Warner Brown Hospital

City/Town: El Dorado
Location Class: Hospital
Year Built: 1921
Year Abandoned: 2015
Status: For SaleAbandoned
Photographer: James Kirkendall

In 1919 construction began on the initial portion of El Dorado’s hospital. It was financed by Paul Brown and local businessmen. The hospital cost approximately $300,000 and was named in memory of Paul Brown’s Father. On January 10, 1921 the doors of the Warner Brown Hospital were opened and in full operation with 68 patient beds and employing 10 people. On Nov 30, 1927 the administration of the Warner Brown Hospital was shifted to the Catholic Sisters of Mercy in Little Rock.

El Dorado’s population grew rapidly due to industry in the oil boom in the 1920’s. At El Dorado’s peak the population was over 20,000. In the 1940’s the Sisters of Mercy realized an expansion program was needed. This expansion was to be funded by community donations, government grants, and the Sisters themselves. On June 13, 1954 the new annex was completed with a 130 bed capacity and hospital staff of 256.

On March 21, 1971 the Sisters of Mercy donated the hospital to the community of El Dorado and Union County. The community involved an advisory board who administrated the hospital as an Arkansas nonprofit corporation. The Arkansas Department of Health deemed the current property to be insufficient in space. In 1972 the advisory board contracted with The Baldwin Company to add the additional six floor annex by loans and donations. The cost was approximately $7,000,000.00 to complete.

In the more recent years the Warner Brown Hospital has been in the ownership of the Medical Center of South Arkansas. The ownership has been deeded to private development and will be extensively renovated for the use as a Veterans health hospital.

El Dorado Daily News , Barton Library

WARNING!: Special permission was obtained to take photographs. The Warner Brown Hospital complex is constantly monitored 24/7 and patrolled by the El Dorado Police Department.


  1. Thanks for sharing this post. I am very interested in hospital. I would like to share my opinion on hospital.bundaberg vet clinicsWhat companies does the vet present? Some vets have extra superior gear than others, for instance, and are in a position to do extra diagnostic testing or can present extra superior therapies. Nevertheless, not all pets require these companies.

  2. My name is Sue Dopson New.
    Thank you for posting this data about Warner Brown. My mother had surgery therewhen I was in 3rd grade. But my youngest son's life was saved1959. Ny husband was pastor of Three Creeks Baptist church in a village on the highway between El Dorao and Haynesville LA. Our address was Junction City, AR. My son got his head cut with a dirty shovel playing at Bastrop the week before My husband was hundreds of miles away. Dan was 3 years old and that day he cried pulling at his ear. His eye looked like it was sinkinginto hi face. I called our Pediatrician and explained what happened the week before when his head was cut and sewed up by a doctor there. He said brfing him in as soon as I could get him there, 15 miles away. I did. He had gangreene and if he made it through the night he would live. But he said getting him through the night depended on keeping him sedated and completely still to keep it from getting to his brain and causing meningitis. He was an excellent doctor. He said I would need to keep fresh very warm pads on his wound all night without letting him move. He lived through the night .and then I called Ed, and he returned home. You can understand why Warner Brown was/is a milestone in my life. There is much more to the story but those are the main points. Thanks again for sharing this bit of history. Sue Dopson New.

  3. Here in this article, you give the information about this hospital. You also share some pictures about the condition of the information and should to renovation. I really love that you share the information to the people about this hospital.

  4. Why are there so many abandoned hospitals in Arkansas ? We only have one in Oklahoma and it's a mental asylum and former tuburculoisis sanitiorium .

  5. Dr. John W. Harper delivered me back in 1954. His clinic was right across the street where his son pratices now. This large building could be used for many many things, why let it just fall down? Doesn't make since.

  6. I just wonder how many or the resident of El dorado and Union County were born there. Parent ,children & grand children & great grandchildren! I was born there, my children were born there and four of my grandchildren were born there. Happy to see it will rise again to be of service to Union County.

  7. Judy Davis flournoy on

    That hospital will forever be in my memory. My birth certificate is from there. My aunt who was like another mother to me went to me went to nursing school and graduated before the Sisters of Mercy discovered she had secretly gotten married. On those a woman couldn't go to nursing school there she was married. Later I taught school in a portion of the building when SAU El Dorado initially opened.

  8. Brings back many good memories of 15 plus years spent there Lots of things happened there Glad it will be put to good usage Thanks for the pictures.

    • They probably couldn't because I've seen asbestos removal crews working over there while waiting to pick my child up from school.

    • I am also descendant of Warner Brown. On Ancestry.com if you have more family history please contact me. Thank you.

  9. Life Past Lane on

    This hospital is named after my 4th great grandfather, Warner Brown. He was born in Virginia and was an early settler of Union County, Arkansas, arriving around 1849.

  10. American's map is dotted by man abandoned buildings, some is need of surgical restoration others minor cosmetic surgery and most can be used to house those of little or no means.

  11. Warner Brown Hospital served Union County admirally since 1921. It is a very important landmark to the people. Many of the citizens of Union County were born and some died in this grand old building. I am just one who was born there Oct. 9,1942. My family and friends thru the years have spent time in this hospital. I hate to see its status changed….maybe for the better use of Veterans. Al least the building will not be razed. Warner Brown served the community/county for 95 years……pretty good record.

    • I was born there Oct. 6, 1942, Jim — got you beat by 3 days, ha. In the 1990's the U of AR for Med Sciences' Area Health Education Centers program, which included an out-patient clinic and Family Physicians Residency Program, were housed in new addition. (It has been moved to Magnolia, costing El Dorado a clinic for many low-income citizens.) Will welcome the facility's use as a Veterans' Hospital, if that is the plan.

  12. Sure wish we could win the lottery and buy this back.
    Jennie could run OB, Jodie ER, Jamie SW, Debra nursing,
    Pam dietary, Janna OR, John Admin, Robert security,

  13. Dr. Hartmann loved this hospital and so did I….I think this is such a waste…it coulld benefit alot of people and give people a choice…and letting AHEC slip to Columbia County was ashame….

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