Buffalo in the ’50s: Celebrating 50 years of South Buffalo’s Mercy Hospital

By Steve Cichon
steve@buffalostories.com
@stevebuffalo

Sister Mary Sacred Heart is cutting a celebratory cake for some of Mercy Hospital’s youngest patients in this photo from October 1954.

The Sisters of Mercy were among Buffalo’s earliest Catholic teachers, and from their convent on Fulton Street near St. Brigid’s church and school, Sister Martha began dispensing her “famous black salve.”

That’s credited as the start of the sisters’ medical ministry, which grew to include a hospital inside a former home on Tifft Street near Holy Family church and school, and then later the current Mercy Hospital on Abbott Road in South Buffalo.

In 1954, when this photo was taken, Mercy Hospital was described as a “modern, fully-equipped, six story brick structure.” During the first 50 years of the hospital’s existence, Msgr. Francis Growney estimated that the hospital had cared for 148,000 patients.

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Steve Cichon

Steve Cichon writes about Buffalo’s pop culture history. His stories of Buffalo's past have appeared more than 1600 times in The Buffalo News. He's a proud Buffalonian helping the world experience the city he loves. Since the earliest days of the internet, Cichon's been creating content celebrating the people, places, and ideas that make Buffalo unique and special. The 25-year veteran of Buffalo radio and television has written five books and curates The Buffalo Stories Archives-- hundreds of thousands of books, images, and audio/visual media which tell the stories of who we are in Western New York.