Wisconsin Veterans Home
The American Civil War saw significant advances in battlefield medicine. The lower mortality rate of injured soldiers led to the sentiment that the United States should provide care for its surviving injured veterans. The city of Waupaca purchased the land and buildings of the defunct Greenwood Park Hotel and donated the grounds to the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) for the site of a veterans' home.
Civil War physician and GAR member Dr. Frederick Marden was chosen to head a five-member committee to organize a Wisconsin veterans' home. Among Dr. Marden's innovative ideas put into action was the practice of allowing wives and widows of veterans to live at the home, as well as the idea of allowing members to live semi-independently in cottages. Marden died on September 24, 1887, a year before the site began operation on August 18, 1888.
It is one of the largest veterans home facilities in the country with a staff of nearly 1,000 workers and includes many self-contained community services, including its own fire department.
There are five U.S. Registered Historic Places in King Veterans Home: Commandant's Residence Home, Halfway House (King, Wisconsin), Old Hospital, Veterans Cottages Historic District, and Veterans Home Chapel.
In 2016 controversy erupted over the quality of care delivered at the home, chronic staffing shortages and the practice by the state government of redirecting millions of dollars of federal government funding intended for King into other veterans' programs.
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- Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs. "History of the Wisconsin Veterans Home at King" (PDF). page 17. Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs. Retrieved 2016-08-21.
- Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs. "History of the Wisconsin Veterans Home at King" (PDF). page 18. Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs. Retrieved 2016-08-21.
- Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs. "History of the Wisconsin Veterans Home at King" (PDF). Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs. Retrieved 2016-08-20.
It is one of the largest and most independent skilled long-term care facilities in the United States with approximately 500 nursing staff and over 300 support staff. In fact, the Home operates similar to a small city and boasts its own power plant, public works bureau, fire department, cemetery and logistics staff.
- FERRAL, KATELYN (2016-08-31). "Gov. Scott Walker, state lawmakers call for investigations into Wisconsin Veterans Home at King". madison.com. Capital Times. Retrieved 2016-09-01.