If Walls Could Talk—Time Capsule Uncovered at McLane Children’s

by Baylor Scott & White Staff on July 25, 2014

in Community Information

It’s been nearly five years since the Temple community uncovered something remarkable during the construction of McLane Children’s Hospital Scott & White—a time capsule. Now it will be reinterred on the third anniversary of the opening of McLane Children’s Hospital, and once again a piece of history will be left for future generations.

“This new time capsule will continue to honor the legacy of this building and this campus,” says Ellen Hansen, RN, BSN, MS, Chief Operating Officer and Chief Nursing Officer, McLane Children’s.

Ellen Hansen, COO and CNO along with John Boyd, MD, CEO look through items to be placed in the time capsule. Ellen Hansen, COO and CNO along with John Boyd, MD, CEO look through items to be placed in the time capsule.


When Scott & White announced plans to merge with King’s Daughters, they committed to turning King’s Daughters Hospital into a free-standing children’s hospital. Nearly 85 percent of the building was renovated to make this plan a reality.

What construction workers found during the renovation was remarkable. In the walls of the first floor of the hospital, they uncovered a copper box. They brought it to history archivists at Scott & White who said it was a time capsule, telling the story of this significant structure.

A Look into the Past

Found in this time capsule were treasures from King’s Daughters, some dating back to the turn of the century. Significant photographs and documents were hiding in the wall for years.

“Everyone was surprised as they had not heard about the time capsule before,” says Hansen. “We were very interested in the documents that were uncovered.”

In the original time capsule they found:

  • A complete issue of The Temple Daily Telegram, dated 1971
  • A three-page typewritten list of employees as of December 1, 1974 including names and shifts
  • Black and white aerial photograph of King’s Daughters Hospital downtown
  • A brochure for The Million-Dollar Development Program
  • Pamphlet for the School for Vocational Nursing at King’s Daughters
  • Postcards
  • Room rates as of 1974
  • Other clippings and photographs

Soon after the finding, a ceremony was held in 2011 to reveal the treasures to the public and acknowledge Mr. Dick Epperson, former administrator of King’s Daughters Hospital.

Gone, but Not Forgotten

Since the discovery, McLane Children’s has been collecting items to add to this time capsule including newspaper clippings, brochures from events, the Deep in the Heart fundraising CD, among other items.

“I think it’s amazing to respect the history and build on the foundation to create something meaningful,” says Hansen.

Now, anyone in the community is able to donate significant items for the time capsule until the end of August. If you have something that speaks to the legacy of this structure, bring it to the main concierge desk at McLane Children’s Hospital, open seven days a week from 6:30am to 8:30pm.

“One of our employees stopped me today,” says Hansen. “She donated the staff t-shirt she received when King’s Daughters closed in 2010. On the back it says, ‘King’s Daughters Hospital—Gone but Not Forgotten.’”

Burying the Capsule, but the Legacy Lives On

Truly, the legacy of King’s Daughters and now, McLane Children’s, lives on through even more than the time capsule.

During the reconstruction, a number of significant features were maintained. There are historical markers, plaques, seals and original archways at McLane Children’s. The original stained glass from the chapel remains, as well as bricks in the garden. In fact, 69 employees chose to personalize a brick and the new bricks were intermixed with old bricks, symbolic of the merger.

There are a number of employees who are also carrying on this legacy.

“We have wonderful employees and many stayed with us,” says Hansen. “They’ve expressed that to them, it still feels like a family, bigger and busier, but they appreciate that it still feels like a family.”

Whether it’s through a time capsule, structures or employees, McLane Children’s is carrying on a great healthcare legacy.

Hansen says as she looked in the time capsule, it was interesting to see some of the similarities and differences to the way healthcare was provided 100 years ago.

“Looking back, the building may change, the technology may change, but it is all about caring for the patient and family—that doesn’t change,” says Hansen.

The time capsule is scheduled to be reinterred October 4, 2014. For more information or if you wish to donate items, contact 254-935-4113.

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