the non-profit corporation by J. H. Morgan, Mrs. Lawrence's attorney."

"Plans for the clinic have been prepared by the Phoenix architectural firm of Gilmore and Ekman. Actual construction of the structure, which itself will dominate the main business district of Cottonwood, is expected to be underway by July 1. The building will cost $25,000."

"The institution will be known as the 'Marcus J. Lawrence Memorial Clinic,' named in honor of the wealthy Verde Valley cattleman who was killed here [in Prescott] 13 months ago in a fight for which Ernesto Lira, Prescott slot machine operator, is serving a term in the state penitentiary. Lawrence, prominent in eastern circles, came west, saw Yavapai County and decided to make his home here, purchasing large holdings in the V-Bar-V cattle ranch in the Verde Valley, as well as building a ranch home known as Jan-Mar, in the same district."

"Speaking for the board of directors of the memorial clinic, Mr. Morgan said that the project was the express wish of Mrs. Lawrence."

"'Mrs. Lawrence, who heads the board of trustees which presently includes Dr. A. C. Carlson, of Jerome, and myself, is building the clinic and providing a very liberal trust fund for its continued operation and research. She is prompted in the move by her knowledge of her late son's love for the Verde Valley and his genuine interest in the people thereabout. The Marcus J. Lawrence Memorial Clinic will endeavor to provide free clinical and medical services for those people residing in the Verde district who might otherwise be deprived of modern medical facilities and attention. There will be a medical research department doing work in a needed field of medicine,' Mr. Morgan said."

"He revealed that a director has been selected, but stated that announcement of the person's name would be 'premature' at this date."

"The clinic will be located on the main street in Cottonwood about 2 blocks from the nearly-completed Community building. Present plans call for its opening in the fall."

(Prescott Evening Courier; Monday, June 5, 1939; pages 1 and 8.)

Marcus J. Lawrence Memorial Clinic, Inc., a non-profit hospital/health care organization, was incorporated on June 2, 1939. (Arizona Corporation Commission.)

Marcus J. Lawrence Memorial Clinic was dedicated and formally opened on October 29, 1939.

Due to the expansion of the clinic to become a hospital, the name was changed to the Marcus J. Lawrence Memorial Hospital on April 24, 1941. The name remained the same after the hospital moved to its new and current location. The name was changed on March 10, 1999, when it became the Verde Valley Medical Center. (Arizona Corporation Commission.)

MARCUS JAY LAWRENCE was born at Cleveland, Ohio, on July 19, 1907. He is the son of Mortimer J. and Carrie (Snyder) Lawrence. He married Irma Jane Stout. The Marcus Jay and Jane (Stout) Lawrence divorce hearings were in the court at Prescott from January 11 to 15, 1938. The death of Marcus J. Lawrence at Prescott on May 11, 1939, was determined to be a homicide. (Sharlot Hall Museum Library and Archives.)

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