Dr. William A. McCornack

Portrait of Dr. William A. McCornack, Physician, Surgeon, and Obstetrician, 1874-1895.

February 9, 1918 – Dr. William A. McCornack died in Oakland, following a heart attack. Born in Elgin, Illinois in 1849, Dr. McCornack came to the Mendocino Coast in 1873 and opened a medical office in Little River. Several months later, he moved to Mendocino where he practiced medicine for the next 23 years.

Dr. McCornack established the Mendocino Hospital Company, the first important medical facility in the community. From 1887 to 1895, the hospital operated from a rented house on the southeast corner of Ukiah and Howard Streets in Mendocino (today’s Blue Door Inn). According to Herman Fayal, “He used to charge a dollar a year – everybody – all the working people. […] If you got hurt or was sick or anything you went in there and it didn’t cost you nothing.”

In 1895, the hospital moved to a building on Main Street (demolished in 1941) across from the Ford House. Two years later, Dr. McCornack relocated the hospital and his medical practice to Fort Bragg. In 1906, he disposed of his medical practice, having “amassed a very comfortable fortune,” according to the Beacon, and retired to Oakland.

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