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Our History


The principles of homeopathic medicine come to Rochester in the mid-1800s with the arrival of Drs. John Taylor and Augustus Biegler.

Based on the writings and research of Dr. Samuel Christian Frederick Hahnemann, a well-educated German physician of the late 18th and early 19th centuries, homeopathy:

  • Stresses the treatment of disease by those drugs which produce symptoms in a healthy patient resembling those seen in a sick patient

  • Understands the importance of psychological factors in sickness

It is when a disagreement between the liberals and traditionalists of homeopathy occurs that Dr. Joseph A. Biegler, son of Augustus, and a handful of Hahnemannites secede from the County Homeopathic Society and plan the opening of their own hospital. Hahnemann Homeopathic Hospital is the result of their efforts.

The Selden Homestead is leased for $500 a year and renewed for one year at $1,200, with an option to purchase during the term of the lease for $17,000.

The six-bed hospital consists of the house and a barn. The barn is converted, with the help of the medical staff, to the Nurses' Residence.

The Board of Lady Managers, who serve as an associate board of the hospital, is believed to be the "power behind the throne" in running the hospital.

Names prominent in the history of Rochester are involved with the early days of the hospital—among the first Board members are Rufus K. Dryer, a banker and first president of the board; Joseph T. Cunningham, carriage manufacturer; and Dr. Algernon S. Crapsy, a liberal Episcopalian destined for national fame.

All religions and faiths are represented among the founders and all have faith in the Hahnemann ideology, while at the same time believing in the philosophy of the fledgling institution which is restated in the first Annual Report: "A fundamental trust of the hospital organization is, that while there is a vacant place, no one, however destitute or forlorn, if sick, shall be refused admission and careful treatment."

As Biegler and his supporters learned early on, there was much more to the founding of a hospital than the declaration of principles of treatment. It was, and continues to be, much hard work and the generosity of inspired friends that make a hospital a reality.


In memory of her parents, Susanne Jeanette and Louis Stanislas Hargous, Nina Hargous Appleton gives the hospital $17,000 to purchase the property as well as making three beds available for those patients who could not afford hospital care. These gifts are given as a testimonial to Dr. Biegler, reflecting Mrs. Appleton's grateful appreciation for the care he gave her parents.


In recognition of Mrs. Appleton's generosity, the Board of Trustees votes to change the hospital's name to Hargous Memorial Hahnemann Hospital. Training School for Nurses of the Hahnemann Hospital opens its doors.