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Hospital history

Our mission of providing healthcare to the Franklin community can be traced back to 1923.

Dedicated community hospital in Franklin, North Carolina

More than a century ago, Dr. Furman Angel set up a clinic in the old Cunningham Building in historic downtown Franklin, using only a few rooms on the second floor. In 1924, to further his mission, he also purchased the Cope Elias house, located on the present hospital grounds, and started Angel Hospital. The Cope Elias house served as the hospital until 1926, when a new hospital building was completed. This facility served as a residence for nurses, until it was destroyed in a fire several years later.

The growth and demand for hospital services were so intense that a new wing was added to the hospital in 1927. Furman's younger brother, Dr. Edgar Angel, joined the staff of the hospital in 1932, and the name was changed to Angel Brothers Hospital. In 1940, the hospital underwent several additions and enhancements, and Edgar changed the name to Angel Hospital, Inc. In 1956, the facility grew again, becoming a 56-bed hospital.

Before his death in January 1966, Edgar recognized the need for a new facility, and knew that a community effort was necessary to obtain government funding. The hospital was sold to the community, an undertaking that was not completed until after Edgar's death. During this long process, the Angel family donated a portion of the value of the hospital, while additional funds came from the A.B. Slagle estate. This estate gave the hospital the land now known as Mill Creek.

The remaining funds came from community donations, which raised over $1 million. This project — known as Operation Heartbeat — provided matching funds for federal government grants and Hill-Burton loans. The hospital was then incorporated as a nonprofit organization in November 1967, with a self-perpetuating board of trustees under the name of Angel Community Hospital.

Over the years, there have been numerous updates to our buildings and practices, in an effort to remain current with technology. In 1974, a new addition to the existing hospital was built, costing approximately $6 million. It provided a total of 80 beds — 59 inpatient beds and 21 psychiatric beds. In 1991, a new two-story building was added to the back of the hospital to house the surgical suite and the intensive care unit. The front of the hospital was renovated in 1996 to provide needed space for the business office, medical records, cafeteria, laboratory and administration.

In 1996, the name of the hospital was changed to Angel Medical Center, Inc., to recognize our progress and accomplishments in healthcare. In 1998, more space was added to the back of the hospital, to accommodate the growing demand for outpatient medicine, same-day surgery and hospital surgical areas. The emergency department moved into a new addition in the back of the hospital, and the radiology department was moved to the former emergency area, which had been renovated as part of a 2002 addition.

Then, finally, in 2022, Angel Medical Center moved to a leading-edge facility at 124 One Center Court in Franklin. The current 30-bed hospital features three operating rooms, dedicated endoscopy and radiology spaces, and a 17-bed emergency department with two trauma bays.

Throughout our history, above all, our dedicated doctors, staff and volunteers use our mission as the core of their work — providing compassionate and superior healthcare to all.